How to file a motorist accident report

You are required by the NY State Vehicle and Traffic Law to file an accident report if you are involved in any accident where there is damage to the property of one individual (including yourself) that is more than $1,000.  The report must be filed within 10 days.  In addition

  • If the accident caused property damage only, you must exchange information about your driver license, insurance, and registration with the involved drivers.

  • 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.

  • If the property damage of any person is $1,000 or more, all the involved drivers are required by the NY State Vehicle and Traffic Law to file a Report of Motor Vehicle Accident (PDF) (MV-104). File form MV-104 with the DMV no more than 10 days after the accident. The DMV can suspend your driver license if you fail to report an accident.

  • If a person is injured or killed, you are required by the NY State Vehicle and Traffic Law to immediately notify the police. All the involved drivers and the police must file an accident report with the DMV. 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 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.


  • 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.