Some Tips To Help You In Receiving A Report:
- If possible, please keep a copy of the report number that was given to you by the police officer and bring that number with you. It is called the Case Report Number .
- If not, you must know the date and exact location where the incident occurred
Charges for reports and other public records are assessed and collected in accordance with the provisions of the Georgia Open Records Act Reports can be emailed at no additional cost to the requestor when a valid email address is provided.
Please note victims of domestic violence will not be charged for obtaining a copy of a Family Violence Incident Report no matter the method of obtaining the report.
Why Police Reports Matter
Police reports are public records and in some states they may be viewable by just about anybody. Usually there are restrictions on how those records can be used, particularly by employers, landlords, and financial institutions. As already mentioned, police reports are particularly usefuland they may even be necessarywhen filing a claim with your insurer. The contents of a police report are important, so you need to make sure that any police report pertaining to you is accurate and does not cast you in an unnecessarily bad light.
Submit Your Car Accident Report To Dmv
Most states require submitting an accident report to the DMV. Oregon residents, for example, must file these forms within 72 hours of the accident, provided theres substantial damage and/or serious injury involved. Californias DMV requires something similar, but within 10 days for any accident resulting in death, injury , and/or property damage of $750 or more.
Inquire with your DMV if youre unsure this requirement applies to you. Failing to comply could result in the loss of driving privileges. Or worse. In New Hampshire failing to submit a car accident report involving death or personal injury is considered a felony.
Car wrecks are traumatic enough. Dont suffer additional penalties from ignorance of the law. Be certain. Call your DMV for its car accident policies.
Have you ever ordered a traffic accident report? Which agency provided it, and how much did you have to pay?
You May Like: How To Get A Case Number From The Police
You Cannot File A Report Online If
- A threat was made or violence was used during the incident. If you are in immediate danger, please dial 911. If you are no longer in danger, please call us at 613-236-1222, extension 7300.
- Evidence was left on the scene such as, but not limited to blood, tools, clothes or any item related to the incident. Please call 613-236-1222, extension 7300 to file a report.
- The incident being reported did not happen in Ottawa. Please contact the police service in the city where the incident happened to file a report.
- The stolen property is a passport
- The property lost is a cell phone, licence plate, bank card or government issued identification, with or without a serial number. Please contact your service provider to get a replacement.
Request A Police Incident Report Copy
Effective Tuesday, July 6, 2021, SFPD Police Headquarters at 1245 Third Street will reopen to the public after a temporary closure due to the COVID pandemic.
You may request a police incident report in person at SFPD Police Headquarters during our normal business hours of 8 am-5 pm, Monday – Friday .
The SFPD Crime Information Services Unit is responsible for processing incident report requests from the public, law enforcement agencies and other authorized organizations. The unit also processes local criminal background checks for agencies entitled to that information under the law. For all other requests that are not incident reports or local background checks, please contact the appropriate department within SFPD.
Also Check: What Does A Police Background Check Consist Of
How To Get A Police Report
By law, certain police records and violation reports prepared and maintained by the Police Department are accessible to the general public.
If you need to get a copy of a police report, do this. First, begin by researching the requirements of the police department responsible for the jurisdiction in which the incident occurred. Then, follow the departments exact protocol for requesting and receiving those records. Start by checking the police departments website. Expand your search to the city website if you dont find anything on the police departments website.
Obtain and Fill Out Request Forms
Some departments may require that you complete a request form, sometimes called a request for public records. This may also be known as a request for open records. When you check the department website, look to see if you can download the request form from their site. If so, fill out the request form and submit it according to the directions.
Most request forms will require you to provide the first and last name of at least one of the involved parties. In addition, youll need the location, date, and time of the incident, and in some cases, the incident or case number.
Submitting the Request Form
Important Notes Regarding Submitting Requests for Police Reports
- It may take a few days or more to obtain the official documents
- Charges for obtaining copies of the documents may vary by city or jurisdiction
- Very few departments allow access to records online
How Do Insurance Companies Use Police Reports
After a car accident, when a claim is reported, the insurance company will conduct its own investigation. One of the first things that an insurance company will ask for is the police report. This is because, as we discussed above, the report contains a vast amount of information pertaining to the car accident.
