Atlanta, Georgia, has some of the country’s worst traffic and a rush hour that can last all day. Accidents can and do happen, and if a fender bender happens in one of the city’s most popular neighborhoods including East Atlanta, Kirkwood, Briarcliff or Druid Hills, you must file a DeKalb County police report.
Filing a DeKalb County Police Report
Failure to notify the police when an accident occurs is a punishable misdemeanor offense. Georgia law requires all motorists involved in any accident no matter how small to notify the police. Drivers involved in an accident resulting in personal injury, death or property damage of $500 or more should call the police as soon as it is safe to do so by the quickest method available. The law also applies even if you are the victim of a hit and run accident and don’t know who is responsible for the damage to your vehicle or property. If you’re unsure whether you need to file a police report in DeKalb County, check with the DeKalb County Non-Emergency Line at 678-406-7929.
Read More: Police Report Types
Be as Detailed as Possible
Whether you give information to the police arriving at the scene or go to the police station yourself, your information will be detailed on a the Georgia Uniform Motor Vehicle Accident Report. This form is used for DeKalb County accident reports as well as traffic accidents statewide. The report is a comprehensive, two-page document that includes all the facts about the accident, such as names, contact information of drivers and witnesses, car make, model and insurance information. The report also contains diagrams and descriptions of the accident, descriptions of vehicle damage, road conditions and whether or not any specific state traffic laws were violated.
Getting a Copy of Your Report
Drivers involved in an accident should confirm with the police officer how to obtain a copy of the accident report, who to contact if the vehicle had to be towed and any other specifics related to the incident. You can also call the DeKalb County Non-Emergency Department online or by phone for other specific information.
It’s possible for drivers to obtain the DeKalb police report online. DeKalb County, like most counties in Georgia, allows motorists to obtain a copy of their reports from a nationwide service called BuyCrash.com. To log into the BuyCrash system, you’ll need to provide one of three types of information along with the date of the accident and your last name:
- The police report number provided by the officer at the scene
- Your driver’s license number if you were one of the drivers
- The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of one of the autos involved in the accident
The cost for retrieving your DeKalb accident report online typically costs less than $20. You can also pick up a copy in person from the DeKalb County Police Department Central Records located in Tucker, Georgia. The cost for your accident report will be less than $10 and checks are not accepted.
If you are in an accident in DeKalb County, call 911 as soon as it is safe to do so. The officer will fill out a Georgia Uniform Motor Vehicle Accident Report that should be available online in less than a week for a small fee.
- DMV.com: What to do after a car accident in Georgia
- Justia US Law: 2017 Georgia Code: Duty to Report Accident Involving Death, Injury or Property Damage
- FindLaw: Georgia Car Accident Report Basics
- Georgia Dept. of Public Safety: Traffic Crash Investigation Policy Manual
- Georgia DOT: Georgia Uniform Motor Vehicle Accident Report Training Manual
- BuyCrash: Nation's Leading Provider of Police Crash Reports
- DeKalb County Central Records
Frances Katz is an attorney who writes about legal issues in business for a variety of publications including The New York Times, The Week, Paste, The Independent and The New York Times. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.