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undefinedWhen the DMV has identified you as a “prima facie” negligent operator, you must request a DMV NOTS Hearing to prevent a six-month suspension and concurrent 12-month driving probation.

What NOTS Point Total Requires a DMV Suspension/Probation?

First, it’s important to define how you get negligent operator points. CA Vehicle Code (VC) Section 12810,Issuance and Renewal of Licenses, and 12810.5 (same title - for commercial drivers) authorizes the DMV to assess and track negligent operator points for various violations of the traffic code.

When a driver is convicted of violating a minor infraction or has an at-fault accident (greater than zero percent responsible), non-commercial drivers are assessed one point, and commercial drivers are assessed 1.5 NOTS points.

When convicted of a major infraction (speeding 100+ mph), misdemeanors, and felonies, non-commercial drivers are assessed two points, and commercial drivers are assessed three NOTS points. 

There is a provision for commercial drivers within CA VC 12810.5 to request a DMV NOTS Hearing to allow more leeway before a suspension if the NOTS points weren’t mostly attributed to driving a non-commercial vehicle “…the department shall give due consideration to the amount of use or mileage traveled in the operation of a motor vehicle.”

“(b) (1) A class A or class B licensed driver, except persons holding certificates…or an endorsement…and who requests and appears at a hearing and is found to have a driving record violation point count of six or more points in 12 months, eight or more points in 24 months, or 10 or more points in 36 months is presumed to be a prima facie negligent operator.” — CA VC Section 12810.5Issuance and Renewal of Licenses.   

There are four levels of warnings and penalties before your driving privileges can be suspended. Although, technically it is only three as the fourth level is the suspension and what happens if you violate the terms of the suspension/probation with further points or failure to appear (FTA).

Level I — Warning letters are sent when you accumulate two points within one year, four points within two, or six points within three years. 

Level II — Notice of Intent to Suspend when you accumulate three points within one year, five points within two years, or seven points within three years.

Level III — Order of Suspension & Probation when you accumulate four points within one year, six points within two years, or eight points within three years.

After receipt of an “Order of Suspension/Probation,” if you do not request a DMV NOTS Hearing or no points are removed, after 34 days of the DMV mailing, you will be considered a negligent operator and your six-month suspension will begin, coupled with a concurrent 12-month probation. 

During those twelve months, if you commit another traffic offense or are involved in an accident, regardless of fault, your suspension and probation will get extended six months and 12 months, respectively, for each of the first two violations or FTAs. 

If a third violation occurs, your driver’s license will be revoked for one year, and you must submit a request for reinstatement and pay the reinstatement fee (typically $125). 

What Do They Mean I am a Prima Facie Negligent Operator?

When you receive an Order of Suspension/Probation” from the DMV, that does not mean your driving privileges have been suspended. 

You must request a DMV NOTS Hearing within fifteen days of the DMV mailing or ten days after receipt. If the DMV receives your request within the allowed time and there are no available dates for a hearing, the DMV must order a stay so that you can continue to drive until a hearing can be held unless there are “physical and mental (P&M) conditions that present an immediate driving risk.”

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.’ — The Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute (LII) WEX definition of Prima Facie.

Therefore, a prima facie negligent operator is a driver with the accumulated NOTS points to warrant suspension, but before a DMV NOTS Hearing can be held.  

“As a driver, you must be given the opportunity to produce evidence and testify in detail regarding your driver’s record. The hearing action must be supported by sufficient evidence.” — The CA DMV Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) Webpage.

For more information about the NOT System, read “The California Point System.” Then, give us a call if you feel you need more assistance.

Consult with Bigger & Harman About a DMV NOTS Hearing in Merced, CA

There’s no requirement for you to have an attorney help you with a DMV NOTS Hearing in Merced County. However, there is no better way to get points removed from your MVR than with a traffic lawyer who spends most of their working days in traffic court listening to rulings about the very violations you are trying to get removed from your driving record.   

Call Bigger & Harman, APC, at (661) 349-9300. Or, use our convenient contact form or email us at

Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.


The CA Driver Handbook English y Español.

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

CA VC 12810Issuance and Renewal of Licenses.

The Cornell Law School LII definition of Prima Facie.

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