Irvine - California 92618
Telephone: (949) 872-2700 Facsimile: (949) 872-2708
The Negligent Operator Treatment System is based on negligent operator points and consists of a computer generated series of warning letters and progressive sanctions against the driving privilege. California Vehicle Code §12810 requires the California DMV to assign one point to any conviction “involving the safe operation of a motor vehicle upon the highway.”
|Negligent Operator Treatment System
Once you are licensed to drive in California it is important that you continue to follow all the laws and practice safe driving habits. If you start accumulating tickets for moving violations, which count as one or two points, you may be considered a negligent operator and may lose your privilege to drive. You will be considered a negligent operator if your driving record shows any of the following point count totals:
Most driving offenses, such as hit and run, reckless driving, and driving under the influence, are designated as 2 points and will remain on your record for seven years from the violation date. Most other offenses are designated as 1 point and will remain on your record for three years from the violation date. Any "at fault" accident is normally counted as one point.
- 4 points in 12 months
- 6 points in 24 months
- 8 points in 36 months
Legal Definition of Negligent Operator
California Vehicle Code §12810.5.
- Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (b), any person whose driving record shows a violation point count of four or more points in 12 months, six or more points in 24 months, or eight or more points in 36 months shall be prima facie presumed to be a negligent operator of a motor vehicle. In applying this subdivision to a driver, if the person requests and appears at a hearing conducted by the department, the department shall give due consideration to the amount of use or mileage traveled in the operation of a motor vehicle.
- Any class A or class B licensed driver, except persons holding certificates pursuant to §2512, 12517, 12519, 12523, or 12523.5, or an endorsement issued pursuant to paragraph (2) or (4) of subdivision (a) of §15278, who is presumed to be a negligent operator pursuant to subdivision (a), and who requests and appears at a hearing and is found to have a driving record violation point count of six or more points in 12 months, eight or more points in 24 months, or 10 or more points in 36 months is presumed to be a prima facie negligent operator. However, the higher point count shall not apply if the department reasonably determines that four or more points in 12 months, six or more points in 24 months, or eight or more points in 36 months 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.
- For purposes of this subdivision, each point assigned pursuant to §12810 shall be valued at one and one-half times the value otherwise required by that for each violation reasonably determined by the department to be attributable to the driver's operation of a vehicle requiring a class A or class B license, or requiring any certificate or endorsement described in this.
- The department may require a negligent operator whose driving privilege is suspended or revoked pursuant to this to submit proof of financial responsibility, as defined in §16430, on or before the date of reinstatement following the suspension or revocation. The proof of financial responsibility shall be maintained with the department for three years following that date of reinstatement.
DMV Point Counts -
California Vehicle Code §12810.
See the point counts chart at the California's DMV website.
In determining the violation point count, the following shall apply:
- Any conviction of failure to stop in the event of an accident in violation of §20001 or 20002 shall be given a value of two points.
- Any conviction of a violation of §23152 or 23153 shall be given a value of two points.
- Any conviction of reckless driving shall be given a value of two points.
- Any conviction of a violation of subdivision (c) of §192 of the Penal Code, or of §2800.2 or 2800.3, subdivision (b) of §21651, subdivision (b) of §22348, subdivision (a) of §23109, subdivision (c) of §23109, or §31602 of this code, shall be given a value of two points.
- Any conviction of a violation of subdivision (a) or (b) of §23140 shall be given a value of two points.
- Except as provided in subdivision (g), any other traffic conviction involving the safe operation of a motor vehicle upon the highway shall be given a value of one point.
- Any traffic accident in which the operator is deemed by the department to be responsible shall be given a value of one point.
- A violation of paragraph (1), (2), (3), or (5) of subdivision (b) of §40001 shall not result in a violation point count being given to the driver if the driver is not the owner of the vehicle.
- Any conviction of a violation of paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (b) of §12814.6, subdivision (a) of §21116, §21207.5, 21708, 21710, 21716, 23120, 24800, or 26707 shall not be given a violation point count.
- A violation of §23136 shall not result in a violation point count.
- A conviction for only one violation arising from one occasion of arrest or citation shall be counted in determining the violation point count for the purposes of this.
- Any conviction of a violation of §14601, 14601.1, 14601.2, 14601.3, or 14601.5 shall be given a value of two points.
- Any conviction of a violation of §27360 or 27360.5 shall be given a value of one point.
The Negligent Operator Treatment System Actions
Level 1 -
Issuance of a Warning Letter
A warning letter is generated based on the accumulation of 2 points within 12 months, 4 points within 24 months and 6 points within 36 months. A warning letter may also be sent to a driver when a major conviction is added to the driving record such as DUI, Hit & Run, etc.
Level 2 -
Notification of Intention to Suspend
A Notice of Intent to suspend letter is sent to the driver after accumulation of 3 points within 12 months, 5 points within 24 months or 7 points within 36 months. A notice may also be sent to a driver when a major conviction is added to the driving record such as DUI, Hit & Run, etc.
Level 3 -
Probation or Suspension
An Order of Probation or Suspension will be sent to the driver after accumulation of 4 points within 12 months, 6 points with 24 months or 8 points within 36 months.
Under California Vehicle Code §12810.5, a driver is presumed to be a prima facie negligent operator. The action that the CA DMV will take is a one year probation which includes a six month suspension which is run concurrently.
As provided in California Vehicle Code §14252, any of the following violation of probation will result in a six month suspension and extend probation one year from the violation or accident date:
- Any point count violation
(Point Calculation can be found in California Vehicle Code §12810)
- Any failure to appear (FTA) in court on a traffic violation
- Any violation occurring during any suspension
- Any alcohol/drug related driving incident
- Any involvement in a responsible traffic collision
A third violation of probation will result in revocation. Any subsequent violation, four or more, will result in an additional one year revocation. You will be required to file proof of financial responsibility for three years as provided in California Vehicle Code §16430 following any suspension or revocation.
