National Archives at St. Louis

Frequently Asked Questions - Civilian Personnel Records


  1. How do I get information from my civilian personnel records? Read more...

  2. Where can I get information regarding retirement benefits for former Federal civilian employees? Read more...

  3. I want to be reinstated into Federal service. What forms do I need? Read more...

  4. Where can I call for help or immediate assistance? Read more...

  5. Is the NPRC open to public visitors? Read more...

  6. What records would be useful for genealogical research? Read more...

1.  How do I get information from my civilian personnel records?

CIVILIAN PERSONNEL RECORDS
For Federal civil servant whose employment ended before 1952 For the Federal civil servant whose employment ended after 1951

Civilian personnel records are normally transferred to the National Personnel Records Center within 120 days after an employee's separation from Federal employment. If less than 120 days have elapsed since separation, write to the last employing office. Thereafter, send your request to the address listed below.

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

Contact Information: click the links above for mailing and contact numbers.

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2.  Where can I get information regarding retirement benefits for former Federal civilian employees?

The information requested is not on file at the National Personnel Records Center. Questions relating to retirement and benefits should be directed to:

U.S. Office of Personnel Management
Retirement Operations Center
Post Office Box 45
Boyers, PA 16017

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3.  I want to be reinstated into Federal service. What forms do I need?

Copies of Standard Form 50 (Personnel Action) from your previous Federal employment are usually needed for reinstatement purposes. You may request copies of those documents by writing to the National Personnel Records Center. The NPRC does not have the authority to determine reinstatement eligibility, only the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) or the hiring agency can determine that.

Contact the personnel office with which you are currently employed or seeking employment, or:

U. S. Office of Personnel Management
Employment Service
1900 E Street, NW
Washington, DC 20415

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4.  Where can I call for help or immediate assistance?

  • National Personnel Records Center:
    Telephone: 314-801-0800
    Fax: 314-801-9195
  • For other veterans-related questions:

    • Department of Veterans Affairs:
      Telephone: 1-800-827-1000
      TDD: 1-800-829-4833

  • For general inquiries, please call us toll free at:

    1-866-272-6272 or 1-86-NARA-NARA
    TDD lines: For College Park, MD: 301-837-0482
    Fax: 301-837-0483

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5.  Is the NPRC open to public visitors?

Individuals who wish to visit the NPRC because they have a strong interest in viewing records in person may request an appointment in the NPRC's Research Rooms: the Archival Research Room and/or the Federal Records Center Research Room (see Visitors and On-Site Researchers for additional information).

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6.  What records would be useful for genealogical research?

For Military Personnel Records: military service records, military pension records and bounty land warrant application files would all be useful. Please visit Genealogy Research in Military Records for additional information.

For Civilian Personnel Records: If your family member was employed by the Federal Government, the Official Personnel Folder (OPF) would be a primary source for research.

See Records Location Table for contact information

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* Please see our Privacy Statement

"NARA ensures, for the Citizen and the Public Servant, for the President and the Congress and the Courts, ready access to essential evidence."


Civilian Personnel Records Main Page

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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