Guide To Filling Out An DMV SR-1 Form After A California Car Accident

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Guide To Filling Out An DMV SR-1 Form After A California Car Accident

By  Dan McCrary | May 9, 2023

Suffering a car accident can be an emotionally draining and overwhelming experience, especially for first-timers.

In the Golden State of California, it's compulsory to tell the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) about any automobile incident that caused property damage worth $1,000 or more and/or if someone was injured.

To report the vehicle accident, you need to fill out an SR-1 form, which is a form that provides information about the accident to the DMV.

This guide is your ultimate resource for completing an SR-1 form after a car accident in California. By following our comprehensive instructions, you will have no trouble successfully navigating the process and getting it done quickly and confidently!

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A Complete Guide On Filling A DMV SR-1 Form After A Car Accident In California

One of the key documents you'll need to complete is the DMV SR-1 Form, also known as the Traffic Accident Report. To be compliant with the law, this form must be submitted to the DMV within 10 days of your accident. Failure to do so may result in significant penalties.

To complete the form, you'll need to provide detailed information about the accident, including the date, time, and location, as well as the vehicles and people involved.

You'll also need to provide your insurance information and a brief description of the accident.

Form SR-1 must be filed with the DMV within 10 days of the accident, regardless of the following:

  • Who was at fault in the accident
  • Whether there was any damage or personal injury to anyone involved
  • Whether the incident took place on private or public land
  • Whether any law enforcement agencies were present at the accident scene
  • Whether or not your vehicle license and registration are updated

What Does SR-1 Mean?

SR-1 is an abbreviation for the "Traffic Accidents Report and Exchange of Information" form used in the state of California. It is also known as the “SR-1 Report”

What Is The Purpose Of SR-1?

The purpose of the SR-1 form is to provide a record of the accident to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) so that they can keep track of accidents and ensure that all parties involved have complied with the state's insurance requirements.

The SR-1 form contains information such as the date, time, and location of the accident and the names and contact information of both parties involved. It also includes information about the vehicles involved, such as the make, model, and license plate numbers.

By filling out the SR-1 form, the parties involved in the accident can ensure that their insurance companies are notified of the accident and that they have fulfilled their legal obligation to individuals report accidents to the DMV.

Who Can Fill Out the SR1 Collision Form After a California Accident?

The SR-1 form is a legal document that must be filled out in the state of California whenever there is an automobile accident that results in property damage or injury to any party involved.

Every driver involved in a car accident in California is eligible to fill out an SR1 Collision Form, regardless of whose mistake caused the crash.

If the driver is unable to complete the form due to injuries sustained in the accident, a family member or other representative may complete it on their behalf.

It's important to note that the information provided on the form must be correct and complete. Failure to provide truthful information can result in fines, penalties, and even suspension of your driver's license.

It's also crucial to submit the SR1 comprehensive and collision insurance Form promptly to make sure that your insurance claim is handled smoothly and that you remain in compliance with California law.

What Kind Of Information Does Form SR-1 Require?

Form SR-1 is a mandatory form that needs to be filled out and submitted to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in California within 10 days. The form requires specific information about the accident, parties involved, injuries or deaths, and insurance information.

General Information Regarding The Accident:

The form requires information about the date, time, and location of the accident. It also asks for a description of how the accident occurred.

Reporting Party’s Information:

The form requires the name, address, and phone number of the person reporting the accident.

Other Party’s Information:

The form requires the name, address, and phone number of the other party involved in the accident. It also asks for the other party's driver's license number and the license plate number of the motor vehicle involved in the accident.

Injury/Death And Property Damage:

The form requires information about any personal injuries or deaths resulting from the accident. It also asks for the estimated amount of property damage resulting from the accident.

Insurance Information:

The form requires information about the insurance coverage of the parties involved in the accident. It asks for the name of the insurance company, the policy number, and the expiration date of the policy.

Filling out Form SR-1 can be a complicated process, especially for those who have never filled it out before. However, it is essential to fill out the form accurately and submit it within the deadline to avoid any penalties or legal issues. It is advisable to seek legal guidance or assistance from a knowledgeable professional to ensure that the SR-1 form is filled out correctly.

What Happens if I Miss the DMV SR1 Form Deadline?

Failing to report the traffic accident occurring within the deadline can result in serious consequences.

