Obtain a Copy of Your Traffic Collision Report in Los Angeles

Posted on April 15, 2024

A traffic collision report contains important facts and information about a car accident that you may need for a car insurance claim. It can serve as evidence during a car accident case. You will not automatically be given a copy of your police accident report at the scene or afterward. You will need to take certain steps to obtain a copy of the report in Los Angeles yourself or have a car accident attorney do so for you.

Obtain a Copy of Your Traffic Collision Report in Los Angeles

Request a Police Collision Report After the Crash

First, you will need to contact a law enforcement authority immediately after your car accident to have a traffic collision report created. You can do this by calling 911 while you are still at the scene of the crash. California law requires all car accidents that result in injuries, deaths or property damage that exceeds $1,000 to be reported to the police.

When the police arrive, do not admit fault for the accident. Give the officer your side of the story for the record. Write down your police report number before you leave. If the police do not come to the scene of the crash, you are required to submit an SR-1 traffic collision report yourself and send it to the Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days instead. Keep a copy of this report for your records.

Who Can Obtain a Copy of the Accident Report?

According to Section 20012 of the California Vehicle Code, only certain individuals have the right to access a car accident police report. These reports are confidential except for use by law enforcement agencies and “any person who may have a proper interest therein,” which may include the drivers involved, the parent of a minor driver, anyone injured in the accident, the authorized representative of a driver, the owner of the vehicles or property damaged, anyone who may be held liable for the accident, and an attorney representing any of these parties.

Request a Copy Online

The simplest way to obtain a copy of a traffic collision report in Los Angeles is online. To request a copy of your police report, visit the LexisNexis link provided by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). The online form will ask for one of the following to find your report:

  • Your police report number,
  • Your last name and the date of the vehicle collision, or
  • Your last name and the location (street) of the incident.

Due to the heavy volume of traffic collision reports being processed in Los Angeles County, the LAPD recommends allowing a minimum of 45 days from the date of the car accident to pass before attempting to obtain a copy of the crash report online. You can request a copy of the report once it has been located.

Mail in Your Request

If a traffic collision report involves the death of an individual, an arrest for a crime such as driving under the influence or a juvenile (someone under the age of 18), it cannot be requested online. It must be obtained through the United States Mail. In addition, any traffic collision report requested from before February 1, 2016, must be requested via mail.

To request an accident report by mail, download and complete the Traffic Collision Report Request Form and mail it, along with a check or money order for $11 (not cash) made payable to the LAPD, to the following address:

Los Angeles Police Department

Records and Identification Division

Document Processing Unit

P.O. Box 30158

Los Angeles, CA 90030

If you are unable to view or print the report request form, you can view the list of items your written request must include on the LAPD’s website and draft the document yourself. If you need additional information or wish for a status update on whether the LAPD has received your mailed-in request, call (213) 486-8130.

If you wish to have a car accident attorney obtain a copy of your traffic collision report for you, contact Panish | Shea | Ravipudi LLP at (877) 800-1700 to request a free case review.

How Can We Help You?

If you have a legal matter you would like to discuss with an attorney from our firm, please call us at (310) 477-1700 or complete and submit the e-mail form below, and we will get back to you.

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