Safe Transport of Records

Why move records?

You may need to move records for a number of reasons. These include:

  • taking records off site for business reasons
  • transferring records to court
  • moving records between storage locations, e.g. in-house to commercial secondary storage
  • transferring records required as State archives to archival storage in your public office
  • moving inactive records ready for destruction to the place where they will be destroyed.

You may need to move records as a result of other occurrences. If so, additional issues will need to be considered. Contact the Records Management Office; for further advice and information if you are transporting records.


Recordkeeping tips

When records are in transit they are more vulnerable to loss, damage or theft. Security precautions should be taken to minimise these risks. General guidance on recordkeeping is given below. There are likely to be recordkeeping issues specific to your circumstances.

  • Update the records control systems (TRIM) to show the new location of the records
  • If records are being destroyed, document this in the records control system - TRIM
  • If using contractors to transport records, document security and confidentiality requirements in a formal contract
  • Make sure that records are delivered directly to a named individual
  • Check that records have reached their destination.


Records should be enclosed in suitable padding or containers to prevent or minimise damage in transit.

If you are moving... ...then pack them in...
Files or documents Sturdy envelopes or satchels
Electronic disks Bubble wrap or a disk container before placing them in an envelope or a satchel
Large quantites of records Boxes or other containers, or bins with security seals. Note: Make sure that you have a list of the contents of each box.



If records are being delivered to another location, make sure they can be easily identified and that they won't get lost.

Label each box or envelope clearly. If the records are being sent to a named individual, then the records should be taken directly to the person to whom they are addressed. For more security, they should be signed for on receipt.



This section covers the transportation of records by mail and by vehicle. If you are transferring records, please notify the Records Management Office;

Mail services

There are various options if records are to be mailed, such as

  • registered mail
  • certified mail
  • day/overnight couriers.

The choice of a service is a risk-based decision balancing security requirements and costs. Things to consider when selecting the service include:

  • Will the records be protected from damage, unauthorised access or theft?
  • Is the level of security offered appropriate to the degree of importance, sensitivity or confidentiality of the records?
  • Does the mail provider offer 'track and trace' options and is a signature required on delivery?

Vehicles for transfer

When large quantities of records are being moved, make arrangements for suitable vehicles. To ensure adequate security and to protect records against weather, light, pollution and other dangers, vehicles must be

  • covered
  • locked
  • attended at all times
  • not used for transporting other materials, such as chemicals, that may cause risks to records.


Records should be carefully handled at all times, particularly during loading and unloading. If you are moving large quantities of records, use secure docks so that records can be loaded and unloaded without risk of theft or damage from the elements. Records should never be left unattended, even temporarily, on pavements or in front of buildings.

If the records are of a sensitive nature and the premises at either the dispatch or delivery point are shared, try to make arrangements for exclusive use of dock facilities during transfers. If this is not possible, make sure that the records are not left unattended.

Tips to remember for the safe and secure handling of records:

  • No-one should eat, drink or smoke near the records
  • Boxes and envelopes should never be opened or records examined without authorisation from the relevant authority
  • Records should never be thrown
  • Records should never be left in unsecured areas
  • Any damage should be reported to the responsible officer in the public office