How to Get a Police Report for a Car Accident in Long Island

After a car accident, the last thing you are concerned about might be paperwork.  However, police reports are an essential tool when building a car accident case or filing a claim with your insurance company.  It is important to get a police report if you’ve been involved in a car accident, but figuring out how to get one can be difficult.

Most of Long Island is either in Nassau County or Suffolk County, but accident reports for both counties are usually accessible on a third-party website called BuyCrash.  You may also be able to get paper copies of a report from the local police department that made the report or the NY DMV.

If you were injured in a car crash, call the Long Island car accident lawyers at The Carrion Law Firm.  Our attorneys offer free case reviews and might be able to help with your car accident case.  Give us a call today at (631) 910-7493.

Where Do I Get a Police Report for a Car Accident in Nassau County on Long Island?

Nassau County’s police department website specifically directs users to a third-party site to get a police report.  This is the same website as the BuyCrash one discussed above, and even the link on the police department’s site redirects to buycrash.com.  This service is provided by LexisNexis, a company that provides legal and government resources.  While it is not an official government site, this is the portal that Nassau County directs people to use to access police reports.

Where Do I Get a Police Report for a Car Accident in Suffolk County on Long Island?

Suffolk County uses the same system that Nassau County does: buycrash.com.  As discussed above, BuyCrash is a reputable third-party platform, and the county website specifically directs users to this service to get police reports.

Can You Get a Police Report for Long Island from the NY DMV?

The New York DMV also collects and processes police reports for accidents throughout the state.  The DMV website has instructions for how to perform a free search to see if the police report you are looking for is available.  After you confirm there is a record of your accident, you can do a “paid” search for $7 to get access to the official listing for your police report.  Keep in mind that this search costs $7 per search – so even if you type something wrong, you will still be charged $7 per search!

Once you find the record, you can order a report for $15 through the DMV.  From there, you will have 7 days to access them and download a copy.  After that, you will have a PDF copy of the report that you can email to your lawyer, print out, or handle however you want.

Can You Get Police Reports in Long Island by Mail?

The DMV also allows police reports to be issued by mail.  This costs $10 to perform a search and $15 for a copy of the report.  This might seem like a good alternative to an online search if you have trouble using a computer or cannot view PDF files on your device.  However, the forms used to request a copy of an accident report (form MV-198C) must be downloaded as PDFs then printed from the DMV website to mail them in.

You might be able to get copies of this form from the DMV in person, but it might be simpler to go straight to your local police department for a paper copy of the report if you cannot use the online portals.  Alternatively, speak with your New York City car accident lawyer about the possibility of them retrieving the report for you.

Can You Get a Paper Copy of a Car Accident Police Report at the Police Department in Long Island?

Local police departments may have paper copies of police reports that are processed through their department.  However, the online, digital version of the report is usually available faster.  If you do not have access to a computer or a printer and getting a paper copy of a police report is your only option, call the local police department that handled your accident to ask how to get a copy of the police report.

How Long Before a Police Report Is Available in Long Island?

The NY DMV states that police reports are usually available at least 14 days after an accident online.  The Suffolk County Police Department website gives a potentially shorter estimate for online reports, stating that they are available 7 to 10 business days after the crash.

Paper copies might take longer before they are available.  The DMV website estimates that you might have to wait at least 30 days before getting a paper police report, making the online option the fastest way to get a police report.

What Information Do You Need to Access a Police Report After a Car Crash in Long Island?

If you were involved in a crash, the police officer that responded to the accident might give you instructions on how to access a police report along with a list of information you’ll need to access the report.  If not, you typically need a few pieces of information related to your crash.

A report number from the police is usually the fastest way to get the report.  This number will link you to the correct report, even if they spelled your name wrong or put in incorrect information into the report.  Otherwise, you can look up accidents by using your full name and the date of the crash.  If for some reason that doesn’t work, you can use your name and the street address of the accident instead.

Call Our Long Island Car Accident Lawyers for Help

If you were involved in a car crash in Long Island, The Carrion Law Firm’s attorneys may be able to help.  Call our Long Island car accident lawyers for a free review of your case.  Our number is (631) 910-7493.