When a police officer responds to a call for service that involves an accident or results in an arrest the officer generates a written report. The report details the events that transpired, as well as the parties involved in the case. The case is assigned a case number, which is used by the police department to organize and file the report. The case number is different than that of a court case number. If you must obtain a copy of the police reports for insurance, civil or personal other reasons, the report can be obtained from the police department.
Locate the address or telephone number of the police department or sheriff's office that created the report. To locate this information, look in your local phone book, or search for the office by name using your favorite search engine. For example, enter "Orlando Police Department" into a search box.
Call the department's non-emergency telephone number. Select the records department from the automated message, or request to be transferred to the records department by the representative that answers the call.
Ask the representative from the records department the policy for viewing and obtaining copies of police reports. Most departments allow you to mail or fax in a request, or you can visit the station. Many departments charge a per-page fee to copy police records.
Submit your inquiry to the department using one of the methods accepted by the records division. Be sure to include the department case number, date of the incident and the names of all known parties involved. If payment is necessary, provide payment using a payment method accepted by the department – often cash in person, check or money order.
Tips & Warnings
- If you wish to view the file, but not make copies, you must visit the department in person.