Many truck drivers and other CDL holders do not realize how a Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) suspension affects their CDL. Although a CDL holder is eligible to get considered for additional NOTS points before a six-month suspension and driving probation, once they reach four NOTS points within 12 months, six within 24, or eight within 36, they cannot get considered for additional points.
A CDL holder who accumulates four or more NOTS points on their CDL within twelve months can appear before a DMV Hearing to request their “driving exposure” be considered for additional NOTS points based on their mileage driven.
CDL Holders Must Challenge Every Ticket for a Moving Violation
Without question, CDL holders should discuss every moving violation with a traffic ticket attorney. There are two valid reasons for this, the first is that which was mentioned above, and the other one is, any moving violation conviction could lead to a termination of employment.
The CDL holder who gets a speeding ticket 1-14 mph over the speed limit in their private vehicle may think, “Well, it’s only about $230-250, I should just pay the ticket and save the money of hiring a lawyer.”
That thinking is flawed in two ways. First, the conviction, even in a private vehicle, must be reported to their employer within 30 days; and second, the fine is only the beginning. If the driver is not eligible for Traffic Violators School (TVS), then their auto insurance premium will increase roughly $500 per year. That rise in insurance, plus the fine, is more than a traffic lawyer, who could get a dismissal or no-point conviction, would charge.
Now, when the CDL holder reports the speeding conviction as is required by the FMCSA, he or she could get fired. Drivers who work for high-paying trucking and coach companies risk being terminated, even though the speeding ticket does not affect the firm’s fleet insurance. Many of the top ten firms have a turnover rate of above 90 percent even though there is a nationwide driver shortage.
The rationale for the zero tolerance of moving violation convictions, in many cases, is they believe they have dodged a bullet by terminating the driver before they get a moving violation in one of their commercial motor vehicles (CMV). Therefore, the wise CDL holder hires a lawyer and challenges every moving violation. If there’s no conviction, there is no requirement to report the incident to their employer, and no increase in their private auto insurance premium.
Challenging a NOTS Suspension
Getting an Order of NOTS Suspension and Probation does not necessarily mean your driving privileges will be suspended for six months. However, you must request a DMV Hearing within ten days, attend the hearing, and get enough NOTS points removed from your motor vehicle driving record (MVR) to get under the maximum 4, 6, or 8 points as mentioned above. If the DMV does not receive a request for hearing or you do not get points removed, your suspension will start 34 days after the DMV mailed the Order of Suspension and Probation to you.
After requesting a DMV Hearing, go to the DMV.CA.GOV page and request a copy of your MVR. Order an unofficial copy by registering and paying the $2.00 fee. You can use an unofficial copy to check for convictions that are not yours or convictions of minor infractions that are more than 36 months old from the conviction date. Then, order your official MVR on Form 1125, and make an appointment with a traffic ticket attorney to go over the MVR with you.
According to the DMV NOTS page, being represented by an attorney is not necessary for a DMV Hearing; however, the goal is to get NOTS points removed from your MVR. You stand a much better chance of getting a conviction removed from your MVR by having a traffic ticket attorney to represent you. Traffic lawyers spend many hours a week in traffic court listening to cases just like the ones you are trying to get removed from your driving file.
Traffic Ticket Attorneys for Kern County (and the rest of California) DMV Hearings for NOTS Suspensions
Call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300, if you need help with a traffic ticket or a DMV Hearing. We have our office in Bakersfield in Kern County in Suite 203 in 1701 Westwind Drive. We do, however, practice CA traffic law everywhere in Central Valley.
We are very knowledgeable about the issues CDL holders face because we have helped hundreds of truck and bus drivers resolve traffic tickets. We use only a flat fee to represent clients with traffic tickets, and no matter how many court appearances we must make to resolve your ticket, the fee is the same.
Send your emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
The 2018 CA Commercial Driver Handbook .pdf
The DMV NOTS portal
The DMV MVR request page