If you miss the DMV SR1 form deadline, the DMV may suspend your driver's license, which means you won't be able to legally drive until the issue is resolved. In addition, you may be subject to fines and penalties, which can be quite substantial. The longer you wait to file the SR1 form, the more severe the consequences can be.

Another issue that arises when you miss the DMV SR1 form deadline is that the insurance company may use this as an excuse to deny your claim. Insurance companies are looking for any reason to deny a claim, and missing the SR1 form deadline can be seen as an indicator of negligence or dishonesty on your part. If the insurance company refuses your claim, you may be left with significant financial losses that you'll have to cover out of pocket.

To avoid these consequences, it's essential to file the DMV SR1 form as soon as possible after an accident. If you miss the deadline, you should still file the form as soon as you can and explain the reasons for the delay. If you have a reasonable reason for missing the deadline, such as a medical emergency or a natural disaster, the DMV may be more lenient and waive the penalties. According to California Vehicle Code §16004, the fines for failing to complete an SR-1 form are clearly outlined.

How Do I Fill Out An Accident Claim Form?

Filing an accident claim form after an accident can be tricky, but it is a crucial step in the process of seeking compensation for damages or injuries. The first step is to obtain the necessary forms from your insurance company or the other party's insurance company.

Once you have the form, you should carefully review it and make sure that you understand all of the questions and instructions. You will need to provide detailed information.

You will also need to describe the damage to your vehicle and any injuries sustained by you or any passengers. It is important to be as specific and detailed as possible in your responses.

Once you have filled out the form, be sure to promptly submit it to your insurer or the other party's insurance provider.

Ensure to keep a copy of the form for your records, as well as any other documentation related to the accident, such as a police report or medical records.

Why Do I Need A California Car Accident Lawyer?

After involving in a severe car accident, it's necessary to seek legal guidance, even if you believe you are at fault. Experienced car accident lawyers can provide invaluable insight into your case, as well as offer guidance on the best legal route to take. Most are happy to provide a free consultation so that you can make a good decision.

A proficient attorney can navigate you through the complex legal process and ensure that your rights are fully protected. They can also fight for your rights and get you the compensation you deserve by negotiating with insurance companies.

Have you or someone close to you suffered a bodily injury, lost wages, and accrued costly medical bills due to a car accident? If so, consult with a reputable car accident lawyer and get the justice that is rightly due to you for your damages.

Accident injury attorneys from McCrary Law Firm can help with a free consultation to discuss your case. Making the effort to thoroughly explore your options will give you piece of mind and guarantee the finest outcome!

What Happens If We Don't Hire A Lawyer After The Accident?

After an accident, one of the first things that come to mind is hiring a lawyer to help you navigate the complex legal system and get the compensation you deserve.

It's important to note that hiring a lawyer after an accident is not mandatory. You can choose to handle your case on your own, but it can be a challenging and time-consuming process, especially if you're not familiar with the legal system.

If you determine not to hire a lawyer, you'll need to deal directly with the insurance company of the other driver involved in the accident. You'll have to negotiate with them to get a fair settlement for your injuries and property damage.

Not hiring a lawyer can result in a lower settlement amount. Insurance companies often offer low settlement amounts to individuals not represented by a lawyer. They know that unrepresented individuals are not familiar with the legal system and may not have the negotiating skills to get a fair settlement.

As a result, you may end up settling for less than what you're entitled to, which can impact your ability to recover from your injuries and repair your property.

Common Reasons For Car Accidents In California

Car accidents are unfortunately all too common on California's busy highways and city streets. Some of the most frequent causes behind car accidents include:

  • Distracted driving, such as using a smartphone or eating while driving.
  • Speeding, reduces a driver’s ability to react to changing road conditions.
  • Operating a vehicle while drunk or alcohol is an incredibly reckless and dangerous decision that puts your life and those around you at risk.
  • Failing to yield the right of way, which can cause collisions at intersections or while merging.
  • Following too closely or tailgating, .which can cause rear-end collisions
  • Improper lane changes or illegal turns, can lead to side-swipe or T-bone accidents.
  • Driving while fatigued, can impair a driver’s judgment and reaction time.
  • Poor weather or road conditions, such as rain, fog, or ice, which can make driving more challenging and increase the risk of accidents.

