How to Dismiss a Traffic Ticket in Texas
Driving the winding, picturesque Texas roads can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but there’s one thing that can put a damper on that fun: getting a traffic ticket.
The Consequences of a Traffic Ticket
While getting caught for speeding or violating driving laws isn’t the end of the world, it can open your world to a considerable amount of driving nuisances:
- Payments and fines toward your ticket
- A mark on your driving record, potentially preventing you from employment
- An increase in insurance rates
Additionally, if you incur too many traffic violations, you may end up with a suspended license – or worse, a revoked license.
That may sound like a bad time all around, but fortunately, you can dismiss your traffic ticket and ensure you don’t run into these issues.
How to Dismiss a Traffic Ticket
Dismissing a traffic violation in the state of Texas is actually a fairly straightforward endeavor. In order to dismiss a traffic ticket, you must meet the following requirements:
- You hold a valid non-commercial drivers license.
- Your violation is less than 25 MPH over the posted speed limit.
- You have not completed a defensive driving course within the past year (12 months).
- You did not commit your violation in a construction zone.
If you fall in those requirements, you’re eligible to take a defensive driving course and dismiss that traffic ticket. Don’t forget the following things:
- Contact your court and request permission before taking the actual course. No permission = no course.
- The course must be approved by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. If it’s not approved, it’s not a valid way to dismiss your ticket.
- You must plead “guilty” or “no contest” to your violation before taking a class.
- There’s a laundry list of documents and forms the court requires before starting your course. Ask them beforehand what’s required and mail it in or deliver it in-person.
Different Choices for Defensive Driving Courses
After getting approval, you now can go and register for a defensive driving course. There are a quite a few course providers out there, so make sure you do some research beforehand. In terms of course format, there are a couple options out there for you:
- In-person classroom – what used to be the only option until fairly recently. Spend a weekend in a classroom as a teacher gives a lecture on defensive driving.
- Online – the easiest way to complete your defensive driving requirement. Most online course providers will let you take your time with the course, giving you the freedom to study when, where, and how you want.
- Online streaming – the newest, most convenient way to take a defensive driving course. Sit back and watch a video to complete your requirement – simple as that.
Each option has its pros and cons, so research all of them well and choose the one that best fits your needs.
I Took the Course – What Next?
After you complete your course, you will be required to send in a course completion certificate and an official copy of your Texas driving record. Some providers will even send in these documents electronically for you to save you the hassle.
Once the courts receive your documents, they’ll notify you when your dismissal has been officially processed. Don’t forget to check your driving record to ensure your course completion shows up!