This post was written by James P. Leonard, Commissioner of Records
It’s finally here! On February 22, 2021 the Records Department went live with its new online portal for traffic accident reports, or as we call them, “Crash Reports.”
For too long getting a copy of your crash report involved an old-fashioned, in-person visit to City Hall or mailing us an application. That often meant more delay for you, your lawyer, and your insurance company.
We knew we had to improve your customer experience. Automobile crashes are stressful enough. We don’t want to add to your stress by making it inconvenient to get these important documents quickly.
So, we’ve gone digital! Now you can search for, pay for, and receive an electronic copy of a crash report – all in one easy transaction.
There are two ways to get your crash report through the portal:
- Corporate Accounts. If you represent a business such as an insurance company, law firm, or other company serving Philadelphia residents, then you may need to get dozens or even hundreds of crash reports each month for your clients. In these cases, we encourage you to create a corporate account. You deposit funds into an escrow account, and then as you purchase reports we’ll debit your escrow. We’ll send you a notice when your escrow balance gets low. You can even upload spreadsheets with multiple report requests to speed things up.
Our portal contains easy-to-follow instructions on how to create a corporate account. Once our staff reviews and approves your application, you’ll be ready to go!
- Individual Requests. If you’re an individual who needs a copy of a crash report, then this option is for you. You’ll answer some questions on the portal and then we’ll locate your report. Once we verify that you are eligible to receive a copy, you will pay and receive a copy on your device. Easy!
A few more things to highlight about the new portal:
- Have all the information about the crash with you when you use the portal. Things like the date, location, and especially what is known as the DC Number (the unique twelve-digit report number) are critical to locating a report.
- A report will not be in our portal until about 2-3 weeks after an incident due to routine processing. So, we suggest you wait to search for it.
- A crash report still costs $25.00, but we must add on the City’s standard $1.95 convenience fee for online payments (except for eCheck payments). The portal explains the ways you can pay.
- If you’d still like to visit us in person (currently by appointment only) to get your crash report or mail your application you are free to do so! There is no convenience fee for obtaining reports in person or through mail applications, just the standard $25 fee.
We hope you enjoy the new portal and look forward to your feedback!