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How Do I Get a Police Report after an Accident?

August 31, 2021
self driving car

If you’ve been harmed by another driver’s negligence, you’re going to ultimately need a police report, but you may have no idea how to go about making that happen. Obtaining the compensation to which you are entitled after a car accident may hinge on that accident report, and even if this isn’t the case, it is a critical piece that is necessary for your car accident claim, which makes obtaining a copy sooner rather than later an excellent idea.

Another important first step to take if this is the situation you find yourself in is consulting with an experienced New York City car accident attorney as soon after the accident as possible.


If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you can obtain the accident report online or by mail by visiting the NYPD Motor Vehicle Collision Reports, but it may take up to seven days from the date of the accident for the report to show up in this portal. To obtain your report, you’ll need to enter all the following:

  • The accident date
  • The accident borough
  • Your driver’s license number
  • Your birthdate
  • Your license plate number
  • Your license plate state
  • Your email address

Heading to the Precinct

For the first 30 days after the accident, you can also pick up a free copy of the accident report at the precinct in the borough where the accident happened. You can look up the precinct and sector at NYPD Find Your Precinct and Sector (you’ll need the address or intersection where the accident occurred). If it’s convenient for you, this can be the most direct means of obtaining a Copy of Collision Record. If you were given an incident report at the scene of your accident, this will identify the correct precinct and will act as your receipt to prove that you were involved in the accident and that you have the necessary permission to obtain a copy of the initial police report. Without this incident report, you’ll need to provide the precinct clerk with the following:

  • Your first and last names
  • The date of the accident in question
  • The address or intersection where the accident happened and the approximate time that the accident happened.
  • Either your license plate number or one of the plate numbers of a vehicle involved

You can also print and fill out your Request for Copy of Collision Record form prior to making your request, which can help streamline the process.

Obtaining Your Copy from the State of New York

Once the accident report is forwarded from the City of New York to the New York State DMV, you’ll need to obtain your copy from the state after waiting at least 14 days (generally) for the report to become available. It’s important to note that, for accidents in which no one was injured and property damage did not exceed $1,000, you’ll need to request the accident report by mail (using this form).

It’s Time to Consult with an Experienced NYC Car Accident Attorney

The NYC car accident attorneys at Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman dedicate their impressive practice to zealously advocating for the rights and rightful compensation of clients like you. To learn more, please don’t wait to contact us online or call us at 212-285-3300 today.


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