Understand the Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS)

Points System of Escalating Penalties

Understand the Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS)

The Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) is what DMV calls its computerized system of tracking and punishing bad driving through points on a driving record. At-fault accidents and minor traffic convictions count as one point; more serious violations such as reckless driving or DUI count as two points. Seat belt and cell phone violations do not carry any points.

The Negligent Operator Treatment System (or “NOTS”) is a computer-driven scheme of warning letters and penalties caused by the accumulation of “points” on a motorist’s driving record. Vehicle Code sections 12810 through 12810.5 specify the convictions that generate points, and those points in turn generate one of four escalating penalties depending on the total number of point accumulated in twelve, twenty-four or thirty-six months.

Level I Warning Letter

The first NOTS penalty is a simple warning letter, which is sent when a motorist accumulates 2 points in 12 months, 4 points in 24 months or 6 points in 36 months.

Level II Warning Letter

The second NOTS penalty is a Notice of Intent to Suspend, advising the motorist that they are on the brink of getting suspended if they get another point. This Level II Warning Letter is sent when a motorist accumulates 3 points in 12 months, 5 points in 24 months or 7 points in 36 months.

Level III Order of Probation/Suspension

The third NOTS penalty is an automatic 6 month suspension and placement on one year’s probation unless the motorist demands a hearing within 34 days of the date of the order. This Level III Warning Letter is sent when a motorist accumulates 4 points in 12 months, 6 points in 24 months or 8 points in 36 months.

Level IV Violation of NOTS Probation

The final NOTS penalty applies only to motorists who violate a Level III probation by (1) accumulating more points; (2) causing an accident; or (3) failing to appear (“FTA”) in court for a traffic violation. A first or second violation of probation triggers an additional six month suspension and an additional one year of probation. A third violation of probation triggers a one year license revocation.

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