When you are required to report an accident to DMV

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

  • There was property damage of more than $1,000 (750 for accidents prior to January 1, 2017) or
  • any one was injured (no matter how minor) or killed.

Each driver must make a report to DMV within 10 days, whether you caused the accident or not and even if the accident occurred on private property.

You must complete a DMV Traffic Accident Report form SR 1 (PDF).

To submit the form electronically, use the eForm version or complete the PDF form and mail it to:

Department of Motor Vehicles
Financial Responsibility (Mail Station J-237)
PO Box 942884
Sacramento, California 94284-0884

If you do not submit this report, your driving privilege will be suspended. DMV may ask your insurance company to verify that you had coverage in effect at the time of the accident. If you did not have insurance, your driving privilege will be suspended for one year. To get your license back, after the suspension, you will need to provide proof of financial responsibility and maintain it on record for three years. The accident may count as one point on your driving record (California Insurance Requirements).

For information about violation points and your driving record, see negligent operator violation point count.

For information about what vehicle section violations count as negligent operator points, see common California vehicle code violations used in negligent operator count

For additional information regarding accident reports, call the Financial Responsibility section at (916) 657-6677 .

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