In response to numerous media inquiries, the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles wants to clarify some confusion about the issuance of crash reports.
NCDMV is continuing its long-standing policy of providing public records, including crash reports. While any citizen can obtain a crash report from NCDMV, federal statute requires NCDMV to redact any personal information from these reports and state statute requires the agency to charge a $5 dollar fee, unless the requesting individual meets certain exceptions.
NCDMV sent a memo to all law enforcement and other agencies tied to its system in October 2012 notifying them that only certified copies of crash reports would be available beginning January 1, 2013.
In November 2012, NCDMV sent a clarifying memo stating that the change does not preclude law enforcement from issuing copies of their own reports.
The N.C. Attorney General’s office issued an opinion in 2005 stating that “An accident report prepared by a local law enforcement officer is a public record under the Public Records Act at the time it is prepared.”
Federal law prohibits NCDMV from providing personal information in those reports.