If you got busted for speeding or got caught running a red light, don't worry. You may be eligible to complete a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) approved traffic school course that can drastically reduce the repercussions of your ticket.
What Are the Benefits of Traffic School?
Completing a California Online traffic school course can be beneficial in a number of ways. First of all, completion of a course often means that you will not receive a point on your driving record. The DMV will still keep a record of your infraction, but the infraction will not be part of your public record. This is a great way to avoid a bump up in your insurance bill. You may also be able to dismiss your citation by completing traffic school. If you are eligible, the court that is handling your ticket will likely send you a notice explaining your options. If you do not receive a courtesy notice, call your court for more information (the number should appear on your citation). Even if you did not receive a traffic ticket, there are still benefits to traffic school. Many insurance companies reward their clients with safe driver discounts if they choose to voluntarily complete a traffic school course. Check with your insurance provider to learn about their policy.
What Infractions Are Eligible?Generally, traffic school only covers moving violations. You will most likely be eligible for traffic school if:
- You have a valid Driver's License.
- You were driving a noncommercial vehicle.
- You were ticketed for a moving violation.
- Infractions that took place in a commercial vehicle.
- Alcohol-related infractions (DUI/DWI, etc.)
- Equipment violations.
- Non-moving infractions (toll/parking, etc.)
- Offenses that require a mandatory court appearance.
If you have already been to traffic school for another infraction in the last 18 months, you will NOT be eligible to attend again.
Finding a Traffic School Online
To find a California State Approved Traffic School, you can visit the DMV's Occupational License Status Information System and click "start search." Once you access the system, you will be able to search for traffic schools. You will be supplied with a list of schools and can even modify your search to include only internet, classroom, or home study courses. The cost of traffic school varies depending on the school and county.
What to Expect from Traffic School
During your traffic school course you will learn about California traffic laws, defensive driving techniques, and other tips that will lead to safer driving. Traffic school courses can be taken online, in a classroom, or at home using a DVD study course. Most of these courses will take around 6 hours to complete. At the end of the course you will take a final exam. You must pass the final exam to receive your certificate of completion. If you are taking your course in a classroom, the test will be administered there. If you are taking a course online or at home using a study course, you may be required to take your final exam at a DMV approved location. This will be made clear during the course. Once you pass your final exam, you will receive your certificate of completion. The traffic school will notify the DMV and the court that is handling your violation that you have successfully completed your course. To be safe, consider calling the DMV and court to verify your traffic school completion has been confirmed.