You have just been handed a ticket, your third traffic violation of the year. One more ticket and your license will be revoked, never mind the increased insurance premiums and fines that will follow immediately. Careful driving will help you avoid future tickets and the completion of a traffic school course can remove some points from your driving record. Not all driving courses qualify, therefore do your research before investing your time and money in a program.
Each state, territory, and district has complete jurisdiction over its drivers by issuing licenses, vehicle registrations, and tags to qualified individuals.
Your state’s department of motor vehicles assigns points for various moving violations, therefore an accumulation of points can cost you your license. Your driving information is also available to insurance companies with your premiums adjusted accordingly.
Many states oversee programs that allow drivers to take defensive driving and refresher courses to improve their driving skills. These courses are typically available through private companies or corporations, businesses that are known as “course sponsors” in the state of New York.
New York’s Point & Insurance Reduction Program removes four points for drivers that successfully complete an approved program. Contact your state’s DMV for qualifying program information and point reduction guidelines.
Qualifying courses last at least 320 minutes in New York. In North Carolina, driving clinics last for four hours and are completed in one session. In Nevada, one-day traffic programs are taken online, courses that may take up to five hours to complete.
Approved programs in each state review driving knowledge and are geared toward improving driving skills.
State DMV Notification
Once you successfully complete and pass a driving course, the approved driving school forwards that information to your state. Your state determines how many points are removed and how soon those points come off of your driving record.
In New York, it can take up to 10 weeks to remove your points. In Idaho, drivers are issued a certificate of completion and must send their certificate to Boise for handling and the subsequent reduction of three points from their driving record. In California, the driving school notifies the state when a student has successfully passed its course.
Points, Fines, and Fees
The completion of a driver education program may reduce your points, but it may not reduce your fine. Moreover, you can expect to pay a fee for your class and you may also be charged a separate fee for your certificate.
To reinstate your license, your DMV will also charge a fee. States restrict how often drivers can take a traffic school course and how many points may be removed within a certain amount of time. In New York, drivers can lose up to seven points over five years, in Idaho drivers can have up to three points removed annually.
Reducing the number of points on your driving record may preserve your driver’s license. If your license is revoked, the successful completion of traffic school may restore your privileges, but fines, court costs, and lawyer fees will remain.