How to Lookup a Police Report

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Name Phone Number License Plate VIN

How to Lookup a Police Report

Whether you’ve been involved in an accident or you have had a run-in with the law, knowing how to lookup a police report is an important skill. Police reports are public documents and the information they contain could have an impact on a wide range of things, including finding a job, applying for a loan, or pursuing an insurance claim. We are going to give a basic rundown of what a police report is, why it’s important, and how to lookup a police report.

Police Report vs. Police Record

First, let’s clarify something that is bound to cause some confusion: the difference between a police report and a police record. While these two items have similar names, they are in fact very different. A police report is a document filed by a police officer that essentially offers a summary of an arrest, incident, or accident. A police record, on the other hand, is usually the same as a criminal record and it includes a list and summary of an individual’s history of interactions with law enforcement, including arrests and convictions.

How to Lookup a Police ReportPolice Reports and Accident Reports

Another point that deserves clarification is the difference between a police report and an accident report. In fact, there’s not really a difference between these two items. An accident report is simply a type of police report that details the circumstances of a traffic accident. A police report, meanwhile, can include accident reports, but they cover a much broader range of incidents that may involve the police, including crimes. Note that some police departments call police reports ‘incident reports.’ Remember that some accident reports may also be criminal reports, such as if the accident may have been caused by drunk driving.

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 doesn’t meet the minimum threshold, it is usually still a good idea to file a police report. That’s 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 don’t come to the accident scene (which sometimes happens for minor accidents) 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.

How to Lookup a Police Report

To lookup a police report, the first thing you will need to determine is which police department holds your report. Usually it will be the local law enforcement agency responsible for whichever county your incident took place in. Federal law enforcement, such as the FBI, are rarely the first agency to be called to a crime so it’s rare that you will need to obtain a federal police report (although you can request a federal background check). Knowing how to lookup a police report is a key factor in determining what the charges are and making sure everything that was documented is accurate. If you are involved with an incident that requires you to file a police report then it’s best practice to have a copy of that report on hand.

How to Request a Police Report Online

Once you have determined which police department has your police report, you should visit their website. Many police departments now allow you to request your police report online, although some may require you to print off a police report request form and mail it to them with a self-addressed stamped envelope. San Antonio, for example, allows you to submit a request for a police report online, in person, or through the mail.

Police Department Request Form

If you cannot submit a police report request online or through the mail, then you will have to visit the police department in person and file a request there. Call beforehand since some departments only allow in-person requests on certain days. You can find your local police department here. Then you can find out about filling out a Police Department Request Form in person and how to get the information you need. Typically these police department request forms can be fulfilled that day.

 A request will typically require you to provide your personal and contact information as well as details about the incident, including the type of incident, date, and who else was involved. Be aware that if the report pertains to an ongoing investigation then your request could be denied. If you are unclear about why your request was denied you should talk to an attorney.

Police Reports via Public Record Websites

An alternative option is to use an online public records database, such as While the police reports on these databases will not be official (and therefore cannot be used for insurance, employment, or most other official purposes), they are a useful way of satisfying your curiosity about what a police report says about you.

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 useful–and they may even be necessary–when 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.



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Responses to “How to Lookup a Police Report

  1. squarryadministrator says:

    Shelia, you’ll need to contact the police department directly to inquire with the police report number

  2. Sheila Adams says:

    There was a police report done on my stolen property and I do not know how to look up and get the report DR#22-530436

  3. squarryadministrator says:

    Luna, we can help you find a Belle Isle police record if you can give us some more information such as the name of the person and their age. Then we’ll have our team do some research for you and see if we can find the police record you’re looking for

  4. Luna Smartway says:

    Can you help me find a BELLE ISLE POLICE Report for someone?

  5. Chris Pressley says:

    I’m checking on progress on a police report I made on 4/18/2022 about me being assaulted and my windows broken out of my car. I tried to go get my wife but they prevented me from doing so. My wife is not in the right state of mind right now. I believe she wants to leave but he\’s preventing her from doing so. When he is around she won\’t say anything. I need to get her away from him

  6. julie reed says:

    i’m trying to locate a police record in august 1970 dakota county,mn the name is jeffrey gerald kopp 15 yrs old which he has been deceased since sept 1970 the incident took place at north star bowling lanes on robert st in w st paul. any information on the accident would be greatly appreciated

  7. squarryadministrator says:

    Shametra, if you provide us with the person’s name, age and state and county of residence we can lookup their criminal records, arrest record and incarcerations for you.

  8. Shametra Chambers says:

    Hello,this Shametra Chambers and I am trying to request police records for Trailous Adely.Not sure what information you need for me but I am looking for assist. Thank you

  9. squarryadministrator says:

    We can certainly assist you with looking up a police report however if you need a copy of your police report for insurance purposes you will need to contact the issuing police department and request a copy from them

  10. Kendric Stewart says:

    I\’m trying to find the police report that was misplaced from my accident

  11. squarryadministrator says:

    Richard, to find your police report you will want to contact the police department you filed this with originally. Please let us know if we can further assist you with your public record needs.

  12. Richard Johnson says:

    I\’m trying to find my police report from my car accident

Author: squarryadministrator
Last Updated: 2018-10-18

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