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undefinedWhen you receive a NOTS suspension & probation order from the DMV, request a NOTS hearing, get a copy of your MVR, and consult a traffic attorney immediately. 

NOTS Point System

The NOTS point system is designed to identify and monitor drivers with a high number of traffic violations or collisions.

CA Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 12810 & 12810.5Issuance and Renewal of Licenses, authorize the DMV to assess NOTS points for various traffic violations and collisions.

Points are assigned for traffic violations and collisions, as follows:

  • One point for moving violations, such as speeding or improper lane changes, and at-fault collisions. Commercial drivers are assessed 1.5 points for the same violations or collisions.
  • Two points for more serious offenses such as reckless driving or hit and run, commercial drivers receive three points.

Drivers who accumulate four or more points within 12 months, six or more points within 24 months, or eight or more points within 36 months are placed on probation and may have their license suspended for six months. 

The suspension/probation period begins 34 days after the DMV mails the suspension notice. Drivers who wish to contest the suspension or have points removed from their driving record must request a DMV hearing within ten days of receiving the suspension notice. 

If no hearing is requested, the suspension and probation will go into effect as scheduled.

The DMV NOTS Can Be Complicated 

The NOTS program identifies and monitors drivers with traffic violations or collisions. The NOTS program aims to improve public safety by encouraging these drivers to change their dangerous driving habits, reduce the risk of future collisions, or temporarily remove their driving privileges to enhance their behavior.  

The four levels of notification and warning give the driver ample opportunity to change their behavior. However, there are situations where you could accumulate enough NOTS points from a single incident to reach the suspension/probation point.

How NOTS Program Works 

NOTS is administered by the CA Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Points are assigned for various traffic violations, such as speeding, reckless driving, or hit-and-run. When a driver accumulates a specific number of points on their motor vehicle driving record (MVR) within a precise timeframe, they are considered a prima facie negligent operator. 

The Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute (LII) WEX Definition Team defines prima facie:

“Prima facie may be used as an adjective meaning ‘sufficient to establish a fact or raise a presumption unless disproved or rebutted.’ An example of this would be to use the term ‘prima facie evidence.’”

There are three levels of NOTS but only two levels of warnings to the driver.  

Level I: Is a “warning letter” sent to the driver after two points within 12 months, four within 24, or six within 36 months.

Level II: Is a “notice of intent to suspend” sent to the driver after three points within twelve months, five within 24, or seven within 36 months.

Level III: Is an “order of probation/suspension” sent to the driver after four points within twelve months, six within 24, or eight within 36 months.

After the driver is found to be a “negligent operator,” any traffic violation within the 12-month probation period, or during the suspension period, including a “failure to appear” or collision, regardless of fault, could result in an additional six months of suspension and 12 more months of probation.

Therefore, after accumulating the established number of NOTS points, the driver is “presumed” to be a negligent operator. However, the driver has the chance to prove the assumption wrong by requesting a DMV NOTS hearing within ten days after the DMV mailing. If not rebutted, the suspension/probation will be imposed.

Once a driver receives an “Order of Probation/Suspension,” the driver can request a hearing to determine if the MVR is correct, if there were “mitigating circumstances,” or if a “stay” is required. 

“The action is a one-year probation that includes a six-month suspension. The action is effective 34 days from the date the order is mailed.”

The DMV NOTS Hearings

At the hearing, the driver has the opportunity to present evidence and argue their case before a DMV NOTS hearing officer. The hearing officer could decide to remove points from the driver’s MVR.

Although there is no legal requirement to hire a traffic attorney to represent you at a DMV NOTS hearing, there is no better option. Think about it. Traffic attorneys sit through hundreds of traffic cases, and hear rulings about moving violations and collisions. They hear what traffic court judges rule on how the traffic codes should be enforced. They know which convictions or paid fines the panel might throw out due to technicalities, changed, or overturned laws.

A knowledgeable traffic attorney could suggest a defensive driving course and probation for the driver rather than a suspension of driving privileges.

For more information on the process, read our blog, Understanding the DMV NOTS Hearing.

Consult with Bigger & Harman, APC, When You Need Assistance for a DMV NOTS Hearing 

Call Bigger & Harman, APC,  at (661) 349-9300, use the online contact form, or email

We have the experience and knowledge to speak on your behalf at a DMV NOTS hearing. Don’t go it alone.

Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.


The 2021 CA Driver Handbook English y Español.

The CA DMV Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) Webpage. 

CVC 12810 & 12810.5Issuance and Renewal of Licenses.

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