REPORTABLE vs. NON-REPORTABLE ACCIDENTS
The terminology here is a little misleading. Whether or not an accident is "reportable" does not refer to whether or not the accident was reported to the police, but rather whether or not the driver(s) should fill out and file an Operator's Crash Report. All accidents should be reported to the police department as soon as they occur, so that officers can be on-scene to evaluate what happened. Your insurance company should also be notified as soon as possible. More clarification is below:
A "reportable" accident is any motor vehicle accident which occurred on a public way where:
1) The damage to any one vehicle or other property damage exceeds$1000
2) Anyone is injured
All drivers are required to fill out and file an Operator's Crash Report with the Registry, the Police Department, and their insurance company for reportable accidents.
Any motor vehicle accident that occurs on private property — a private road, in a private parking lot (i.e. the grocery store, bank, etc.), in someone's driveway, or any other private property is considered "non-reportable", regardless of the extent of vehicle damage, other property damage, and/or personal injury. Even though the police may be called and are on-scene for a non-reportable accident, driver(s) do not have to fill out and file an Operator's Crash Report. Your insurance company, however, should be notified as soon as possible, and they may ask you to fill out a Crash Report for their information.
About your vehicle, registration, and license
You need to be able to differentiate between these terms in order to fill out your Operator's Crash Report accurately:
Your driver's license number (not your license plate number). This is generally a 9-digit number beginning with a letter (usually S), printed on your driver's license.
The number printed on your license plate (also found on your paper registration).
The registration type is printed on your paper registration; there is a list of 3-character codes to choose from. Most private passenger cars with State-assigned numbers are PAN (Passenger Normal). Special plates (such as Cape & Islands, Red Sox, Bruins, Right Whale, etc.) are considered PAS, and vanity plates (your last name, special numbers, etc.) are PAV.
Other Useful Terms
Here are a few more terms you'll find on the Operator's Crash Report that have a definition you may find helpful:
On the Registry's Operator's Crash Report form, the term "property damage" refers to damage caused to anything other than vehicles, regardless of whether the property is considered private (i.e. someone's fence, mailbox, lawn, etc.) or public (i.e. a guardrail or street sign). The examples listed in parentheses in this paragraph are all examples of "property" for purposes of filling out the Crash Report.
Public Way vs. Private Property
Accidents which occur on public ways may be considered reportable. Any roadway, parking lot, driveway, or access road owned and/or maintained by the US government, the Town, or the State is considered a public way. For example, Commercial Street, Bradford Street are all public ways, as are the public parking lots and MacMillan Wharf. Roads designated as Private are not maintained or plowed by Town and are therefore considered private property. In addition, private parking lots or lots for private businesses and driveways leading to private homes are not considered public ways. Accidents occurring on private property, including private roads, are non-reportable.