What Are The Recommended Steps To Take In Case Of A Car Accident In California

In California, there are several recommended steps to take if you're involved in a car accident.

First, check for injuries and make sure everyone is safe. In the event of an injury, it is crucial to dial 911 and request medical assistance immediately. If no one is injured, call the California Highway Patrol (CHP) at their toll-free number, 1-800-TELL-CHP (1-800-835-5247), to report the accident.

Secondly, If the accident is minor and all vehicles involved are drivable, you should move your vehicles to a safe location off the road. It's essential to share important details, such as your and the other driver's name, contact information, insurance information and vehicle identification number following a car accident.

It's also a good idea to take photos of the damage to all vehicles and the scene of the accident. If there are any witnesses, ask for their contact information, as their testimony could be helpful later.

Finally, contact your insurance provider to report the accident and seek guidance on how to proceed with filing a claim.

If an accident results in injury, death, or property damage of more than $1,000, you must complete and submit the SR1 Collision Form to the DMV within 10 days of the incident.

By taking these recommended steps, you can help ensure that everyone involved in the accident receives the necessary care and support.


In conclusion, filling out a DMV SR-1 form after a car accident in California can be a tricky task, but following the guidelines outlined in this guide can make the process smoother and less stressful.

It is important to remember to gather all necessary information from all parties involved, including contact and insurance information and to provide an accurate account of the accident in the form.

Failing to fill out the form correctly or promptly can result in penalties or even the loss of your driving privileges. By using this guide as a reference, you can navigate the process of filling out a DMV SR-1 form with confidence and ensure that you have met all the legal requirements following a car accident in California.


What is a DMV SR-1 form?

A DMV SR-1 form is a form that must be filled out by all parties involved in a car accident in California. It is used by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to gather information about the accident and to determine the financial responsibility law of each party.

Who needs to fill out a DMV SR-1 form?

All drivers involved in a car accident in California that results in property damage of $1,000 or more, or injury or death, are required to fill out a DMV SR-1 form.

When should I fill out a DMV SR-1 form?

Promptly complete a DMV SR-1 form in the aftermath of your car accident for optimal results. It is important to provide accurate and timely information to the DMV in order to avoid penalties or the loss of your driving privileges.

What information do I need to fill out a DMV SR-1 form?

You will need to provide information about the location, date and time of the accident, as well as the names, addresses, and contact information of all parties involved. You will also need to provide information about the insurance companies of each party and a description of the damage or injuries sustained.

Can I fill out a DMV SR-1 form online?

Yes, you can fill out a DMV SR-1 form online through the California DMV website. However, if you prefer, you can also fill out a paper form and mail it to the DMV.

What happens after I submit a DMV SR-1 form?

The DMV will review the information provided on the DMV SR-1 form and will use it to determine the financial responsibility of each accident involving the party. Depending on the specifics of the incident, the DMV may choose to open an inquiry or ask for additional details.

What if I make a mistake on my DMV SR-1 form?

If you make a mistake on your DMV SR-1 form, you should correct it as soon as possible. If you have already submitted the form, you can contact the DMV to request a correction or to provide additional information. It is crucial to ensure that the information provided on the DMV SR-1 form is accurate and complete.

Our personal injury services extend across various locations to ensure we can assist you wherever you may be. We are proud to offer our expertise in Rocklin, Folsom, Yuba City, Woodland, Fresno, Pleasanton, Carmichael, Citrus Heights, Roseville, Natomas, Sacramento, Rancho Cordova, Fair Oaks, Elk Grove, and El Dorado Hills. Each location is equipped to provide you with the comprehensive support and legal guidance you need for your personal injury case.

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    McCrary Accident Injury Law Firm specializes in personal injury litigation. Its founder, Dan McCrary, Esq., spent 14 years working for the insurance companies before switching sides to represent personal injury victims in Rocklin as an attorney.

    Dan McCrary’s years of experience on the defense side taught him exactly how to obtain maximum recovery for his injured clients. If you have been injured in an accident you should contact the Accident & Injury Lawyers, Personal injury Attorney, Car accident lawyers at McCrary Accident Injury Law Firm in Rocklin, folsom, Sacramento to get the money you deserve, and overcome the tactics routinely employed by the insurance companies.