Attending Traffic School for a Traffic Ticket

By: Staff Writer July 14, 2012
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Those darn traffic tickets, huh?

Regardless of how unintentional, they punch your wallet and haunt your mind with regret. The more severe the violation, the more severe the penalty, which, in some cases, requires mandatory enrollment in traffic school (excessive speeding tickets usually fall into this category).

Mandated Traffic School

If the court and/or your Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) orders you to attend traffic school, you will more than likely be required to complete the course within a certain period of time. So you will need to act fast in choosing a program. This is important. In most instances the traffic school you choose must be recognized by the state.

Don't chance it by enrolling in the first program you find online. If it's not state-approved, you will not receive credit, meaning you will have to enroll in a new program, costing you additional time and money and potentially putting you in bad standing with the presiding court.

To play it safe, request a list of approved traffic schools from either the court or your DMV. Do not accept a traffic school's claim that it's state-approved without confirming.

Upon completing the program, you will receive a course completion certificate. This is your proof. You need to present this to either the court or the DMV (whichever one mandated your traffic school attendance). Some schools directly submit the certificate for you. Otherwise, you'll need to deliver it yourself.

Failing to complete a mandated traffic school program could result in severe repercussions, especially if it was court ordered - judges don't like when their orders are ignored. You could face additional fines, and/or have your drivers license suspended or revoked.

Voluntary Traffic School

Depending on your situation and your state, traffic school might instead be an option. Proof of enrollment may prompt your state to dismiss your traffic ticket, or reduce points on your driving record. In some instances, you may need approval before pursuing on your own.

If afforded this option, be sure, as explained above, to enroll in a state-approved course. In some instances, you may be allowed to enroll in an online traffic school.

Attending traffic school might also earn you a discount on auto insurance. Contact your provider for specifics.


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