Failure to File Accident Report

Vehicle and Traffic Law VTL 605-a1

with DMV May Lead to NY Driver’s License Suspension. If you are involved in an automobile accident, in addition to Vehicle and Traffic Law 600 requiring you to remain at the scene of the accident and exchange information with anyone who suffered property damage or personal injury, New York VTL 605 requires you to file an official report with the Department of Motor Vehicles.

NY VTL 605(a)(1) says that any individual, who is not a police officer, fireman or correction officer, driving an automobile which is involved in an accident in New York state must report the accident to the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days of the accident if one of the following occurs:

  • A person is killed, or
  • A person is injured, or
  • Property damage exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000.00).

New York VTL 605(a)(1) also says that if the driver himself is incapacitated and cannot file in writing with the DMV, then the obligation to file falls to another participant in the accident if such person exists. The official DMV form (MV 104) that must be filed may be found here.

Fines For Failure to File an Accident Report

Failure to file a report according to NY VTL 605-a is a misdemeanor and is grounds for the Commissioner to suspend or revoke the driving privileges of the driver or all certificates of registration for any motor vehicle or both. Since conviction of violating NY VTL 605(a)(1) may lead to license revocation or suspension it is important to clarify the difference between the two. A driver license suspension is a temporary loss of driving privileges for a fixed period that terminates automatically.

When the suspension time ends, the driver can restore his license by simply paying the restoration fee of $25. In contrast, a license revocation is for a minimum period which continues until the driver restores his license by reapplying for a driver’s license at his local DMV office and the DMV approving it. One result of automobile accidents is increased auto insurance premiums.

New York Insurance Law 2335 was amended last year to prohibit insurers from increasing premiums after an accident unless the property damage exceeded $2,000. Previously, the threshold was $1,000. The change in amount will help reduce the cost to drivers because the repair cost of most fender benders is more than $1,000.