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Florida Car Accident: How Long Until You Receive the Police Report?

06/7/2024
Car Accidents
BY

When you get injured in a car accident in Florida, obtaining a copy of the police report can be an important step toward asserting your legal rights. The police report from your accident may contain several key pieces of information—and your lawyer may be able to use this information to determine where to find the evidence needed to prove your claim for just compensation.

So, how long does it take to receive the police report?

The answer to this question is partially up to you. To obtain a copy of the police report from your car accident, you need to request it. The longer you wait to submit your request, the longer it will take to obtain a copy. With this in mind, you should file your request promptly; or, if you are uncomfortable filing a request, you should hire a lawyer to submit a request on your behalf.

Requesting a Police Report from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV)

In Florida, police reports are available from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). As the FLHSMV states on its website, police reports “may take up to 10 days to become available.”

But, while it may take up to 10 days for the police report from your car accident to become available, this doesn’t mean that you should wait 10 days to file a request. Your police report may become available sooner; and, even if your police report isn’t available when you file, filing promptly will help make sure you receive a copy of the report as soon as possible. You have three option for requesting a copy of your police report:

  • File a request online through the FLHSMV’s Florida Crash Portal
  • File a request with the FLHSMV by mail
  • File a request in person at the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) Troop Station nearest to where your car accident happened

Requesting a police report from the FLHSMV costs $10.00 (or $12.00 if you file your request online). When you file your request, you will be required to provide the following information:

  • Your name, street address, email address and phone number
  • The date and location of your car accident (including the county where the accident happened)
  • The names of all parties involved in the accident
  • Confirmation that you were involved in the car accident
  • A statement under penalty of perjury that the information in your request is accurate and that you will not use the police report for commercial solicitation

How long does it take to receive a copy of the police report for your car accident once you file your request? The short answer is, “It depends.” The location of the accident, the severity of the accident and the agency’s workload will all play a role in determining how quickly your request will be processed. However, once your police report is ready, if you request a copy online it will become available immediately, and you will have 48 hours to download it. You will receive a link to download your report via email—so make sure you enter your email address correctly and be sure to check your inbox after you file your request.

If you submit your request for a copy of the police report by mail, it could take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to receive your copy of the report. If you go to the local FHP Troop Station in person, you may be able to obtain a copy of the report immediately if it is available, or they may tell you to come back at another time (or file your request online) if it is not.

5 Tips for Making Sure You Receive a Copy of the Police Report as Soon as Possible

While certain aspects of the timeline are beyond your control when you request a copy of the police report from your car accident in Florida, there are some steps you can take to help make sure you receive a copy as soon as possible. These steps include:

1. Be Sure to Include All Required Information

When you fill out your police report request, be sure to include all required information. If you omit any necessary information, the FLHSMV may not be able to process your request—and this will lead to unnecessary delays.

2. Include as Much Detail About Your Car Accident as Possible

When filling out your request, be sure to include as much detail about your car accident as possible. This will help ensure that the FLHSMV (or FHP) can accurately locate your police report if it is available, or as soon as it becomes available if it is not. If possible, include details such as:

  • Cross streets, mile markers, or other location identifiers
  • The date and time of your car accident
  • The other driver’s name and insurance information

3. Use the FLHSMV’s Online Florida Crash Portal  

Submitting your request through the FLHSMV’s online Florida Crash Portal is typically the quickest and easiest way to obtain a copy of a police report after a car accident. As noted above, if your police report is available, you should be able to access it immediately online.

4. Follow Up on Your Request If Necessary

If the police report is not immediately available, you should follow up as necessary. Be polite but persistent, and feel free to ask when a copy of the report is likely to be available.

5. Get Help from a Florida Car Accident Lawyer

A Florida car accident lawyer can request a copy of the police report for you, and your lawyer can follow up with the appropriate authorities as necessary. Our lawyers represent car accident victims at no out-of-pocket cost, and we can get to work on your case immediately.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Florida Car Accident Lawyer at Searcy Denney

Do you need help after a car accident in Florida? If so, we strongly encourage you to get in touch. To speak with a Florida car accident lawyer at Searcy Denney for free, call 800-780-8607 or request an appointment online today.

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Posted By: Bud Wilder