How To Get Your Car Accident Report in Sacramento

Don’t underestimate the importance of a police report. Injuries or hidden damage can appear later, leaving you scrambling for proof. A police report strengthens your insurance claim and legal proceedings as it helps document and recount what happened.

Our Sacramento car accident lawyer understands police reports, wait times, limited access, and fees. Here is a guide for you. Our team at Kevin Accident Attorneys put it together to help you get your car accident report in Sacramento. Let’s break it down below.

Table of Contents

You can purchase your car accident report online

Online requests are the fastest and most convenient method. Your car accident police report is typically available 5-10 days after the accident and costs $5.00. Visit the online accident report request portal to submit your request.

But, some car accident reports are not available online. For these cases, you will need approval from the Traffic Section or wait 90 days after the accident before releasing a full copy. These car accident reports include:

  • Those not investigated by the Sacramento Police
  • On private property
  • With severe injuries or wrongful death
  • Involving hit-and-run

If you were involved in a DUI incident, you or your authorized representative can get a copy of the report. Any Department of Motor Vehicle forms will be removed before the report is released.

You can request a car accident report by mail

If you are authorized to receive a traffic accident report (such as the victim, their representative, or as outlined in Section 20012 of the California Vehicle Code, you can request a copy by mail.

To do so, please provide the following information:

  • The type of report (Traffic)
  • Report number (if known)
  • Date and location of the accident (address and cross streets)
  • Names and addresses of parties involved (if known)
  • Vehicle license plate numbers (if applicable)

Additionally, include the following if applicable to your situation:

  • Insurance policy number (if you are requesting on behalf of an insurance company)
  • Release from an involved party (if you are an attorney)
  • Authorizing documentation (power of attorney, death certificate, birth certificate, etc., if you are an interested party other than the listed victim)

Mail all information to:

Sacramento Police Department

Attn: Records Report Requests

5770 Freeport Blvd., Suite 100

Sacramento, CA 95822

You can make in-person requests for your car accident report

To request a police report in person, you must bring a valid government-issued ID and demonstrate a valid “right to know” or “need to know,” as defined below. You can visit either of the following locations during regular business hours. No appointments are necessary, and requests are processed in the order they are received:

Police Headquarters – Public Safety Center 5770 Freeport Blvd., Suite 100 Sacramento, CA 95822

William J. Kinney Police Facility 3550 Marysville Blvd. Sacramento, CA 95838

Who can get a car accident police report in Sacramento?

Access to police reports is determined by the California Public Records Act and Sacramento Police Department policy. To receive a report, you must show a “right to know” and a “need to know.”

“Right to know” means you can legally get information from police reports because a court, law, or legal decision says you can. Meanwhile, the “need to know” allows you to get information from police reports to do your official job.

Moreover, police reports are not directly released to arrested individuals or suspects. But, they can have their legal representatives, through the discovery or subpoena process get them the police report.

Are car accident reports public record in California?

In California, car accident reports are generally confidential and reserved for the Department of Motor Vehicles and the California Highway Patrol. However, you can obtain a copy of the report directly from law enforcement agencies.

Typically, accidents remain on your driving record for three years, during which they are considered public. While the full report remains confidential, specific details tied to your driving record are considered public information. These include:

  • Records of convictions
  • Violations
  • Accidents
  • Driver’s status
  • License suspensions
  • Revocations

Under Vehicle Code section 1808, insurance companies, potential employers, and law enforcement can scrutinize these details.

Pro Tip

It’s advisable to consult with a Car Accident Lawyer from Kevin Accident Attorneys for personalized guidance and support in any legal or insurance-related issues arising from your accident. Our law firm can help alleviate the stress of dealing with the aftermath.

Why should you obtain a car accident report?

You may realize how vital a police report is after a car accident, even a minor one. Shock and adrenaline can mask injuries or vehicle damage that may surface later. This report makes proving the extent of your losses easier.

A police report serves as official documentation of the accident, detailing the following:

  • Circumstances around the car accident
  • Parties involved
  • Potential fault and liability

Insurance companies often require it for claims processing, and it’s essential if your case goes to court. Even a fender-bender warrants a report, protecting your rights and interests.

Moreover, these reports offer a comprehensive record, including the following:

  • Accident’s date
  • Time
  • Location
  • Vehicle damage
  • Visible injuries
  • Witness statements
  • Driver accounts
  • Observations of traffic violations or faults

A police car report is your key to proving the facts of your claim and securing the compensation you deserve while recovering from the accident’s impact. Call our car accident lawyer in Sacramento, CA, who is here to help you through the process and hold negligent drivers accountable.

Reporting a Car Accident to the Sacramento Police Department

In the event of a vehicle accident, prioritize the safety of everyone involved. If there are no injuries, all drivers should share their driver’s license numbers (if available), vehicle license plate numbers, names, addresses, phone numbers, and insurance company names. If possible, gather information from passengers.

