Preparing the Standard Form 135 (SF 135),
Records Transmittal and Receipt



General Instructions



Filling Out the SF 135

  • Item 1: Enter the name and address of the FRC to which you are submitting records. See the FRC Directors page for the most current address information.
  • Item 2: Enter the name of the transferring agency official. To expedite and improve the transfer process for our customer agencies, FRCs will accept SF 135s without original signatures. Please note that your agency may have internal procedures that require signatures. If you are in doubt, please contact your agency's records officer.
  • Item 3: Provide the name, office, business telephone number (including area code), and e-mail address of the person to contact about the records.
  • Item 4: Completed by the FRC.
  • Item 5: Provide the complete address of the transferring office. If records come from one office, but the SF 135 should be sent to a different office, please include BOTH addresses. Specify where the approved SF 135 should be sent, and where the final SF 135 should be sent.
  • Item 6: This three-part number comprises the transfer number (formerly known as accession number) and is completed by the FRC after they receive the transfer.
  • Item 6(a): Enter the NARA record group number assigned to the records of the agency (or component) making the transfer.
  • Item 6(b): Enter the last two digits of the current fiscal year.
  • Item 6(c): Unless NARA has granted authorization to your agency to pre-assign numbers, FRC staff will assign a sequential number in this column.
  • Item 6(d): For transfer and billing purposes, a standard-size box equals one cubic foot. Enter the total number of boxes included in this transfer. If the records do not fit in a standard records center box, leave this column blank, add the dimensions of the container to item 6(f), and contact the FRC staff to verify acceptance.
  • Item 6(e): Enter the inclusive range of numbers (e.g., 1-30).
  • Item 6(f): Describe the records in sufficient detail to allow FRC personnel to verify compliance with your records schedule. You may wish to use the series description provided in your Records Control Schedule or the General Records Schedule. A complete series description includes the series title and inclusive dates (start and end) of the records.
  • Include the organizational component that created the records if the component is other than that described in item 5.
  • Indicate in this section if the series of records is subject to the Privacy Act. Since SF 135s are public records, information included on SF 135s (including folder title lists) should not contain National Security Classified information or information restricted by exemption B6, the Freedom of Information Act.
  • If the records are scheduled for permanent retention, are unscheduled, or if disposition instructions indicate sampling records is necessary, you must include a detailed folder listing for each box in item 6(f) (if space permits) or as an attachment. If you are submitting the SF 135 electronically, you may send the listing as a separate e-mail attachment.
  • Special description requirements apply for certain records and should be stated in item 6(f):
  • Stratified Report Invoicing: For agencies participating in Stratified Report Invoicing, a caret (^) followed by a valid two-digit charge code must be placed at the beginning of the series description.
  • Site Audit Records: State "GAO Site Audit" if the records have been so designated by the Government Accountability Office, and indicate whether the site audit records pertain to Native Americans
  • Non-paper-based and special format records: These can include records such as microfilm, engineering drawings (because of their special format), electronic media, etc. Include the format type in 6(f) (see www.archives.gov/frc/codes.html for information on specific codes for non-textual record types).
  • Item 6(g): Restrictions
  • If your records pertain to National Security Information, you must complete this section using one of the three National Security Classification codes (C=Confidential, S=Secret or T=Top Secret). Please note that the codes Q, R, or W (listed on the back of the SF 135) should no longer be used. If you designate a National Security Classification, you MUST also indicate whether the records are designated as Code E (Restricted Data or Formerly Restricted Data). For further information, please see EO 12356 (http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/codification/executive-order/12356.html), later amended by EO 13292. Only the Washington National Records Center at Suitland can store classified records.
  • If there are no special restrictions on your records, you may designate code N or leave this section blank. In this case the default restriction (restricted to authorized agency users and researchers) will apply.
  • Cite the appropriate schedule identifier and item number in your agency records schedule or the General Records Schedule (GRS). For accountable officers' records, cite the appropriate item from GRS 6. You may also use the General Records Schedules (36 CFR 1228.40-46) when dealing with records common to most offices such as contracts, travel and transportation records, and similar records. If you need further assistance, contact your agency's records officer. Also indicate in this section if the records are subject to extended retention, commonly known as a "freeze" on destruction. The "freeze code" is a three-letter designation created by FRC staff to identify the freeze pertinent to the records.
  • Item 6(i): Follow the instructions on your Item 6(i): Follow the instructions on your records schedule to compute the disposition date. Because disposal is accomplished in quarterly cycles (i.e., January, April, July, and October), advance the date to the beginning of the next calendar quarter to obtain the actual date of disposal. For example, if the ending date of your records is September 2006, and the retention period is three years, then the disposal date will be October 2009. Permanent records are offered to the National Archives on an annual basis; no month is shown in the disposition date field. Place "P" after the offer year. If records are unscheduled, please indicate "U" in this section.
  • Item 6(i), 6(k), 6(l), and 6(m) are completed by FRC personnel.

