How to Get a Police Accident Report

How to Get a Police Accident Report on Long Island

If you were injured in a motorcycle or car accident, we can get the police accident report for you. This information is for lawyers and motorcyclists who want to get the police accident report themselves.

Where To Get a Police Accident Report

See the instructions below about the differences between the types of accident reports available and how to get them.


What a Police Accident Report looks like

Suffolk County Police accident report   Suffolk County Police accident report diagram of accident scene vehicle actions


How to Read a Police Accident Report

Download form MV-104AC keycode sheet


What’s the Difference Between a Police Report, Certified Police Report, or FOIL?

Police Reports

Accident reports obtained from a police department or from LexisNexis Crash Reports are NOT certified but include a copy of witness statements.

Police accident reports from the police department are usually available a few weeks before you can obtain a certified police accident report from NYS DMV.

Witness statements, if there are any, must be obtained from the police department because NYS DMV usually does not keep and file copies of witness statements.

Certified Police Reports

A certified police report can be used in court. If you need a police accident report for small claims court, you should use a certified police accident report. Lawyers submitting a Motion for Summary Judgment on liability in a car or motorcycle accident case must use a certified police accident report.

Important: Certified police accident reports downloaded from the NYS DMV usually DO NOT include witness statements. For a complete police accident report with witness statements, you should obtain it from the police department.

What Does a Certified Police Report Look like?

Look for the following three items to make sure that a police report is a certified police report:

Large watermark with the New York State shield in the background of the police report.

At the bottom left side of a certified police report, it will say:

This is to certify that this document is a true and complete copy of a record on file in the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, Albany, New York.

At the bottom right side, it will have the signature of the EXECUTIVE DEPUTY COMMISSIONER OF MOTOR VEHICLES

Why Doesn’t DMV Have a Certified Police Report on File for My Accident?

NYS DMV only keeps police accident reports on file for 4 years AND the report indicates the cost of repairs to the vehicle was more than $1000 or there was an injury.

Older Than 4 Years: If your accident was more than four years ago, DMV will no longer have your report on file. If the accident date is too old to obtain a record at NYS DMV, submit a FOIL request for records at NYS DOT.

Cost of Repairs/Injury: If your accident is less than four years ago and a search at NYS DMV for a certified police report shows that a police accident report is not on file for your accident date, it means that the police officer checked “Unknown/Unable to Determine” for the cost of repairs to the vehicle and did not indicate that anyone had an injury. If that happens, the report will not be filed by DMV.

See below, “How to Download a Certified Police Accident Report From DMV”

FOIL Requests

FOIL is an acronym for Freedom of Information Law. For more information about FOIL requests in New York State, see NYS FOIL FAQ.

You can file a FOIL request to get a police accident report and other investigation materials. A FOIL request can sometimes produce many more investigative reports than just the police accident report.

Death: There is always a large investigative file when there has been a death in a motor vehicle accident. For instance, the last FOIL request we made where our client died in a motorcycle accident, produced 32 pages of investigative reports and 25 photos. Anytime there has been a death, the accident lawyer should always file a FOIL request.

Serious Injury: Additional investigative materials are sometimes available for accidents with serious injuries. You may be able to get copies of store security videos and detailed accident investigation reports.

There are links in the various sections below to forms to make FOIL requests.

What is the Difference Between a Police Report and an Aided Report?

Police accident reports are written when there is an accident involving a motor vehicle. Aided reports are written when police render assistance to someone needing help which does not involve a motor vehicle.

Some examples of when an aided report can be written are when someone is: sick, disoriented, on drugs, suffers a heart attack, or injured in an accident not involving a motor vehicle.

What Is the Difference between an MV-104A and an MV-104 Accident Report?

The police accident report completed and filed by a police officer is form MV-104A. The accident report you fill out and file yourself is form MV-104.

