Am I eligible for traffic school?
Pursuant to Vehicle Code section 42005 and California Rules of Court rule 4.104, court clerks are only authorized to grant traffic school requests if the following criteria is met:
- You must currently possess a valid California driver’s license.
- The violation(s) on your ticket must be an eligible Vehicle Code infraction. Any violation that carries a negligent operator point count of more than one point under VC 12810 or one and one-half points or more under VC 12810.5(b)(2) is not eligible. Seat belt, mechanical or equipment violations, failure to have insurance and other certain specified violations are not eligible for traffic school.
- You may not have attended Traffic School for a previous violation committed within the last 18-months. The 18-month eligibility period is determined from violation date to violation date and not from when you attended traffic school.
- If cited for speeding, the alleged speed cannot be more than 25 mph over the speed limit.
- Your citation/ticket must not have defaulted to a failure to appear unless the failure to appear charge has been adjudicated and any fine or civil assessment imposed has been paid.
- Your citation/ticket must not be for a violation of Vehicle Code section 22406.5 (tank vehicles)
- Your citation/ticket must not be related to alcohol use or possession.
- Your citation/ticket must not be related to drug use or possession.
- If you were cited while driving with a Class A, B or Commercial Class C driver’s license, on or after January 1, 2013, but you were not driving a commercial vehicle at the time of the violation, you may attend traffic school, if eligible. Although the DMV will not assess the point count on your driving record, they will not hold the conviction as confidential and therefore your insurance may be adversely affected.
NOTICE: If you are eligible and decide not to attend traffic school, your automobile insurance may be adversely affected. One conviction in any 18-month period will be held confidential and not show on your driving record if you complete a traffic violator school program.
A list of Approved Traffic Schools
If you are eligible to attend Traffic School, you must pay the total bail amount due on your citation/ticket, plus an additional non-refundable $49.00 administrative fee. The traffic school will charge you a separate registration fee when you enroll. Traffic Schools are privately run and accredited by the State of California. Any questions you have concerning the costs, hours, or locations must be directed to the school you choose to attend. Following are options on how to request traffic school:
If requesting traffic school in person, the clerks at the traffic window will provide you with the necessary information and forms. In addition to paying for the citation/ticket and administrative fees to the court, you will be required to pay a fee to whatever traffic school you choose to attend.
If you meet the qualifications and want to attend Traffic School, complete the bottom remittance portion of your bail notice to request traffic school and send to the traffic clerk’s office at 500 County Center in Redwood City along with a check or money order made payable to the Superior Court of California, County of San Mateo. The Court will mail the necessary forms and information to the address indicated on your notice. You must sign the forms and return them to the Court. You will be given 60 days to complete traffic school.
By Online Service
Individuals making payments online and requesting traffic school will need to visit our website at www.sanmateocourt.net for a list of approved traffic schools. No additional forms or information will be mailed to you.
How to receive credit for Traffic School?
To receive credit for Traffic School, the following requirements must be met:
- You must pay the citation/ticket bail amount
- You must pay the non-refundable administrative fee
- You must complete an eight-hour Traffic School Program
The payment must be made before the court allows enrollment. If there is more than one traffic school eligible violation on the citation/ticket, you must pay the highest bail plus the administrative fee. Please note, the traffic school will also charge a fee.
Payment Information for Traffic School
If you are paying by check or money order, make it payable to Superior Court of California, County of San Mateo and write “TRAFFIC SCHOOL” and the citation/ticket number on it. If the citation/ticket includes a correctable violation the Court must receive proof of correction before you will be allowed to request Traffic School. If you mail the proof, allow approximately 10 days for delivery and processing.
Methods of completing the Traffic School course
The Court allows you the flexibility to choose how you wish to complete the required Traffic School Course:
- Classroom instruction
- Home study class
- Internet on-line class
Effective September 1, 2012, all DMV approved traffic violator schools are required to submit certificates of traffic school completion electronically to the Court. Therefore, hard copy completion certificates are no longer issued or required to be submitted to the Court. Courts are required to report completion of traffic school to the DMV as a confidential conviction. Only one conviction in any 18-month period will be held confidential and not show on your driving record if you complete a traffic violator school program. If you decide not to attend traffic school or fail to complete traffic school by the due date the following will occur:
- The bail amount and administrative fee you paid will be forfeited and no further proceedings will be held.
- The violation will show on your DMV driving record.
- This could have an adverse effect on your insurance.