To get a car accident report in North Carolina, you will most likely have to go through the Department of Motor Vehicles. Usually, you can do this over the phone, in person, or online. However, if you are injured and unable to make these arrangements, your car accident attorney can do this for you.
Instructions from the North Carolina DPS on Getting a Crash Report
There are several options for getting an official accident report. You can request a copy of the crash report using these methods, according to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety:
- Call the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) at (919) 861-3098 to request a copy of the accident report.
- Go in person to the headquarters of the DMV at 1100 New Bern Avenue in Raleigh, North Carolina.
- Fill out a TR-67A form and mail it to NCDOT-DMV Traffic Records Section, 3106 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27697-3106.
If you want a certified copy of the crash report, you will have to fill out a TR-67A form and pay a fee of $5.50.
Information You Will Need to Complete Form TR-67A
The Form TR-67A requires you to provide this information in your request for a crash report from the North Carolina DMV:
- The name of the driver involved in the collision
- Their driver’s license number
- The date of the accident
- The county where the crash happened
- Verification that you are qualified to receive a copy of the accident report for your own records, OR
- The exception under which you qualify to get the information
You must also disclose your name, your contact phone number, the name and mailing address of the agency or company for which you are seeking the report, and your license or ID number.
Who Can Get a Copy of an Accident Report in North Carolina
Motor vehicle crash reports are not public records in North Carolina. Personal information from these reports is closed to the public. Unless you were a party to the accident, you must qualify under one of these fourteen exceptions (found on the back of Form TR-67A) to obtain a copy of an accident report in our state:
- The information will be used by a government agency or a person or entity carrying out a function for a government agency. The government agency can be a federal, state, or local agency.
- For purposes of survey research or matters of theft, motor vehicle safety, driver safety, recalls, and similar issues.
- When a legitimate business needs the information for verification of personal information or to recover on a debt, prevent fraud, or pursue legal remedies.
- When needed in conjunction with a proceeding in a federal, state, or local agency or court for any administrative, criminal, arbitration, or civil matter.
- For statistical reports or research. In this instance, the recipient of the report cannot use personal information to contact individuals or disclose or redisclose personal information from the crash reports.
- Insurance companies can access crash reports for use in rating or underwriting activities or to investigate claims or possible fraud.
- The personal information from the crash report can be used to notify an owner that their vehicle was impounded or towed.
- Licensed security services and private investigators can obtain accident reports.
- Employers can use crash reports to verify information relevant to a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
- Private toll facilities can get accident reports.
- Any other purpose if the person is allowed to refuse disclosure on DMV forms.
- For marketing, bulk surveys, and solicitations.
- Anyone who has written permission from the person whose information would be disclosed in the accident report. For example, your personal injury attorney can obtain a copy of your crash report if you sign a consent form.
- For any use related to public safety or operating motor vehicles if specifically authorized by state law.
Other than these exceptions, accident reports are subject to protection under North Carolina law and the Federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (FDPPA).
Information You Can Access in a North Carolina Crash Report
There is a great deal of personal information in a police report from a crash in North Carolina, which is why the general public cannot have access to anyone’s accident report without sufficient justification. For example, an accident report is a motor vehicle record that could contain names, addresses, telephone numbers, Social Security numbers, medical information, and photographs.
Reasons You Might Want to Get a Copy of a Police Report After a North Carolina Collision
It is a good idea to get a copy of the official crash report and review it after getting injured in a motor vehicle accident. Law enforcement officers are human beings who can make mistakes.
If the police officer included anything that was inaccurate or wrong in the report, you will want to reach out and ask for a supplemental report clarifying the error. If much time passes before you make that request, the officer is unlikely to remember the accident well enough to confidently correct the report.
Inaccuracies in the report could damage your injury case against the at-fault driver, especially if assessments of fault or the cause of the accident are inaccurate.
How to Contest Mistakes in Police Reports of Motor Vehicle Accidents
Contacting a police officer and asking them to correct an error in a crash report should be done carefully. It is best to have your personal injury attorney contact the officer on your behalf. You do not want to make a bad situation worse by accidentally saying something that you should not.
Much is dependent on the accuracy of the claims made in an accident report, so it is understandable that an individual might get frustrated with the officer, particularly if the officer gets defensive about being told that their report is wrong. The officer could misinterpret your frustration as anger or aggression and refuse to speak further with you.
Allow Your Attorney to Intervene on Your Behalf
It may benefit you to have an attorney on your case from the beginning. Not only can they gather important evidence, such as the accident report, but they can navigate hiccups in your case like requesting corrections.
At Whitley Law Firm, our clients are our family. We know the members of our community well, so we are proud to stand up for you against adversity. Instead of facing the police officer, defending counsel, and insurance company on your own, enjoy the Whitley Advantage. As your representatives, we don’t just handle every aspect of your case, we treat you with the wholehearted care and compassion you deserve.
Whitley Law Firm Can Secure Your Accident Report on Your Behalf
If you suffered severe injuries, let our family help your family. We want us working together to feel like one big hug. You can devote your attention to getting better while we take care of legal matters. We are happy to offer a free case evaluation with no obligation.
Give us a call today to learn more: (919) 785-5000.