The state of California allows motorists to reduce points on their driving record by attending traffic school. However, there are limits to how often you can do this, and depending on your violation, you may not be eligible at all. In this article, you are going to learn everything you need about California traffic school eligibility and its benefits.
Are You Eligible for the California Traffic School Course?
Usually, the DMV sends you a notice of eligibility if you qualify for traffic school after a ticket or accident. Once you receive the notice, you must plead guilty to your violation and opt to enroll in a California traffic school course.
You can do this either by notifying the court by phone or mail, or you can go to the court listed on your citation, and in that case, you have to pay a court administrative fee. If you have not received the notice, you can contact the court listed on your citation and request permission to attend a California traffic school.
As a general rule, you are eligible if:
- You have a valid non-commercial California driver’s license in your possession
- If you do have a commercial driver’s license, your violation must have occurred in a non-commercial vehicle and outside of your job.
- Have not taken traffic school in the past 18 months
- You don’t have more than one point on your driving license
- You have not been cited for a violation exceeding 25 MPH over the limit
- You did not fail to appear on your citation
- Your violation is not alcohol or drugs related
In the case that you do not meet one of the California traffic school requirements, you can contact your court with a special permission request to attend the traffic school.
You are not eligible to attend California traffic school if you were cited for any of the following reasons:
- Non-moving/equipment violation
- Alcohol or drug-related violation
- A violation that mandates a court appearance
- If you hold a commercial driver’s license and you were cited while operating a commercial motor vehicle
The Easiest Way to Go Through a California Traffic School Course
California traffic school online course is a state-licensed course by the DMV and is the most comfortable way to go through traffic school.
Taking this course will help you prevent a recent traffic ticket and points from showing up on your public driving record. But the great thing about this course is that you can take it from the comfort of your home. It is 100% online and completely accessible from your laptop, smartphone, or tablet.
The course is constructed as an eight-hour course, organized into single-subject units which you can choose to complete at your own pace. Each of the course chapters is focused on a crucial topic regarding California driving and traffic laws, like State traffic laws or highway safety.
Keep in mind that there are deadlines determined by the California courts. It is important to determine your deadline before beginning.
If you are one of the people that wait until the last minute, you should know until what time you can wait. Since the course takes eight hours to complete, you should start it at least nine hours before the midnight deadline. For good measure, start at least ten hours before. After all, you have to count on meals and toilet breaks.
Upon your completion, the DMV will be notified with an email containing proof of completion, and you will be able to download the same document.
What Does the Test Look Like?
The final exam at California traffic school online course consists of 25 multiple-choice questions. To pass the exam, you need to score at least 70%, and you are allowed one retake. If you fail, you have to register and take the course again.
Once you pass the final exam, you get access to proof of completion you can print at home, and the school will send a copy automatically to the DMV without additional cost for you.
Why Should You Choose a California Traffic School Course?
Generally, if you were handed a speeding ticket in California, and you are eligible to attend traffic school, that is your easiest and cheapest option. You could plead guilty and pay the ticket, but then your violation would be visible on your record.
A California traffic school course does not erase the ticket from your permanent driving record, but it does mask it so your insurance company, employer, or someone else requesting your driving background will not see the violation. Therefore, only you and the DMV will know about the mistake you made.
Also, California traffic school courses can lower your auto insurance rate. Receiving a speeding ticket for as little as 1-14MPH over the speed limit can already increase your auto insurance premium by a little over 10%. But if you go through the traffic school course, there won’t be an increase.