Am I Eligible for Traffic School?
If you have received a traffic ticket and are wondering if you are eligible to take traffic school, the deciding factor in most cases is where you received your ticket. The majority of states do not have a state-wide traffic school or defensive driving program, but the individual courts may allow traffic school to dismiss a ticket. This means that there is no one formula for determining your traffic school eligibility. For states without a state-wide program, your best bet is to contact the court shown on your ticket, and ask them if traffic school is an option for you.
Many states do have a state-wide program for ticket dismissal or deferral, and the requirements vary from state to state. In states that have a state-wide program, many of them place a limit on how often the course can be taken. There may also be limitations depending on the severity of your violation; exceeding a certain speed or committing a more serious violation may make your ticket ineligible for dismissal.
Some states, such as New Jersey and Idaho, do not have a ticket dismissal or deferral program, but allow you to take traffic school in order to reduce the amount of points against your driver’s license. In states with point reduction programs, you may not be able to prevent the ticket from appearing on your driving record, but taking traffic school is an option to remove at least some of the points from your driving record.
A few states may even require you to take a traffic school course depending on how many tickets you have had, and the severity of your violations. In these cases, you will be notified by the DMV, the court, or other administrating agency.
Select your state for more information on traffic school eligibility.
The violation for which you were cited is also a determining factor in your eligibility. Please review this list of violations: http://www.azcourts.gov/Portals/48/LISTOFELIGIBLEVIOLATIONS03082011REV.pdf.If your violation number is marked as CM, it may not be eligible for dismissal by defensive driving course completion. Your violation number will be shown on your traffic citation. If your violation is NOT on the list, then you cannot take traffic school.
In addition to court permission, a period of at least 18 months must have passed since the date of your last traffic violation for which you completed a traffic school course (days are counted from violation date to violation date).
If the Florida DMV or DHSMV is making you take a basic driver improvement course, then you are eligible to take the course anytime, as long as you complete before the due date they gave you.
- A driver cannot be under suspension.
- A driver cannot attend state traffic school for a conviction carrying a mandatory license suspension; a driver can only attend on minor traffic violations.
- A driver can only be referred to state traffic school once within a twelve-month period.
- Non-licensed drivers are not eligible to attend state traffic school.
- All state traffic school referrals must come from the district court where the violation occurred.
Counties that allow the FCC to approve attendance at a Driver Improvement Program:
Adair, Andrew, Atchison, Audrain, Barton, Bollinger, Boone, Buchanan, Butler, Callaway, Cape Girardeau, Cass, Clay, Clinton, Cole, Cooper, Crawford, Dade, Daviess, Franklin, Gasconade, Greene, Grundy, Harrison, Hickory, Holt, Howell, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Livingston, Macon, Madison, Marion, McDonald, Miller, Nodaway, Oregon, Osage, Pemiscot, Perry, Pike, Platte, Putnam, Reynolds, Ripley, Saline, Schuyler, Scott, Shannon, Shelby, St. Clair, Ste. Genevieve, Sullivan, Vernon, Wayne, Webster, Worth, Wright.
If the county in which you received your citation is not listed above, and you want to attend the Driver Improvement Program, you must first plead not guilty to the Fine Collection Center. The FCC will send your citation to the prosecuting attorney in the county where the citation was issued. After the prosecutor files the citation with the court, the court will notify you of a court date. If you plead guilty at the court, they have the authority to allow you to attend DIP to avoid point assessment. However, this decision is made by the court on a case by case basis and there is no guarantee that they will allow you to attend. You should check with the court in the county where the ticket was issued to learn about local policies concerning DIP.
If you are charged with a moving violation in a county that has approved the Driver Improvement Program, and you plead guilty and pay your fine and costs in full to the FCC, you will automatically be approved to attend an authorized Driver Improvement Program course to avoid having points assessed on your Missouri driver’s license. However, this program is not available for a violation committed in a commercial motor vehicle or for any driver who has a commercial driver’s license. Attendance at DIP is not mandatory. If you choose to attend DIP, you must complete an approved DIP course within 60 days of your guilty plea. No points will be added to your Missouri driver’s records if you meet these requirements. For violations committed while operating a motorcycle, the rider must attend an approved motorcycle-rider training course following the rules above to avoid point assessment.
You may only attend DIP for a traffic violation once every 36 months.
- Point reduction applies only to points assessed for violations that occurred within the 18 months immediately before course completion. It does not affect points for earlier violations, and cannot be used as "credit" against future violations or points.
- Point reduction cannot reduce your point total lower than zero.
- If your license has already been revoked or suspended, or if a violation hearing has already been scheduled, point reduction will not affect that action.
- Point reduction does not prevent, or cancel, a mandatory revocation or suspension for violations such as DWI, DWAI, or three speeding violations within 18 months.