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California Highway Patrol introduces new ‘Online Crash Portal’ to make getting your reports easier

The California Highway Patrol is streamlining the process to obtain your crash reports if you're ever involved in a wreck on the highway. It's being called the 'Online Crash Portal', and is all in an effort to save you both time and money.

"Being in a crash is stressful," said CHP Public Information Officer Jonathan Torres. "It's a burden on a lot of people. And so if the California Highway Patrol can do something to make that a little bit easier for someone, we're certainly going to do that. So the program is here. It's ready. It's in use. And we're just happy to make this easier for for the motoring public."

In the past, parties involved in a crash would have to wait several days, or even weeks to obtain a physical copy of a report, and you would be required to go to a CHP office to get it in person. Now, drivers no longer have to go to an office to get those reports.

"It's going to be keeping electronic records of all the crashes in which will make it easier for the public to access those crash reports," said Torres. "As opposed to the traditional way of having to come in and ask for the printed version of the report.” Instead, after you are involved in a wreck, the reporting officer will collect your information, and hand you a small Crash Report card with a QR code on it. If you scan that code with your smart phone, you will be taken to the online portal. That's where you will find your free, digital crash report.

The system is extremely secure, and requires some sort of photo identification to get access to the information. The digital report will be typically be accessible between one and eight days after the wreck.

"Crash reports are only going to be provided to parties of interest, maybe involved parties, passengers, and registered owners of the vehicle," said Torres. "And so this program will ask the person, the requester, to provide some verification options to access that report. So this report isn't going to be something that anyone can just look up, like someone who's not involved or has no interest in the crash. It's going to require some verification steps.”

The goal of the new program is to save drivers the hassle of going into the office, or finding and paying for a ride.

The report will also make sending the information to your insurance easier as well. Now, involved parties can simply download the report, and send it over to insurance companies directly in a PDF form.

"Crash reports are typically at least going to take eight business days to complete," said Torres. "Depending on the complexity of the crash, maybe there's further investigation that's required or, or it's something more severe, which will take more time."

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Tori King


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