How to Request Traffic School in California

Traffic school can get you out of hot water and keep your driving record a little cleaner, but not everyone has that option. If you're going to a California traffic school, then you've probably got three things under your belt:

  • A valid driver's license
  • An offense that occurred when you were driving a non-commercial vehicle
  • A ticket for a moving violation

You'll want to make sure that you qualify before wasting your time asking, so here's what you can't go to traffic school for:

  • Equipment offenses
  • Non-moving offenses (parking offenses, etc.)
  • Misdemeanors
  • Mandatory court appearances
  • Alcohol-related offenses
  • Offenses while driving a commercial vehicle

The court will send a courtesy notice that will let you know whether or not you are eligible for traffic school. You can attend traffic school if you have a noncommercial driver's license nad the court permits it for an eligible offense. After you complete the course, a conviction will be recorded at the DMV, but it will be confidential, and you won't get a point on your driving record.

The court may approve of traffic school for a commercial license holder, but only if the offense occurred in a noncommercial vehicle.

If you think you should be eligible but the court says otherwise, talk to a lawyer. You may have a case. Note that you won't be able to go to traffic school if you have already gone to traffic school for another ticket that you were given in the last 18 months.

If the court lets you attend traffic school and you complete the course by the due date, then you're not going to get any points on your record. You will receive a confidential conviction on a non-commercial license, while a commercial driver's license holder will see a not-so-confidential conviction appear on their record.

If you plan on taking a course, here are the steps to take:

  • Ask the court before your due date on the traffic ticket

You'll have to contact your court and ask them if you can take the class. Don't try to sign up until you've covered this or you could be wasting time.

  • Pay an administrative fee to the court
  • Pay the traffic school

These are two different charges, so make sure to pay them both.

  • Finish the course by the due date the clerk or judge gives you

Attend the course, take it seriously, and finish it. When you're all done, the traffic school will contact the DMV and the court and let them know that you're good to go as long as you've passed the class.

How to Erase A California Traffic Ticket