Joseph Rose, author of the always excellent “pdxcommute” column at The Oregonian/OregonLive, reports some important…
DMV Reports: A Very Important Step After Getting in an Accident
We’ve discussed Oregon’s DMV accident reporting requirements on other pages, but since it’s such an important and often overlooked step, we want to take the time to remind people about this requirement.
We find a lot of people aren’t even aware of the reporting requirement, much less aware that, under ORS 811.725, failing to report an accident as required is a Class B Traffic Violation, so could itself really harm your Oregon driving record and privileges.
The reporting requirements are fairly straightforward. If you’ve been in an accident that involves injury or $1,500 in property damage to either vehicle, you need to submit a DMV accident report form. Keep in mind that it doesn’t take much to do $1,500 of damage in a car accident, so if you are unsure, it’s better to err on the side of caution and file a report. The statute mandates you fill out the report within 72 hours of the accident. And don’t forget this caution:
A police report does not satisfy or remove your requirement to file an accident report with DMV.
Oregon law also allows local jurisdictions to adopt their own reporting requirements for car accidents, so it’s always best to check if your local jurisdiction has its own special requirements. The City of Portland, by the way does NOT have additional reporting requirements, so if you are in a car accident in Portland you only need to file the standard DMV report, which you can download by clicking this link.
Finally, to encourage maximum honesty, Oregon law also says that your DMV accident report can’t be used as evidence in any legal proceeding relating to the crash. As always, being honest is crucial. In this case, it’s also especially easy.