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Understanding the N.O.T.S. in California: Keeping Points Off Your Driving Record

Have you ever wondered what counts as a point on your driving record? In California, the DMV has established a system called the Negligent Operator Treatment System, or N.O.T.S. for short. The N.O.T.S was designed as a means to getting the careless and reckless drivers off the road, and it is this system that determines how violations count against your driving record, or more formally, your Motor Vehicle Record.

The N.O.T.S. system is kind of like a game of golf--the fewer points you have, the better you are doing. California Vehicle Code 12810 dictates that all safety-related violations will count as either one or two points against you on your driving record. One-point violations stay on your record for 37 months. Two-point violations can stay on your record for five to seven years.

Some examples of a one-point violation include:

- Normal moving violations, i.e.: unsafe lane change, failure to stop at a stop sign, simple speeding, etc.

- Any collision that the Department of Motor Vehicles has determined that you are at fault.

- Failure to properly restrain a child (under 6 years of age or less than 60 pounds) in a child passenger restraint system or children between the ages of 6 and 16 years of age in an approved seat belt system.

Some examples of a two-point violation include:

-Failure to stop in the event of a collision
-Driving under the influence (DUI)
-Conviction of reckless driving
-Evading a police officer
-Driving on the wrong side of a roadway with a concrete divider
-Driving in excess of 100 mph
-Speed contest
-Transporting explosives without the proper license
-Vehicular manslaughter
-Exhibition of speed

Also, you may have your vehicle seized for 30 days by law enforcement officers if you participate in a speed contest, reckless driving or an exhibition of speed, which includes cornering at high-speeds, spinning donuts or spinning your tires (also referred to as "burning rubber").

The next obvious question is: How many points does it take to lose your license?

Here’s an easy to understand chart:

4 points over 12 months = License Suspended!
6 points over 24 months = License Suspended!
8 points over 36 months = License Suspended!

So what’s the moral of the story? Quite simply, drive safe. If you start racking up too many points against your driving record, maybe it’s time to revisit your California Driving Handbook or sign-up for a driving refresher from a licensed driving or traffic school. After all, if you’re slicing or hooking your golfing drives, wouldn’t you want a couple lessons from a pro?

Submitted by:

Chris Kramer

Chris Kramer is a content writer for both TrafficSchool.com (www.TrafficSchool.com) and Drivers Ed Direct (www.DriversEdDirect.com). Check out our websites for more information about online traffic school or drivers education for teens.


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