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Get an Accident Report

Please read information on this page about accident report availability and search fees that are required by law.


Can I find out if a report is available online without paying the search fee?

Yes. Use the Order and Access Motor Vehicle Accident Reports transaction to determine if a report is on file. You can use the date and county fields (left side of screen) to view a list of accidents that have been reported for that county on the date specified. If the report is not yet on file, you will not be charged the search fee. You will be charged a search fee of $7.00 if you select an accident report from the list.


You must pay
 the required $7.00 search fee for each attempt you make if you use the transaction (right side of screen)  to search by

  • accident case number,
  • vehicle plate number, or
  • driver license number of a driver who was involved

 

How long after an accident does it take for the report to be available?

It depends on the location of the accident and how the police agency reports it.  Normally, accident reports filed by police agencies become available from the DMV as follows 

  • allow 120 days from the date of the accident before searching for the report if the accident occurred in one of the five boroughs of New York City 
  • allow at least 30 days from the date of the accident before searching for the report if the accident occurred in upstate NY (outside the five boroughs of New York City) and was filed by the police on paper forms
  • allow at least 14 days from the date of the accident before searching for the report if the accident occurred in upstate NY (outside the five boroughs of New York City) and was filed by the police electronically 

Accident reports filed by motorists, regardless of where the accident occurred in NYS, typically take at least 60 days from the date of the accident to become available.

 

How much do I need to pay?

If you use the online transaction, you must pay a required search fee of $7.00 for each accident report you search and a $15.00 report fee for each accident report you order.

We are required by law to charge the $7.00 search fee if you use the NYS DMV accident case number, a vehicle plate number or a driver license number to search for the report.  We are required to charge the fee even if the report is not available. We cannot refund the search fee.

If you submit a search by county and date, but you do not select any reports, you are not charged the search fee.

 

What is the easiest way to get a copy of an accident report?

To order PDF copies of accident reports filed with DMV, use the Order and Access Motor Vehicle Accident Reports online transaction. Accident reports available through this transaction are certified copies that include an attestation and signature of the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. 1

Please note:  Some customers have experienced problems downloading PDF documents from our website.  Make sure your operating system and web browser have all recent updates. Learn more.

 

Can I access accident reports I already purchased online? 

Yes. If you purchased accident reports online within the last 7 calendar days, you can access the reports again. Enter the Report Confirmation Number displayed during the report purchase transaction and emailed to you in the transaction confirmation. Do not enter the Search Confirmation Number. Then, enter the email address you entered during the previous transaction. No fee is charged to access the reports you purchased previously.

 

I do not want to use the online transaction. May I request an accident report by mail?

Yes. You may order a police accident report or motorist accident report from the Certified Document Center (CDC) by mail using form Request for Copy of Accident Report (MV-198C).

To order a copy of a motorist accident report by mail you must

  • be named on the accident report, or
  • represent a person named on the report, or
  • be a party to a civil action that arose from the accident, or
  • represent a person who is a party to a civil action that arose from the accident

In order for CDC to conduct a search for an accident report, you must, at a minimum, supply the date of the accident and the county where the accident occurred and at least one of the following

  • the plate number of a vehicle involved in the accident, and/or
  • the driver license number of an individual involved in the accident
  • the name and date of birth of an individual involved in the accident

You will pay more to order your accident report by mail. You will be charged a required search fee of $10.00 and a $15.00 report fee for each accident report you order by mail.

  • 1. Accident reports are only retained for 4 years from the date of the accident, except for rare instances oulined in Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 201(i). Accident reports that have passed the retention date are no longer public records.

Before You Start

You will need information to identify the accident. 

  • If you want to find out if a report is available for no fee, you will need the date and county of the accident. You will be charged only if you select an accident report from the list.
  • If you search by the accident case number, vehicle plate number, or driver license number of a driver who was involved, you must pay the required $7.00 search fee. You must pay the search fee even if the accident is not found on DMV files. This fee is in addition to the accident report fee. 

Do it by phone

You can't get an accident report by phone.

Do it by mail

You can order an accident report by mail.

To request an accident report by mail, use the Request for Copy of an Accident Report (MV-198C)

Do it at the DMV

You can’t get an accident report at a DMV office.

For your convenience, many DMV PDF forms can be filled in online and then printed.