Does Attending Traffic School Always Remove Points on your Drivers License

January 27, 2012

Violation of traffic laws can be a double edged sword. Not only do you have to pay the fine on the ticket, but  it can lead to high insurance cost, due to the resulting points added to your drivers license. If the violation is eligible, and you haven’t already passed your yearly limit, then traffic school may be an option to help prevent or even remove points on your license, as well as avoid future insurance premium increases that may result from them.

Avoid or Remove Points

A traffic school does not remove pre-existing points from your license, but depending on how your state and county laws are written, it may remove the points incurred from the violation. In some states and counties, points are automatically assigned to your license upon receiving a ticket for a violation. From here, you will either be informed by the court or the paperwork issued with the ticket about how to enroll in traffic school. In most places, you have 90 days to decide whether you will simply pay the ticket, dispute it with the court or enroll in traffic school. After the 90 days have passed, the points incurred will become permanently affixed to your driving record. If a completion certificate for traffic school is received by the court before this 90 day limit has passed, the license points are removed. In other areas, the points will not be added to your record until after a given period of time. A completion certificate for traffic school in this case will avoid having the points affixed to your record entirely.

Eligibility of Violations

Eligibility of a violation for traffic school can vary depending on your state and county, but generally, a few points are universal. Speeding in excess of 100mph or exceeding the speed limit by 15 to 20mph, driving under the influence, reckless driving, and hit and run accidents are not usually eligible for traffic school, no matter where you live. Simple moving violations such as speeding tickets of less than 15 to 20mph over the speed limit, running a red light or stop sign, or other things such as unsafe lane changes and illegal U-turns are almost always eligible.

Limits to Traffic School

Most states only allow one course to be taken per year, and up to 5 in a ten year period. In other cases, you may have to wait 18 to 24 months before you can erase a violation from your record with traffic school. After you have used up your maximum amount of courses in a given time period, you will have no choice but to pay the ticket and have the violation recorded on your record.

If you are eligible, there are very few downsides to choosing the traffic school alternative. Traffic school isn't just a good way to keep insurance premiums low, either. Should your driving history be less than sterling, traffic school may even help keep your drivers license from being suspended if you are already close to the limit in points.