If you are cited for a driving violation in California, there can be more consequences than just a pricey ticket. If you have multiple citations over the last number of years, you may feel the effects long after the tickets have been paid. This is thanks to the state’s Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS), which is a program that tracks driving records and places sanctions against the driver based on the number of negligent operator points a driver has.
According to the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles, the number of points added to a driver’s record is based on the severity of the traffic conviction or degree of fault in a collision. Drivers get one point each time they are convicted due to an unsafe operation of a vehicle. This includes speeding and driving a vehicle that is not maintained properly. Two points are given in cases where there is an increased risk to traffic safety. Examples of two-point convictions include DUIs and hit-and-run accidents. Drivers of commercial vehicles are assessed additional points for convictions.
There are four levels of NOTS, and the action for each is determined by the number of points over a certain period of time. The actions range from a warning letter to license suspension.
Along with possible license suspension, the Star Tribune discusses how the number of points on your driving record can also affect your insurability and how you are treated when pulled over for a traffic stop. While many of the points come off your record after a certain amount of time, you may have to contact the DMV and ask them to remove points that have been on your record for longer than five years.