Nothing can put a damper on an already long commute more than finding yourself in a collision. Odds are that all of us will find ourselves in a fender-bender at some point during our driving careers. Depending on the severity of the damage, you may require a tow to an accident reporting centre for appraisal. Most times, if you call the police after an accident, they will likely tell you to visit the nearest collision reporting centre.Since most accidents are minor in nature, or have no injuries, and the vehicles are still drivable, there is no need for a police presence at the scene. In this article, we will try to help you steer your way through the collision reporting centre process. We will also answer some of your FAQs concerning collision reporting centres. 

What is a collision reporting centre? 

A Collision Reporting Centre (CRC) is a police facility which assists motorists in reporting motor vehicle collisions. The centres help drivers to self-report the accident, with the guidance of a police officer. They are in cities across the province to help to simplify the damage reporting process. Self-reporting is beneficial because: 

  • It frees up local police for more pressing issues
  • It can help clear up traffic congestion

No fees are charged to police or motorists. All expenses are paid by Ontario’s insurers.  

Should all accidents go to a CRC? 

No. Not all accidents require a filing of a police traffic collision report at the scene of an accident. Circumstances where you should be taking your vehicle to the collision reporting centre are:

  • A minor accident: There is no significant damage.
  • No injuries: No one at the scene requires medical attention.
  • Minor damage: It is not a requirement to report accidents with less than $2,000 of damage to police, although it is still a good idea.
  • Vehicles are drivable: Vehicles are safe to drive. If not, call a tow truck to take your car to the reporting centre.
  • Police instruction: The police tell you to go to the reporting centre.

If your collision meets any of the criteria above, your collision is minor. If you are in a minor collision, your first step is to report to a Collision Reporting Centre in Ontario. This should always be your first step when nobody is injured and the damage to your vehicle appears to be less than $2,000. Additionally, this should be done within 24 hours of the collision.

What happens when you go to a reporting centre?

Visiting a Collision Reporting Centre immediately after an accident is crucial! When you arrive, an officer will help you complete a police report (if necessary) and will take note of any important information regarding the accident. This may include taking photographs of damage. You will also receive a “Damage Reported to Police” sticker to put on any vehicle damage. This way, you will avoid any fines until you get repairs for your vehicle. It is important to keep in mind that $2,000 worth of damage can be surprisingly small on a modern vehicle.

What happens if my vehicle is not drivable?

Depending on the severity of the damage, you may need to tow your car to the CRC for appraisal. But before you allow a tow truck driver to hook up your vehicle, be sure to inquire what the towing charge will be. Also, do not sign any documents unless you fully understand what you are signing. A flat rate of $166 plus tax or $188 plus tax is standard, depending on whether you car is on a street or a highway. Check with Toronto Police Services for more details.

If your vehicle requires towing, it must be towed directly to the police reporting centre from the accident scene. 

When you get to the Collision Reporting Centre, you will fill out a collision report. An officer will then check the damage against your report to determine if the damage they can see matches your reporting. Depending on your insurance policy, you may have OPCF 27 which covers your rental car after an accident. If you have collision and comprehensive coverage, you can waive the rental car insurance, too.

Does the collision report go to my insurance?

Collision reporting centres will automatically send the report to your insurer. If you don’t plan on making a claim and the damages are under $2,000, you can ask the centre not to contact your insurance provider. It’s important to check your policies because some have mandatory reporting of car damage as an outline in the document. It is always a good idea to mention it to your insurer or isure broker anyway. It’s better that they hear about it from you, and not the other driver’s insurer.

What information should I collect before going to the collision reporting centre? 

If you are in an accident, there are six basic steps that you should follow:

  1. Stop your vehicle and secure your safety.
  2. Call the police.
  3. Get out of the car (if safe to do so), and take photos.
  4. Move your car when it is safe to do so.
  5. Record the details of the accident and be sure to get the other driver’s details, as well as eye witness accounts from those at the scene.
  6. Call your isure broker to let them know what happened.

For a full, detailed description what to do after an accident, please click here.

What happens when I get to the reporting centre? 

Once you arrive at the collision reporting centre, a police officer will assist you in filling out a motor vehicle collision report. The process will run as follows:

  1. An officer will document the damage to your vehicle. Photos of the damage to your vehicle will be taken.
  2. Register with an officer. Once photos are complete, you will check in with a police officer at the reporting centre. You’ll need to provide your proof of insurance, vehicle registration, driver’s licence, and contact information.
  3. Give an accurate account of the accident. A verbal account of the accident will be recorded. This information will be included as part of the accident report.
  4. Collision report form. You will be provided with a collision report form and you must draw a diagram of the accident scene. You will then be asked to provide a written statement of the accident’s events. This report can be sent to your insurance company.
  5. Contact your insurer. Once all necessary documentation is complete, you have the choice of contacting your insurance company to file a claim. Many collision reporting centres have direct lines.
  6. Once you have filed your claim, you can drive (or tow) your vehicle to a repair shop or other desired location.

How do I find a reporting centre?

There are more than 30 collision reporting centres dispersed across the province of Ontario. Not all cities have an accident reporting centre. If you are involved in an accident in a town or rural area in Ontario that does NOT have a reporting centre, call the local police department. Get a full list of Ontario collision reporting centres here.

Ontario Reporting Centre FAQs  

Can I get collision reports online? 

Yes. Once the report has been filed and processed, you can get a copy of your collision report online through ServiceOntario. They can be ordered online 20 days after the collision report is filed. To gain access to the report, you will be required to supply:

  • Your driver’s licence number
  • The collision report number
  • MTO collision reference number

An uncertified report will cost $12, while a certified one (necessary for legal reasons) will cost $18. 

What if there is no CRC near you? 

Your local police can tell you where the nearest accident reporting centre is. But if there is none within proximity, they may tell you to visit the nearest police station to file an accident report. 

How long does it take to report a collision?  

The time you will be at the collision reporting centre will depend on how busy it is and how many people are ahead of you. Sometimes, reports can be filed in under an hour; other times, you may have to wait several hours to file them. Times also vary based on the fact that Toronto tends to be busier than in Markham or other less populated areas.

Can I report my accident to the reporting centre near my home? 

 You must report the collision in the same city where it happened, not necessary where it’s comfortable for you. 

Should we wait for police or just go to reporting centre?  

If you called the police, then just wait. If you didn’t, call the reporting centre in the same city where the accident happened and ask for the incident number. After they provide you with the incident number, confirm with that reporting centre that you can start heading there. If anybody is injured, call 911 right away.

If you’ve just gotten into an accident or need to submit a claim, contact one of our isure brokers today!

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