Shuman Roy is an entrepreneur, business owner, and musician. He started RoysNoys, LLC in 2013 as a music production and education service company. He also offers small business consulting and advisory services to help businesses get from start-up mode to turn-key operations. Shuman earned his M.B.A from the Stern School of Business in 2001 and has an undergraduate degree from Manhattan College in ...

Full Bio →

Written by

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Joel...

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP® Joel Ohman

UPDATED: May 9, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider. Our insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about life insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything life insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by life insurance experts.

Insurance Q&A: “Do insurance companies report accidents to the DMV?”

The short answer is “no.” Insurance companies do not report accidents to the DMV.

But that doesn’t mean the DMV isn’t aware of an accident you were involved in.

Accidents that generate a police report are filed with the DMV. In some states, however, police reports aren’t necessary generated for minor accidents.

If this is the case, there’s no information to report to the DMV (and the insurer isn’t going to report the accident if a claim isn’t filed).

In fact, insurers aren’t aware of an accident unless it is reported to them and an insurance claim is filed in the first place.

Note: Every insurance policy requires the insured to file a claim for every accident…no matter how small.

Unfortunately, many accidents are not reported because individuals choose to try to settle the damages “without getting the insurance companies involved.”

Don’t go this route. An insurance company can deny future claims resulting from an accident you didn’t report (it’s in the policy contract you signed, take a look).


You pay someone $500 out of your own pocket to pay for his dented bumper and don’t tell the insurer.

A few weeks later you get a letter from the guy’s attorney, suing you for $20,000 worth of medical bills.

Your insurer will deny your claim because you didn’t report the incident in the first place…this happens EVERY SINGLE DAY in the United States.

What is reported to the DMV?

Your insurance company does exchange information with the DMV when it relates to SR22 filings.

If you are caught driving without insurance or convicted of another serious driving offense (think DUI or leaving the scene of an accident), your insurance company must present monthly paperwork (actual paper or electronically) to the DMV to demonstrate that you have at least the state minimum car insurance policy in-force.

And if your policy lapses for any reason, your insurer will notify the DMV immediately.

Forget to make a monthly payment or just let the policy expire, and the insurer will blow the whistle to the state.

Depending on which state you reside, your license may be immediately suspended if the DMV gets wind of your lapsed coverage. You may be in serious trouble if pulled over while driving on the suspended license and right back to square one with your driving troubles.

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Where is my accident record kept?

Insurance companies collect and report your driving record and accidents to third party vendors who keep a database detailing the information. The reports are referred to as your MVR (motor vehicle record) and C.L.U.E. (comprehensive loss underwriting exchange) reports.

These reports are run for property and casualty insurance underwriting purposes. These reports ensure insurance companies properly rate an individual for auto or property insurance (homeowners, renters insurance) based on their statistical chance of filing a claim.

Without these reports, we could simply switch insurance companies after every claim and present ourselves to another insurer who would “rate” us as claim-free.

Insurers would lose a lot of money if they weren’t able to keep track of everyone’s driving records and claims history.

How do I report an accident?

Contact your local law enforcement agency, ideally from the accident scene, to report the accident. A police officer should come to your location and fill out an accident report, which you will need when you call your insurance company. You should also take pictures of the vehicle damage if you can.

If someone is injured, call 911. Do not try to move the injured person unless they are harm’s way.

If you are not given a copy of the report at the accident scene, make sure you ask the law enforcement officer exactly where and when you can get it.

Different states have different reporting requirements when it comes to notifying the DMV of an accident.

Will an accident affect my auto insurance rates?

An accident might raise your insurance rate. If you were deemed at fault for the accident, this is called a chargeable accident and it will cause your insurance premium to increase. In some states, a chargeable accident is defined more specifically as an accident that caused, for instance, $500 or $1,000 in property damages or bodily injury, which the insurance company had to pay.

A no-fault accident will not raise your insurance premium, and if your insurance provider offers accident forgiveness, you may not have to pay more for your first accident.

If your accident involved driving recklessly or driving under the influence, you can expect an even more severe hike in rates, and your insurer could choose to drop you altogether. You might also have your driving privileges revoked.

If your auto insurance rates have gotten too high due to an at-fault accident or for any other reason, make sure to compare auto insurance quotes from multiple companies. There may be a better deal available to you.

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Ready to shop for auto insurance?

Shopping your insurance premium after an accident or ticket is highly recommended. Your particular insurer may not be comfortable insuring drivers with tickets or accidents.

They may not cancel or non-renew your policy, but your premiums may shoot through the roof (speeding tickets and insurance).

Get insurance quotes online or visit a local independent insurance agent to shop your tarnished record with insurers who are more comfortable insuring those of us with not-so-perfect driving records.