Minnesota Department of Transportation

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MnDOT IT and Data Standards

Email Retention Standard

MnDOT Standard # IT-001
Effective: January 29, 2024
Published: June 21, 2023

View/print signed standard (PDF)

Please go to the MnDOT Org Chart to find specific contact information: Org Chart.

Responsible Senior Officer: Technology and Data Leadership Committee Chair
Standard Owners:

  • Deputy Chief Counsel, Office of Chief Counsel
  • Director, Office of Administration


  • Records Manager, Office of Chief Counsel
  • Technology Investment Program Manager

Statement of standard

The management of email is required as part of employment at the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

MnDOT imposes mailbox size limits and uses automatic deletion to manage its electronic communications data.

Electronic Mailbox Size Limits

MnDOT limits all employees to 10GB of storage in their electronic mailbox. In limited circumstances, employees may be granted an exception allowing an increase in the mailbox size to a maximum of 25GB. To request an exception, employees must submit an IT Exception Request (ITERA).

Automatic Deletion

MnDOT will automatically delete all messages in the email system according to the following schedule:

  • Inbox and custom folders: 2 years after receipt
  • Sent items box: 2 years after date sent
  • Junk/spam folders: 30 days after receipt
  • Deleted items or “Trash” folder: 30 days after deletion
  • Drafts: 30 days after creation
  • Calendar items: 4 years after meeting date
  • Archive folder and subfolders: 10 years after receipt

Reason for standard

Use of email has morphed from a communications tool into an information storage system where most messages are kept by employees for undetermined lengths of time, no matter the topic. Treating the email system as a document repository presents many risks to MnDOT including:

  • Legal exposure for MnDOT and other parties due to emails being retained for longer than needed
  • Time burden to fulfilling data requests due to a high volume of emails to search
  • Utilizing unofficial forms of recordkeeping can prevent access to documents needed for business continuity.

Additionally, email is a format, not a record type. Employees must follow the Record Retention Policy to store records in the repository designated on the retention schedule. Properly deleting email communications reduces MnDOT’s risk.

This standard ensures compliance with Minnesota Statutes §138.17.


This standard applies to all MnDOT employees and third parties with a MnDOT email account.


Transitory Data

Information which is:

  1. not an integral part of administrative or operational records file,
  2. not required to sustain administrative or operational functions,
  3. not regularly filed under a standard records classification system,
  4. not required to meet statutory obligations, and
  5. recorded only for the time required for completion of actions or ongoing records associated with them.

Note: General correspondence, copies, and reference items are generally considered transitory data.

Roles and responsibilities

Employees and Third Parties with a MnDOT Email Account


  • Implement the automatic deletion standards set by MnDOT.

Standard Owners

  • Review the standard every two years, or sooner as necessary, to ensure the standard remains current.  
  • Ensure documents and training associated with the standards remain current.
  • Communicate the requirements of the standard.

Resources and related information


Processes, Procedures, and Instructions


History and updates


June 20, 2023 (Effective: January 29, 2024)

Review of standard

The next scheduled review of this standard is due June 2025.