Stratified Report Invoicing refers to billing that is broken out by different functions and/or geographical locations within the same agency. If you are unsure whether your agency participates in Stratified Report Invoicing, contact your agency's records officer, or your NARA FRC account representative (www.archives.gov/frc/acct-reps.html).

SUBMITTING THE SF 135



Agencies may transmit the SF 135 to FRCs either in hard copy or electronically. Submitting the form electronically reduces mail time, is more secure, and allows revisions to be made in a timely manner. You may obtain an electronic version of the SF 135 online in Word or PDF format.

Before shipping records, you must send a completed SF 135 to your local FRC and receive approval of the form from the center. The "transfers" e-mail address for each FRC is available on the FRC Directors page (www.archives.gov/frc/directors.html). A separate SF 135 is required for each individual record series having the same disposition authority and disposition date. For instructions on completing the SF 135, please see page 2 of the SF 135.

Each individual record series being transferred requires a separate SF 135. See 36 CFR 1228.160 (e) for more details.

Approval of the Standard Form 135 Sean Preparation
for Transfer

After you submit the SF 135, the FRC staff will review it to ensure that it is complete and accurate. FRC staff will then assign the transfer number and will return one copy of the SF 135 to you within 10 working days, authorizing shipment of the boxes. You must include a copy of the approved SF 135 in box #1 of each transfer. If you submitted a SF 135 electronically, print out the approved copy of the SF 135 that was e-mailed back to you by the FRC and place it in the first box as the "shipment" copy. If the boxes or other containers are sealed and must not be opened by NARA staff, place this shipment copy in an envelope securely taped to the outside of box #1.

Always retain a copy of the detailed box content listing so that you may provide agency box numbers when requesting reference service. We also strongly recommend that you include a copy of the box content listing in box #1.

FRC staff can prepare detailed folder indexing for your transfers on a fee for- service basis. Please see the "Special Services" chapter for more details.

After the FRC staff shelve the records, they will issue a records center location number and will return a completed, signed copy of the SF 135 to you as an official receipt. FRC staff will add the location of the records to the receipt copy of the SF 135. Your agency staff will use this location information when requesting records. This receipt copy is your official record of the transfer and should be retained in your files.

Freeze--In records disposition, those temporary records that cannot be destroyed on schedule because of special circumstances, such as a court order or investigation, require a temporary extension of the approved retention period.

Unscheduled records are Federal records whose final disposition has not been approved by NARA in a
records schedule.
An active record is a record necessary to conduct the current business of an office.

Transfers typically contain one series--the records all have one subject, function, or activity in common.

Mixed series are records grouped together into a transfer that do not have any relationship with each other, aside from being from the same agency or office. Mixed-series records may have different disposition authorities but must have the same disposition date.

Permanent records are records that warrant preservation by the Federal Government beyond the time they are needed for administrative, fiscal, or legal purposes because of their historical or other value. The National Archives makes the final determination on permanent records (see 44 USC 29).

Items to be Completed by Records Center:

Item s 4, 6j thru m.



Specific Instructions for the MS Word Electronic SF 135
Specific Instructions for the Electronic SF 135 [PDF]

NOTE: You must have a full version of Adobe Acrobat in order to save the annotations made to this electronic form.



Stratified Report Invoicing refers to billing that is broken out by different functions and/or geographical locations within the same agency. If you are unsure whether your agency participates in Stratified Report Invoicing, contact your agency's records officer, or your NARA FRC account representative.


Each individual record series being transferred requires a separate SF 135. See 36 CFR 1228.160 (e) for more details.


FRC staff can prepare detailed folder indexing for your transfers on a fee-for-service basis. Please see the Special Services chapter for more details.