Do I Need To Report a Car Accident to the DMV in the State of New York?

a woman calling the police to report a car accident in new york

If you are involved in a car accident in New York State, you are required by law to report the accident, but only under certain circumstances. The DMV must receive a Report of Motor Vehicle Accident (MV-104) within 10 days of collisions that either result in:

  • An injury or death; or,
  • More than $1,000 in property damage.

Each driver involved in a car accident that meets this criteria, must file their own accident report form MV-104, or you risk your driver’s license being suspended until the DMV receives it. To do so, you will need to gather the following information:

  • Place and time of the accident
  • All involved drivers’ names, addresses, and dates of birth
  • Driver license information for each driver (license number and state of license)
  • License plate information (number and state) for each vehicle involved
  • Insurance information for each party
  • Name and address of each vehicle’s registered owner
  • A description of the damage to any vehicles
  • An accident diagram, including selecting what type of turn was made

The car accidents will appear on your driver record, but it will not indicate who was at fault. If you physically cannot call the police immediately after and report the accident, it will not violate New York law to wait until you’re able to.

What if There Is Very Minor Damage Involved After a Car Accident?

If no one is injured after an accident, and the damage to property is minor (under $1,000), the crash does not require an accident report to be submitted to the DMV. However, drivers are required to trade information, including their name and address, vehicle registration, drivers license number, insurance company information, and license plate number. If you have damaged a parked vehicle, you must either locate the owner or notify the police.

What Penalties Exist if I Fail to Report a Car Accident in New York?

As a consequence of failing to report a qualifying accident to the NYS DMV, you may be charged with a misdemeanor that can result in the suspension or loss of your driver’s license and/or vehicle registration. As long as you have knowledge you were involved. The penalties then increase based on the severity of the accident, and for failing to report the incidents to the police:

Non-injury accident with property damage over $1,000: $250 fine or 15 days in jail.

Injury accidents: class A misdemeanor that comes with a fine between $500 and $1,000 and up to one year in jail.

“Serious injury,” as defined by New York ISC § 5102: class E felony, which can mean a fine between $1,000 and $2,500 and up to four years in jail. New York State law requires drivers to remain at the scene of an accident and contact the police if any person suffers a personal injury or is killed, a domestic animal is injured or killed, or when a parked vehicle or other property is damaged and the owner cannot be located.

Speak to a New York Car Accident Lawyer

If you have been involved in a car accident and have questions on accident reports and their requirements, we can help. Schedule a free consultation with our highly experienced attorneys today.