The Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS)
NOTS is based on negligent operator points and is a series of warning letters and progressive penalties against your driving privilege.
NOTS affects California drivers 18 years of age and older. Younger “provisional” drivers are also included in the NOTS program if they violate provisional probation or suspension. Provisional drivers are provided a hearing under Vehicle Code (VC) §12814.6 (c) only if they are involved in an accident.
Negligent Operator Points
Negligent operator points are point values ranging from 0-3 points that are added to your driver’s record if law enforcement finds you responsible for a collision.
Points are assigned to convictions for traffic violations that involve the safe operation of a motor vehicle. Point count traffic convictions are listed below.
If reports from law enforcement indicate that you, as a driver, contributed, were at fault, or were responsible for the collision, DMV then applies negligent operator points against your license.
DMV considers all evidence submitted in reaching a final determination regarding the driver’s negligent operator status.
NOTS actions are then based on the number of negligent operator points drivers add to their driver’s record within specified time periods.
- Traffic convictions are assessed negligent operator point values ranging from 0-3 points.
- Major convictions, such as when you are driving a commercial vehicle, are given 3 points.
- Other collisions you are found to be responsible for are counted as 1 point depending on whether you are driving a commercial or non-commercial vehicle.
VC §12810 requires DMV to assign one point to any conviction “involving the safe operation of a motor vehicle upon the highway.” Examples of one-point VC violations are:
A mechanical violation may be assigned zero or one point, depending on whether it affects safe operation. For example:
- 0 point conviction – No light on license plate
All two-point convictions are mandated by the VC. These violations are considered more serious by the legislature because of the increased traffic safety risk. Examples of two-point convictions are:
Commercial Vehicle Conviction/Collision Points
- Under VC §12810.5 (b)(2), a conviction is assessed one or two points.
- Under VC §12810, a conviction which occurs during the operation of a vehicle requiring a Class A or B license, or any certificate or endorsement listed in the section, is given a point count of 1 ½ times its usual value.
- For example, a conviction of VC §22348 (a), speeding, is a one-point violation. However, a commercial vehicle violation for the same offense is 1 ½ points
- DMV also assesses negligent operator points for traffic convictions California drivers receive in other states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Canada.
- Under VC §13363, DMV determines whether the same violation, if committed in California, would be assessed negligent operator points or would be grounds for suspension or revocation.
Points resulting from out-of-state convictions may form the basis, or part of the basis, for a NOTS action.
- If a California driver has a collision out of state, it may be reported to DMV through the Problem Driver Pointer System (PDPS), National Driver Register or out-of-state law enforcement agencies.
- These collisions are entered on individual records and report the date and location of the collision. When there is not enough information to determine responsibility, these collisions are not assigned NOTS points. Therefore, no NOTS action is imposed.
- Exception: if the driver is suspended at Level III or IV and the collision occurs during a suspension when it is evidence of driving while suspended.
- When these reports are reviewed and it is determined that the driver was responsible, had been drinking, was injured, etc. the report is then updated onto the driver’s record and, if the driver was responsible, the collision adds a NOTS point to the record.
Conditions for Higher Point Count
Class A or B drivers are allowed a higher point count before they are presumed negligent under VC §12810.5, if the following conditions exist:
- They request and appear at a NOTS hearing.
- They do not hold any of the following special certificates or endorsements: Ambulance, School Bus, School Pupil Activity Bus, Farm Labor, Tour Bus, Youth Bus, General Public Paratransit, or Hazardous Materials.
- They do not have 4 or more points in 12 months, 6 or more in 24 months, or 8 or more in 36 months that are attributable to the driver’s operation of a vehicle requiring only a class C license and not requiring a certificate or endorsement, or a class M license.
Class A or B drivers meeting all the above conditions are considered prima facie negligent operators if they have the following point count accumulated on the driver’s record:
- 6 points in 12 months
- 8 points in 24 months
- 10 points in 36 months
Need something else?
Negligent Operator Actions
If a DMV investigation finds that you have been a negligent driver, NOTS may take action against your driving privileges.
If DMV notifies you of potential action against your driving privilege, you have the right to produce evidence and testify in detail regarding your driver record.
Fatal and Serious Injury Accidents
Learn more about fatal and serious injury accidents as a result of negligent driving and the actions DMV might take as a result.