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What Happens When a Driver is Flagged as a Negligent Operator

How Does the NOTS System Work?

When a person is first issued their California Driver License, they begin their driving history with a clean record.  They have no “points” accumulated in their driving history and therefore, they are presumed to be a safe driver. As a person moves through their driving life, there may be instances where momentary lapses in judgement or being genuinely unlucky may result in citations for moving violations or even traffic collisions may occur.  The fact is, driving is inherently dangerous and bad things happen to good people.

The California DMV, however, is on the lookout for those drivers who accumulate an inordinate number of citations or are involved in an unusual number of traffic collisions in a short period of time.  Such a pattern may indicate the driver no longer possesses the knowledge or the skill to drive.  Of more concern, however, are those drivers who intentionally drive with a complete disregard of the safety of others.  It is true……… there is a certain segment of our population who simply do not care about the safety of others.

What Happens When a Driver is Flagged as a Negligent Operator

California Vehicle Code Section 12810 establishes the protocol by which the DMV will assign “violation points” for incidents it considers dangerous or a violation of the law.  A powerful computer database known as the Negligent Treatment Operator System automatically documents negative driving events and assigns a point count to each event of concern:

One Point Violations:  Any traffic collisions where you are found primarily at fault or any minor moving violations such as: Speeding, Stop Sign Violations, Red Light Violations and or Illegal turns.

Two Point Violations:  More serious violations, such as: Drunk Driving, Reckless Driving, Highway Violence (Road Rage), Hit & Run and or Driving on a suspended license.

California Vehicle Code Section 12810.5 specifically establishes the maximum number of violation points that may be accumulated within specified periods of time.  If any driver’s number of NOTS points exceeds the maximum number allowed by this section, the Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) will automatically label that person as a Negligent Operator and a suspension action will commence.

Maximum Allowable Points:

  • Four or more points within 12 months…or…Six or more points within 24 months…or…Eight or more points within 36 months.

NOTS points are automatically assessed to the driving record upon notification by a court that a conviction for a moving violation or certain driving crimes has occurred.

NOTS Points and the Commercial Driver:

Class “A” and Class “B” Commercial Drivers are held to a higher standard of performance than the everyday Class “C” driver.  As such, a commercial driver will accumulate violation points at 1.5 the rate of a Class “C” driver.

For example, if a Class “C” driver were to run a red light, he or she would be assessed 1 violation point.  If a Class “A” driver ran the same light, he or she would be assessed 1.5 violation points.




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