Usual Terms & Conditions if Probation is Granted
You must obey the provisions of the California Vehicle Code, all traffic regulations in this and other states, and remain free from traffic accident responsibility for the term the DMV specifies within your order.
Negligent Operator Hearing
Negligent Operator Hearing Purposes
To consider the driver’s record, including mitigating and aggravating circumstances, decide whether or not to classify the driver as a negligent operator under the point count system, and determine whether any action is needed against the driving privilege. The driver has the right to produce evidence on his/her behalf, has the right to an attorney if they can afford one and has the right to testify in detail about his/her driving record and situation. The level of proof and any hearing action must be supported by a preponderance of the evidence.
The negligent operator hearings are held at the driver safety office nearest to your residence. There are currently 12 DMV Driver Safety Offices located throughout the state for those drivers requesting administrative hearings. These offices are listed alphabetically for your convenience. Simply 'click' on the link below to obtain detailed information for the Driver Safety office in that city.
Actual Hearing Issues & Procedures
The scope of the hearing is limited to the following:
- Correctness of the driving record.
- Determination of any pending court charges, collisions or convictions not show on the record.
- Physical and mental conditions related to the driving record.
- Responsibility of driving for any accidents on the driving record.
- Alcohol consumption related to any major violations or accidents.
- Mitigating factors such plans for improvement and corrective measures, need for the license, vehicle use and mileage, driver safety courses, inadequate alternative transportation not available for significant routine activities such as school, medical treatments, employment, driver is major or sole provider of family income, attitude of the driver, likelihood of reoccurrence of any violations, any other hardship, etc.
- Aggravating factors such responsibility for accidents, a driving history indicating a disregard for traffic safety, major two point violations such as DUI, wet reckless, dry reckless, speed exhibition, hit and run, severity of the consequence of the driving errors exhibited including death, injury or major property damage, been to traffic school yet still violates the law, prior negligent actions, history of multiple court appearances or failure to appear at court and court suspensions or restrictions on his/her driving privilege, prior violations of probations or other terms and conditions of the action, etc.
The DMV Driver Safety Hearing Officer does have the power to issue a restriction instead of a suspension for employment as a condition of probation pursuant to California Vehicle Code §12812.
Range of Decisions of the Driver Safety Hearing Officer in a Negligent Operator Hearing:
- Sustain the action.
- Order probation and modify the suspension period.
- Modify Probation vacate the suspension and order a restriction.
- Order probation only to monitor future driving.
- Set aside the action for lack of evidence.
- Set aside the action for lack of notice of hearing.
- Take no action other than what is currently in effect if non-appearance by driver.
- Terminate the action.
If there is an action, before a California Driver’s License can be reissued or returned to you after a suspension or restriction, you will have to:
- Pay a $55 reissue fee to the DMV pursuant to California Vehicle Code §14904 & §14906)
- You will have to fill proof of financial responsibility (i.e., SR-22)as provided in California Vehicle Code §16430
- You must maintain proof of financial responsibility (SR-22) for a period of three years
How do I Show Proof of Financial Responsibility pursuant to California Vehicle Code §16430 ?
- Proof of California Insurance Proof Certificate.
- Cash Deposit.
The usual method of showing proof of financial responsibility is to provide a California Insurance Proof Certificate (form SR-22 & SR-1P) from an insurance company authorized to do business in California. The types of coverage on the form Sr-22 & SR-1P are as follows:
A motor vehicle liability policy may be provided to cover only vehicles registered in your name (owner’s policy), only to vehicles you do not own (operator’s policy) or all vehicles whether you own them or not (broad coverage). This certificate is acceptable for all DMV actions requiring proof of financial responsibility. In sum, there are three types: an owner’s policy, an operator’s policy and broad coverage.
An automobile liability policy or a liability policy may be provided to cover vehicles with less than four wheels. This certificate is used after an accident without insurance, for negligent operator sanctions per California Vehicle Code §12810.5 or for an application by a minor requiring proof.
Not acceptable for Administrative Per Se Actions.
To obtain a California Insurance Proof Certificate, contact an insurance agent or broker. Do not submit a copy of your policy or application as neither can be accepted in place of the California Insurance Proof Certificate. If necessary, persons unable to obtain this insurance coverage through their regular insurance company may have an insurance agent or broker make an application to the California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan.
The plan may be contacted directly for information at:
California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan,
P.O. Box 7917, San Francisco,
Proof of financial responsibility may be met by a $35,000 cash deposit or $35,000 surety bond. Proof may also be filed by a self-insurer on behalf of an employee to permit driving vehicles owned by the self-insurer within the scope of employment. Bond information must be obtained from a surety bond company authorized in California.
For information on the cash deposit or self-insurance:
Phone: (916) 657-6421
DMV, Financial Responsibility Area
P.O. Box 942884 Mail Station J-237
Sacramento, California, 94284-0884.
Negligent Operator Hearing Appeal Rights
Option One -
DMV Departmental Review
You will be entitled to a departmental review of a negative decision. A request for departmental review shall stay the action pending a decision on review. The departmental review shall be limited to an examination of these findings and determination , and any documentary evidence submitted at the hearing. It will not include a personal interview nor a review of evidence not presented at the hearing. To have this review, you will need to submit your written request to the address of the DMV Driver Safety which conducted your hearing within 15 days from the date of your Findings and Decision.
Option Two -
Court Review via a Writ
You may also request a court review of the action taken by the California DMV by contacting the superior court in your county of residence within 94 days from the date of your Findings and Decision.