Accident Reporting Guidelines

When you have an accident, report it to Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) using the Report of Traffic Accident Occurring in California (SR 1) form. You or your insurance agent, broker, or legal representative must complete the SR 1 report and send it to the DMV within 10 days if someone is killed or injured (no matter how minor the injury) or property damage is over $750. The SR 1 report is required in addition to any other report made to the police, California Highway Patrol, or your insurance company.

The SR 1 form is available at DMV field offices, at CHP offices, or online. This report is required whether you caused the collision or not, and even if the collision occurred on private property.

Your driving privilege will be suspended if you do not complete a Report of Traffic Accident Occurring in California (SR 1) form or if you did not have the proper insurance coverage at the time of the vehicle collision.

Driving Record Reporting

Every vehicle collision reported to DMV by law enforcement will show on your driving record unless the reporting officer says another person was at fault. Every vehicle collision reported by you or another party in the collision, will show on your record if:
  • Any vehicle involved has over $750 in damage
  • Anyone is injured or dies
It does not matter who caused the vehicle collision. The law says DMV must keep this record.