How Does California Traffic School Work?

How does traffic school in California work

If you receive a traffic ticket, there are serious long-term effects from DMV “points” being on your record. Not only does it put you at risk of losing your license, but points could dramatically impact your auto insurance rates. 

Lucky for you, traffic school will hide those points from your driving record. Several Californian drivers utilize this process to maintain their low insurance payments. But how does California traffic school work? Is it the best method to dismiss your ticket?

What is Traffic School?

Traffic school is an optional course that drivers may choose to take after receiving a citation. In this course, the format consists of topics surrounding driver safety and California driving laws. Where you take your course is up to your discretion; you may take it online or in a classroom setting. It is important to note that these courses will vary in length and cost. Keep in mind, online traffic school is more flexible than in person classes, as it can be finished on your own time and at your own pace. 

After completion of the traffic school course, the ticket will not be dismissed but the points will be “hidden.” You will have a confidential conviction appear on your driving record at the DMV, meaning that insurance companies may not view the details of the citation. Therefore, your insurance premium will not increase. This confidential conviction is only available to individuals with noncommercial driver’s licenses. If you have a commercial license, the conviction is no longer confidential.

Traffic school’s intent is to provide drivers education about road safety in exchange for the opportunity to deduct points from their driving record. With this, people can ensure their car insurance costs are affordable. If you decide not to attend, your rates may significantly increase. Regarding the ease of this course, it can only happen once every 18 months and there is no longer a second offenders traffic school.

Eligibility

In order to attend traffic school, you must be eligible per the course requirements. According to the California Courts, you are eligible if the following criteria apply to you:

  • You have a valid driver’s license
  • The offense occurred while driving a noncommercial vehicle
  • Your ticket is for a moving violation infraction

In reference to the vehicle type, you may only go to traffic school if you received your citation whilst driving a noncommercial car. Commercial drivers may not take traffic school if they got a ticket while driving a commercial vehicle. They can, however, go to traffic school if they received their citation in a personal, noncommercial vehicle. 

In addition, you must have received your citation for a moving violation. Common moving violations include speeding or not stopping at a red light or stop sign. Though you are in a moving vehicle while driving under the influence (DUI), this is not a simple infraction from your record. Such driving could result in jail time and serious harm to yourself and others. 

Traffic violations that are not considered eligible for traffic school include equipment, commercial vehicles, and non-moving infractions (i.e. parking in an unauthorized space). Furthermore, misdemeanors and offenses with a mandatory court appearance do not permit traffic school acceptance.

Will Traffic School Dismiss my Ticket?

Unfortunately, no, traffic school does not dismiss tickets. With traffic school, you are still stuck in an adverse situation. Yes, the insurance premiums are the same, but you must pay your traffic fine, along with court and traffic school fees. When considering these factors, traffic school’s benefits may not outweigh the disadvantages. If you do not want to pay these fines, fighting your ticket may be your best option.

Fight Your Ticket 

There is a perfect solution to these problems: trial by written declaration. Trial by written declaration is fighting your ticket in writing instead of going to court. Through our services at TicketBust, we help you build a written defense. If your ticket is dismissed, it means no court appearance, no traffic school fees, no fines and no added points. Contact TicketBust to get your documents prepared to dismiss your ticket today.  

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