Federal Records Management

Protecting Permanent Records

As defined in 36 CFR 1220.18, permanent records should be protected, secured, and preserved while they are still in agency custody.

Permanent records must be transferred to the National Archives of the United States when the records are eligible based on a transfer instructions specified in a NARA-approved records schedule. In general, this should be when the records are 30 years old or older (see also 36 §1235.14).

Unscheduled records are Federal records whose final disposition has not been approved by NARA on a SF 115, Request for Records Disposition Authority. Such records must be treated as permanent until a final disposition is approved. (36 CFR 1220.18)

If you’ve transferred your agency's permanent records to a Federal Records Center (FRCs) for storage, those records are secured and protected until they are eligible to be transferred to NARA through the Annual Move process. The FRCs follow strict storage facility guidelines as outlined in 36 CFR 1228 Subpart K- Facility Standards for Records Storage Facilities.

If your agency has decided to store permanent records on-site or at another storage facility until they are eligible to be transferred to the National Archives, it is important to remember that your agency is responsible for securing and providing ongoing preservation for those records.

Protecting Federal records and other documentary materials from unauthorized removal

Records Emergencies

Records Recovery, Records Emergency Disposal, and Information Security

If you have any questions about your permanent records, please contact permanentrecords@nara.gov.