How to Obtain an Official Police Record in Texas

By Rhonda Donaldson
Police records are public by request in Texas.

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Police records in Texas are public records. That means it is your right by law to retrieve or view your's or anyone's police records. They are generally provided for your viewing free of charge, but if you want a copy of the record, an nominal administrative fee is charged. Chapter 552 of the Public Information Act of the Government Code provides a way for Texas citizens to inspect or copy certain government records.

Obtaining Police Records

Go to the Records Division of the police department that handled the incident. Some cities in Texas have a website within their police department to submit a request. If you request records by mail, you must direct your request to the records department with public information noted in your request.

Have your identifying information on hand. If you are requesting information in person, you will be asked for the identification and it will be copied by the person in the records department. If you are requesting a copy of the police record, you additionally will need to know some facts of the incident. For instance, if you are requesting a police report taken at an automobile accident, you will be asked for the incident report number given at the accident scene, where the accident occurred, the date of the accident and even the name of the attending officer.

Be prepared to pay for a copy of the report. In Houston, Texas a copy of a police report will cost $6 or $7.50 if the request is made on-line. You may also make your request by email or fax and mail the fee to the proper address. Only a cashier's check or money orders will be accepted. Information regarding fees and mailing addresses can be found on-line at the individual police department websites in the city where the records are held.

Make your request on-line to the Texas Department of Public Safety records website if you are requesting records from the TxDPS, such as a driver's license record or information regarding your driving record. You will need to have a printer capable of printing from the computer you are making the requesting from.

About the Author

Rhonda Donaldson began writing for a daily newspaper in 1991. She was published by the Associated Press and the National and International Wire, as well as a Texas college alumni magazine. Her work includes writing the history for one of Texas' oldest television stations. Donaldson has won several Associated Press awards and she holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications.

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