A subject access request (SAR) is simply a is a way for you to request to see a copy of the information Oxfordshire County Council holds about you under the current Data Protection Act (DPA).
For information to be personal data, it must relate to a living individual and allow that individual to be identified from it (either on its own or along with other information likely to come into the organisation’s possession).
Where you have a right, it can be exercised free of charge.
Who can make a request
Anyone can make a request for information that we hold about them. You will not be able to ask for copies of information about someone else unless you have their permission to do so.
How to make a request
In order to make a request, you will need to supply a number of documents. We accept scanned original documents however, we reserve the right to request to see the physical original documentation in some cases. All original documents will be returned.
If you apply online, you can upload scanned documents directly to the form.
Proof of authority
If you are asking for information about someone else you must provide written evidence that you have the authority to act for that person. For example, proof of guardianship or power of attorney. If you do not have this contact your solicitor.
Copies can be accepted if they are countersigned by a solicitor.
Proof of identity and proof of address
You will need to provide scanned originals or certified copies of two official documents each for the person about whom information is required and the person making the request if they are different.
- One document for proof of identity – birth certificate, current driving licence or passport identification page.
- One document for proof of address – current driving licence, utility bill, bank or credit card statement (less than three months old).
Make a request
You do not have to use this form but it will help speed up the process. The request must be made in writing.
What happens when you make a request
Once we receive a completed application, you will receive an acknowledgement letter and your documents returned to you.
You will receive a full response and files held on you within one calendar month unless it is very complex. If it is complex we will write to you within the first month to tell you that we are extending the timescale for a maximum of two months longer.
Requests that might be refused
We may not be able to release information that was provided to us about you by another organisation without that organisation's authority.
Some types of personal data are exempt from the right of a SAR and so cannot be obtained by making a SAR. Information may be exempt because of its nature or because of the effect its disclosure is likely to have. There are also some restrictions on disclosing information in response to a SAR – where this would involve disclosing information about another individual.
Does the act apply for someone who is deceased?
The Act only applies to personal information about a living individual, the act no longer applies to records for the deceased. However, the executor of the will is able to access the deceased person's record. No fee is required for this, but a copy of the will, proof of identity of the executor is required.
How do I access my NHS records?
If you are wishing to access your NHS records, you will need to make a SAR application to Oxford Health. Details on how to access your health files can be found on
Can I access my child's record?
Yes. In order to be provided copies of your child's records, you will need to send us proof that you have parental responsibility. This can be their birth certificate(s) or an official court document stating parental responsibility. These must be the originals or certified copies
What is a certified copy?
Details on who can certify a document can be found on theIn order for a document to be certified as a copy, the person certifying the copy should:
- write ‘Certified to be a true copy of the original seen by me’ on the document
- sign and date it
- print their name under the signature
- add their occupation, address and telephone number.
Where can I find out more information?
Further details on SARs can be found on the