Nothing ruins a good day like a traffic ticket. One moment you're driving down a scenic California road, and the next, you're saddled with an expensive fine for a mistake you made.
According to the California points system, each traffic violation accrues points on your driving record. If you get too many, you could lose your license. Even just racking up a point or two could make your monthly auto insurance premiums skyrocket. Attending traffic school is the best way to make sure this ticket won't cost you a lot of money in the long run.
Ready to get started? Let's go over who can enroll in a California traffic school course.
List of Eligibility Requirements for California Traffic School
You are eligible for California traffic school if you check off all the requirements listed below:
You have a valid driver's license.
You have not taken traffic school in the past 18 months.
Your infraction is worth only 1 point.
You appeared on your citation court date.
Your citation does not involve alcohol/drug use or possession.
You were not cited for speeding 25 MPH over the speed limit.
If you have a commercial driver's license, your violation occurred in a non-commercial vehicle and while you were not driving on the job.
Do you meet the eligibility requirements? If so, great! You can now register for California traffic school within the deadline set by the court. You will also need to complete the course by that deadline. Be sure to enroll in a course offered by a DMV-licensed school, like IDriveSafely.
Can Out-of-State Drivers Take California Traffic School?
Driving records are public and shared across states. If you live in another state but received a traffic ticket in California, there's a good chance your insurance company back home will hear about it. You can mask the ticket by attending California traffic school, even if you're no longer in the state.
To qualify, you must meet all the eligibility requirements listed above.
Can I Take Traffic School for Out-of-State Tickets?
California drivers who receive citations in other states can still take traffic school. But they'll have to do traffic school in the state where they received that fine. For example, if you were fined on a road trip in Texas, you'll have to attend Texas traffic school (also known as defensive driving school).
You'll have to meet the eligibility requirements of the state that cited you. Contact the court that cited you to ensure you can take the course.
What If I Don't Qualify for California Traffic School?
If you don't meet all the eligibility requirements, you may still be allowed to dismiss a ticket in California. Contact the court to request special permission to attend traffic school. Exceptions are granted on a case-by-case basis.
Benefits of Taking California Traffic School
Unfortunately for most drivers, taking California traffic school does not get you out of paying for the citation and court fees. But that doesn't mean traffic school is useless — far from it! Here are the benefits of taking California driving school:
Hide your traffic citation from curious minds. That includes employers and your insurance. If you don't go to traffic school, the ticket will remain on your record for 3 to 7 years.
Keep your insurance rates low. When auto insurance companies see traffic tickets, they hike their rates or even kick you off the policy entirely. By going to traffic school and masking the ticket, you avoid this expensive hassle.
Keep in mind that taking traffic school won't erase your points from the DMV system. They will still be there, meaning you'll be a point closer to losing your license. But no one except the DMV will know about your behind-the-wheel slip-up.
Keep Your Record Clean and Save Money
If you're ready to clean up your act (and your record), sign up for online California traffic school classes today with IDriveSafely. Take them at your own pace, wherever you want, and leave the rest to us. We'll send your certificate of completion to the DMV so your ticket gets hidden away right away.