What You Should Know About Obtaining a Crash Report From Police
If you were involved in a car accident and the police respond to the accident, there should be an accident report made by the investigating officer. Officially, this is known as a Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report (CR-3). If you are injured as result of the accident and you wisely hire an attorney, one of the first things that he or she will request from you is a copy of the accident report.
Due to their confidential nature, Texas accident reports are not available for online viewing by the general public in accordance with Texas law. However, if would like you would like to get a copy of the accident report, here’s how.
There are two methods of obtaining a copy of a Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report (CR-3). One is by ordering a copy online and the other is via mail.
How Do You Order an Accident Report Online?
You can obtain a copy of the accident report right away if the Texas Department of Transportation has already made the report available online for purchase.
If the link does not work the website is:
From there you and “Search for Your Crash Report”, and fill-out the required information to order the report. In order to begin the search, you will need one of the following:
- Name of a person involved in the crash
- Driver License/Identification Card Number of a person involved in the crash
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of a vehicle involved in the crash
- TxDOT Crash ID assigned to the crash
You will then need to select the proper report by matching the crash date, crash time, and county and city of your crash to the correct report, and then select the corresponding Crash Report. At that time you will be requested to select your Report Options. A certified copy is $8.00 and a standard copy is $6.00. It also asks for the Report Redaction Style. If possible, you should select a Certified Copy and Non-Redacted.
However, if the online system cannot properly identify you and/or your crash using the information you provide, you may not be able to use online system and will instead have to obtain the report via mail.
How Do You Order a Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report (CR-3) Via Mail?
As we all know, technology is not perfect and does not always work properly. So, if you are unable to obtain the accident report via the online system, you can still obtain your report by filing out the request form (Form CR-91, Request for Copy of Peace Officer’s Crash Report) and then mailing it to the Texas Department of Transportation (“TxDOT”) at Crash Data and Analysis, Texas Department of Transportation, P.O. Box 12879, Austin, Texas 78711, along with the required payment made payable to Texas Department of Transportation.
If the above link does not work the website is:
- Form CR-91, Request for Copy of Peace Officer’s Crash Report is near the bottom of the page.
As provided above, currently, a Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report (CR-3) costs:
- $6 for a standard copy
- $8 for a certified copy
Again, if possible, you should select a Certified Copy.
Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report (CR-3) Requirements
The Texas Department of Transportation is the official custodian of records for all vehicle accident reports for Texas.
- A law enforcement officer who in the regular course of duty investigates a motor vehicle accident shall make a written report of the accident if the accident resulted in injury to or the death of a person or damage to the property of any one person to the apparent extent of $1,000 or more.
- The report required by Subsection (a) must be filed with the department not later than the 10th day after the date of the accident.
As such, police officers are required to submit their reports to the Texas Department of Transportation no later than the 10th day after the date of the vehicle accident. After the 10th day from the date accident, you should be able to obtain the report either via the online system or via mail.
It also should be noted that the Texas Department of Transportation has a 10-year retention policy for accident reports.
Information Required to Obtain a Copy of a CR-3
Pursuant to Texas Transportation Code §550.065, upon written request and the payment of the required fee, accident reports shall be released. However, in Texas an accident report may only be released to a person directly concerned in the accident or having a proper interest therein, including:
- any person involved in the accident;
- the authorized representative of any person involved in the accident;
- a driver involved in the accident;
- an employer, parent, or legal guardian of a driver involved in the accident;
- the owner of a vehicle or property damaged in the accident;
- a person who has established financial responsibility for a vehicle involved in the accident in a manner described by Section 051, including a policyholder of a motor vehicle liability insurance policy covering the vehicle;
- an insurance company that issued an insurance policy covering a vehicle involved in the accident;
- an insurance company that issued a policy covering any person involved in the accident;
- a person under contract to provide claims or underwriting information to a person described by Paragraph (F), (G), or (H);
- a radio or television station that holds a license issued by the Federal Communications Commission;
- a newspaper that is:
- a free newspaper of general circulation or qualified under Section 2051.044, Government Code, to publish legal notices;
- published at least once a week; and
- available and of interest to the general public in connection with the dissemination of news; or
- any person who may sue because of death resulting from the accident.
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