Traffic School California Eligibility

A common question that we get here from students at Best Online Traffic School is, “How do I know if I’m eligible for traffic school?”

Generally, the court will notify you if you are eligible to go to traffic school. If you aren’t sure or haven’t seen any such notice, you may also call the court listed on your citation to find out more.

According to the California Rules of Court, Rule 4.104. Procedures and eligibility criteria for attending traffic violator school, there are some general requirements you must meet in order to automatically qualify for traffic school.

Automatic Traffic School California Eligibility

  • You must plead guilty to the traffic violation
  • You must hold a valid non-commercial driver’s license
  • You have been cited for a minor moving violation not exceeding 25 MPH over the limit
  • You have NOT taken traffic school in the past 18 months
  • The ticket must have been issued for a moving violation infraction. You cannot go to a traffic school for non-moving violations or equipment violations. A parking ticket is an example of a non-moving violation.

Requirements for Commercial Driver’s Licenses

The court may approve traffic school for a driver with a commercial driver’s license if the eligible offense occurred in a noncommercial vehicle. After completion of an approved program by a driver with a commercial driver’s license, a conviction will appear on the driving record at the DMV, but a point will not appear for the offense.

Drivers with a commercial driver’s license are responsible for contacting the DMV Driver Safety Unit at (916) 657-6452. This is required so that the DMV does not assess the point against your total NOTS point count. The point, however, will still show on your driving record.

As stated in the law, “A defendant who is otherwise eligible for traffic violator school is not made ineligible by entering a plea other than guilty or by exercising his or her right to trial.” This means that if you choose to plead not guilty, you may be made ineligible for traffic school.

Out of State and Federal Tickets

If your ticket is from another state, or a Federal Court, you must print out and mail your certificate to the court. We only electronically send certificates to California courts.

To clarify this further, let’s go over who is not eligible to go to traffic school:

  • A violation that carries a negligent operator point count of more than one point under Vehicle Code section 12810 or one and one-half points or more under Vehicle Code section 12810.5(b)(2);
  • A violation that occurs within 18 months after the date of a previous violation and the defendant either attended or elected to attend a traffic violator school for the prior violation (Veh. Code, §§ 1808.7 and 1808.10);
  • A violation of Vehicle Code section 22406.5 (tank vehicles);
  • A violation related to alcohol use or possession or drug use or possession;
  • A violation on which the defendant failed to appear under Vehicle Code section 40508(a) unless the failure-to-appear charge has been adjudicated and any fine imposed has been paid;
  • A violation on which the defendant has failed to appear under Penal Code section 1214.1 unless the civil monetary assessment has been paid;
  • A speeding violation in which the speed alleged is more than 25 miles over a speed limit as stated in Chapter 7 (commencing with section 22348) of Division 11 of the Vehicle Code; and
  • A violation that occurs in a commercial vehicle as defined in Vehicle Code section 15210(b).

Should you go to traffic school?

In short, yes, but there’s an entire post dedicated to this topic if you want to weigh the pros and cons. You may also go to traffic school to get updated on the latest traffic laws or in some cases, qualify for reduced auto insurance premiums if your insurer offers a special discount. However, you should check with your insurance company before signing up.

Please keep mind; this is not legal advice. You should not rely on anything you read here to make decisions which may impact your life. We make every effort to provide complete and accurate information. However, we do not guarantee accuracy, completeness, timeliness or correct sequencing of the information.

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