How Does Traffic School Work?

04th Jun,2020
how do traffic schools work?

Receiving a traffic ticket can be a pain. Luckily, you have the option to take traffic school to remove the point off your driving record and prevent insurance rate hikes. 

But how exactly does traffic school work? Are you even eligible to take traffic school? Here, we discuss the details.

It’s important to know that you have different options for dealing with a traffic ticket when you receive one. First, you can simply pay the fine and move on. Second, you can fight the traffic ticket in court. And lastly, you can take traffic school.

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Traffic school is preferred by many because it provides a better guarantee of getting points off your DMV public record. If you simply pay the fine, you will get points because you’re also admitting guilt. This would also raise your insurance premiums.

If you choose to fight the ticket in court, it would cost you time and money in preparing your defense or even hiring a lawyer. 

There’s also no guarantee that you will win your case. If you end up being found guilty, you will still have to pay the fine and the violation will go on your record.

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Requirements for Eligibility

There are requirements that you should meet before you are allowed to take traffic school. Rules will vary depending on the state, but many states allow drivers to take traffic school once every 12 or 18 months.

It also depends on the offense. If you committed an infraction that’s a moving violation and if you were driving a noncommercial vehicle, you are eligible to take traffic school. 

Other offenses such as misdemeanors [1], offenses in a commercial vehicle, and alcohol or drug-related offenses are not allowed.

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How Does Traffic School Work?


Before you sign up for an online traffic school, you need to notify the court first. 

Generally, your citation will already tell you if you’re eligible or not, so you just need to file a request online or by mail. Some states do require an in-person request, though, so make sure to check.


In many states, you will have to pay a fee to participate in traffic school. Usually, it’s the amount of citation fine. You will also have to pay the traffic school provider for you to take the course.

While there are still in-person traffic schools today, many opt for the top online traffic schools because everything can be completed online.

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Going through the course

Traffic school topics are usually divided into sections. 

The lessons generally include state driving laws, driver’s safety, and defensive driving techniques. 

Online traffic schools like GotoTrafficSchool may have different learning materials as well, such as text, audio, video, and animations.

Passing the tests

Most traffic schools have a short quiz at the end of each section. These are usually composed of a few questions that will test if you’ve understood the chapter. 

But at the end of the entire course, you will have to take a final exam. These online tests are usually easy to answer if you’ve paid attention to the material.

Completing the course

Once you’ve gone through the course and passed the final exam, the traffic school will issue a completion certificate that you have to send to the court. Some online traffic schools like Aceable electronically process it for you so you don’t have to file the paperwork yourself.

Once the court has confirmed your completion, your violation will be dismissed and the points will be kept off your driving record. Thus, the violation will not affect your insurance rates.

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How does online traffic school work in California?

Online traffic school works in California by keeping points off your driving record. 

The court will send you a notice telling you if you’re eligible for traffic school. You then complete a course with a traffic school provider and your violation will be masked once completion is confirmed.

How does driving school work for a ticket?

Driving school works for a ticket by preventing points on your license. The court will give you a deadline to complete an online traffic school course. Once the court confirms your completion, your ticket will be dismissed and the points will not reflect on your record.

How long does traffic school take to process?

Traffic school takes anywhere from 1 to 8 hours to process. If no course timers are required, you can finish the course in one to two hours. As for online traffic schools, it takes 3 business days for them to electronically process your completion to the court.

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Can I go to traffic school after I pay for my ticket in California?

You can go to traffic school after you’ve paid your ticket and requested from the California court that you’re opting to take a traffic school course. The court will give you a due date by which time you have to complete your course.

time lapse of cars on road


It’s not really hard to understand how traffic school works. When you receive your notice, it will tell you if you’re eligible to take traffic school. If you are, you have to request the court to allow you to take one. You then sign up for a course, complete it, and pass the final exam.

The online traffic school will usually alert the court of your completion, so it would be hassle-free for you. Once all is done, your traffic ticket will be dismissed and you won’t have acquired additional points on your license.

Like to keep everything within a budget? These cheapest schools come highly recommended for dropping points off your record and lowering insurance premiums.

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William Johnson

William Johnson is the owner and founder of He writes about car accessories, with his passion stemming from a deep enthusiasm for all things automotive. His website, RRD, focuses on in-depth reviews of car accessories to help people find the best and latest products in the market.