How to file a motorist accident report

 This page was updated for COVID-19.

 

Under Section 605 of the NY State Vehicle and Traffic Law, all drivers involved in an accident where:

  • a person is injured or killed, or
  • there is damage to the property of one individual (including yourself) in excess of more than $1,000, 

must file their own accident report within 10 days from the date of accident or DMV may suspend your driver’s license until your report is received.  To meet the filing requirements, you must fill out and file the Report of Motor Vehicle Accident (PDF) (MV-104).  In addition,

  • if the accident caused property damage only, you must exchange information about your driver license, insurance, and registration with the involved drivers and file the MV-104.
  • if a person is injured or killed, you are required by the NY State Vehicle and Traffic Law to immediately notify the police and file the MV-104.
  • if a parked vehicle or other property is damaged, or if a domestic animal is injured, you must locate the owner or contact the police.
  • it is a crime to leave the scene of an accident that causes personal injury or death.

The accident appears on the records of all the involved drivers. An accident listed on your driver record does not indicate that you were at fault. The DMV does not try to determine fault in an accident.


How to get a copy of your report

  • Call or visit the local police agency or precinct where the accident occurred.  Ask the agency if your report is available and what the fee is.

    OR

  • If the police and/or motorists' reports have already been filed and processed by the DMV, see Get an accident report for information about how to locate and access PDF copies of accident reports


The DMV Accident Re-examination Program

The DMV has an Accident Re-examination program that identifies drivers who have been in three or more reportable accidents within an 18-month period. The program includes drivers of all ages. A reportable accident is any accident in New York State that causes a fatality, a personal injury or damage over $1,000 to the property of any one person. The DMV sends the driver a letter to come to a DMV office for an interview and for possible eye, written and road tests.

 

Office procedures have changed due to COVID-19.

We recommend you conduct your DMV business at the office or by mail in the County where you are a resident.

See instructions and reservation information for your county