Once requesters know the record(s) they want and the public agency that has them, a records request can be submitted. Each public agency records custodian must adopt a form that meets the requirements of state law. Contact the records custodian of the agency to obtain this form.

A request must be in writing either on the form provided by the agency or via an otherwise written method such as a letter, fax or e-mail that clearly mentions OPRA. The completed request can be mailed, hand-delivered, faxed (if the agency accepts faxed requests), or "otherwise conveyed to the proper custodian." The request cannot be made by telephone. Many agencies are placing downloadable versions of their request form on their own web site, and many departments of state government permit requests to be filed on-line (See OPRA Central, www.nj.gov/opra).

Request forms ask for the name, address and phone number of the requester, and may include room for an e-mail address. While requesters do not have to give a name, it permits the custodian to contact them if there are questions about the request or to inform them of any fees that are required or must be paid in advance.

If an anonymous request is made, requesters should follow up in person, as custodians will require a deposit before providing copies. The amount of the deposit is set by each agency. Inspection of public records can be done anonymously. However, if personal information about anyone is being sought, requesters will have to sign a certification that they have not been convicted of an indictable crime. This is necessary to ensure that information about a crime victim or their family is kept confidential.