Sep 15, 2022

What’s the Deal with the SR-1?

man signing a form learn what an sr-1 is and when you need one

What’s the Deal with the SR-1?

If you are involved in an auto accident in California, you may be required to complete an SR-1 form and mail it in to the DMV.

Here are some of the questions we commonly receive regarding this form, along with their answers:


When do I have to complete an SR-1 form?

California law requires that drivers complete and submit the SR-1 form to the DMV within 10 days if they are involved in a traffic accident in California in which there’s an injury, death, or property damage in excess of $1,000. This is required regardless of fault, and even if the accident occurred on private property. There are a few exceptions to the law, but since there’s no penalty for completing and submitting the SR-1, you’re generally better off filling it out. Untimely reporting can result in the DMV suspending your driver’s license.


Can someone else fill the SR-1 out for me?

Unfortunately we cannot complete the form on your behalf. However, we can assist if you need any help with your insurance policy information or if you’d like us to email you a fillable PDF version of the form.


What’s the purpose of the SR-1 form?

California requires every driver and every owner of a motor vehicle to be “financially responsible” for any injury or damage resulting from owning or operating a motor vehicle. By completing and submitting the SR-1 form with your insurance information, you are demonstrating compliance with financial responsibility requirements.

The SR-1 is also an important prerequisite for submission of a California DMV Form SR-19, which can be used by you or your insurance company to identify other parties involved in an accident, to obtain their insurance information, or receive official confirmation that they don’t have insurance.


What if I’m missing information about the other party?

Since one of the primary purposes of the form is to demonstrate your (or your company’s) compliance with California’s insurance requirements, you only need to worry about providing complete information for yourself. You’ll want to include as much information as possible about the other party, but just put “unk” (for unknown) or “none” in any space or box when you don’t have that information.


Protecting What Matters

Completing an SR-1 may feel redundant, especially since you probably already reported the accident to the police and to your insurance. However, the form serves an important function in helping to keep drivers accountable for obtaining and maintaining auto liability insurance.

For more questions or information, you may reach out to our claims advocate, Heather Ross, or any of our qualified team members at Morris & Garritano.

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