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How the CDL NOTS Works in California

undefinedThe negligent operator treatment system (NOTS) points system can be viewed as biased against the commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders in CA.

How Does the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Point System Work

In California, the NOTS point system monitors all drivers’ behavior, but assesses 50% more points for the conviction of the same offense to a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) driver than their non-commercial driving peer.

According to CA’s NOT system, you are subject to suspension and probation if you accumulate a specified number of points. The following are those numbers:

- Received at least 4 NOTS points within the year.

- Received 6 points within two years.

- Received 8 points within three years.

However, CA Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 12810.5Issuance and Renewal of Licenses makes an allowance for commercial drivers who receive the majority of NOTS points in their CMV to request a DMV NOTS hearing to review the circumstances of their driving behavior, miles driven and violations or collision investigation results.

The DMV board could allow additional NOTS pints before suspension/probation. The commercial driver could get leeway of an additional two-point in each level depending on their exposure because most commercial drivers spend 60 to 70 hours per week driving. Therefore, the board could view the additional risk as the basis for an added margin before a suspension.

Therefore, the driver would have to accumulate six NOTS points within one year, eight within two, or ten within three years before facing a suspension and probation of their driver’s license. This additional leeway could allow the driver to keep driving when ordinarily, they would face a break in employment or require a special restricted license to drive their commercial vehicle only.  

Likewise, during that DMV NOTS hearing, a knowledgeable and experienced traffic attorney could get some NOTS points removed from the commercial driver’s record due to changes in traffic code or unwarranted assumption of fault during a motor vehicle accident.

Therefore, the driver would have to accumulate six NOTS point within one year, eight within two, or ten within three years before facing a suspension and probation of their driver’s license. This additional leeway could allow the driver to keep driving when ordinarily, they would face a break in employment or require that they get a special restricted license to drive their commercial vehicle only.  

Likewise, during that DMV NOTS hearing, a knowledgeable and experienced traffic attorney could get some NOTS points removed from the commercial driver’s record due to changes in traffic code or unwarranted assumption of fault during a motor vehicle accident.

The DMV NOTS Hearing Has Three Purposes

According to the CA DMV NOTS Portal, a NOTS hearing has three purposes:

  1. To “Review the driver record (including factors that may have positively or negatively affected the driver’s behavior).
  2. Decide whether the driver should be considered a negligent operator under the point count system, and 
  3. Decide whether any action against the driving privilege is needed.”

You are allowed to present evidence or testimony of mitigating circumstances and to have legal representation.

The board will consider the driver’s motor vehicle driving record (MVR) for correctness. Pending actions, such as collisions, convictions not yet final and court charges cannot be used against you but can be used to show a pattern when there are repeated violations and collisions.

However, a failure to appear (FTA) could be held against the driver if it is believed the FTA was part of a scheme to avoid NOTS points. This is never a clever maneuver by the driver, as it could lead to a  misdemeanor assessment under CVC 40508Release Upon Promise to Appear, which states, “A person willfully violating his or her written promise to appear or a lawfully granted continuance of his or her promise to appear in court or before a person authorized to receive a deposit of bail is guilty of a misdemeanor regardless of the disposition of the charge upon which he or she was originally arrested.”

As long as the request for a hearing is received within ten days, the DMV will issue a stay to ensure no action is taken before the board can meet and determine the facts unless there are evidence of physical and mental (P&M) conditions, which warrant immediate action by the board.

“A restriction to allow driving under limited conditions may be appropriate when evidence of hardship related to use or mileage is presented or implied.” —The CA DMV.

Therefore, you should consult with Bigger & Harman, the Bakersfield Traffic Ticket Attorneys

Bigger & Harman Can Represent You at a DMV NOTS Hearing in Kern County and other Areas of California

When receiving an Order of Suspension/Probation from the DMV, you must request a DMV NOTS hearing without delay. Then, call Bigger & Harman (661) 349-9300 for legal advice.

Email: attorney@biggerharmanlaw.com

References:

The 2019-2021 CA Commercial Driver Handbook.pdf

CVC Section 12810.5Issuance and Renewal of Licenses & Section 40508Release Upon Promise to Appear

The CA DMV NOTS Portal