Sometimes the insurance company and police officer’s opinions are different. This is why there are times when the police report is in your favor in terms of a fault determination, but the other driver’s insurance company still denies your insurance claim.
Learn more about the role of insurance in a car accident case.
Read Also: How To Apply For Police
How Do I Get A Copy Of A Police Report
Police investigations may seem secretive, but did you know you can get your hands on a copy of an official police report? Whether youve been in a car accident, youve witnessed a crime, or you simply want to know about an incident that happened in your jurisdiction, there are steps you can take to request access to police reports.
The exact process may vary by jurisdiction, but it is generally the same across the country. Agencies have different policies for releasing sensitive information that is in police reports, so be sure to check with your local police department to confirm how they handle requests. As you are researching, you may find the request titled a Freedom of Information Request or a Public Access Request. Different areas use varying language, but they both mean the same thing and are referring to the Freedom of Information Act , which makes it entirely legal for citizens to request certain government information.
Reports will include details of the incident, where it took place, who was involved, witnesses, and much more essentially, it is anything that is even remotely relevant to the case. But keep in mind, you will not be able to receive a copy of a police report until after the police investigation has been closed.
So, how do you get a copy of this information? Check out the steps below.
How To Submit An Online Report
The online civilian incident system allows you to submit a report to the police immediately and print a draft copy of the police report for free. You will be required to create an online account to file your first report. Keep your login and password for future use. Please note: It is a crime to make a false police report.
NOTICE: If your incident involves a firearm of any kind, call and an officer will be sent to investigate.
Please confirm the following to find out if the Online Citizen Police Report is right for you:
- This is not an emergency
- This incident occurred in Lexington/Fayette County, Kentucky
- You do not have any suspect information
- You are at least 18 years old
- You have a valid email address
- The crime did not involve a firearm
- The reported crime is one of the following:
a. Harassing Communications b. Fraudulent Use of a Debit/Credit Card c. Theft by Unlawful Taking d. Criminal Mischief e. Lost Property f. Larceny from Auto
If you meet the above criteria, you are ready to file your report online. Please make sure to turn off your pop-up blocking software before filing the report. If you do not meet the above criteria, call to speak with an officer.
Read Also: How Do Police Deal With Homeless
Requesting A Police Report By Mail
The process of requesting a copy of a police report by mail is a bit more involved. In many jurisdictions, you are required to make your Public Access Request via mail. Typically, the agency will provide a form online for you to fill out, but some places are fine with you writing a letter to ask for the police report.
1. Figure out where to send the Public Access Request form or letter.
Your local police department may have a specific address and addressee for police report requests listed on their website. If they dont, simply address it to the Records and Identification Division, and use the general address listed online for the department.
2. Fill out the form or write the letter.
After you have found the location to send your request, you should be able to easily find out if they want you to send a request form or a letter. If the information is not readily available on the site, just call and ask which method they prefer. If it is available, filling out a request form is typically the easiest method because you wont have to worry about leaving out information.
If you write a letter instead of filling out the form, be sure to include the following information:
- Case number
- Your Name, Birthdate, and Address
- The date and location of the incident
- Your role in the case
- The officers name who filed the report
- What exactly you are requesting
3. Gather additional materials and send the form/letter.
4. Pay for the police report.
Locating An Incident Or Offense Report
To locate an incident or offense report, you will need:
- Victims last name
- Your report number
- The report date
Access your report online. If you have technical issues call any time at 866-495-4206, option 5.
If you do not know your incident report number, you can email us. We will look up your information and email it back to you.
Don’t Miss: Where To Buy Used Police Cars
Police Incident Report Copy Request Forms
If you elect NOT to use the portal, requests may still be submitted using U.S. Mail and email using the Incident Report Request Form. However, those requests will be manually entered and tracked in the Incident Report Request Portal by a member of CISU. You do NOT need to complete the Incident Report Request form if you submit your request via the portal.
Our request forms are available in several languages. Select your language, download and fill out the request form in your preferred language. The completed form may be either mailed or emailed to SFPD for processing. Instructions are included on all forms.
How To Report A Stolen Car To Your Insurance Company
The next step is to report the car stolen to your insurance carrier. While there is no such thing as stolen car insurance, a comprehensive insurance policy will cover you if your car gets stolen. Your car will have full coverage if you have a comprehensive insurance policy. It is essential to report the theft to the insurer even if you dont have a comprehensive car insurance policy. It will protect you if someone gets hurt or property damage happens while the car is not with you. Your insurer will want these details from you.
