Do You Have to State Your Reason to Access Washington D.C. Public Records?
Most states make it easy to access public records. In fact, many states make it the law that you cannot be forced to explain why you need access to the records. If you request them, the government must give them to you, no questions asked.
Yet Washington D.C. public records are a little different. For most - not all - public records, no request is necessary. However, in some rare cases, you cannot get access to Washington D.C. public records unless you have a well stated reason. This is particularly true of any records that are only questionably a part of Washington D.C. public records. Sometimes you will need to make your case about why they are a matter for the public before the government will give it to you - especially in the nation's capital, where some information may put some of the US government at risk.
Still, Washington D.C. public records are generally open for public use, like the records in other states. Only on rare occasion, depending on what you need, will you be required to give a reason for your request - otherwise you should be free to access any records you want, and use them for nearly every purpose there is.