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Disclosure of Law Enforcement Traffic Accident and Vehicle Records

This page discusses the disclosure of traffic accident and vehicle records in the possession of police and sheriff departments in Washington State. It is part of MRSC's series on Law Enforcement Records Management and Disclosure, created in partnership with the State Auditor's Center for Government Innovation. Always consult with your legal counsel if you are unsure whether a record is exempt or prohibited from disclosure.

For information regarding the disclosure of other types of records, see Common Prohibitions and Exemptions for Law Enforcement Records.


Traffic Accident Reports

Traffic accident reports prepared by law enforcement are not exempt and are subject to disclosure. See Guillen v. Pierce County.

However, traffic accident reports compiled and collected by an agency in connection with 23 USC § 152 for evaluation of dangerous roads are exempt from disclosure under 23 USC § 409.


Department of Licensing Records

Releasing an abstract of an individual's driving record is prohibited by RCW 46.52.130, unless released to the individual or other specified entities.

Disclosure of the names and addresses of individual vehicle owners is prohibited in most circumstances by RCW 46.12.635, although there are a number of exceptions.

Disclosure of driver’s license numbers obtained from DOL is prohibited under RCW 46.52.120; see also RCW 42.56.230(5).


Last Modified: February 05, 2019