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What defines a clean commercial driver’s license (CDL) record depends on who is looking.  To a large carrier that pays significantly better than a small firm that definition might be entirely different. Some fleet managers and recruiters have a zero moving violation mentality when choosing drivers. 

While some carriers consider one minor infraction during the previous three years acceptable, others might not. Consider this, if you have all the endorsements and driving qualifications as another driver, but you have a speeding ticket conviction, and the others do not, whom do you think the recruiter is going to consider?

The California Point System & How it Affects Your CDL Record

The California legislature and the Governor authorizes the DMV to assess Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) points to drivers for convictions and at-fault accidents. CA Vehicle Code (CVC) 12810 & 12810.5Issuance and Renewal of Licenses provides that the DMV will assess those convicted of a minor infraction such as speeding less than 100 mph, running a red light, following too closely, etc., and incidents of at-fault accidents, one (1) NOTS point. These NOTS points will stay on the drivers’ motor vehicle driving record (MVR) or CDL record for three years.

However, commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers in a CMV at the time of the infraction get assessed 1.5 points according to CVC 12810.5. Likewise, those convictions that would typically get assessed two (2) points for Class C drivers, are assessed three (3) points in a CMV. Two and three-point assessments will remain on the MVR or CDL record for seven to ten years.

According to CVC 1801 & 1801.1Records of Department, a non-commercial driver can accumulate four NOTS points within twelve months, six within 24, and eight within 36 months before an “Order of Suspension/Probation” is mailed to them by the DMV. Although the same is true for a CDL holder, they might be eligible for additional NOTS points before suspension when they request a DMV Hearing. Either can request a DMV NOTS Hearing to possibly get points removed. But, only when the majority of NOTS points were received in a CMV. At a hearing, the DMV may consider the additional driving exposure to allow six (6) NOTS points within twelve months, eight (8) within 24 months, and ten (10) within 36 months for the CMV driver. Discuss the specifics with a traffic law attorney.

CVC 1801.1 also covers the notification of employers and the Employer Pull Notice (EPN) Program. By law, an employer must request the CDL record of potential employees. It states, “The prospective employer of a driver who drives a vehicle specified in subdivision (k) shall obtain a report showing the driver’s current public record as recorded by the department.”

Why Not Just Take Traffic Violators School (TVS)?

Unfortunately, CA traffic code does not permit those convicted of a moving violation in a CMV to attend TVS to mask a conviction to keep it off their CDL record. A regular driver, under CA traffic law, in certain circumstances can take a DMV-approved TVS course within a given timeframe and the conviction is confidential. This means the driver’s insurance company will not see the conviction at renewal and their premiums will not be affected.

Commercial drivers in their private vehicle may be eligible to use TVS, but not in a CMV. Unless they challenge the ticket and win, the conviction will be reflected on their CDL record for three, seven, or ten years depending on the violation.

What’s more, accepting TVS is accepting guilt. Whether you committed the offense for which you are charged or not, you must plead guilty, pay the fine, accept the penalties, and complete the course within the time allowed by the court.

Everyone should consult a traffic ticket attorney before accepting TVS.  

Who Handles Traffic Tickets for CDL Holders in Yolo County?

Call Bigger & Harman at (661) 349-9300. 

We can handle your traffic ticket in Yolo, El Dorado, Sacramento, and other California counties. We understand the plight of CDL holders and the difficulty of maintaining a clean CLD record. It is typically crucial to have a clean CDL record for getting high-paying jobs with large carriers.

We give CDL holders a free initial consultation, and although we cannot and will not guarantee to get you a dismissal, we do have a high achievement rate of success. Because we only handle traffic court cases, we know how most judges rule on requests for dismissal and pleas for no-point violations. What’s more, we use a flat fee so that no matter how many court appearances are necessary to resolve your case, the price is the same. 

Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.

Send us an email,  


The 2019CA Commercial Driver Handbook .pdf

CVC 12810 & 12810.5Issuance and Renewal of Licenses and 1801 & 1801.1Records of Departments

The DMV NOTS Portal

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