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Police Bureau

Sworn to protect. Dedicated to serve.

Phone: 503-823-0000

Fax: 503-823-0342

Non-Emergency: 503-823-3333

1111 S.W. 2nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the reporting requirements if I've been involved in a collision?

A traffic collision will be investigated by the Portland Police Bureau if one or more of the following criteria are met:

  • all fatal or potential fatal collisions
  • serious physical injury collisions
  • collisions involving operators who are under the influence of intoxicants
  • collisions involving drivers who fail to perform the duties required of them at traffic collision scenes (Hit and Run)
  • collisions involving hazardous material spills 

Collisions where no Police Officer was at the scene of the collision to investigate it, cannot later be investigated once the scene has been cleared and the drivers have left. This does not apply to Hit and Runs.

Beyond the above investigative criteria for the Bureau, every driver involved in a collision may be required under Oregon State Statute to file a DMV Traffic Accident and Insurance Report, if any of the following criteria have been met:

  • Damage to the vehicle you were driving is over $1,500;
  • Damage to any vehicle is over $1,500 and any vehicle is towed from the scene as a result of damages from this accident;
  • Injury or death resulted from this accident; or
  • Damages to any one person's property other than a vehicle involved in this accident is over $1,500.

How do I file a State Accident report?

Oregon law requires these reports be filed within 72 hours of the accident. If you are not able to file within the 72 hours, submit it as soon as possible. If you fail to report the accident to DMV, it may result in suspension of your driving privileges. If the police department files a police report, you are still required to file your own Accident Report with DMV. If you are an out-of-state resident, you are still required to file your own Accident Report with DMV. DMV does not determine fault in an accident, but does post the accident to the driving record of each driver involved, unless the vehicle was parked and unoccupied.

You may print the Oregon Traffic Accident and Insurance Report, obtain a copy at the nearest DMV office, or from any of our three precincts . The instructions for completing the form are attached to the form. Once the form is completed, it must be mailed directly to DMV at the following address:

Accident Reporting Unit
DMV
1905 Lana Ave NE
Salem, Oregon 97314

More information is available on the DMV website. 


What's required of me if I'm involved in a collision?

An involved driver in a collision is required to do the following:

1. Immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the collision or as close as possible. Every stop, as required, should be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary.

2. Render to any person injured in the collision reasonable assistance, including the conveying or the making of arrangements for the conveying of such person to a medical facility.

3. Remain at the scene of the collision until the driver has fulfilled all of the requirements outlined.

4. Give to the other driver or passenger, the name and address of the driver and the registration number of the vehicle that the driver is driving and the name and address of any other occupants of the vehicle.

5. Upon request and if available, exhibit and give to the occupant of, or person attending any vehicle damaged, the number of any documents issued as evidence of driving privileges granted to the driver. (e.g. Driver's license)

If the person is the driver of any vehicle that collides with any vehicle that is unattended, the person shall immediately stop and:

  • locate and notify the operator or owner of the vehicle, the name and address of the driver and owner of the vehicle striking the unattended vehicle; or
  • leave in a conspicuous place in the vehicle struck a written notice giving the name and address of the driver and of the owner of the vehicle doing the striking, and a statement of the circumstances.

If the person is the driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting only in damage to fixtures or property legally upon or adjacent to a public street or highway, the person shall do the following:

1. Take reasonable steps to notify the owner or person in charge of the property of such fact and of the driver's name and address and of the registration number of the vehicle the driver was operating.

2. Upon request and if available, exhibit any document issued as official evidence of a grant of driving privileges to the driver. (e.g. Driver's license)


How can I obtain a copy of a traffic collision report?

Any driver involved in a motor vehicle collision where an Officer filed a Police Report, may obtain a copy of the police report by one of the following methods:

  • Obtain a copy of the report by contacting the Portland Police Records Division, located at 1111 SW 2nd Ave (Justice Center), 503-823-0043. There are fees for these reports. Please check the website for fees.
  • If you received a Traffic Crash Exchange Report, it is most likely the only report written about the vehicle incident or accident. To obtain the case number that has been assigned to this report, you can contact the Records Division at 503-823-0043. Please wait at least 72 hours before making an inquiry for the case number.

What are some of the most common driver errors that cause traffic collisions?

  • Driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII)
  • Failure to avoid stopped or parked vehicles ahead
  • Driving too fast for conditions
  • Following too close
  • Inattention (Distracted Driving)
  • Disregard of traffic signal
  • Improper change of traffic lanes
  • Failure to yield right-of-way
  • Failure to maintain lane

What are my choices in handling a traffic citation?

Information regarding your options in handling a traffic citation are listed in their entirety on the reverse side of the driver's copy of the citation. For those charged only with infractions as checked at the top of citation, in a nutshell, you have the following options:

Option 1: Appear in court at the time indicated at the bottom of the citation. You may plead not guilty and a trial date will be set. You may also plead guilty to the charge, and the judge will set the appropriate fine at that time.

Option 2: Fill in the blanks, attach a written statement to the court, send the summons, the written statement and the check or money order for the bail amount to the court. You waive your right to a trial and consent to the judgment of the court. The court may forfeit all or part of the bail and will return that part, if any.

Option 3: Fill in the blanks, attach a check or money order in the amount of the bail, and send the summons and money to the court. You are pleading guilty to the charge and waive the right to have a trial by the court. You may still send a written explanation if you choose.

Option 4: Fill in the blanks, and send the summons to the court. This will be asking the court to enter a plea of Not Guilty, and a trial date will be set. The court will notify you of the court date. The court may impose penalties if you do not appear at the time given in the notification.

Option 5: Go to the Court Clerk, before the time the summons requires you to appear, and determine if you qualify to proceed with a trial by affidavit. If so, the trial will be based upon sworn, written statements; future court appearances may not be necessary.

In all cases where you will be sending the summons via mail, remember that you must send all paperwork to the court, and they need to receive it, prior to the arraignment date and time set at the bottom of the citation. Failure to either appear at the appointed date/time, or failure to notify the court by mail prior to the court date/time, may result in suspension of your driver's license and/or issuance of a warrant for your arrest.


I received a Photo Radar citation in the mail. How do I go about viewing the photo to see if it was truly me driving?

The color photo on your letter is a digital reproduction of the color photo taken of your vehicle. To view the photographs in larger format, please follow this link to the Conduent website (the private vendor in charge of the equipment) and enter the Citation number and PIN provided in your letter. You may call Conduent at 503-221-0415 or 1-800-799-7082 for questions about your citation.


What is Photo Radar?

Photo radar is simply another way to enforce speed laws.  It is operated from a marked police van by a trained Police Officer.  Photo radar combines a camera, radar and a reader board that displays the speed of each passing vehicle.  If a speeding car is detected, a picture is taken of the driver and license plate. The registered owner of the speeding vehicle then receives a ticket in the mail.  The camera can take two photos every second.  Cars traveling with the flow of traffic are not singled out..


Why do we need photo radar?

The number one traffic complaint among neighborhood residents is speeding.  Why are residents so concerned? Because speeding cars threaten the safety of our children and compromise the livability of our neighborhoods.


Where is photo radar used?

By law, photo radar can be used on any street or roadway within the City that has a demonstrated history of negative impact of speeding.


What do I do if I receive a photo radar ticket?

A photo radar ticket is not different from any other speeding ticket.  You can pay the fine or appear in court.  Your options are listed in the letter you receive with your photo radar citation.  Your options are also listed on the back of your citation.


What if I was not driving my vehicle?

If you are the registered owner of the vehicle, and someone else was driving your car, you are required to complete the Certificate of Innocence and mail it along with a legible photocopy of the front and back of your driver’s license in the envelope provided. The ticket will be dismissed if all required information is provided on the Certificate of Innocence.  However, if the driver’s license photo matches the violation photo, the citation will be re-issued.


What if the photo radar citation is issued to my business or public agency?

Oregon Law authorizes the citation issued to your business or public agency to be dismissed if you complete the Affidavit of Non-Liability identifying the driver.


If I have a question about speeding or photo radar, who do I call?

Photo Radar questions will be answered by calling 503-221-0415 or 1-800-799-7082.


What if I have questions regarding my court date and/or payments?

Read the back of the citation, and then if you still have questions, call the Circuit Court:

Portland 503-988-3235

Gresham 503-988-3199

Then dial zero (0) for the operator.


How do I handle a parking violation?

Please visit the Portland Bureau of Transportation website for parking violation information


How can I get my vehicle out of impound?

If your vehicle was towed due to any of the following reasons:

  • Public Safety
  • Hazard
  • Safekeeping
  • Alarm Disturbance, per City Code
  • Possible Stolen
  • VIN Inspection
  • Evidence
  • Forfeiture

 Then visit  the Records Division website and follow their instructions on how to retrieve your vehicle.


How can I find out if my vehicle was towed?

You may either contact the Records Division in person at Central Precinct in the Justice Center Lobby, 1111 SW 2nd Ave or call 823-0044. Do not call 911.


How can I report an abandoned vehicle?

If you feel you have an abandoned vehicle in your neighborhood, call the Abandoned Vehicle Hot-Line at 823-7309. Do not call 911 for this type of problem.