If you were in a car accident, your primary concerns must have been about your injuries or the damages to your car. However, your driver’s license might be at risk, too. After a crash, you may have to report the accident to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) of California. In some cases, you may lose your driver’s license if you don’t report the accident.
When you need to do a report
You need to report the accident with California’s DMV if it resulted in an injury, death, or property damages exceeding $1,000. If the police arrived at the scene of the crash, they might have made a report on the accident as well. However, you still need to file a report individually.
Your license at risk
You must file the report within 10 days after the accident, either personally or through an insurance agent, broker, or legal representative. If you don’t do the report within this period, the DMV will suspend your driver’s license. However, there is an exception to this rule. It takes two people to get in a car crash, and each of you must file a separate report. If none of the parties involved files a report within a year of the accident, the DMV won’t suspend your driver’s license.
What you’ll need for the report
Either you or your representative must file the accident report to the DMV by filing Form SR-1. To begin the form, you will need the following information and documents:
- Your driver’s license or identification (DL/ID) card
- Your vehicle license plate number or vehicle identification number (VIN)
- Your vehicle’s insurance information
- Other party’s vehicle and insurance information
In the report, you’ll also have to provide more information regarding the accident, like the time of the crash and an explanation of the injuries or property damage.
Keeping your driving privileges
The first thing you should do after an accident is to go to the hospital. After you get a medical examination, talk to an attorney before you contact your insurance company. Be mindful of the time limit to file a DMV report, as you don’t want to risk losing your license for one unintentional event.