Even Minor Auto Accidents Can Trigger The Requirement To File A California DMV Form SR-1
What is a Form SR-1?
Every California driver in California is supposed to have auto insurance. But, some drivers drive without it. The DMV needs to verify whether people involved in accidents on the street, highway, or private property had valid auto insurance to cover that particular accident.
When Must A Form SR-1 Be Filed?
Within 10 calendar days from an accident involving one or more motor vehicles, the California DMV requires that a Form SR-1 be completed and filed with them. This is true even if the accident happened on private property or on a private road.
A Form SR-1 is required whenever you have been an auto accident where anyone has been injured or killed (even if the injuries are very minor), or someone's property has been damaged in an amount greater than $1,000.00:
- Even if you have never had a driver's license;
- Regardless of who caused the accident;
- Even if the police came to the accident scene and prepared a report;
- Regardless of whether you had car insurance at the moment of the accident;
- Even if you reported the accident to your car insurance;
- Regardless of whether or not your driver's license and registration were up to date; and
- Even if you reported the accident to the police after you left the scene.
How Can I File An SR-1?
You can pick one up by simply walking into a DMV branch. Or, here's a link to a printable SR-1 form:
Here is the online SR-1 form:
I recommend that you talk to an attorney before you fill out the form. The way the questions on the SR-1 are answered is important. In your case, there might be a risk that completion of the form could expose you to liability.
Will Something Happen To Me If I Don't File An SR-1?
You should file your SR-1 within 10 calendar days of the accident. If the other party already filed a Form SR-1, and you did not, the DMV will mail you a letter telling you do file one. And, failing to submit an SR-1 can result in a suspension of your driver's license for one year.
Does An SR-1 Help Me If The Other Person Had No Insurance Or I Need Their Insurance Information?
No. To make an uninsured motorist (UM) claim under your own car insurance policy, you will need to file another form. It is called the Form SR-19C. The form is available to pick up by simply walking into a DMV branch. Or, here's a link to the SR-19C form: