how to obtain police report for car accident

The police report documenting your accident is a crucial piece of information if you want to seek an insurance claim to pay off your medical bills after you have been injured in a crash. New York state—and the NYPD in particular—try to make it fairly easy and painless to obtain your police accident report.

The simplest way to obtain a car accident police report in NYC is to visit the precinct with the jurisdiction of the area where the accident occurred. If you are not sure which precinct handles accidents in the area where your collision happened, you can find your local precinct online. Be sure to call ahead to the precinct with the address or intersection of where the accident happened in hand to confirm that it is the location you should visit.

Obtaining your NYC car accident police report in person means you don’t have to pay a fee and you don’t have to worry about it getting delayed or lost in the mail. If your accident happened on Long Island or somewhere where the precinct is less convenient to visit, you can request your police accident report online or by mail.

Your police accident report can be used to establish that someone was at fault for your accident, document your accident’s conditions, and possibly connect your injuries directly to the accident.

If you are having trouble obtaining your report—or you are worried about how to pay your medical bills after an accident in New York—you can speak with an experienced New York car accident lawyer during a free case evaluation when you call (631) 543-7070 or contact us online using our convenient form.


Picking Up Your Car Accident Police Report in NYC in Person

Picking up your NYC car accident police report (officially called a “Copy of Collision Record”) in person can be the most direct and efficient way to get it in hand.

First, locate the precinct that should have a record of your report. If you were handed a copy of an incident report at the scene of an accident, then it should list the appropriate precinct you will need to visit. This incident report also acts as a receipt, helping you prove that you were involved in the accident and that you have permission to see the initial police report.

If you do not have a receipt or incident report copy, then you will have to give the precinct clerk the following information:


  • Your full first and last name
  • The date the accident occurred
  • The approximate time and address or location of the accident
  • Your license plate number or the plate number of a vehicle involved

The NYPD will ask you to complete a form in duplicate to make your records request. You can print your Request for Copy of Collision Record form in advance and fill out two copies to speed this process along.

Your copy of the report should be free, but this is subject to the precinct’s rules and your role within the accident.


Don’t Wait to Pick up Your Report at an NYC Precinct in Person

Your police car accident report may take up to seven days to be available, so you will have to wait a few days before you can pick it up.

At the same time, you should know that the report will only be held at the precinct for 30 days before it is forwarded to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.


Requesting Your Accident Report from the New York State DMV

If your accident report is forwarded, or if your accident occurred in Long Island or outside of NYC, you will need to fill out the proper form and mail it or submit a request for a copy of your DMV accident report online to receive your report.


Working with a Long Island Car Accident Lawyer to Handle Your Injury Claim

If you are having trouble getting your accident report or are worried about filing an insurance claim to recover your injury costs, then you can appoint an attorney to assist you.

Carner & DeVita has worked for over 50 years representing victims of car accidents in Long Island and NYC. We fight for your right to the maximum compensation you are owed under the law, and we pursue all available options, including a possible personal injury claim against any at-fault drivers.

Get the assistance you need and learn the legal strategies you could use to potentially recover as much as possible from your car accident injuries. Call us today at (631) 543-7070 or submit an online form to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation.


For more information, check out these related articles :

What can I do to protect my rights after a car accident?

Proving fault in a car accident 

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