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How to Determine if Defensive Driving School is an Option

Date posted: 08/02/2012

by Melissa Crumish on
in Tickets & Violations

3014 How to Determine if Defensive Driving School is an OptionTraffic tickets.


The repercussions carry a lot of ouch. Not only do you face steep fines, but depending on your state, you may have points added to your driving record. And if you have a history of speeding tickets, for example, one more ticket could cause your drivers license to be suspended or revoked.

Depending on your state, however, you may be given the chance to reduce the ticket’s punch by completing a defensive driving course.

Traffic School for Traffic Tickets

Whether you can attend a defensive driving school to have a traffic ticket or points removed from your driving record depends on your state and the presiding court. Not all states offer this “attendance reward.”

To learn if your state offers this option, contact your Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office. A DMV agent will explain your options. If it is offered, in most cases enrollment will either be your choice or court ordered.

Voluntarily Enrollment in Defensive Driving Courses

If given the option, you will be required to complete a state-approved class and present the DMV with a course completion certificate within a specified window of time. Be sure the traffic school meets DMV approval. Otherwise, you will not receive credit and the traffic ticket or points will remain on your driving record.

Before eyeing prospective traffic schools, ask your DMV for a list of approved programs. In some cases, you may be given the okay to enroll in an online defensive driving course.

Depending on your situation and state, you may need court approval even though enrollment is voluntary. You will be fully versed on this if a judge’s consent is needed.

Court-Ordered Traffic Schools

A judge in some scenarios may mandate enrollment in a defensive driving course. In such situations attendance is viewed as part of the punishment, not as a means for having a moving violation charge dismissed. This is not say, however, it can’t happen. Every situation is different, based on the seriousness of the violation as well as past violations.

Defensive Driving School Advantages

If you have the option to enroll in a traffic school to have a ticket dismissed, you will benefit in several ways:

  • No additional points (if applicable) added to your record. This could save your license from being suspended or revoked.
  • The ticket will not appear on your driving record. This in turn could save you from increased car insurance rates and possibly even your job.

Has a defensive driving course ever been an option for you?

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