California Traffic School

Brandon Myers - Author by Brandon Myers | Last Updated: April 7, 2021

In California, drivers are encouraged to complete traffic school, otherwise known as defensive driving. These schools offer the option to dismiss a traffic ticket and avoid adding a moving violation to your driving record or get a discount on your auto insurance.

Traffic Violator School in California

If you’ve received a traffic ticket in California, you can choose to handle the ticket outright, or you may be eligible to remove the conviction from your record and avoid adding points to your license by completing an eight-hour traffic violator school course. Keeping the violation off of your record will also allow you to avoid higher auto insurance rates.

California Traffic Violator School Eligibility

Typically, if you are eligible to take a traffic violator school course, you will receive a courtesy notice in the mail from the California DMV. Most traffic violations will be eligible for traffic violator school, except for ineligible offenses or drivers, including:

While many California drivers will be eligible for a defensive driving course through a traffic violator school, you must verify your eligibility to attend the course with the court before enrolling. If you are not eligible to attend traffic violator school but enroll and attend anyway, the conviction will remain, and you will not receive a refund of your fees.

Completing California Traffic Violator School Courses

To enroll in a California traffic violator school course, you must request permission to attend traffic violator school with the court. This must be done on or before the due date listed on your citation. Most courts will require that you pay fees to the court before your request is approved. You may then choose a traffic school and pay a fee to enroll and receive records to send to the court.

Most courts will allow drivers up to 60 days to enroll and complete a defensive driving course with a traffic violator school. If you cannot meet this deadline, you may contact the court to request an extension; some courts may grant a single 30-day extension if the request is made before the due date. The court may refuse to accept traffic violator school completions after the due date or assess additional administrative fees.

Drivers who request traffic school but do not complete a course will be considered to have failed to complete. If this is the case, you will forfeit any court and course fees paid, and the conviction will be reported on your driving record with the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

Defensive Driving Courses Available in California

In your traffic violator school course, you’ll learn about important topics in driving safety and get access to resources that can improve your skills as a driver. The course requirements set by the CA DMV ensures that you will receive the same information, no matter the course. A traffic school in Irvine will teach the same thing as one in San Jose but how they present it is often unique to the school. Your traffic violator school course will include instruction in topics including:

Traffic School for Car Insurance Discounts

Even if you haven’t received a traffic ticket, you may benefit from enrolling in a California traffic school course. Traffic school courses teach drivers about safety, updated laws, and can improve your driving knowledge and behavior. You may also be eligible for a discount on your auto insurance if you voluntarily complete a traffic school course.

California Mature Driver Improvement Course

California encourages mature drivers to complete an improvement course with a California traffic school. This is known as theย mature driver improvement course. The course includes updates on the rules of the road, as well as important information on how medication, fatigue, physical limitations, and alcohol may have on your driving ability.

California Mature Driver School Eligibility

This benefit is available to mature drivers 55 or older. Upon completion of the course, eligible drivers can reduce car insurance premiums for three years. (After three years, drivers can enroll in a renewal course for an additional three years of discounts.) The individual insurance company determines this amount, and drivers with poor driving records may not be eligible, depending on the insurance company’s policies. It’s a good idea to contact your insurance company before enrolling in a mature driver improvement course to verify your eligibility and learn how much you can save on your premiums.

Mature Driver Improvement Courses Available in California

Mature driver improvement courses in California are available online or in a classroom setting. In the initial course, at least 400 minutes of instruction time is required, and in the renewal course, 240 minutes of instruction are required. In this course, drivers 55 years of age or older get an update on driving skills with instruction in:

Enroll in California Traffic School Courses

Ready to sign up for your traffic school course? View our directory of California traffic schools to find the right course for your needs.


Brandon Myers
Brandon Myers is a Drivers Education and Safe Driving enthusiast. After a rollover vehicle crash and DUI, Myers has dedicated his life and career to the Drivers Education industry. Believing safe driving techniques save lives, Myers has spent over 5 years improving the industry with IDriveSafely, Aceable, and