What is an SR-1 form and when do you need it

Thousands of vehicular collisions occur every year in the State of California alone. Given the ever-busy streets in the Golden State especially metropolitan areas like Los Angeles, a car accident resulting in serious injury can happen to anyone.

If you or a loved one unfortunately gets involved in one, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) requires you to fill out an SR-1 form.

When do you need to fill out a SR-1 form

What exactly is a SR-1 form and when do you need it? California law requires anyone who suffers a major vehicular collision within its jurisdiction to fill out an SR-1 form with the DMV within ten days of the incident.

This requirement transcends liability, insurance policies, vehicle registration, and traffic collision reports. This means you will have to fill out the form if:

  • You are at fault
  • You do not have the necessary auto insurance
  • Your vehicle registration and license are not up to date
  • There is no traffic collision report
  • There IS a traffic collision report and authorities were at the scene of the accident

SR-1 form filing exceptions

Do you need to fill out a SR-1 form for EVERY car accident? The answer to this question would be NO. If property damage is below $750 and no one suffered any personal injury or wrongful death, then filling out the SR-1 form is no longer required. In other words, you will have to fill out an SR-1 form only if:

  • Property damage costs $750 and above
  • Any member of the parties involved in the car accident is injured
  • Any member of the involved parties dies from the injuries sustained in the car accident

Filling out the form

The SR-1 form is a 3-page document that shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes to fill out if you have complete information about the incident. It asks for general details like:

  • Names of the parties involved and how to contact them
  • Information of the vehicles involved (make and model, license plates)
  • Description of the accident
  • Property damage details
  • Insurance policy details

Why file an SR-1report

We know what you are thinking. Why file yet another report if the incident has been documented by the authorities? Apart from gathering statistical information regarding motor vehicle collisions, SR-1 forms are used as evidence if an uninsured or underinsured motorist is involved in the accident. An uninsured motorist is someone without auto insurance while an underinsured motorist is someone who does not have enough liability coverage.

Failure to report a “reportable accident”

What is scarier is the failure to file a report of a “reportable accident.” You might get your driving privilege suspended as a result.  Even worse, it is violating California Vehicle Code 20002 on accidents and accident reports.

Said code states in part that “the driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting only in damage to any property, including vehicles, shall immediately stop the vehicle at the nearest location that will not impede traffic or otherwise jeopardize the safety of other motorists.” Leaving the scene while neglecting any portion of the CVC 20002 will result in:

  • Jail time of up to 6 months
  • Fine of $1,000

            There are many things that can potentially go wrong if you fail to file a SR-1 form. From an insurance company dismissing your claim to the other party shifting all liability to you, these things can quickly escalate and become a major source of stress.

That is why no matter how minor the accident is, if it qualifies as a “reportable accident,” make sure you submit a SR-1 form to the DMV.

Fill out an SR-1 form here

If you want to fill out and submit the form online, you can do so by clicking here. You can also print a copy to manually fill out the form. Once done, you will have to mail it straight to the DMV. Just be aware that forms submitted online are processed faster than those that go through traditional mail.

Contact a reputable California Personal Injury Lawyer

If you are not sure about how to go about it, there is absolutely no need to worry. Our team of personal injury lawyers at Farahi Law Firm can help you. Contact us at (844) 824-2955. Not only will we help you fill the necessary paperwork after an accident but we’ll walk you through the whole personal injury claiming process with ease.

Contact us today! We work on a No Win – No Fee guarantee, meaning you don’t have to spend any money out of your pocket until your case is won.