We get it – you probably aren’t taking traffic school by choice.
After receiving a traffic violation and paying a fine, you now have to pay for traffic school itself and pass a test. The entire experience can be frustrating and stressful.
You may be asking yourself “Should I go to traffic school? Is it really worth it?”. You may even be considering fighting the ticket or paying it off to get rid of it.
If you’re on the fence about whether you should go to traffic school, then the short answer is Yes, you absolutely should go to traffic school.
There can also be some serious downsides to NOT attending traffic school, such as:
- Paying hundreds or even thousands of extra dollars in increased insurance rates
- Your driver’s license being suspended
- Employers discovering your violation on a background check
Before we get into these, you’ll want to:
- Make sure you’re eligible for traffic school
- See if the California DMV licenses the school you plan to attend (You can verify by checking the DMV Traffic School list.)
- If you’re unsure what kind of traffic school to go to – online, classroom or booklet, see our guide on how to find the best traffic school.
First, we’ll talk about the costs of NOT attending traffic school.
What Happens If You Don’t Go To Traffic School
Paying The Fine But Skipping Traffic School
Fed up with the entire experience of receiving a traffic citation? Thinking about just paying the fine? We understand this might sound tempting to some – but going this route can do serious damage to both your wallet and driving record.
Because if you do this your traffic violation will be officially recorded on your driving record. When this happens it’s highly likely you’ll be slapped with a nasty insurance hike.
How much will your insurance rates increase? Here’s a quick example:
Let’s say you pay $1,500 for your car insurance policy. You then receive a traffic violation for a speeding ticket.
If you choose to pay your ticket and skip traffic school, your premiums can go up by as much as 20-30% for three years following the citation.
And if this is your second infraction in a three-year period, your premiums can increase by as much as 20%. On top of that, you will lose your Good Driver discount, adding around another 20% to your automobile insurance premium.
That means that your insurance payment will increase by $225 to $825 in the first year alone – all for one little traffic mistake! And over three years this could add up to as much as a whopping $675 to $2,475 in avoidable fines!
What’s worse: Paying $19.99 or paying up to $2,475 over three years in increased insurance rates?
The answer is a no-brainer – and why the vast majority of people decide to take the easy route and knock out their traffic obligation with online traffic school.
Going this route will save you a ton of money and headaches. Plus, it only takes 2 hours or less to complete – meaning you can knock it out in a single session and avoid years of expensive insurance increases!
Fighting Your Ticket
If you are considering fighting your ticket, then you should know that this is often the most expensive and time-consuming route to take.
Even if you hire a lawyer, you may still be found guilty and lose your trial. If this happens you will lose your bail, be forced to pay a hefty fine, and still receive the point on your driving record.
That’s why we recommend pleading guilty to your ticket and opting to take traffic school. This is the fastest and easiest option for 99% of people – and is the best way to put your traffic violation behind you for good.
Failing To Complete Traffic School On Time
If you pay the court traffic school administrative fee but fail to complete traffic school on time, then you will lose the non-refundable fee. You’ll also be subject to the driving record point and insurance rate increases.
If you’re worried about completing traffic school before the deadline, then we recommend picking an online traffic school that is very quick to complete and fulfills all court and DMV requirements.
Why You Should Go To Traffic School
Avoiding expensive fines and rate increases aren’t the only upsides to attending traffic school. Below you’ll find a number of benefits that will make attending traffic school worth your while:
1. You Will Mask Your Ticket
If you are eligible to take traffic school, then the biggest benefit is that traffic school will hide your point from your public driving record. The more points you have, the worse the effect is on your insurance rate. More points can even lead to the DMV suspending, canceling, or revoking your license. A point can stay on your driving record for up to three years.
2. You Will Save Big On Insurance
Going to traffic school means that your insurance company will not find out about your traffic ticket and your rates will be unaffected. Because of this you’ll save yourself from paying hundreds or thousands of extra dollars, keep your California Good Driver discount, and more.
3. You’ll Avoid Having Your License Suspended
While your license won’t normally be suspended for one or two violations, your points will start to add up. Each point that isn’t removed by going to traffic school will count towards your DMV NOTS total. Once you’ve hit a certain number of points, your license may be suspended.
4. Your Employment Chances Will Not Be Hurt
Some employers also run background checks on candidates. Having points on your driving record could significantly hurt your chances of getting a driving-related job. Your employer may also view it as a sign of irresponsibility, which could put the decision in favor of someone who has no violations on their record.
5. You’ll Become A Better Driver
A lesser-discussed advantage of traffic school is students get updated on the latest traffic safety laws. That’s because the course is also a refresher on safety and driving rules. It will help you become a better driver, which will prevent future accidents, and can even help friends and family avoid accidents as well.
How To Pick The Best Traffic School In California
If you’ve chosen to attend traffic school then congrats! You’ve made the right choice and will save yourself hundreds of dollars and lots of headaches.
You may also be wondering what the next steps are. Here’s what you’ll want to do in order to find the best traffic school to take:
1. Select A Traffic School That Is Certified By The Court And DMV
You will want to make sure you pick a licensed and legitimate traffic school that is accepted by all California courts. These are schools that meet all education requirements and are listed on the court’s website. Click here to quickly find a list of official traffic schools.
2. Pick A Traffic School That Is Quick To Complete
If you fail to complete traffic school on time you may be subject to hefty insurance rate increases and a negative impact on your record. The good news is that you no longer have to spend 8 hours inside of a classroom on the weekend in order to complete traffic school. In fact, you can get it done in as little as 90 minutes from the comfort of your home!
3. Pick A Highly Reviewed Traffic School
The easiest way to tell that you’ve chosen a great traffic school is to pick one with great reviews from California drivers just like you. Look for reviews that talk about how easy the material was, how long it took to complete, and how good the customer service was. Reviews like these will help you make sure you’re choosing the best school out of all the alternatives.
4. Pick A Traffic School With Transparent Pricing
Many people pay way more than they have to for traffic school. That’s because most schools lure you in with a cheap price and then charge extra for unnecessary upgrades or items that you don’t need. To make sure you’re getting the best price possible make sure to find a traffic school with a transparent pricing breakdown so that you know exactly what you’re paying for.
Ready To Go To Traffic School?
Best Online Traffic School is what the majority of California drivers use to knock out their court obligation quickly and cheaply. By taking our easy traffic school course you’ll avoid the consequences of not taking traffic school and put your ticket behind you in record time. We’re also one of the only traffic schools in the state to provide the course in English, Spanish & Chinese with free audio narration.
Here’s why so many California drivers love Best Online Traffic School:
- DON’T PAY US UNTIL YOU PASS
- FREE Same Day Submission To Court & DMV
- Very Easy – 99% Pass On Their First Try
- FREE Electronic Certificate Included
- FREE English, Chinese & Spanish Audio Read Along
- Just $19.99! – No Credit Card Required Until You Pass