Accident Reporting on the SR 1

Every driver involved in an accident which results in death, injury, or property damage over $1,000, effective January 1, 2017, must report the accident on a Report of Traffic Accident Occurring in California (SR 1) form to DMV.

You (or your authorized representative) must submit the report within 10 days of the accident, whether you caused the accident or not, and even if the accident occurred on private property. The SR 1 is required in addition to any other report made to or by the police, CHP, or your insurance company if the accident resulted in damage over $1,000 and/or an injury or death. If you do not report the accident to DMV, your driving privilege will be suspended.

The California Vehicle Code (CVC) §1806 requires DMV to record accident information regardless of fault when individuals report accidents under the Financial Responsibility Law or if law enforcement agencies or CHP investigate and make a report.

For drivers of a commercial motor vehicle involved in a traffic crash, California law states that you must notify your employer within 5 days if you have an accident while driving your employer’s vehicle (CVC §16002). However, your employer may require you to notify him or her immediately.

Note: A commercial driver with a CDL may downgrade to a noncommercial DL during any mandatory suspension period to be eligible to obtain a restricted license. All tests and fees will be required to upgrade when eligible.

Attorneys for Hit and Run Accidents and the SR 1 Form

If you were involved in a traffic crash and left the scene, then a criminal investigation has begun. Contact an experienced hit and run defense attorney in San Francisco at Ticket Crushers to discuss your obligations after a traffic crash. We represent clients after a hit and run involving only property damage and more serious crimes of leaving the scene of a crash involving personal injury.

Never talk to a law enforcement officer if you committed a crime by leaving the scene. Instead, retain an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you deal with the officer investigating the crash, your insurance company, and your requirements to report the accident.

Call 1 (866) 842-5384 today to discuss your case.


Frequently Asked Questions About California’s SR 1 Form


When is a SR 1 accident report required in California?

California law requires traffic accidents on a California street/highway or private property to be reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within 10 days if there was an injury, death or property damage in excess of $1,000.

In other words, if you are involved in a vehicle accident that occurred in California, you must report it to DMV if:

  • The crash resulted in property damage of more than $1,000 ($750 for accidents prior to January 1, 2017); or
  • Anyone was injured (no matter how minor); or
  • Anyone was killed.

What are the consequences of not submitting the SR 1 Accident Report?

Untimely reporting could result in DMV suspending a driver license. The accident information on the SR 1 is required under the authority of Divisions 6 and 7 of the CVC. Failure to provide the information will result in suspension of the driving privilege.


Is an accident involving an off-road vehicle reportable?

Accidents involving vehicles not required to be registered such as an off-road vehicle (OHV), implement of husbandry, or snowmobile or occurring on a military base or occurring on the driver’s own property involving only the personal property of the driver and there was no injury or death are not reportable.


Is the SR 1 required if I was NOT at fault for the accident?

The law requires the driver to use this SR 1 form with DMV regardless of fault. This report must be made in addition to any other report led with a law enforcement agency, insurance company, or the California Highway Patrol (CHP) as their reports do not satisfy the reporting requirement. An insurance agent, attorney, or other designated representative may submit the report for the driver.


What is the purpose of the SR 1?

The law requires every driver and every owner of a motor vehicle to be “financially responsible” for any injury or damage resulting from operating or owning a motor vehicle.


What is the “Minimum Insurance Level Requirement”?

The minimum insurance level for “financial responsibility” is public liability and property damage coverage of:

  • $15,000 for injury or death of one person
  • $30,000 for injury or death of two or more persons
  • $5,000 property damage per accident.

Comprehensive and collision insurance does not meet the legal requirement.


What information must be provided on the SR 1 form?

The form must identify any person involved in the accident (driver, passenger, bicyclist, pedestrian, etc.) who you saw was injured or complained of bodily injury or know to be deceased. Record in the OTHER PROPERTY DAMAGED section any damage to telephone poles, fences, street signs, guard posts, trees, livestock, dogs, etc., meeting the reporting requirement.

The form also records other property damaged such as any damage to telephone poles, fences, street signs, guard posts, trees, livestock, dogs, etc., meeting the reporting requirement. This may require that you contact the owner of the property for an estimate of damages.


Additional Resources

Report of Traffic Accident Occurring in California (SR 1) form – Send the SR 1 form to report a traffic accident occurring in the State of California to the DMV. The report forms are available at www.dmv.ca.gov, by calling 1-800-777-0133, and at California Highway Patrol (CHP) office and DMV offices.

California’s Traffic Accident Report SR 1 – Visit the website of the California Department of Motor Vehicles to find the SR1 traffic accident report which each driver must report to the DMV within 10 days after the crash regardless of fault.