Do You Need to File a Crash Report with the DMV?
New York State collects crash information and makes those statistics available to the public. However, the stats are only as good as the reporting. Fortunately, New York requires that motorists report accidents to the DMV in most situations. If a motorist fails, they could suffer negative consequences, such as a suspended license.
Below, our New York City car accident lawyer walks through whether a motorist needs to file a crash report.
Was Someone Injured or Killed?
If someone is injured or killed, you must report the accident to the police immediately. An officer can come out to the scene of the accident to write up a police report.
Sometimes, people are unsure of whether they were injured in the crash. Ask all motorists how they are feeling. If anyone feels like they are injured, you should call the police to report the crash.
Even if the police respond to the accident, all motorists must report the accident to the DMV using Motor Vehicle Accident, MV-104.
Was There Only Property Damage?
If no one was injured, you still might need to file a crash report with the DMV. The key is whether one person suffered at least $1,000 of property damage to their vehicle. Damage to your own vehicle also qualifies.
If a motorist has suffered at least $1,000, then all vehicles involved in the accident must report the crash to the DMV. Use form MV-104 (linked above).
If no vehicle involved sustained at least $1,000, then no one needs to report. However, it is better to be safe than sorry. The cost of repairing a car is often more expensive than people imagine. Truly minor scratches and dings do not warrant reporting, but any damage that is more substantial probably does.
How Much Time Do You Have to File a Crash Report with the DMV?
You must notify the DMV within ten days of the accident. If you were involved in a crash on July 1, you should report by July 11. Count weekends and holidays. Again, it is better to be safe than sorry, so download the form and report the crash.
If one motorist reports and you don’t, then the state will find out your identity anyway.
What Happens if You Don’t Report?
The state can suspend a driver’s license if he or she does not report an accident. Failure to report is also a misdemeanor offense.
Does an Accident Show Up on a Driving Record?
Yes. This does not mean that the motorist is at fault for the crash, and the DMV does not try to apportion fault. However, the accident does show up on the driving record.
If a motorist was involved in 3 or more accidents in an 18-month period, the DMV might call them in to be examined. You might need to take an eye exam, a written test, or a road test. This program applies to drivers of all ages, so it is not solely targeting the elderly.