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How Many Tickets Can a Commercial Driver Get?

When you are a commercial driver, traffic tickets take on a new meaning. Not only are you facing fines, penalties and increased insurance costs, you could jeopardize your career. Too many tickets can lead to loss of your job or CDL. A big price to pay for speeding, red light infractions and other traffic violations. It is important to know how many tickets you can get and how you can reduce the impact on your livelihood. 

California Commercial Driver Points

Whether you live and work out of California and know the CDL laws or it is just one of the many states you travel through on your commercial routes, the Negligent Operator Treatment System or NOTS can impact your CDL. In California, a commercial driver is allowed  two more points before license suspension, but points accumulate more quickly. Compared to a class C license, class A or B licenses accrue points at 1.5 per point. This means a 2-point infraction is worth 3 for a commercial driver. 

Under the NOTS, a commercial driver can face a 6-month license suspension and a 1-year probation if they accumulate the following points:

  • 4 within 12 months
  • 6 within 24 months
  • 8 within 36 months 

If these amounts are accumulated, the commercial driver is considered a "prima facie" negligent operator and a license suspension can occur. For serious infractions, this can be only 2 tickets or less in a year, or 3 tickets in two years, which makes every ticket worth fighting to keep it off your record. 

Every Ticket Counts for a Commercial Driver

Because the consequences are so high, every ticket counts when you are a commercial driver. It is worthwhile to fight every ticket, even if it is your first. A second or third could quickly occur and put you at risk of losing your job or your license. Plus, there are instances where you may not qualify for the higher point limit before suspension. In these cases, you may face suspension at 4 points in 12 months, 6 points in 24 months and 8 points in 36 months, the same as class C drivers. It is not the amount of tickets, but the points that can impact your license.  However, any ticket can have an impact on your job or your insurance premiums. 

Commercial Driver Traffic Attorney

Having an experienced traffic attorney on speed dial is a must for any commercial driver. Once you are issued a ticket in Kern, LA, Inyo, Tulare, Kings, Fresno, San Luis Obispo or surrounding counties, contact Bigger & Harman at 661.349.9300. 


CA Negligent Operator Treatment System NOTS

CA CDL Handbook

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