National Archives at St. Louis

Employee Medical Folders (EMF),
Federal (non-archival) Holdings and Access


What is an Employee Medical Folder (EMF)?

The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) also stores the Employee Medical Folders (EMF) of former Federal civil servants. The EMF contains employment-related medical information, such as health unit files and occupational medical records. Once an employee leaves Federal service, his or her former agency will put any long-term occupational medical records in the EMF for storage at the NPRC.

EMFs are retired to the center within 120 days after separation from Federal employment. If less than 120 days have elapsed since separation, write to the last employing Federal office.


Who can access EMFs?

Former Federal Civilian Employees (the person of record): may obtain copies of most civilian and personnel medical records on file at the NPRC via written request. Please note: EMFs are retired to the center within 120 days after separation from Federal employment. If less than 120 days have elapsed since separation, write to the last employing Federal office.

Authorized Third Party Requesters, e.g., lawyers, doctors, historians, etc., may submit requests for information from individual records with the person of record's signed and dated authorization. They should state who they are in relation to the individual and the purpose of the request. All authorizations should specify exactly what the person of record is allowing to be released to a third party. Authorizations are valid one year from date of signature. A sample authorization is included for your review. The NPRC requires a court order, if the subject of the file is unable to sign. Please see Court Order Requirements for additional directions.

General Public: If the subject of the file is LIVING, and you DO NOT have authorization from the person of record, only certain data may be obtained. Information available under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Privacy Act provide balance between the right of the public to obtain information from personnel records, and the right of the former Federal civilian employee to protect his/her privacy. If the subject of the file is DECEASED, copies of some documents and some information about the deceased may be releasable with proof of the subject's death.


How do I submit a written request for copies of records?

Federal law [5 USC 552a(b)] requires that all requests for records and information be submitted in writing. Each request must be signed (in cursive) and dated (within the last year). Please identify the documents or information needed and explain the purpose of your request.

Certain basic information needed to locate civilian personnel records, includes:

  • full name used during Federal employment,

  • date of birth,

  • Social Security Number (if applicable),

  • name and location of employing Federal agency,

  • beginning and ending dates of Federal service

Written requests (signed and dated) may be mailed or faxed to:

National Personnel Records Center, Annex
1411 Boulder Boulevard
Valmeyer, IL 62295

Fax: 618-935-3014

Please note: former Federal civilian employees who have a strong interest in viewing their own files in person, rather than receiving document copies by mail, may request an appointment with the Federal Records Center Research Room, or hire an independent researcher to examine the records on their behalf.

Costs: Generally there is no charge for basic personnel and medical information provided to former Federal civilian employees and authorized representatives from non-archival records. If your request involves a service fee, you will be notified as soon as that determination is made. See Archival Records for information on archival holdings and associated copy fees: archival OPFs are subject to the NARA fee schedule that authorizes the Agency to collect fees from the public for copies of archival records (44 USC 2116c and 44 USC 2307).

National Archives at St. Louis >

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
1-86-NARA-NARA or 1-866-272-6272

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