Generally, you can go to traffic school if:
- You have a valid driver’s license,
- The offense occurred while driving a noncommercial vehicle, and
- Your ticket is for an infraction that is a moving violation.
If the court sends a reminder notice, it will say if you are eligible for traffic school.
If you have a noncommercial driver’s license and the court permits you to attend traffic school for an eligible offense, after completion of the course a confidential conviction will be recorded on your driving record at the DMV, but you will not receive a point on your driving record. 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.
Notice: If you are eligible and decide not to attend traffic school, your automobile insurance may be adversely affected.
You CANNOT go to traffic school for:
- Equipment offenses
- Non-moving offenses (like parking offenses)
- Offenses with a mandatory court appearance
- Alcohol- or drug-related offenses
- Offenses in a commercial vehicle
You are also NOT eligible for traffic school if you have gone to traffic school for another ticket that you got in the last 18 months.
There are other reasons you may not be eligible for traffic school. For more information on eligibility for traffic school, see the California Rules of Court, rule 4.104.
Talk to a lawyer if the court says you are not eligible for traffic school but you believe you should be.
What happens if you choose traffic school?
In general, you should not get any points on your driving record if you complete traffic school for a qualifying violation by the due date. You will need to timely appear or contact the court about your election to attend traffic school. If you have a noncommercial license, a confidential conviction will appear on your driving record. If you have a commercial driver’s license, a conviction will appear on your driving record.
If you choose to go to traffic school you will still have to pay your traffic fine, in addition to an administrative court fee and the traffic school fee. Attending traffic school does not do away with the fine or fees; it is a separate issue related only to eliminating the point from your DMV record.
If you decide to go to traffic school without going to court, you have to request permission from the court by the due date on your traffic ticket.
If the clerk or judge says you can go to traffic school, he or she will also give you a deadline for you to finish traffic school.
Once you are finished with traffic school, the traffic school will notify the DMV and the court of your completion of the course.
from California Courts