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Do I need to report an accident to the DMV in Colorado?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Dec 13, 2018 | 0 Comments

Yes, unless the police show up. If the police arrive, then they will file an accident report with the Colorado DMV. But if no police come, then the drivers must file an accident report as soon as possible.

People may file accident reports online as long as the following are true:

  • Nobody died from the accident;
  • Nobody was injured from the accident in a way that required medical attention;
  • There was no hit-and-run;
  • The accident did not cause damage to public property (other than wildlife);
  • The drivers involved are not suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Colorado; and
  • All of the drivers involved have current and valid insurance and driver's licenses

But if the aforementioned conditions are not met, then the drivers are required to contact the local police for further instructions. Remember, there is no need to file a report if the police arrived at the scene of an accident.

In order to obtain a copy of a Colorado DMV accident report, follow the instructions on the request form. Call the Colorado State Patrol Central Records Unit at (303) 239-4500 for costs.

Neglecting to filing an accident report is a class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense. Penalties include:

  • 10 to 90 days in jail, and/or
  • A fine of $150 to $300

Obligations after hitting an occupied vehicle

Drivers who hit an occupied car in Colorado are required to remain at the scene of the accident unless:

  • the driver leaves for the purpose of reporting the accident to police, or
  • the driver is in need of immediate medical help.

Note that drivers may move a small distance so as not to obstruct traffic.

Drivers who cause injury to another person in a car crash should give reasonable assistance. This may include taking the victim to the ER or calling 911.

Hit and run that does not cause a serious injury is a class 1 traffic misdemeanor in Colorado. carrying:

  • 10 days to 1 year in jail, and/or
  • A fine of $300 to $1,000.

Hit and run that does cause a serious injury is a class 4 felony, carrying:

  • 2 to 6 years prison, and/or
  • A fine of $2,000 to $500,000.

If the victim dies, hit and run is a class 3 felony, carrying:

  • 4 to 12 years in prison, and/or
  • A fine of $3,000 to $750,000.

Obligations after hitting an unattended vehicle or property

Drivers who hit and damage an empty vehicle or property in Colorado are required to stop and either:

  • locate and inform the owner of the damaged car/property, or
  • attach a note to the car/property with contact instructions

The driver has to inform the owner of his/her:

  • name,
  • address, and 
  • registration number of the vehicle he/she was driving.

In addition, the driver must file an accident report unless the police show up.

Neglecting to notify the car owner or property owner is a class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense, carrying:

  • 10 to 90 days in jail, and/or
  • A fine of $150 to $300.

About the Author

Neil Shouse

Southern California DUI Defense attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT).

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