Are Car Accident Reports Public Record in NJ?

In New Jersey, the law requires drivers to file accident reports within 10 days of a car crash that involves injuries, deaths or more than $500 in property damage. If you wish to file a car insurance claim after a collision, you will need to obtain a copy of your accident report. In New Jersey, car accident reports are generally considered public records, meaning they can be accessed by interested parties.

Police Reports vs. Self-Reported Car Accidents

After both major and minor car accidents, New Jersey drivers should call 911 to report the collision to law enforcement. A police officer may come to the scene to investigate and write up an accident report. In this situation, the officer will file the report within 10 days. The local law enforcement agency will be responsible for processing and maintaining this report.

If the police did not come to the scene of the crash, the driver must file a written report known as the New Jersey Self-Reporting Crash Form (SR-1) with the NJ Department of Transportation. If the car accident resulted in property damage only and the police were not called to the scene, it should be reported to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. This must be done within 10 days of the accident.

What Information Does a Car Accident Report Contain?

A police accident report can prove to be an important piece of evidence during a car accident claim in Jersey City. The report can contain information about the crash and all involved parties, including:

  • Date, time and location of the crash
  • Directions and speeds of both vehicles
  • Names of all parties involved
  • Vehicle descriptions and identification numbers
  • Official photographs of the scene and property damage
  • A description of any injuries
  • Witness and driver statements
  • A description of the environment and weather
  • Whether a driver received a traffic citation
  • The police officer’s opinion regarding fault

A car insurance company will request a copy of the police accident report when processing a claim. The insurer will include the information on the report in its investigation to determine fault and liability.

How to Obtain a Copy of a Car Accident Report in New Jersey

Car accident reports submitted by drivers and law enforcement officials are recognized as public records in New Jersey. This means members of the public can access them, including the individuals involved in the crash, law enforcement and insurance company representatives.

You can obtain a copy of your car accident report in multiple ways:

  • If you need a copy of a report for a car accident that did not occur on a toll road, contact the New Jersey State Police at (609) 882-2000 ext. 2234. Give them the information requested to locate the record. You may need to pay a fee to be mailed a copy.
  • If the accident occurred on the New Jersey Turnpike, contact the New Jersey Turnpike Authority at (732) 442-8600 ext. 2431 or by email at to request a copy of the report.
  • Use the New Jersey State Police & New Jersey Turnpike Authority Crash Report Requests system to download a copy of the report electronically. If the car accident was fatal, the report can only be requested by filling out the OPRA Form.

Submitting a copy of your car accident report to an insurance company can help you prove a case against a negligent driver. If you need assistance obtaining a police report or collecting fair compensation for a recent car accident in New Jersey, contact a Jersey City personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Hasson, P.C.