Here is a link to the Release Form at FTDNA but read the following before you go there.
The release form covers two things. One is the actual release; namely, permission to exchange email addresses with others who match. The other relates to ethnic origin database information.
1) The wording on the form in your kit may vary slightly from the example at the above link.
2) The same form is used for both "individual" test orders and for group project orders. However, there may be some differences in the notification procedure for group projects. I'm in the process of learning more about this. *
3) Form mentions a database of "family ethnic origins," known as Recent Ethnic Origins or REO (below). This is not part of the surname project but go ahead and note the information if you know it. If your earliest known ancestor was born in the USA and his male ancestry is not Native American, enter Unknown or leave blank. As discussed below, you can change it later when/if you learn more.
USA =Native American. Don't put in USA unless your SURNAME line is Native American. Repeat: your SURNAME line. This does not apply if you have a female Native American ancestor because our project is testing the Y - male only - chromosome. (There is an mtDNA test for the female line. In that test, USA would apply if one had a Native American female ancestor in the direct female line.)
4) Sign the Release Form and return with the DNA sample.
RECENT ETHNIC ORIGINS (REO)
For more information about the REO, go to FTDNA's homepage, click on DEMO (on the right), and then click on the REO link.
I asked FTDNA:
How reliable is this information? Shouldn't it be well documented before they enter the Country? (For example, my grandmother insisted her Holeman line was English but I've since learned it was most likely German.)
The way that Anthropologists, world wide collect data is to ask the person where they came from, and accept that as fact, so error is always present, but it's a guide to where your 'genes' may have flowed.
It is my understanding that when/if you learn more, you can change your REO information any time you wish. **
*A primary difference is that in a group project, FTDNA provides result information to the Group Administrator (GA) at the GA's private (pass code) page.
**When FTDNA receives your sample (and payment if not prepaid), they notify you by email when the sample arrives. At that time they give you a pass code to your own private page. You enter your kit number and pass code at their homepage to access your page. I believe your page will also show your results and, possibly, information about other matches. I will know more about this when my [father's] information is processed. For an example of what your page might look like, go to FTDNA's homepage, click on DEMO (on the right).
Census Records | Vital Records | Family Trees & Communities | Immigration Records | Military Records Directories & Member Lists | Family & Local Histories | Newspapers & Periodicals | Court, Land & Probate | Finding Aids