How to Get Vehicle Crash Reports for Texas AccidentsAugust 20, 2018
Calling police after a motor vehicle personal injury accident in Texas isn’t just helpful for victims. It’s also the law after any wreck that involves injuries or at least $1,000 in property damage. Beyond help at the crash scene and compliance with Texas law, calling police after a collision means that the responding officer(s) will:
- Investigate the traffic wreck
- Document key information, facts, observations, and evidence
- Provide their own analysis and fault findings
- Record any legal action taken at the scene or after, like any citations, field sobriety testing, or arrests made due to the wreck
- Create an official police report for the motor vehicle accident
Consequently, police vehicle accident reports can be incredibly valuable resources for crash victims, offering them more insight and potential evidence regarding fault and liability for the accident.
So, how do you get a police crash report in Texas?
Use this guide for step-by-step instructions on how to obtain police car accident reports in Houston, Dallas, and Austin, Texas.
Before You Get Started: Info You Need to Request a Police Crash Report in Texas
To locate the police report for your car accident in Texas, you’ll need at least two of the following pieces of information:
- The date of the accident
- The location of the crash
- The full name of any person or company in the wreck
- A driver’s license number for any motorist in the crash
- A vehicle identification number (VIN) for any vehicle involved in the car accident
- The unique 8-digit TxDOT number associated with the crash (the “TxDOT Crash ID” number)
If you can locate the police car crash report online, it will generally be accessible immediately and available to download for a nominal fee of $6 to $8 (for standard or certified copies, respectively).
Additionally, it’s important to know that:
- Texas car accident police reports are officially referred to as Texas Peace Officers’ Accident Report forms (CRB3).
- By law, Texas law enforcement officers are required to submit police reports to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) no later “than the 10th day after the date of the crash.” That means it can take up to 14 days for crash reports to be cataloged and searchable in TxDOT’s online Crash Records Information System (CRIS).
- TxDOT keeps copies of police car accident reports for 10 years, including the year in which the crash occurred.
- Texas law permits several “interested parties” to request copies of police car accident reports. That includes (and is not limited to) those involved in the motor vehicle accident, as well as insurance companies for involved persons, broadcasting companies with FCC licenses, employers of involved drivers, and others.
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How to Request a Police Crash Report Offline
Besides requesting police car accident reports online, you can also request them by mail, completing this form and sending it here:
Crash Data and Analysis, Texas Department of Transportation
P.O. Box 12879
Austin, Texas 78711
If you opt for snail mail, you’ll still need to send in the required fee. And please note that it can take up to 20 days to process and respond to these requests.
How to Get Police Car Accident Reports in Houston, TX
If you’re in a traffic crash in Houston, you can obtain the police report for that wreck in one of three ways:
- Online by clicking here
- In person on the first floor of the Edward A. Thomas Building (1200 Travis St. Houston, Texas 77002)
- By mail, which requires you to print and complete this form (HB 2633) and send it to the Records Division of Houston Police Department (HPD) (same address as above), along with a $6 check or money order payable to the City of Houston and a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
How to Get Police Car Accident Reports in Dallas, TX
If you were in a traffic collision in Dallas and officers from the Dallas Police Department (DPD) responded, you can get a copy of the accident report:
- In person at the customer service window at the DPD (1400 Botham Jean Blvd., Dallas, TX 75215)
- By mail, following the same mail-in instructions for Houston but sending the items to DPD (at the above address) instead and addressing the payment to the City of Dallas
DPD requires either the name of a person involved in the accident, the crash location, or the date of the accident in order to hand over a copy of a crash report. Additionally, with Dallas police accident reports:
- You can request them within 5 to 7 days of the accident.
- You can call (214) 671-3345 for more help, but DPD will not release any specific information about a motor vehicle accident over the phone.
How to Get Police Car Accident Reports in Austin, TX
If you were in a wreck in Austin, Texas, you can get a copy of the police car accident report:
- Online by clicking here or here for Spanish. Please note that this is the same online source for Houston police crash reports, with the Austin Police Department (APD) selected instead of HPD.
- In person at the Main Headquarters of the APD (715 E 8th Street, Austin, TX, 78701), Mondays through Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. You will need a “case number” to locate the report.
- By mail, using the same instructions as the Houston mail-in instructions but sending the request to APD instead (and addressing payment to “Austin Police Department Report Sales”).
It’s smart to call APD at (512) 974-5499 to see if a report is available before heading down to the office to try to pick up a copy.
Get Help Obtaining a Car Accident Police Report
Getting a copy of the police report for your car crash in Houston, Dallas, Austin, or anywhere in Texas can be just one step to investigating the wreck, figuring out who’s at fault, and determining the options for recovery. For experienced help with this and every aspect of a crash claim, it’s prudent to retain an experienced Texas car accident lawyer.