How To Report An Accident To The DMV
When you have a collision, you must report it to the DMV if:
- More than $1000 in damage was done to the property of any person.
- Anyone was injured (no matter how slightly) or killed.
Each driver must make a report to the DMV. This can also be done by the driver’s insurance agent or broker or legal representative. The CHP or police will not make this report for you.
You must make this report, whether you caused the collision or not and even if the collision occurred on private property. Report the collision within 10 days, if you don’t your driving privilege will be suspended. Using the information you give in the collision report, DMV may ask the insurance company to verify that you had coverage in effect for the collision. If you did not have the proper insurance coverage, your driving privilege will be suspended for one year. To get your license back, if it is suspended, you will need to provide proof of financial responsibility and maintain it for the next three years.
Every collision reported to DMV by law enforcement will show on your driving record unless the reporting officer says another person was at fault. Every collision reported by you, or another party in the collision, will show on your record if any one person has over $1000 in damage or if anyone is injured or dies. It does not matter who caused the collision. The law says DMV must keep this record.
Amendment to California Vehicle Code section 16000 : Reporting a collision to the DMV- When you are involved in a motor vehicle collision, you must report it to the DMV within 10 days if; More than $1000 in damage was done to the property of any person. Anyone was injured (no matter how slightly) or killed. Each driver is responsible for making a report to the DMV. The driver’s insurance agent, broker, or legal representative can also do this. The CHP or police will not make this report for you. You must make this report, whether you are at fault or not, even if the collision occurred on private property. Submit the report on the California Traffic Collision Report form (SR1). You can get this form from any DMV or CHP office, or download it from the DMV’s website. If you don’t make this report, your driving privilege will be suspended.
- If you are the first person at a collision scene, pull completely off the road after you have passed the collision. Check to see if anyone is injured.
- Tell the next person who stops to call 9-1-1. Give that person information on the injured persons.
- Ask other people to warn approaching traffic and put out flares or emergency triangles, if any are available. Watch for and avoid gasoline.
- Help anyone who is not already walking and talking.
Do not move the injured unless they are in a burning vehicle or in other danger. Moving often makes injuries worse.
- If a motorcyclist is unconscious, removing his or her helmet could make the injuries worse. If possible, let a trained medical person remove the helmet.
- Move the vehicle(s) involved out of the traffic lane if it is not disabled. Turn off the ignition of wrecked autos. Don’t smoke! Fire is a great danger.
- Search the area for victims thrown from the vehicle. They may be hidden in grass or bushes.
Whenever you drive past a collision, and emergency help is already at the scene, do not slow down to “take a look.” Keep on going. Pay close attention to the orders and directions of law enforcement or fire department personnel. Their expertise will only ensure your safety!
If you see vehicle warning hazard lights ahead, slow down. There may be a collision or other road emergency ahead. Stop and give assistance, or pass very carefully, if possible. Sometimes on your car radio, you’ll hear collision reports. Radio or news reports of collisions or roadwork often refer to numbered traffic lanes. The left or “fast” lane is called the “Number 1 Lane.” The lanes to the right of the #1 lane are called the #2 lane, then the #3 lane, etc.
The Most Common Causes of Accidents
- Unsafe speed
- Driving on the wrong side of the road
- Improper turns
- Violation of the right-of-way rules
- Violation of stop signals and signs
- Driver distractions
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