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. Below are some simple steps to accomplishing this: 

  1. First determine what county or jurisdiction you want to make your police report request for. 
  2. Know the type of police report you are looking for, a police incident report or a police arrest report. 
  3. Also know the full name of the person you want to lookup as well as their age, this will make sure you get the correct police report 
  4. Visit a public record website, police reports including arrests, DUIs and incarcerations are all public domain that anyone can view 
  5. You can also make an inquiry directly to the police department responsible for reporting the incident, if you know the jurisdiction 

It is important to point out that not all arrests end up as criminal records, the arrest circumstances will be evaluated by the courts. A person may be detained until then, depending on the circumstances of their arrest. You can also lookup a person’s court records and sentencings with a public record website, as this is all considered public information. 

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 what people usually refer to 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. 

Police 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 Lookup a Police Report

How To Get a Police Accident Report 

A police accident report is important piece of information that is needed for submitting an auto insurance claim, defending oneself in court, filing a claim on someone else, and a multitude of other legal matters. If you want to get a copy of a police car accident report, there are a few simple steps and some information you will need to gather to make your police accident report request. 

  1. Know the police department jurisdiction or the specific law enforcement agency 
  2. Collect all the relevant accident information such as the parties involved, the police accident report number, and the date and location of the accident event. 
  3. If you need a certified physical copy of a police car accident report, you will need to submit it directly to the police department that made the report. You can make this request online, depending on what resources are available, or in person which is typically faster. You may need to verify your identity to make this request. 
  4. Once you receive the copy of the accident report, make sure to check it for inaccuracies and errors. If you need this document for an insurance claim you want to double check all the information on the report before submitting it.  

According to a January 2023 car accident report from the NHTSA, there were over 30,000 car accident fatalities in the first 9 months of 2022. In total, there were over 1.5 million car accidents that resulted in injuries

How to File a Police Accident 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 anyone was injured in an car accident you should always contact the police to file a report. If you have a dash camera recording the event, that should also be submitted with your accident report. You should offer up as much information as possible as well as any information a passenger can offer the police to document about the accident.

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 PD, even allow you to file police reports online so long as it relates to a non-emergency incident. 

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How to Request a Copy of a Police Report 

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. You may need to submit your identity for this request. If you simply need to verify a police report then you can visit most any public record website to lookup these publicly available records. With these online public record repositories you can also find a multitude of additional information about a person’s background such as: criminal history, arrest warrants, previous arrest, incarcerations and vital records. 

Police Report 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. 

Accessing Police Reports Through 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 or someone else. All you need to access this information online is a person’s name and state of residence. Then once you find the police report you are looking for, make sure to verify the person by their age or address. Then you will also be able to run a full background check on them and find out everything that’s in their public record. One of the popular reasons many people use public record websites is the speed of accessing information and that most of these resources offer anonymous and confidential searches.

Why Police Reports Matter 

 Police reports are public records and in some states they may be viewable by just about anybody. There are restrictions on how those records can be used, depending on how they are resourced, 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 these reports 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. 

Police Report FAQs

Are police reports public record?

Yes, police reports are part of the public record. Anyone with an internet connection can view police records, arrests, incarcerations, court records and background information with a simple name search.

How long does a police report take after a car accident?

Police reports are sometimes filed in real time, depending on what technology is standard procedure with the reporting law enforcement agency. Often times you will receive a copy of an accident report on the spot but sometimes you may need to visit a police department in person to make your request.

Can I file a police report online?

Yes, it is possible to file an online police report depending on what resources are available in your city or county agencies. Visit their website and see if this is an option. If it is not, you may need to call directly or visit a department in person.

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Responses to “How to Lookup a Police Report

  1. says:

    Eileen, if you have the police report number you will be able to access that by contacting the relevant law enforcement agency in the city where the incident occurred. We can assist you with looking up police records by name which include arrest records, criminal records and background checks.

  2. says:

    Eileen Bermudez
    I have a police report number, how I can pull the report online.

  3. says:

    Michelle, if you need to supplement a police report you already filled out you should contact the police department, or officer directly to do this.

  4. says:

    I need to supplement the report made on December 20, 2023 (SPD incident report #24-1159). I have a video of the person who actually damaged my car (2017 Subaru WRX STI) as she was damaging it. I have the video in mp4 format. Is it possible to email it for inclusion the above incident report?

  5. says:


    How do I get more information about the about investigation of an incident that happened at my building 295 Convent Avenue on Friday, December 22nd, 2023 around 4:45pm in which a dead body was found and victim appears to have leapt/fallen from the roof?

  6. says:

    Jorge, can you tell us what county and state this Police report was filed so we can research it for you? Every state and county in the US has a different Police report number associated with it so we will nee that information to proceed.

  7. says:

    I have case number 04-27-2020
    report number 04352243

  8. says:

    Donald, if you need an official police report for your theft you will need to contact the relevant police department where you filed this report. We search for criminal records in relation to a police report but it is not an official copy of the report itself. Official copies can only be obtained from the police departments themselves

  9. says:

    How do I get a written police report on my case of theft? Case Number 23-737-525. I need to submit to charge company

  10. says:

    Manuel, you should reach back out to the San Antonio Police Department to follow up, we could not find any record of a police report for you

  11. says:

    I made a police report back in April about stolen kabota from Econo inn 6301 Enrique M Barrera parkway San Antonio Texas 78237

  12. says:

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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. says:

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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

Last Updated: 2023-05-02

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