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SR-13 FAQs from the Ala Dept of Public Safety

Posted by attorney Mark Wolfe

After a motor vehicle collision in Alabama, many people find themselves having to complete an SR-13 Crash Notification Form for the Alabama Department of Public Safety (ADPS). What follows are FAQs with answers directly from the ADPS.

SR-13 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

from the Alabama Department of Public Safety web site:

Q. When is an SR-13 required to be filed? A. The SR-13 should be filed anytime there is property damage greater than $250.00. It should be mailed in within 30 days of the accident.

Q. I had an accident in Alabama, but my license is from another state. Do I have to filean SR-13? A. Out of state drivers must file the SR-13 if there is property damage greater than $250.00.

Q. What do I do with the SR-13 once it is completed? A. Mail the completed form to the address located at the top of the front page, or drop your form off at the Department of Public Safety Headquarters building located at 301 S. Ripley St (formerly know as St. Margaret’s Hospital).

Q. Who is responsible for filing and mailing the SR-13 to the Department of Public Safety (DPS)? A. The driver and/or owner are responsible for filing and mailing the SR-13 to DPS. Sometimes your insurance company will assist you in filling out the form, but it is the driver and/or owner’s responsibility to ensure that the SR-13 is filed and received by DPS.

Q. The front side of the form has two sides. One side says "Your Information" and the other side says "Other Party’s Information". Do I have to fill out both sides of the form? A. You must fill out both sides of the form with as much information as you have available. Any information not provided at the time of the accident will probably be available on the Alabama Uniform Traffic Accident Report (also known as a Crash Report).

Q. Do I fill out the report if there is only one vehicle involved in the accident? A. Do not fill out an SR-13 in this case unless there is damage to another person’s property. Property can include items such as mail boxes, fences, telephone poles, etc. Damage to this property must be greater than $250.00.

Q. Do I file the SR-13 if I was involved in a hit and run accident? A. File the report only if you can provide information on the owner of the hit and run vehicle. This information is usually available if someone gets the tag number of the vehicle. An Alabama Uniform Traffic Accident Report must have been completed with this information on it.

Q. Do I need to send the Alabama Uniform Accident Report (Crash Report) in with the SR-13? A. Do not send the Crash Report, damage estimates or any other attachments in with the SR-13 unless the accident occurs on Private Property.

Q. Do I need to file an SR-13 if the accident was on Private Property? A. State law does not require that you file an SR-13 if the accident was on private property; however, if you are hit by an uninsured driver then it would be in your best interest to file an SR-13 with the Vehicle and/or Other Property Damage section filled out. In this situation, it will be necessary to send in with the SR-13 a copy of the Private Property Incident Report so we can establish the at-fault party in the accident.

Q. I hit a deer in the road and there was over $250.00 damage to my vehicle. Do I need to file an SR-13? A. It is not necessary to file an SR-13 in this case. If you hit a domestic animal such as a cow or horse there are instances where claims have been submitted against the driver for lost property. In these cases, it would be advisable to submit an SR-13.

Q. There is a section on the SR-13 labeled PROPERTY DAMAGE. What information goes in that section? A. This section is to be filled out when property other than a vehicle is damaged. Examples of such property might be guard rails, telephone poles, fences, landscaping items, houses, etc.

Q. Under the block marked "Your Insurance Information," I do not understand items #3, #4 and #5. What are these items and do I need to put a check mark by those? A. These items apply only to businesses and/or commercial drivers. The majority of drivers will check either block #1 or #2. If you check block #1, please fill out all of the information. The POLICY HOLDER blank should have the name of the person or company the insurance is issued to. Do not put the insurance company’s name in this blank. Your insurance company name goes on the first blank.

Q. Who signs the signature line under the insurance information? A. The person who the insurance policy is issued to should sign this blank.

Q. Do I need to fill out the section marked Vehicle and/or Property Damage? A. The property owner should fill out this section (also called the claim section) if the damages are over$500.00. The $500.00 also includes the personal injury section. A dollar figure must be filled in. We cannot process the claim unless a dollar amount is provided. It is the policy of DPS not to process claims that are $500.00 or less. Do not attach copies of estimates to the SR-13.

Q. Today is the 30th day and I need to mail my SR-13 today. I do not have the total dollar amount for my medical expenses because I have not received all the bills and/or treatment is still on-going. What should I do? A. Mail in the SR-13 leaving the injury claim section blank. You have up to 22 months from the date of the accident to file a claim. We can mail you a claim form at a later date if you request it.

Q. Will my license be suspended if I do not file the SR-13? A. In certain situations, a driver’s license will be suspended for failure to file an SR-13. Usually, the person who is at-fault in the accident is the only one to get suspended.

Q. If I am not at fault for the accident then why do I need to file the SR-13? A. It is in your best interest to file the SR-13 because the at-fault driver may turn out to be uninsured. DPS can suspend the at-fault party’s license until compensation is received by you or your insurance company from the uninsured. DPS can only take this action if an SR-13 has been properly filled out and filed with the department.

Q. I filled out the SR-13 and DPS sent me a suspension notice anyway. Why? A. Sometimes the Safety Responsibility Unit does not receive the form, or the form is incomplete so a suspension notice will be generated. Also, a suspension notice could be generated if you are the at-fault party in the accident and had no insurance in effect on the date of the accident.

Q. How do I know if my SR-13 was received by DPS? A. It normally takes between 30-45 days to process the SR-13. If we do not receive the SR-13 and your insurance information is required, we will mail you a notice requesting your insurance information. You have 30 days to return this information before your license will be suspended.

Q. Today is the 30th day and my SR-13 had not been mailed. Can I fax it in? A. We must have the original SR-13. Faxed copies are not accepted.

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