Accessing your personal information – how to make a subject access request

Please note that due to an increase in the number of requests that we are receiving, we are unlikely to be able to respond to your request within one calendar month. Once your request is received and validated, we will keep you updated on the status of your request.

How to submit your request

Online form: Subject Access Request


Post: You can use our subject access request form and post to Devon County Council, Access to Information team, Room 170 County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter, EX2 4QD, Devon.

If you require assistance please telephone: 01392 380100

Why we may hold information about you

Before making a request you may find it useful to find out more about Why We May Hold Records About You

How you will receive your information

Your information will be sent to you by email using a secure email platform. If you require your information to be sent by post, you will need to let us know and provide proof of address dated within the last 3 months (see below for information on what we accept).

Your rights

Data protection laws give you the right to be told if we hold any personal information about you and the right to receive a copy of that information within one calendar month, subject to any exemptions that may apply. We may also extend large and/or complex cases for up to three months. For more information about how we process your personal data please refer to our Information Requests Privacy Notice.

Devon County Council will act as a ‘data controller’ for any personal data that you provide to us when making a request under the Data Protection Act 2018, General Data Protection Regulation, Environmental Information Regulations 2004, and or Freedom of Information Act 2000 (information request).  As such, we will ensure that the data you give us is processed in line with our organisation’s Data Protection Policies and in line with your rights under the EU General Data Protection Regulations and any other laws enacted in the UK which govern the processing of personal data.

Should you wish to find out more about Devon County Council’s data protection policies please contact our Data Protection Officer.

Proof of your identity

You will need to prove that you are who you say you are. We ask that you provide copies of two documents that prove your identity; one which shows your name and date of birth, and a second one from the list of examples below. If you require a response by post, one of your identity documents must include your current (within three months) postal address. The list below is not a definitive list, there may be other official documents that would be adequate.

  • Adoption certificate
  • Bank statement
  • Benefit statement
  • Birth certificate
  • Building Society statement
  • Citizen Card
  • Civil Partnership Certificate
  • Council Tax statement
  • Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) document
  • Driving Licence (current and UK only)
  • Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) document
  • HM Forces Identity card
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Passport – current and valid
  • Utility bill – not mobile phone

If you do not have any of these please let us know. You may wish us to contact someone such as a social or health worker, charity or voluntary agency worker working with you who is able to verify your identity. We can also send your information to them on your behalf if you agree in writing.

Requests from solicitors

If you are a solicitor requesting personal information about a client on their behalf you must enclose their written authority for the disclosure of their personal data to you.

Requests for personal information about children

If you are requesting personal information about a child we will require written evidence either that they consent to sharing the information with you or, if they do not have the capacity to consent that you have parental or legal responsibility for them and are therefore entitled to the information.

Please provide one of the following:

  • A copy of the child’s full birth or adoption certificate with you named as a parent.
  • A copy of the parental responsibility agreement signed by both parties if named on the birth certificate.
  • A copy of the parental responsibility order issued by a court.

If we require their consent, we will need a written statement from them confirming that they agree to us disclosing the information you have requested about them to you. If you consider they do not have the capacity to provide that consent please let us know, we may consult with a Devon County Council social care or legal professional for advice.

The information you require

Please provide as much detail as possible, in particular:

  • the service or team you think may hold the information
  • the names of council officers you think may have been involved with your case
  • the date or date range of relevant information
  • the names of particular documents
  • any other names that you have been known by

If we don’t have enough information or you ask for all the information we hold about you this may affect how we search for your information.

Why we may refuse your request

We will not disclose any information that identifies another living individual unless that person has provided their consent. You may use our standard consent form for this purpose or you have written authority such as:

  • Power of Attorney
  • Court of Protection Order
  • Signed form of authority
  • or there is another legal reason for it to be disclosed.

We may refuse to disclose some of your personal information if we consider it may put you or somebody else at risk of harm, we may also refuse to disclose some of your personal information if it would prejudice the council’s social work functions.