Woodland Hills car accident lawyer Barry P. Goldberg — a foremost advocate for Uninsured Motorist Coverage—is concerned for his clients and neighbors that over 4 million drivers in California have suspended licenses! That is just about one in six! That means they are Uninsured Motorists and you need to “cover” yourself! The main reason for driver’s license suspension is the combination of having no insurance at the time of a car accident or failing to report an accident to the DMV regardless of fault and regardless of whether you are insured at the time of a car accident!
In fact, the only real way the DMV checks and enforces the mandatory insurance (Compulsory Financial Responsibility Law) is by requiring drivers involved in an accident to file a Report of Accident—an SR-1 Form — directly with the DMV within 10 days of your accident! The police will not do it. Your insurance company will not do it.
THE DMV ACCEPTS NO EXCUSES FOR FAILING TO FILE AN SR-1 FORM
The law requires that traffic accidents on any California street, highway or private property must be reported to the DMV within 10 days if there was an injury, death or property damage in excess of $750. It does not matter if you forget, if you were sick or that you thought someone else was doing it for you.
From the SR-1 Form, the DMV forwards your information and information about the adverse driver to the respective insurance companies for verification. When it is determined that the adverse party does not have insurance, you need this information in the form of an SR-19 Form to access your own Uninsured Motorist Coverage. The offending driver without insurance has his or her license suspended immediately. No excuses!
YOU MAY OR MAY NOT GET A SECOND CHANCE TO FILE THE SR-1 FORM
Drivers who were in an accident and forgot to file the SR-1 Form may still avoid a suspension. Currently, the DMV tries to give all drivers a “second chance.” If another driver filed an SR-1 Form identifying YOU, the DMV will send you a “last chance” letter to your last known address even though it is well past 10 days after an accident. If YOU receive one of these letters, you must act within 10 days or your license will be suspended for one year. Do not rely on the DMV to have your correct address thinking that you will get a “last chance.” The second chance is not a guarantee and, according to the law, the DMV does not owe you a “second chance.”
YOU MAY AVOID A SUSPENSION IF A YEAR HAS PASSED SINCE THE ACCIDENT
The DMV states that it does not accept reports or take actions against non-reporting or uninsured motorists unless the SR-1 Form is received by the DMV within one calendar year of the date of the accident. So, if you were uninsured and one year has passed, you may have gotten lucky.
At the law office of Barry P. Goldberg, we make certain that your DMV SR-1 Form is promptly and properly filed.