What is NOTS?
NOTS is a term coined by the California DMV. It stands for “Negligent Operator Treatment System“.
- A negligent operator is a driver with too many points on his or her license.
- NOTS is a California DMV penalty system based on how many points you get on your driver’s license.
- NOTS or the Negligent Operator Treatment System is a series of warning letters and progressive penalties against your driving privilege.
NOTS affects California drivers 18 years of age and older.
See also the DMV website:
DMV Points on your license
The DMV keeps track of all the points you get for traffic violations. These points are called Negligent Operator Points by the DMV. Anytime you get convicted in court of a traffic ticket that was for a moving violation, the DMV will put a Negligent Operator Point on your driver’s record. A moving violation is any violation that was committed while the car was in motion like a speeding ticket, a stop sign ticket or red light camera ticket.
Keep in mind if you don’t go to court and instead you just pay off a ticket that was for a moving violation you are putting a Negligent Operator point on your driver record.
- If you are involved in an accident that was your fault the DMV will put a DMV point on your record.
- If you get convicted in court of a DUI, a Wet Reckless, Reckless Driving, Driving on a Suspended License, Driving over a 100 mph, a Hit & Run, or Exhibition of speeding the DMV will put 2 DMV points on your record.
- Tickets you get in other states for moving violations will put one DMV point on your California DMV record.
- Accidents you cause in other states can also put one DMV point on your record.
- If you get 2 cell phone or 2 texting tickets in a 3 year period that will put one DMV point on your record.
Learn more about DMV Points on your license and how the Points System works
NOTS: Four levels of warning or suspension letters
The California DMV sends the following letters to drivers who accumulate a certain number of points.
- Level I (First warning letter). The DMV will send a warning letter to drivers who receive two points in 12 months, four points in 24 months, or six points in 36 months.
- Level II (Second warning letter). Drivers who receive three points in 12 months, five points in 24 months, or seven points in 36 months will receive a second warning letter from the DMV. This letter will inform the driver that any future violations points will result in license suspension.
- Level III (Probation/Suspension letter). Drivers who accumulate four points in 12 months, six points in 24 months, or eight points in 36 months will receive an order of probation or suspension and notified that they have been designated as a “negligent operator.” The DMV will usually issue a six-month suspension. The DMV also has the option of putting the driver on a one-year probation period.
- Level IV (Violation of NOTS letter). The DMV can impose additional suspension penalties if you get any traffic violations during your probation period.
These four levels of letters are part of NOTS – the Negligent Operator Treatment System, or the California DMV system for responding to your having too many points on your driver’s record.
NOTS Level I Warning Letter
When you get Negligent Operator Points on your record the DMV will first send you a warning letter informing you that if you continue to get Negligent Operator Points on your driver’s record, you face a 6 month license suspension for what the DMV calls being a Negligent Operator – in other words for being a bad driver. If you get 2 Negligent Operator Points on your record in a 12 month period you will receive a warning letter from the DMV.
You will receive a warning letter if you have accumulated a certain number of points within a time period, as shown in the table below.
You might also receive a warning letter when a major conviction is added to your driving record.
|Within 12 months
|Within 24 months
|Within 36 months
Find out how your point total is calculated
NOTS Level II Notice of Intent to Suspend if you get one more point
This is a second warning letter. If you get 3 DMV points on your record in a 12 month period you will receive a Notice of Intent to Suspend letter from the DMV indicating that they will suspend your license for 6 months if you get one more point.
You will receive a Notice of Intent to Suspend letter if you accumulate a certain number of points within a time period.
You might also receive a notice if a major conviction is added to your driving record.
|Within 12 months
|Within 24 months
|Within 36 months
NOTS Level III Order of Probation/Suspension letter
If you get 4 DMV points on your record in a 12 month period you will get an Order of Probation/Suspension letter from the DMV indicating that they are going to suspend your license for 6 months.
Your license suspension will last for 6 months. Your DMV probation will last for 1 year. This penalty is effective 34 days from the date the order is mailed. (see also DMV NOTS Actions)
We can help. If you get this probation/suspension letter suspending your license for having 4 DMV points please call us immediately at 310-285-1516 so we can help you so your license does not get suspended and you can keep driving for work.
If the DMV places you on DMV probation for having too many DMV points you must make sure you do not violate your DMV probation by getting traffic tickets or causing accidents because you will get a violation of NOTS letter suspending your license for an additional 6 months if you violate your DMV probation.
Remember, you are now classified by the DMV as a “Negligent Operator” which means you are a driver with too many points on your license. For more info on Negligent Operators, NOTS Hearings, and a TO DO list for Negligent Operators, see our Negligent Operator page.
Tighter restrictions for Under 18’s and Commercial Drivers
If you are under 18 and have a provisional license your license will be restricted for 30 days if you get 2 DMV points in a 12 month period. If you are under 18 and have a provisional license your license will be suspended for 6 months if you get 3 or more DMV points in a 12 month period and you will also be placed on one year probation.
If you are a commercial driver and you are driving a commercial vehicle when you receive a ticket for a moving violation 1 1/2 DMV points will go on your record instead of 1 DMV point. If you are a commercial driver you face a 6 month suspension if you get 6 DMV points on your record in a 12 month period. If you have a commercial license and you get 4 DMV points in a 12 month period it’s imperative that you request a DMV hearing so your license does not get suspended for 6 months for getting 4 DMV points in a 12 month period.
NOTS Level IV Violation of NOTS letter
You will get a Violation of NOTS letter suspending your license for an additional 6 months if you violate your DMV probation by getting traffic tickets or causing accidents while on DMV probation.
You will receive a NOTS Violation of Probation order and your driver license will be suspended if:
- Any violation or collision occurs during a suspension.
- Any one or two-point violation or responsible collision occurs during a probation period.
- Any Failure To Appear (FTA) in court on a traffic violation.
- A driver under the age of 18 years violates provisional probation because of a responsible collision, an FTA or Failure to Pay (FTP), or any other reportable violation.
Violation or Collision During a Period of Suspension While on a NOTS Probation
If you commit a violation or get into a collision while you are on NOTS probation, an additional six-month suspension will be imposed and the probation will be extended for one year from the violation of probation if either of the following occurs while the driving privilege is suspended:
- The driver receives any violation while operating a motor vehicle.
- The driver is involved in a collision regardless of fault.
First and Second Violation of Probation
The suspension period for a first or second violation of probation is six months. The probation period will also be extended for one year from the date of the violation.
Third Violation of Probation
Upon a third violation of probation, a one-year revocation of the driving privilege is imposed.
We can help
We specialize in helping people fight their tickets so DMV points don't go on your record. If you have 4 DMV points on your record and the DMV wants to suspend your license call us for help.
We specialize in helping people keep driving so their license does not get suspended for 6 months after getting 4 DMV points in a 12 month period.
The best way to avoid the 6 month license suspension is to request a DMV hearing and then present evidence to the DMV that you will improve your driving so you don't get anymore DMV points.
We specialize in DMV Hearings and can help you so your license does not get suspended for 6 months.