What Is the California Traffic Violator School Program?
In California, if you get a traffic ticket, you can expect the conviction as well as the points associated with that particular violation to be added to your driving record. However, the state realizes that drivers aren’t perfect all of the time, so as a way to forgive your mistakes they have established the California traffic violator school program.
Eligibility for Attending Traffic Violator School
There are a few very specific guidelines in place for determining who is and who is not eligible to take California traffic school. In addition, the state allows this course to be taken either online or in a classroom, making it much more convenient to choose a program that fits your lifestyle.
You should be eligible to take traffic violator school online if you:
- Received 1 point, or a minor moving violation
- Have not taken traffic violator school in the past 18 months to mask a ticket
Unfortunately, not all drivers are eligible. You will NOT be allowed to mask a traffic ticket for any of the following reasons:
- If you have a commercial driver’s license and you received your ticket while driving a commercial vehicle
- If you were convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- If your speeding ticket was for driving more than 25 MPH over the limit
- If your ticket carries a point value greater than 1 and/or your conviction requires a court appearance
If you are eligible to take traffic violator school, you may receive a notice from the DMV with a list of licensed courses you can take. This list will include California home study traffic school, online courses, and traditional classroom providers.
Course Approval Status
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) requires that you choose a California traffic violator school that is state-licensed in order to meet your traffic ticket needs. If you’re considering taking a traffic violator school online course, you’ll be happy to know that I Drive Safely offers a state-licensed program that will fulfill your requirements. The material included in our course material is 100% approved so you can be sure you’re getting the best course for your money.
Keeping A Traffic Ticket Off Your Public Driving Record
In the past, drivers in California could take a traffic violator course to have a traffic ticket erased from their record. Unfortunately, by dismissing traffic tickets repeat offenders and negligent drivers were not being appropriately punished for their bad driving behaviors. In 2011, the California DMV changed their system. Now, drivers who are cited for a minor moving violation can take online traffic school in California to mask a ticket. This keeps it off their public driving record and prevents their insurance company from seeing it, but the DMV can still see the citation and make judgments on an individual’s driving privileges based on that information.
How Long Does a Violation Remain on a Driving Record?
The length of time a traffic violation and its points will remain on your record depends on the offense. Minor or 1-point offenses typically remain on your driving record for 3 years. Major violations that carry 2 points, such as DUI, hit-and-run, or reckless driving, will stay on your record for 10 years. There are additional California traffic ticket fines and penalties associated with each violation, which we have detailed thoroughly on our website.
How to Mask Points from Your Driving Record
You have 2 choices when it comes to points on your record:
- Wait it out
- Take traffic violator school
These are the only options available to drivers who want to keep points off their license. Unfortunately, your only option with a 2-point offense conviction is to wait it out. It’s important to keep in mind that the waiting period for 1-point and even some 2-point violations (if negotiated with the court), is only 3 years. However, if you fail to show up for a court date or neglect obligations like paying your fine on time or completing California traffic violator school once you’ve signed up, your points could remain on your record for up to 5 years.
In addition, failure to appear in court for a DUI conviction will keep those 2 points on your record for 10 years. Your California suspended drivers license sentence could also be extended.
In California, traffic school is designed to last 8 hours. If you take it online, and you’re a fast learner, you may actually finish your course more quickly. The course concludes with a 25-question multiple-choice final exam. To earn credit for your course, you’re required to earn a passing score of 70%. If you fail, you have a second chance to take the test.
Once you pass, your completion information is processed and sent electronically to the DMV. No action is required on your part, but it is a good idea to follow up with the DMV a couple weeks after you finish traffic violator school in California. Staying on top of your driving record will ensure that you received credit for your course to keep points off your public driving record, in addition to your traffic conviction being masked from your insurance company.
If you have any questions, feel free to email or call us – we’re here 24 hours a day, every day of the year!