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IPRA Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Regarding the Inspection of Public Records.

What is the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA)?

The New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA) is built on the United States’ historical position that the records of government are “the people’s records.”  IPRA provides citizens with steps to take in order to request records "regarding the affairs of government and the official acts of public officers and employees"  while protecting certain specific types of records from release. It also establishes a legal process to enforce compliance.

Who can make a request for public records?

Any "person" can request public records. The request can be made by phone, letter or electronically.  UNM provides an efficient electronic method for requesters to utilize in requesting public records and requests that all requestors utlilize the IPRA portal via The requester cannot be required to explain why the public records are being requested. Often, however, a voluntary discussion with the Custodian about the requester’s purpose or interest in seeking certain information can aid the Custodian in locating and producing responsive records. While an individual is not required to submit a request in writing, the University encourages the requestor to submit a written request in order to minimize any confusion regarding the request.  The deadlines and procedures set forth in the law and applicable to written requests do not apply to oral requests.  

What is a "public record"?

Except those records that are identified as exempt under the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act, or the release of which is otherwise prohibited by law, IPRA describes "public records" as follows:

"all documents, papers, letters, books, maps, tapes, photographs, recordings and other materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics, that are used, created, received, maintained or held by or on behalf of any public body and relate to public business, whether or not the records are required by law to be created or maintained."  NMSA Section 14-2-6(G)

How can an individual make a public records request to the University?

NMSA § 14-2-8 Procedure for Requesting Records
"Any person wishing to inspect public records may submit an oral or written request to the custodian. However, the procedures set forth in this section shall be in response to a written request. The failure to respond to an oral request shall not subject the custodian to any penalty."

Public record requests can be made directly to the University's Custodian of Public Records by mail, email or phone during normal business hours or at

Custodian of Public Records
MSC05 3440
Scholes Hall Room 208
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001
505 277-5035

What is the University's response time?

The Custodian will acknowledge the request within three (3) business days, and will strive to respond no later than fifteen (15) calendar days after receiving the request. If the Custodian determines that a written request is excessively burdensome or broad, an additional reasonable period of time shall be allowed to comply with the request. The Custodian shall provide written notification to the requester within fifteen (15) calendar days of the receipt of the request that additional time will be needed.

Can an individual inspect a public record in person?

Yes. An individual may inspect records at a mutually convenient time arranged during the Custodian's business hours. However, if the person also would like copies of records and such records cannot be readily copied due to the volume of the records, the requestor may return at a later date to collect copies or make arrangements for copies to be mailed to the requestor.

Is there a fee for gathering information to fulfill the request?

As permitted by IPRA, the University will normally charge for copying records in accordance with the fee schedule determined by statute. The University of New Mexico's Custodian of Public Records is currently assessing the fee structure related to the processing of requests made under the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act ("IPRA") and the production of electronic public records.  Accordingly, for requests made during this time, the Custodian of Public Records will be suspending the assessment of fees associated with the processing and production of electronic public records produced via email pursuant to an IPRA request.  The University of New Mexico reserves the right to charge for the production of non-electronic records during this time. 

Fee Schedule:

Effective July 1, 2016, the University of New Mexico, through its Records Custodian, will charge a fee for copies of records provided in response to public records requests for each page in excess of 20 pages. UNM’s fees are reasonable and consistent with the requirements of the Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA), § 14-2-1 et seq. and the New Mexico Attorney General’s IPRA Compliance Guide.

Hard Copies

The fees for hard copies after the first 20 pages are:

FeesSize of Records
35¢ per page*8 1/2" by 11"
$1.00 per page8 1/2" by 14"
$1.00 per page11" by 17" and larger

*Two-sided copies count as two pages

Electronic Records

Charges for electronic records provided to the requestor on a computer disk, thumb drive or other storage device will be the cost of the device (35¢ for a computer disk; $2.75 for audio tapes, and $6.75 for a thumb drive).

Transmission Fees

Any postage or other cost associated with transmission of copies will be charged to the requestor.
In addition to the fees noted above, requestors are charged the actual costs of transmitting the records by mail ($1.00 per page plus actual postage) air express (actual cost), or facsimile (35¢ per page).

Advance Payment Required Before Copies Are Provided

UNM requires advance payment of fees, either by cash or credit card, before copies are provided to the requestor. Cash payments must be made at the UNM Cashier’s Office located in the Perovich Business Center, Suite 1100, on the southwest corner of Lomas and University Boulevards. Credit card payments can be made online.

Inspection of Records at UNM

Requestors may arrange for the inspection of records at the UNM campus at no charge. However, if requestors wish to receive copies of public records, the fee schedule set forth above will apply.

What if a University office or department receives a public records request?

The University office or department should immediately contact the University's Custodian of Public Records to coordinate a response and should send the request to the Custodian as soon as practicable. 

Is the University required to create documents to comply with a request?

No. It is the University's obligation to gather and copy existing public records. The University is not obligated to create records in order to respond to a request. 

For Transcript Inquires please visit

Custodian of Public Records

MSC05 3440
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM87131-0001

Physical Location:
Scholes Hall
Room 208
Phone: (505) 277-5035