- Your cars description
- The last known location of the car
- Complete list of personal items that were in the car during the theft
- Location of spare keys of the vehicle
- Title for the vehicle, if there is one
- Details of the leasing or financing company, if any
Recommended Reading: How Much Training Is Required To Be A Police Officer
How To Obtain A Police Report
This article was co-authored by Saul Jaeger, MS. Saul Jaeger is a Police Officer and Captain of the Mountain View, California Police Department . Saul has over 17 years of experience as a patrol officer, field training officer, traffic officer, detective, hostage negotiator, and as the traffic units sergeant and Public Information Officer for the MVPD. At the MVPD, in addition to commanding the Field Operations Division, Saul has also led the Communications Center and the Crisis Negotiation Team. He earned an MS in Emergency Services Management from the California State University, Long Beach in 2008 and a BS in Administration of Justice from the University of Phoenix in 2006. He also earned a Corporate Innovation LEAD Certificate from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business in 2018. This article has been viewed 633,376 times.
A police report is a document police officers create after an arrest, accident, or investigation. It explains what happened, details evidence, and provides witness statements and other details. Because these reports are often used in court appearances, settlements, and insurance investigations, having a copy might be very useful for you. Whether they ask you to submit your request in person, via mail, or online, all police departments will provide you with a copy of your police report.
Body Camera Video & Other Records
Submit a Request for a copy of Body Camera Video or Other Records
Help us improve by leaving a quick comment
- Tell us what was confusing, missing or inaccurate about this page.
- We will not reply to comments, use the Page Enhancement Request below if you want a formal reply.
- Do not submit any personal or sensitive information such as account numbers or names.
Recommended Reading: How To Find Police Records
Facts Versus Opinions In Police Reports
The information contained in the police report can be a fact or an opinion. For example, the date, time, and location of the collision are facts. Fault determinations are the opinions of the police officer.
Regardless of what’s included in the police report, the insurance company, through its own investigation, will come to its own conclusion as to who was at fault for the accident.
How To File A Police Report
If you are involved in an accident, you may need to call the police and file a police report. In most states, if an accident results in death or injury or property damage exceeds a certain threshold then by law you are required to call the police. That threshold can vary depending on whether or not the motorists involved in the accident are insured. In Illinois, for example, the property damage threshold at which police must be called to an accident is usually $1,500. However, if any driver involved in the crash is uninsured then that threshold is just $500.
Even if you think your accident doesnt meet the minimum threshold, it is usually still a good idea to file a police report. Thats because a police report is an official account of the accident and it can have a huge impact on your insurance claim. Remember that even if you call the police and the police dont come to the accident scene you can still visit the police department later and file a report there. Some police departments, such as the Los Angeles Police Department, even allow you to file police reports online so long as it relates to a non-emergency incident.
Read Also: Do Police Take Your License Dui
How To Prevent Your Car From Getting Stolen
A stolen car can give you great headaches as you need to inform the police, your insurer, and DMV. However, you can prevent this stress by preventing car theft. Here are some steps you can follow to keep your car safe.
- Always lock your car and keep windows closed.
- Install an anti-theft device and a GPS tracking system.
- Keep your valuables hidden. You give an open invitation to the thieves if you leave expensive stuff in your car. Keep them hidden, or dont keep them in your car.
- Locate a good parking spot. Park your car in your garage or safe, well-lit areas.
- Never leave your car in the driveway.
- Thieves usually target older cars as theyre easy to break into. So, better drive a newer car with good security features.
What’s In A Police Report
At the scene of the car accident, if you pay close attention you may notice the investigating officer inspecting vehicles, talking to people, measuring distances, writing notes, and taking photographs. The officer is taking some or all of these steps in preparation for drafting the police report. In short, the police report is a summary of the police officer’s investigation of the accident. The report will often contain some or all of the following information:
- approximate date, time, and location of the collision
- identifying information for parties involved in the car accident, including names, addresses, phone numbers, and insurance information
- identifying information for witnesses
- statements from the parties and witnesses
- citations and/or violations of law, and
- opinions as to cause of the collision and/or a fault determination.
Don’t Miss: How To Get A Police Report