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March 25th, 2015

How to Request a Traffic Accident Police Report in Philadelphia

If you’ve been in a car accident in Philadelphia, you know the stress and headache involved in dealing with insurance companies. That’s just dealing with the damage to your car, getting a rental car if you need one, etc.

If you’re injured in an auto accident in Philadelphia like a car, truck or pedestrian accident, the process is much more complicated. There are multiple claims forms you’ll have to fill out and phone calls you’ll have to make.

Related: What to Do After a Car Accident in Philadelphia – By a Philly Car Accident Lawyer

Getting a copy of the accident/traffic accident report from the Philadelphia Police Department is just one of the many steps you’ll have to take after an auto accident in Philadelphia. Here’s how to get a copy. It’s important to note that the procedures for requesting an auto accident report can and do change. If you have questions about the process, please call our PA & NJ auto accident lawyers at (866) 641-0806.

Requesting Your Copy of a Philadelphia Auto Accident Report

Who Can Request a Copy? Eligibility Requirements

Before 2012, any public citizen could request a copy of a traffic accident report. However, Philadelphia’s City Council changed the eligibility requirements. Now, only certain people can request a traffic or auto accident report. They include:

  • individuals involved in the accident (or a parent, legal guardian, or authorized agent),
  • insurance companies and other companies associated with insurance companies, and
  • attorneys representing an individual in the accident.

How to File a Request – Via Mail or In Person

You can request a copy via mail or in person. Two forms are required: 1. Application for Traffic Accident Report, and 2. Affidavit. Click each link to download a copy of the respective form.

The cost is $25.00. Checks must be made out to “City of Philadelphia.” You MUST include a self-addressed stamped envelope.

*As of August 2017, you must include the following information on the application:

  • 12 digit District Control number, which contains the year, district number and incident number (ex: 2017-35-000000),
  • location of the accident (address or cross street),
  • date of the accident,
  • driver’s name, and
  • insured party.

Incomplete requests and applications will not be processed and will be returned.

For in person requests, go to Room 168 at City Hall, M-F, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

You can send mail requests to:

Records Department, City Hall
ATTN: Accident Reports
Room 168
Philadelphia, PA 19107

In death or major injury cases, the police department may take photos of the accident scene. You can request copies of the photos on the Application for Traffic Accident. The fee is $27.00 for the first copy and $9.00 for each additional copy.

How Long Does it Take?

It usually takes about 2-3 weeks (sometimes longer) to get your copy. In addition, you must wait at least 2 weeks after the date of the accident to make your request.

More from our Philadelphia Auto Accident Law Library:

Pennsylvania Auto Accident Insurance Glossary: What is BI, PIP and UIM? Learn the basics before you get into a car accident in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Car Accidents & Limited Tort: Financial Compensation for Your Injuries Can you get compensated for your pain and suffering? Learn about how the “limited tort” election on your auto insurance policy affects your ability to make a claim for pain and suffering in an auto accident lawsuit in Philadelphia.

DISCLAIMER: This website does not create any attorney-client relationship or provide legal advice. It is crucial to speak to a qualified lawyer prior to making any decision about your case. Read full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

Page last reviewed and updated: October 2, 2017

Page first published: March 25, 2015