What Police Records Are Useful for

Please Note: The material on this website is provided for informational purposes only. It is not a consumer reporting agency as defined by The Fair Credit Reporting Act and should not be used to determine an individual's eligibility for personal credit or employment, or to assess risk associated with any business transactions such as tenant screening.

The police records available to the general public include reports of all events which the police have been called for. You can access them by making a request in person or sending it via the mail. Let’s take a closer look at the most common uses of these records by people and organizations.
Getting Accident Compensation
When a person is involved in an accident, be it a car crash or another kind of event, they are entitled to a copy of the police report. In most cases, this copy is given to them directly shortly after the event. However, if they have not received the copy for whatever reason, they can request another one. The copies of accident reports are typically used for obtaining compensation from the insurance company and sometimes directly from the person responsible for causing the accident.
You can make a request in person or by sending a letter. The records unit of the local police department will send it via mail. You will have to pay a small fee for this. Just keep in mind that you have to ask specifically if you need a verified copy. In this case, the fee is higher.
Checking Someone’s Past
It is perfectly possible to include police records in the background check which you are running on a person. Just keep in mind that each police department will provide only information recorded by them. You should not expect to find details about the person’s arrest in another jurisdiction, if any. As long as you are aware of this limitation, you can make full use of the reports held by the department. You will get the detailed information within a week or two at the most. Just keep in mind that you must have the individual’s permission to perform a check on them.
Obtaining a Clearance Letter
This is an official document stating that you have a clear criminal record. It is usually required when you are applying for a visa to another country or to adopt a child. It may be necessary in other cases as well. It is important to note that the local police department can issue a clearance letter covering their own jurisdiction only. That is why such a document based on police records is available only to current or former residents of the local area. Again, you will have to request it either in person or via the mail.
Each police department requires a specific amount of time for producing copies of police records and documents based on them. Check how long it will take in advance.


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