How to Request an Accident Report in California
A police accident report is a crucial piece of evidence if you are involved in a personal injury lawsuit in California. An accident report establishes a baseline account of what happened in the crash, and it may contain other useful information as well. Without this report, an insurance company may even try to argue that you have no proof the accident ever happened.
The California car accident attorneys of Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers can help you request a crash report and assist with any other aspect of your case. Our San Diego car accident lawyers have been helping crash victims for 15 years and have recovered millions in compensation for our clients. We will gladly help you request an accident report, as well as find additional evidence to support your claim. For more information on requesting police accident reports or our other services, call (619) 233-5020 or visit our contact page.
Requesting a Police Accident Report in California
The first step in requesting a car accident report in California is to figure out which agency filed the report. If the crash occurred on a state or federal highway, the accident report was most likely filed by the California Highway Patrol (CHP). To obtain an accident report from CHP, you will need to fill out form CHP 190 and be sure to include the following information:
- The date of the accident
- The location of the accident (be as exact as possible)
- Your name (if you were driving) or the name of the owner of the vehicle (if you were a passenger)
- Your mailing address
- Your signature
- A photocopy of your driver’s license
You will also need to pay a fee as part of your application. CHP charges $10 for any report that is 1-25 pages long, which should be enough for a typical accident report. Once you have completed the form, you can send it and your application fee to the CHP San Diego office at
5902 Kearny Villa Road
San Diego, CA 92123
If you were hurt in an accident that did not occur on a highway, you would need to request the crash report from a different law enforcement agency. In the San Diego area, the two agencies handling accidents that do not occur on highways are the San Diego Police Department and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department offers several ways to request an accident report. The first is to submit a request online through their Public Records Center. The second method is to submit a request from the local Sheriff’s Station that handled the accident. Finally, you can fill out a Service Request Form and mail it to the following address:
San Diego County Sheriff’s Department
Attn: Records & ID Division, Cases Section
P.O. Box 939062
San Diego, CA 92193-9062
The Sheriff’s Department normally charges a $20 fee for a copy of a police report. However, the first copy of a report is free if it is requested by a crash victim or their representative (i.e., your lawyer).
If you need to request an accident report from the San Diego Police Department, you have a few ways to do so. The first is to submit a records request online, which requires a small fee but is also the most convenient option for many people. The second option is to call 866-215-2771 and ask for your report.
Third, you can submit a request by mail to:
SDPD Records MS#726
P.O. Box 121431
San Diego, CA 92112
Be sure to include a stamped, self-addressed envelope and a $12 check or money order made out to the San Diego City Treasurer.
Finally, you can visit the police department’s Records Division in person at
San Diego, CA 92101
If you go in person, you will also need to pay a $12 processing fee.
What Is in a California Police Accident Report?
The information found in a police accident report in California includes:
- The names, address, and other contact information for all the drivers involved in the accident
- The owners of the vehicles involved in the accident
- Any other interested parties involved in the accident (passengers, witnesses, etc.)
- The time, date, and location of the accident
- Whether or not any citations were issued
- The reporting officer’s opinion about the cause of the crash
This information is crucial for establishing a basis for a personal injury claim. Another good reason to request an accident report is to make sure all the information is accurate. If you believe part of the accident report is incorrect, a lawyer can tell you how to request a correction.
Contact a San Diego Car Accident Attorney Today
The San Diego Car Accident Lawyers of Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers have many years of experience helping crash victims request accident reports and other evidence they need as part of a personal injury case. Our car accident attorneys are standing by to hear you out and explain your options.
Call (619) 233-5020 or visit our contact page today for your free initial consultation.