Ohio Accident Reports: A Guide to Filing and Compliance

Apr 27 - 9 min

When is Filing an Ohio Accident Report Mandatory?

Ohio law mandates that any driver involved in an accident resulting in injury, death, or property damage exceeding $1,000 must file a report with the police. These laws are in place to ensure all incidents are adequately recorded, providing essential documentation for insurance and legal purposes. This guide aims to help you understand the process efficiently, ensuring compliance and protecting your rights.

If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, it’s mandatory to file a crash report with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). This report is crucial not only for legal compliance but also to facilitate any claims or legal actions that might arise due to the accident. This process is separate from Ohio accident reports filed with the police and must be completed within six months of the accident.

Why File an Accident Report in Ohio?

Official Ohio accident reports provide a formal account of the facts surrounding the incident. This is important if there are disputes about who is at fault, making it an essential document for legal defenses or during arbitration and litigation. The accident report also serves as a key document in legal proceedings, providing a baseline account of what happened. It helps in establishing the circumstances that led to the accident, which is crucial in determining liability and fault.

Ohio accident reports contribute to state and national databases that monitor traffic conditions and accident rates. Such data is crucial for developing road safety measures and regulatory policies aimed at reducing vehicle accidents.

How to File an Ohio Accident Report

To ensure a thorough and effective filing of an accident report in Ohio, gathering information is critical. Here’s a breakdown of the necessary details:

  • Personal Information: Your name, address, driver’s license number, and insurance details.
  • Vehicle Information: Registration details and a description of your vehicle and any other vehicles involved in the accident.Include license plate number, year, make, and VIN number of the vehicle.
  • Accident Details: Date, time, and location of the accident, a description of how the accident occurred, and any injuries or damages incurred. It’s important to note that for the suspension of the uninsured party’s driving privileges, at least three IDs matching BMV records are required. Additionally, an itemized estimate or bill is necessary for any property damages over $400 or personal injuries exceeding $500.
  • Police Report: If the police attended the scene, a copy of the police report could be helpful.

Statewide Submission

For general submissions across Ohio, you can access the standard crash report form from the Ohio Department of Public Safety Bureau of Motor Vehicles website. This form can be filled out and submitted in several ways:

  • Download and email the form to BMV3303@dps.ohio.gov
  • You can also obtain a physical copy of the form from your local BMV office and submit it by fax or mail.

Specifications for Cincinnati and Columbus

Cincinnati and Columbus each have unique requirements and specific forms for filing accident reports, reflecting local administrative procedures.

Cincinnati Crash Report

To file a crash report in the city of Cincinnati you can request and submit the form online. You are also able to request the form in person by visiting the Police Records Section. Once the form is completed you can email it to cpdrecords@cincinnati-oh.gov.

Columbus Crash Report


A copy of the accident report form for Columbus can be obtained online through the state website. Once the form is completed, it can be submitted by emailing fcsopublicoh1@franklincountyohio.gov.

After submitting your crash report, please note that it can take up to six weeks for the report to become available. Once it is available, you can find it on Ohio’s crash retrieval website, which provides access to officially filed crash reports throughout the state.


When filling out Ohio accident reports, ensure that all information is accurate and comprehensive. Include all relevant details about the accident, such as date, time, location, a description of the incident, parties involved, and any witnesses. This information is crucial for processing your report and can significantly impact the outcome of any insurance claims or legal proceedings.

Additional Steps to Take After an Accident in Ohio

While filing an accident report is a critical step after an accident in Ohio, there are several other important actions you should consider to ensure your safety, comply with legal requirements, and protect your rights. These steps are essential for dealing with the immediate aftermath of an accident and for long-term considerations related to health, insurance, and legal implications.

Check for Injuries

Immediately after an accident, check yourself and others for injuries. Call 911 if medical attention is needed. Even if you do not feel injured immediately after the accident, it is advisable to undergo a medical examination. Ensure that you are in a safe location away from traffic. Turn on hazard lights and set up emergency cones or flares if available.

Exchange Information

Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver(s) involved in the accident. This includes names, addresses, phone numbers, insurance company names, and policy numbers. Also, note the make, model, and license plate numbers of all vehicles involved.

Document the Scene

Take photographs of the accident scene from various angles, capturing the positions of vehicles, any visible damage, road conditions, traffic signs, and weather conditions. These photographs can provide crucial evidence for insurance claims and potential legal proceedings.

Gather Witness Information

If there are any witnesses to the accident, obtain their names and contact information. Witness statements can be invaluable in verifying the details of the accident, especially in cases where the cause or fault is disputed.

Notify Your Insurance Company

Inform your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible. Provide them with a comprehensive overview of the incident and any evidence you have collected. Early notification can expedite the claims process.

Consult with a Lawyer

Consult with an Ohio car accident lawyer, especially if the accident involves significant damage, injuries, or potential liability issues. A lawyer can provide guidance on your legal rights and responsibilities and can help protect your interests in complex situations.

How Senft Injury Advocates Can Help

When dealing with the aftermath of an accident, having the right legal representation can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. Senft Injury Advocates stands out as a dedicated partner in navigating the complexities of accident claims and legal processes in Ohio. We understand the challenges that come with accident claims, from negotiating with insurance companies to pursuing fair compensation in court. Choosing Senft Injury Advocates means opting for a firm that not only aims to meet but exceed your expectations, giving you the peace of mind needed to focus on your recovery while we handle the legal details. Ready for a free consult? Give us a call anytime to reach a lawyer.

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Ohio Accident Reports: A Guide to Filing and Compliance