Under NSW Road Rules, drivers involved in an accident must stop at the scene of the accident and give their details to the following people, where possible:
You should ask the other driver to show you their driver's licence. Make sure you look at the back of the licence, which may show a change of address. You should find out and write down:
You should not admit to the other driver that the accident was your fault as this may affect your claim or your insurance.
If the other driver will not exchange their details with you, you should report the accident to the police within 24 hours. It is an offence to not exchange details.
If you want to know more about NSW Road Rules, go to
Case study - Donald
Donald was stopped at the lights on the corner of Wilde Avenue and Victoria Road when his car was hit from behind by another car. Donald got out of the car to exchange details with the other driver, but the other driver drove away. Donald was able to write down the registration number of the other car, as well as the make and model of the car.
Donald called the police to report the accident and the fact the other driver didn't stop and exchange details with him.
If you didn't get to exchange details with the other driver after an accident and the police were called to the scene, you may be able to contact the police station that the police officers were from and try to get the details from them.
If the police can't or won't provide you with the details of the other driver, but you have the registration number of the vehicle, you can apply to Roads & Maritime Services (RMS) for the registered operator's name and contact details. Under NSW law, the person who has a car or motor vehicle registered in their name is called the 'registered operator'. The registered operator is usually also the owner of the car, but in some cases may not be.
The Roads & Traffic Authority (RTA) has been renamed and is now called Roads & Maritime Services (RMS).
You can apply for the registered operator's name and contact details by making an access application. Access applications about RMS information are handled by Transport for NSW.
You can fill in an 'Access application form' or write a letter. The form is available on the
Transport for NSW website or from any Service NSW office. If you write a letter, the letter should:
For more information, see
Sample letter to Transport for NSW making an access application.
Whether you use the form or write a letter you must pay a $30.00 application fee (as at July 2014). If you are paying by cheque or money order, you should make it payable to Transport NSW. If it takes more than an hour to process your application, you may be asked to pay extra fees.
You can submit the form or letter at:
Transport for NSW receives your application and makes sure you have included all the information needed and paid the fee. Transport NSW then sends the application to RMS to make a decision on whether to give access. RMS may contact the registered operator of the other vehicle and tell them that you have asked for their details. The registered operator may not want RMS to release his or her details. RMS will then review your application, the reasons the registered operator doesn't want their details released and consider what's in the public interest before making a decision.
Transport for NSW will let you know whether RMS will provide you with the information within 20 working days of receiving your application. If RMS won't give you the registered operator's contact details, you can ask for a review of that decision.
For further information, go to the 'Informal release and access applications' section on the
Transport for NSW website.
The time limit for asking for a review of the decision ranges from 20 working days to eight weeks, depending on the type of review. Time limits are important and you should get
Sometimes the registered operator is not the actual owner of a car. The owner may lease the car to the registered operator or the owner may be a child and the registered operator may be a parent of the child.
Even if the registered operator is also the owner, when a car is sold the details of the new registered operator may not be given to the RMS straight away. When someone buys a car, they must transfer the registration at the RMS within 14 days. The RMS will also be told about the sale if the previous registered operator completes a Notice of Disposal form. Sometimes the buyer and the seller of a car will not tell the RMS about the sale. If this happens to a car involved in an accident and you make an access application to the RMS for the registered operator's details, you may be given the details of the previous registered operator.
If you get the details of the registered operator but they tell you they sold the car, you should ask for the buyer's details. If you decide to start a court case against the new registered operator, you may need a witness statement from the previous registered operator with evidence of when the car was sold.
If you have problems getting the details of the new registered operator from the previous registered operator, or if the registered operator is not the owner, you should get
Transport for NSW - Access Application