How Can You Get a Copy of a CHP Police Report Online?by Ray Padgett
Obtaining a police report after the fact inevitably involves jumping through some bureaucratic hoops. Although the California Highway Patrol does not provide a simple one-step way to obtain a copy of a police report on its website, the site has several ways to begin searching for the information you need. If you know the date, time and location of the incident for which you wish to receive a report, you can use the contact information provided to obtain the report.
Contact the CHP
Go to the "Contacting the California Highway Patrol" link in the "Resources" section. Your best bet will be the telephone number it provides to talk to a real person (1-800-TELL-CHP). As it points out on the site, not all emails receive a reply. When you call the CHP hotline, be sure to have the date, time and location of the incident ready. The person to whom you are talking will need that information to find your police report. He may ask you to come in to the office if you need to sign something.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Though going through the CHP itself is your best bet, you may wish to try the quicker approach of contacting your insurance company. It can generally obtain a copy of the police's accident report while conducting its collision investigation. Whether it can legally provide you with a copy depends on the company, the insurance and the incident. It may be able to help, or it may refer you back to the CHP.
Based in New York City, Ray Padgett has been writing about music and technology since his 2009 graduation from Dartmouth College. He has a degree in religion, with a minor in English. He has been published in SPIN.com and in "The Celebrity Café," "The Noise" and an upcoming Bob Dylan anthology.