Ensure you note the exact location of the accident, including cross streets or addresses, and the time it occurred. Then contact the Sacramento Police Department (SPD) immediately by dialing 911 for emergencies or (916) 264-5471 for non-emergencies if:

  • Someone is injured or killed
  • A driver appears to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • A driver leaves the scene without stopping (hit-and-run)
  • City property is damaged

Immediately after a car accident, you may experience a rush of adrenaline, causing fear, confusion, and anxiety. While it’s natural to want to talk about what happened, be cautious about oversharing details with others involved in the accident.

For example, you might apologize out of shock or concern, even if you weren’t at fault. However, anything you say could be used against you later, as it may be interpreted as an admission of guilt.

Reporting a car accident to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)

In addition to notifying the police, you may need to file a police report with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) using the Traffic Accident Report Form SR-1. You must report it to them within ten days if someone is injured or killed and property damage exceeds $1,000.

This report is required even if you weren’t at fault, the accident occurred on private property, or you already reported it to the police, California Highway Patrol (CHP), or your insurance company.

These steps ensure the necessary information is collected and reported to the appropriate authorities after a vehicle accident.

How to file an SR-1 Report

You can get an SR-1 report or complete it online at your local DMV or CHP office. Failure to file an SR-1 report or not having proper insurance coverage at the time of the accident will result in the suspension of your driver’s license.

The DMV will share the information from your SR-1 form with your vehicle’s listed insurance company. If you fail to provide your insurance details on the form, the DMV will assume you were uninsured during the accident and automatically suspend your license.

This suspension can last up to four years, regardless of who caused the accident. However, you can get your license back if you obtain a California Insurance Proof Certificate within three years of the suspension start date.

How long do you have to report an accident in California?

If you are involved in a car accident resulting in injuries or fatalities, you have 24 hours to file a written report with your local Sacramento police department or the California Highway Patrol (CHP). If you cannot do this, a passenger in your vehicle can report it on your behalf.

For example, if you sustain minor injuries like whiplash or a sprained wrist, you are still responsible for reporting the accident and submitting a written report within 24 hours. However, if you experience a catastrophic injury, like a traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury requiring hospitalization, another person involved in the accident can take on this responsibility for you.

What happens if you don’t report a car accident in California?

Never drive away from the scene, no matter how minor it seems. It’s illegal, and someone could be hurt. Dial 9-1-1 immediately to report the collision to the police or California Highway Patrol (CHP).

Not reporting accidents can lead to:

  • License Suspension by the DMV if you don’t report on time.
  • Leaving the scene without stopping could result in a hit-and-run conviction with severe penalties, including criminal charges.


Always report accidents promptly to avoid these consequences. If you need clarification on the process, seek legal advice. If you hit a parked car, try to locate the owner and leave a note with your name, address, and insurance information. You still need to report the collision to the police or CHP.

What if there’s no police report after your car accident?

Sometimes, the stress and chaos of a car accident can cause you to forget to call the police. While this can make a future insurance claim more challenging, you still have options. The court considers all evidence and testimony to make a fair judgment, regardless of whether a police report exists.

If you couldn’t get a police report at the scene, an experienced car accident attorney in Sacramento, CA, can help you navigate the process and gather the necessary evidence to support your claim. Don’t hesitate to seek legal assistance to protect your rights and ensure a fair outcome.

How a car accident lawyer can help you

Navigating the process of obtaining a police report after a car accident can be overwhelming, but a skilled lawyer can be your trusted guide. We have the expertise to streamline the process, ensuring you receive the report efficiently and correctly.

Here’s how they can help:

  • Get the report faster: our lawyers know the process and can get your police report quickly and easily.
  • Understand the costs: we can explain any fees and ensure you complete the request correctly.
  • File the report for you: If you need more time, your lawyer can handle the paperwork.
  • Explain what it means: Police reports use legal terms, but your lawyer can translate them into plain English.
  • Win your case: If you have a personal injury lawsuit, the police report can help your case. Your lawyer can use it to help you get the money you deserve.
  • Fix mistakes: If the police report has errors, your lawyer can help correct them.
  • Give you peace of mind: Most importantly, your lawyer will care for everything so you can focus on getting well.

Don’t try to handle this alone. A lawyer can make things easier and help you get the best outcome. Contact a car accident professional today to protect your rights and receive the compensation you deserve.

Contact a car accident lawyer in Sacramento to get help with your car accident report

Injuries might manifest days or weeks after the incident, and hidden vehicle damage can be costly. A police report makes proving fault easier, securing fair compensation for your losses.

Contact us now to hire a Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer with Text Kevin Accident Attorneys for your case. Call us or send us a secure message using our contact form. We’re here to fight for you and your family. Kevin and his legal team are standing by. Let’s begin right now.

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