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How To-and Why You Should-Check Your Driving Record in California

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It could be highly beneficial to obtain a copy of your California motor vehicle driving record annually. It would be best if you did this a few months before your auto insurance renewal date. There are several reasons why, but primarily it is to ensure the records of convictions or at-fault accidents on your driving record belongs to you. Plus, you will want to ensure old files get removed promptly. 

The DMV is automated to a certain extent, but it still requires humans to file records in the correct place. An individual with a common name such as John Smith or Jose Martinez might get a conviction in their driving record that belongs to another Smith or Martinez with a similar driver’s license number. 

When you find incorrect information in your record, you must ask the DMV, in writing, to remove the erroneous data. That can take time. However, it is well worth the effort as one conviction or at-fault accident on your record can lead to much higher auto insurance premiums. 

The average Californian spends $1,960 annually for auto insurance. Therefore, one conviction can cost the average driver $500 annually. Since minor infractions stay on your record for three years, not checking your motor vehicle driving record could cost $1,500 or more. 

That is also why you should consult a traffic ticket attorney whenever you get a ticket. Not all tickets are “winnable” in court; however, the only way to know which tickets are is to ask an attorney. Many provide a free initial consultation if you ask.

What Does the CA Vehicle Code (CVC) Say about NOTS Points on Your Driving Record? 

CVC 12810Issuance and Renewal of Licenses, gives the DMV authority to assess Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) points, and suspend licenses of those found to be a negligent operator. You can have your driving privileges suspended by accumulating too many points. 

When you get four NOTS points within twelve months, six within twenty-four, or eight within thirty-six months, your license could get suspended for six months. Along with the suspension is a concurrent driving probation for twelve months. A subsequent violation, accident, or failure to appear can lead to another suspension/probation period, and a third will lead to a revocation action by the DMV. 

A moving violation like running a red light or at-fault accident where the investigator determined you were more than zero percent responsible is one point. More severe convictions such as reckless driving, hit and run, and others are two points. 

One conviction, paid fine, or at-fault accident could raise your auto insurance premium a significant amount, whereas two-point convictions could double or even triple your premium. Minor infractions, as stated above, stay on your driving record for three years, but misdemeanors and felonies remain on your record for ten years.

Actions to Get Your Motor Vehicle Driving Record

To check your record before renewal, go online to the DMV portal, register, fill out the requested information, pay the $2.00 via credit card or e-check, and print out your record. If you find errors, you must get an official copy by mail or walk-in. You should get an appointment unless you don’t mind waiting, possibly for hours at more populous field offices. 

If you do a walk-in, request a form NF-1125, check the box at the top of the form for a certified copy. Give the clerk your completed form and $5.00 to cover the fee. Alternatively, you can fill out the form first and mail it in. Once you have the official record, you can petition the DMV to correct your record. 

If you get notified of a suspension order, you have ten days to request a DMV NOTS Hearing. Although the state does not require you to have an attorney, you should hire one to assist. Who better to help you get a conviction removed from your record than a traffic law professional? Traffic attorneys sit through traffic court proceedings almost daily. They hear all the rulings, not just their client’s so they know which tickets or convictions can get removed. Also, when there is a question of fault, they can use an investigator to refute the findings of law enforcement or another investigator, possibly. 

Consult with a Traffic Attorney to Dispute Items on Your Driving Record 

With the possible threat of having a suspended license looming, you do not want to suffer the inconvenience of having your driving privileges suspended. In Tulare County, it is too difficult to get around. Getting to and from work is much more challenging without the public transportation available in big cities, plus your quality of life suffers tremendously. 

Contact Bigger and Harman, APC for an initial consultation. For an affordable flat fee (no hourly fee or retainer is necessary) we will represent you in court to resolve your ticket or at a DMV NOTS Hearing in Visalia or Porterville to possibly remove points from your driving record. Give us a call.

Call Bigger & Harman (661) 349-9300. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.

Send us an email, attorney@biggerharmanlaw.com.  

References:

CVC 12810Issuance and Renewal of Licenses

The DMV Portal