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Before you send a letter of demand to the driver or owner of the other car, you need to make sure you have their name and address. If you do not have the correct contact details for the other party, you won't be able to clearly communicate your claim to them. If you end up going to Court, you may not be able to serve (give) Court documents on the other party and this will cost you money and time.
If you had an accident with someone who was driving another person's car, you will need to decide who is responsible.
A driver may not always be the person who ends up paying for the damage. In some cases, the owner of the vehicle may be responsible.
For more information, see Who is responsible?
The other driver should have provided you with their name and contact details at the scene of the accident.
For more information, see Exchanging details.
If the other driver did not give you their details and the accident was reported to the police, you may be able to get a copy of the motor vehicle accident report.
If the police came to the accident or the accident was reported to the police, you may be able to get a copy of the motor vehicle accident report.
You can apply for the report by completing an Online Application through the NSW Police Force Community Portal on the NSW Police Force website.
You will need:
your current, valid email address
COPS Event Number
to pay the $99.90 (as at 1 July 2022) application fee via credit card on the secure online portal.
The motor vehicle accident report will usually be sent to you within 10 to 15 working days.
The police will not reduce or cancel the fee in cases of financial hardship.
Normally, a report will have the following information:
the name of the police officer in charge at the time the accident was reported
the place where the accident happened
the names and contact details of the drivers involved in the accident
registration numbers of the cars or motor vehicles in the accident
a summary of the accident
the date and time of the accident.
Sometimes drawings of the location may also be included.
If you were unable to obtain the other driver’s details, you can apply to Transport for NSW (TfNSW) for that information under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act).
Making an application under the GIPA Act does not mean you will get access to information. The agency has to consider the relevant public interest considerations in favour and against releasing the information and will consult with the other party before making a decision to release any information.
For more information about how to apply to TfNSW for information under the GIPA Act, see Access to Information on the TfNSW website.
If you have a court case related to your accident, you may be able to apply for a subpoena to get the other driver’s details.
Before you apply for a subpoena, you should get legal advice.
For more information, see Subpoenas.