Have you been involved in a vehicle accident in Arkansas? Even if you weren’t injured, it’s important to get a copy of the accident report for your records.
By retrieving a copy of the accident report, you may protect yourself in the event of future legal action against you. In addition, you may wish to take legal action if you realize later that you or a passenger did suffer injuries or that your vehicle sustained damage.
The Arkansas State Police requires that you follow its process to get a copy of your accident report.
Obtaining Crash Records
Under Arkansas law, the state police serves as the repository for all records related to motor vehicle crashes. The records are available to the public for a fee of $10 per report copy.
Individual reports are prepared by the town or county law enforcement organization that investigates the incidents and are duplicated for the state repository. In addition to the repository, reports also may be available through local law enforcement agencies and Arkansas State Police troop headquarters.
After a supervisor has reviewed reports for accuracy, they are sent to the Little Rock administrative headquarters repository. Members of the public typically can order reports within 30 days of completion.
To request a report, complete the accident report form that is part of the crash report request packet available through the Arkansas State Police.
Information Related to Crash Reports
Members of the public requesting a report are asked to review the information in the crash report request packet. The packet includes information about the Drivers Privacy Protection Act, or DPPA. The law restricts the circumstances under which personal information — including name, Social Security number, driver’s license number, address, photo and medical information — can be disclosed to outside parties.
State law lays out 14 circumstances in which personal information can be disclosed, including use by courts and other government agencies carrying out their functions, matters related to motor vehicle safety, research and statistical reports, insurance, and private investigations.
The DPPA allows government officials to disclose any non-personal information in the reports to any third party that requests it. Information considered to be non-personal may include the circumstances and location of a crash, along with the types of vehicles involved in the crash.
Any member of the public can request a crash report, but the personal information will be redacted unless the request meets one of the 14 circumstances described in state law.
Fatal Crash Summaries in Arkansas
Summary reports of fatal crashes also are available through the Arkansas State Police. The summaries include the initial findings by investigating officers and are not considered to be official reports of crash investigations.
The Arkansas State Police note that facts in the final reports may differ from those in the initial crash summaries. Reports for crashes going back to 2004 are available online and include recent car accidents in Arkansas with fatalities.
In addition to crash reports, Arkansas motorists also can access copies of their driver records. State law provides that records related to driver’s licenses are confidential and can only be released in certain situations.
You can submit a release from confidentiality provisions to have a copy of your own records sent to someone else. To request a release of your records, you’ll need to submit a release form that is signed, dated and includes your driver’s license number, your date of birth, and contact information for the person who will receive your information.
In addition to ordering your records online, you also can pick up your records at any of the Arkansas Revenue Office locations or the Little Rock Driving Records office. You also can request records by mail.
The online fee is $10 for an insurance record, which covers three years of your driving history, or $13 for a commercial or employment driver record. A commercial record may include information older than the three-year time frame. For records that are mailed or picked up, you’ll pay $7 for an insurance record and $10 for a commercial or employment record.
Work with Experienced Vehicle Accident Attorneys
If you’ve been involved in a vehicle crash, it’s important to work with an experienced attorney who can help protect your rights. For a free consultation, please contact the Law Offices of Alan Levar.