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DMV NOTS Hearings for CDL Holders

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According to the DMV NOTS hearing Portal, CDL holders can get additional leeway based on “exposure” when the majority of the NOTS points assessed were against their Class A or B license.

CA Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 12810.5, Issuance and Renewal of Licenses gives the DMV authority to “give due consideration to the amount of use or mileage traveled in the operation of a motor vehicle.”

Although there is no legal requirement to hire an attorney to represent you during the DMV NOTS hearing, CDL holders and regular drivers should consider that traffic attorneys spend a great deal of time in traffic courts. Traffic courts are where judges make the final determination on cases the same as what you are trying to get removed from your motor vehicle driving record (MVR).

CA traffic law changes frequently. Attorneys that practice solely traffic law are abreast of these changes and can apply the change to your case to possibly get a conviction removed. Likewise, a ticket for which you pleaded guilty and paid the fine could get removed on a technicality or new law.

You might be aware of all of these changes, and the panel is not going to dig around to find changes that would benefit you, only your attorney would do that.

Higher NOTS Points Conditions

A CDL holder could get additional leeway for NOTS points to delay a suspension by requesting a DMV NOTS hearing. The panel will look at the number of miles you drove during the period the NOTS points were accumulated.

CDL holders must request a DMV NOTS Hearing within ten days of the department issuing the notice of prima facie NOTS points exceeding six NOTS points within a year, eight within two years, or ten within three years. One exception is when the DMV finds that four or more within a year, six or more within two years, or eight within three years, are due to infractions and violations in their private vehicle.

What Is a “Pattern of Violations”

One or two convictions of severe violations could lead to a NOTS suspension. Things like reckless driving, railroad crossing violations, or excessive speeding. However, for most CDL holders, it is the pattern of violations that leads to their suspension. Several minor infractions or fender benders add up quickly.

When you consider a 1.5 NOTS-point assessment for every minor infraction, it does not take long for a driver that spends 60 or more hours per week on the road to accumulate too many. However, the driver and their attorney can put together a plan to propose to the panel.

The plan should be a credible and reasonable plan to show the panel how the driver intends to overcome their driving behavior. The driver could agree to complete an online Defensive Driving Course or the DMV-approved Traffic Violator’s School.

This could be particularly beneficial for the CDL holder to show the DMV NOTS hearing panel when some NOTS points were based on a collision. Regardless of whether you were at fault or not, many states do not even look at responsibility and forward the record to the home-state.

Removing Records of Non-Fault Collision

In many no-fault states, the investigator does not take the time to establish fault accurately. They might find the trucker at-fault and send the collision record to the CA DMV. The CA DMV, based on the information received, could assess 1.5 NOTS points to the CDL holder’s record. At a DMV NOTS hearing, a traffic attorney might convince the panel that the points were not warranted.

Even in a CA truck accident, the investigator could miss evidence that points to a driver's non-fault, or assign a percentage of fault above zero, which would lead to the DMV assessing points where none may be warranted. A driver might be assigned blame when another driver cuts back in too soon after passing. The investigator might apply their logic or interpretation that the driver should be able to stop.

Some of the evidence in the report might be vague or unreliable. The driver and their attorney could possibly present evidence that makes the panel doubt the report. This information could be:

  • Weather
  • Road condition
  • Visibility
  • Direction of travel
  • Physical condition and sobriety of the other driver
  • Court findings if any
  • Driver’s statement

Typically, the driver can tell their side of the story at these hearings. Although the attorney should never coach them to tell an untruth, an attorney can assist them in presenting their version of the facts in a straightforward manner that puts them in the best position to keep their license.

Bigger & Harman Can Assist You at a DMV NOTS Hearing in Roseville, CA

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

When a CDL holder accumulates too many NOTS points, they might receive an “Order of Suspension/Probation.” They must immediately request a DMV NOTS hearing. It must be sent within ten days of the DMV mailing the order.

Email: attorney@biggerharmanlaw.com.

References:

The 2019-2021 DL 650 CA Commercial Driver Handbook.pdf

CVC 12810.5, Issuance of Licenses, Expiration, and Renewal

The DMV NOTS Portal Guidelines and Actions