Every year, thousands of car accidents take place in Missouri. Although it is impossible to predict a car accident, you can prepare for one. You can learn what to do after a car accident to fulfill your legal responsibilities as a driver, including when to report an accident to the Missouri Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Whether or not you need to complete this step depends on the details of the collision.
Does the Car Accident Meet All Items on the Checklist?
All states have certain rules regarding what drivers must do after car accidents. In Missouri, you must stop immediately at the accident scene, find out if anyone is hurt (and render aid, if so), call the police, and exchange information with the other driver to avoid a hit-and-run charge. According to Section 303.040 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri, you must also report an auto accident to the DMV if all three of the following are true:
- The accident occurred less than one year before in Missouri,
- The accident involved an uninsured motorist and
- The accident caused an injury, death or property damage of more than $500.
All reports to the DMV must be submitted in writing within 30 days of the auto accident. This law applies to all motor vehicle accidents that take place in Missouri, including collisions involving nonresident drivers and unoccupied parked vehicles. If you get into a car accident in Missouri, it is your legal responsibility to file a car accident claim with the DMV if it checks these three boxes. Note that filing a police report does not satisfy the requirement for reporting an accident to the DMV.
What Is the Minimum Amount of Property Damage Required to Report to the Missouri DMV?
The minimum amount of property damage required to report a motor vehicle accident to the Missouri DMV is $500. Most mild to moderate car accidents cause at least $500 worth of damage to both vehicles combined. Note, however, that even if your car accident causes less than $500 in property damage, you must still file an accident report to the DMV if it involved an uninsured driver. If you are not sure about the estimated amount of property damage while at the scene of your accident, call 911 and report the accident to be safe. You will then have 30 days to receive repair estimates and determine whether you need to report the accident to the DMV based on the amount of property damage suffered. If the other driver reports the accident to the DMV first, you will receive a notice informing you of this within 10 days.
How Do I Report a Car Accident to the Missouri DMV?
To satisfy your requirement to report a Missouri car accident to the DMV, you will need to fill out and submit Form 1140 – the Motor Vehicle Accident Report. This report asks for basic information about the auto accident, such as the date and time of the collision, the location, the number of vehicles involved, and whether the police were called. You will also need to add your contact information and the information of the vehicle owner (if different), plus information from all other parties involved. Finally, you will need to add your liability insurance information and sign the document.
You can obtain Form 1140 from the DMV’s website, car insurance companies, the Driver License Bureau and/or any license office in Kansas City. Once you have filled out the form completely, you will mail the document to:
Driver License Bureau
301 West High Street – Room 470
PO Box 200
Jefferson City, MO 65105-0200
As long as the form is postmarked within 30 days of your auto accident, you will have fulfilled this part of your responsibility as a driver in Missouri. For more information about what to do after an auto accident – including how to take legal action against an at-fault driver – consult with a personal injury attorney in Kansas City.