After a car accident in Virginia, either an individual or a police officer will submit an accident report.
The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles keeps all records for the accidents that take place in the state, and the report is maintained on file for at least 36 months after the crash. A traffic court might need the report to help establish fault, or the insurance company might require it to help them make a claim decision.
Regardless, only certain parts of the accident report are publicly accessible.
Who’s allowed to request an accident report?
Anyone who’s involved in the accident can obtain a copy of the accident report, or anyone who is an authorized representative for an involved person can receive a copy.
Involved parties can include the injured person, driver, passenger, or an executor, conservator, or family member for those hurt or affected. Insurance companies often have representatives who are authorized to receive a copy, and parents or guardians of minors involved can obtain the accident report for their child.
Some information on the police report is accessible if the DMV has it available and if the court has requested it. These things include the time, location, and date of the accident, the address and name of the involved drivers, the names of all vehicle owners, witnesses, and which police officer(s) arrived on the scene.
How to obtain a copy of a Virginia car crash report
If you need a copy of an accident report that occurred in Virginia, you'll need to provide $8 for payment and fill out an information request form on the Virginia DMV website by mail, fax or in person. The form is called CRD 93. If you can't print a copy of this form, you can make a written request instead.
For a written request, you'll need to provide details of the accident time and date, your involvement (injured party, driver, or vehicle owner), collision location (major crossroads and city/county), the name of the driver, and the requestor's driver's license number if involved in the collision.
You can mail your request to:
Customer Records Work Center, Room 514
Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles
Post Office Box 27412
Richmond, VA 23269
Alternatively, you can drop it off at a customer service location or fax it to (804) 367-0390.
Payment for DMV accident reports
Even if it turns out that the collision report isn’t in the DMV records, the administrative fee still applies. The $8 payment must be made with the mailed request by money order or check. (The Virginia DMV no longer accepts payment via credit card through the mail.)
For faxed requests, fill out a “License, ID cards, and Records Payment Authorization” form (titled DMS 004). Faxed requests also need to be accompanied by an information request form (CRD 93) or a written request.
Customer service locations accept credit and debit cards, checks, cash, or money orders. Those who request multiple reports can choose to have a bill sent to them as long as they provide their company name and FIN (federal identification number). Once the request has been processed, the collision report will be mailed First Class through the United States Postal Service.
Obtaining a copy of the accident report is just one part of what to do after a car accident. Making sure the report is submitted is important in addition to the other required steps. However, since many of the other post-accident steps depend on the information in this report, it should be filed as soon as possible.