How to Tell if You're Eligible to Go to Traffic School
Depending on a number of factors related to your personal driving history and the circumstances surrounding your traffic violation, you may be able to go to traffic school to prove to the court you deserve to have a clean driving record. There are situations, though, in which the court does not see fit to grant you the right to attend traffic school in exchange for a dismissed ticket. Beyond that, there may be limitations in the state you reside. The court systems in every state do not allow traffic school as a way to keep tickets off the driving records, but those that do have increased their leniency have begun to allow Internet courses. Thus, eligibility for private or DMV traffic school hinges upon the state's acceptance of traffic school as a proper means of driving rehabilitation, as well as the seriousness and/or frequency of the driver's infraction.
Determine State Traffic School Eligibility
As stated, the courts in each state will determine if drivers can attend traffic school in exchange for mercy from the court. The states that allow online traffic schools, at this point, include Virginia, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Missouri, Alabama, Wyoming, Texas, Nevada, New Mexico, Alaska, California and Oregon. Residents of other states should contact the county clerk's office to determine what the rules are in their state.
Go Before a Judge
Once you determine your state's court system allows traffic school as a way to increase driver education and remove tickets from driving records, you'll have to go before a judge. Don't pay the ticket you have received. You will have to go to the courts on the day the ticket stipulates or request a new court date from the clerk of the courts. When you finally go before the judge, they will determine if your traffic offense is minor enough to merit traffic school. Provided you did not commit a felony in your vehicle and that you are not a repeat offender, it is likely the judge will allow you to attend traffic school. Doing so is wise because your ticket will be dismissed in exchange. Traffic ticket points cause insurance rates to go up. This does not show up on your record if the ticket gets dismissed. You will likely have to pay the ticket in full, but you will ultimately save money otherwise spent on increased insurance premiums.
Drivers who commit felonies while behind the wheel will likely not be allowed to attend traffic school and have their record cleared. Likewise, if you are a frequent visitor to the courtroom because of traffic offenses, you may get a second chance but probably not a third. If you don't pay the ticket and ignore the summons, you are out of luck. Lastly, drug or alcohol-related driving offenses will not be expunged by traffic school.
After the arrangement with the court has been made, enroll in traffic school with a state-recognized school either online or in class. Complete the course and present the documentation along with the payment of your fine to the court, and your ticket will more than likely be erased from your record.