Records Request: Frequently Asked Questions

What records can be released from the New York State Police?

Incident / investigation, and arrest reports pertaining to incidents that were handled by the State Police are maintained by this agency and may be releasable to involved persons or persons with a legitimate interest under Public Officers Law § 66-a.

Other government records may be releasable under Public Officers Law § 87 (FOIL). The State Police maintains the following records:

The agency's Subject Matter List contains descriptions of each of the above: Subject Matter List Pursuant to POL § 87 (FOIL)

See "What is the difference between POL 66-a and the Freedom of Information Law?"

What records cannot be requested from the New York State Police?

The State Police does not maintain the following records:

How do I request the MV-104A Police Accident Report for my motor vehicle accident?

As of May 15, 2006, all requests for copies of a Police Accident Report – MV-104A must be made to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Instructions for requesting copies may be found on the DMV website, http://www.dmv.ny.gov/AIS/ http://www.dmv.ny.gov/AIS/ or by obtaining form MV-198C directly from your local New York State Department of Motor Vehicles office.

How do I find out the disposition of my arrest?

Dispositions for criminal cases and traffic offenses are maintained by the appropriate court of jurisdiction, not by the State Police. Contact the criminal court in the town, village, or city in which the incident occurred. The New York State Office of Court Administration may help you find the contact information for your court.

How do I request my Criminal History record?

In New York State, the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) maintains criminal histories, not the State Police. The DCJS web address is http://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/ojis/recordreview.htm

What is the difference between POL 66-a and the Freedom of Information Law?

The Freedom of Information Law of 1974 is intended for the public to have exposure to how their government works by requesting records such as budgets, expenditures, vendor contracts, building lease agreements, personnel salaries, policies, etc.

Public Officers Law § 66-a a is intended to provide reports pertaining to specific incidents to involved persons, parties with a legitimate interest, or representatives of such persons including attorneys and insurance companies. These reports may include accident reconstruction, investigation, and arrest reports.

How do I view the POL § 66-a and the Freedom of Information Law?

The New York State Legislature posts its bills and laws on: http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us. Select Laws of New York.

How do I request copies of records that are maintained by the State Police?

All requests must be made in writing.

Requests made pursuant to POL 66-a must be mailed to:

New York State Police
Central Records Bureau
1220 Washington Avenue, Bldg 22
Albany, New York 12226-2252

Requests made on behalf of individuals by representatives such as attorneys and insurance companies should be on company letterhead and clearly identify the party represented.

Requests made under the FOI Law may use the FOIL Request form and emailed or mailed. If the electronic form cannot be sent by your computer, send an email to foilunit@troopers.ny.gov using the form as your guideline for the request. To mail a request direct it to the following address:

New York State Police
Central Records Bureau
1220 Washington Avenue, Bldg 22
Albany, New York 12226-2252

For all requests:

Describe the incident with as much specificity as possible. For example:

Include contact information about the requestor such as:

See Tips for Making Records Requests.

Is there a fee to obtain copies of records?

Yes. There are fees applied to receiving copies of records pursuant to both POL § 66-a and POL § 87 (FOIL).

Pursuant to an MV 104A Police Accident Report:

Fees are applied by the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles. The DMV website address is http://www.dmv.ny.gov/AIS/

Pursuant to POL § 66-a, the following fee schedule is in effect:

Pursuant to POL § 87 (FOIL), the following fee schedule is in effect:

Fees for MV 104A Police Accident Reports applied by the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles. The DMV website address is http://www.dmv.ny.gov/AIS/

How do I pay for copies of records?

Payment should be made by check or money order payable to the Superintendent of State Police. Be advised that a criminal investigation will be conducted pursuant to New York State Penal Law § 190.05 if a check is returned due to insufficient funds or accounts closed.

Upon receipt of payment, the State Police will prepare and forward a copy of the applicable record(s) directly to the requestor.

How can I inspect copies of records rather than pay for them?

The Division will notify you of the earliest available appointment if you requested to inspect records. Inspections are scheduled on business days between the hours of 9:00 am and 5:00 pm at Division Headquarters:

New York State Police
Public Security Building #22
Harriman State Office Campus
1220 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12226-2252

Can I get a simple verification of an incident without waiting for copies of records?

Yes. The State Police will provide the complainant or the victim of an incident with a "Report of Incident Verification" at no charge. These are useful for insurance processing. The State Police Trooper or Investigator who investigated the incident can provide this document at the time of the incident or you may contact him/her at the State Police station; the station telephone numbers can be found by clicking the "Contact Us" map on the home page of this website.

How does my attorney, insurance company, or private investigator request copies of investigation reports on my behalf?

The process is the same for your representative as it is for you. See: "How do I request a copy of records pertaining to an incident?" Your representative should use company letterhead to verify they are representing you.

How does my attorney subpoena records?

A subpoena is a court order governed by the Civil Practice Law and Rules § 2307. Once issued, it must be personally served at NYSP Headquarters, 1220 Washington Ave, Building # 22, Albany, New York with the statutory fee of $30.00, both addressed to the "Superintendent of State Police".

How long does it take to receive copies of records?

Requests for records are assessed upon receipt. The State Police attempts to answer requests in 5 business days. It may not be possible for several reasons: the complexity of the request itself, amount of records responsive to the request, extensive statewide searches, limited state work force, and the amount of redaction required by law. See "Tips for Making Records Requests."

If a request cannot be fulfilled in 5 business days, the State Police will send a notification of receipt and an estimated timeframe for the response.

How is my privacy protected when other people request records?

New York State laws protect citizens' privacy. The State Police will protect the privacy of individuals identified in reports where it could cause unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. There are many aspects of protection spelled out in sub-section 2 of the FOI Law. Depending on the content, the entire record may be exempted or certain information in the record may be redacted.

What are "redactions"?

"Redacting" is a method by which statutorily exempted information in a record is "blacked out" while accessible information can remain visible to you.

If I am a victim of a crime, can anyone get my name by requesting State Police records?

No. The State Police adheres to the principle of privacy protection and will not routinely release names of crime victims.

If I am convicted of a crime, can anyone get my name by requesting records?

Yes. Court convictions are public records. Exceptions include records concerning juveniles and court-ordered sealed records in accordance with state statutes.

How can my request for records under the FOI Law be denied?

The State Police will notify you in writing if your request is denied and provide the reason(s) for the denial. The FOI Law exempts records which:

How can I appeal a denied request?

The FOI Law provides an appeal process for requestors denied access to government records. The appeal must be submitted in writing within thirty (30) business days of the denial and mailed to:

New York State Police
Attn: Records Appeal Officer
1220 Washington Avenue - Building 22
Albany NY 12226-2252

For proper evaluation, the appeal should contain a reference to or a copy of the notification of denial.

The State Police Records Appeal Officer will review the request, conduct a secondary search of records if warranted, re-examine the exemptions under which the request was denied, and/or consult with Division Counsel if necessary. Within ten (10) business days of the receipt of the appeal, the Records Appeal Officer will fully explain in writing the reason for further denial or will provide full or partial access to the records sought.