SMARCAL1 promotes the repair and restart of damaged replication forks. Either overexpression or silencing SMARCAL1 causes the accumulation of replication-associated DNA damage. SMARCAL1 is heavily phosphorylated. Here we identify multiple phosphorylation sites, including S889, which is phosphorylated even in undamaged cells. S889 is highly conserved through evolution and it regulates SMARCAL1 activity. Specifically, S889 phosphorylation increases the DNA-stimulated ATPase activity of SMARCAL1 and increases its ability to catalyze replication fork regression. A phosphomimetic S889 mutant is also hyperactive when expressed in cells, while a non-phosphorylatable mutant is less active. S889 lies within a C-terminal region of the SMARCAL1 protein. Deletion of the C-terminal region also creates a hyperactive SMARCAL1 protein suggesting that S889 phosphorylation relieves an auto-inhibitory function of this SMARCAL1 domain. Thus, S889 phosphorylation is one mechanism by which SMARCAL1 activity is regulated to ensure the proper level of fork remodeling needed to maintain genome integrity during DNA synthesis.