If the police did not respond to the accident scene and you go to the police precinct to request a report, the police will not file an accident report and you will be told to file an MV-104 accident report.

Even if the police fill out an accident report, you still have to file your own MV-104. Within 10 days of your accident in New York State, all drivers/operators must file an accident report with the DMV.

We recommend that you DO NOT fill out or file your MV-104 accident report so we can do it for you. If you don’t want to hire a lawyer and want to do it yourself, read How to Fill out Your MV-104 Accident Report.


How to Download a Certified Police Accident Report From NYS DMV

Information about downloading a certified police accident report at Department of Motor Vehicles. An initial search is free.

Go directly to the form to download a certified police accident report at DMV

A free search will show you the license plate numbers of the vehicles involved in the accident and the number of reports filed by the police and operators of all vehicles. The number in parentheses such as (1) Indicates the number of reports for any of the drivers or police.

For instance, if there was a police accident report and a subsequent amended police accident report, you will see (2).

Once you click on the accident you want, you will have to pay a search fee of $7.00 (to search for the report close). On the next screen, you will select which of the available accident reports you want to download and you will have to pay another fee of $15 per report to download the reports.

For instance, if you want only the police accident report, it will cost $7 to search and $15 to download. If you want the police accident report and the MV-104 of one driver, it will cost $7 to search and $30 to download.

By mail: Use New York DMV form MV-198C [PDF].

See directly above, “What’s the difference between a police report and a certified police report?”


How to Get Old Police Accident Reports

NYS DOT receives police reports after they are received by NYS DMV. While NYS DMV deletes police reports and MV-104 reports after 4 years, the NYS DOT may have police reports after that.

If you are looking for a police report more than four years old, file a FOIL Request For Records with NYS DOT.

See NYSDOT Record List for a list of the types of records kept.


How to Get a New York State Police Accident Report

If your accident occurred on a New York State Parkway, the accident report will be filed by New York State Police which has jurisdiction of parkways. A New York State Police Accident Report MV-104A must be ordered from the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.


How to Get a Nassau County Police Accident Report

Download a Nassau County Police accident report from LexisNexis Crash Reports. (click on the red Search button under Search Crash Reports)

You can get a police accident report in person at Nassau County Police Department Headquarters 1490 Franklin Avenue; Mineola, New York 11501 Monday through Thursday during the hours of 8:30 AM to 5 PM.

FOIL requests to the Legal Bureau Nassau County Police Department 1490 Franklin Avenue, Mineola, New York 11501.

How to Get an Aided Report?

Aided reports which are written when police render assistance to someone needing help not involving a motor vehicle can only be obtained by filing a FOIL request.


How to Get a Suffolk County Police Accident Report

FAST: The Quickest way to obtain a police report from the Suffolk County Police Department is to pick it up at Suffolk County Police Department Headquarters 30 Yaphank Avenue, Yaphank, NY 11980.

Reports can be picked up Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., 7 to 10 business days from the date of the accident. To find out if the report is available, call (631) 852-6015

Download: Accident reports can be downloaded from LexisNexis Crash Reports.

FOIL request: File a FOIL request online to get a Suffolk County Police accident report.

By Mail: Requests by mail take 6-8 weeks Suffolk County Police Department, Central Records Section, 30 Yaphank Avenue, Yaphank, NY 11980.  Follow the directions here | Alternate site: Follow the directions here and download the form here


How to Get a Police Accident Report from a Village Police Department

If you need a report from a village or other local police department on Long Island, you can request it directly from the police department or from LexisNexis Crash Reports or Department of Motor Vehicles (see top of page).

Village Police Departments in Nassau County

Village Police Departments in Suffolk County

How to Get a Police Report in NYC Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Staten Island & Queens

How to get a police report in New York City, Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Staten Island & Queens

If You Were Injured in an Accident, We Can Get the Police Accident Report for You

If you decide you want us to be your lawyers for your accident, we will obtain the police accident report for you.

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