I. Understanding the Traffic School 18-Month Rule: Your Guide to California Traffic School Eligibility
In California, traffic school can be a lifesaver for drivers facing citations. Traffic school allows you to avoid point(s) on your driving record and potentially lower your insurance rates. However, there’s a catch: the 18-month rule.
II. What is the 18-month rule?
Simply put, the 18-month rule states that you can only attend traffic school once every 18 months. This period is calculated from the date of your violation(s), NOT the date you appear in court or the date you attend traffic school.
III. Why is the 18-month rule in place?
The 18-month rule aims to promote safe driving habits by encouraging drivers who receive citations to take corrective action. By limiting traffic school attendance, the state incentivizes motorists to be more cautious and avoid repeat offenses.
IV. Who is eligible for traffic school under the 18-month rule?
To be eligible for traffic school in California, you must meet the following criteria:
- You have a valid driver’s license.
- The citation is for a noncommercial vehicle violation.
- You have not attended traffic school within the past 18 months for a previous violation.
- Your violation is not one of the ineligible offenses, such as those related to alcohol or drugs, speeding in a construction zone, or exceeding 100 mph.
V. What are the consequences of violating the 18-month rule?
If you attend traffic school despite being ineligible under the 18-month rule, the court will likely deny your request. This means you will be responsible for paying the full fine and any associated penalties, and the point will remain on your driving record for three years.
VI. How to check your eligibility for traffic school
The easiest way to check your eligibility for traffic school is to contact the court that issued your citation. They can access your driving record and confirm whether you are eligible under the 18-month rule. Alternatively, you can visit the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website or utilize online resources provided by reputable traffic school providers.
VII. Tips for staying compliant with the 18-month rule
To avoid any issues with the 18-month rule, remember to:
- Keep track of your traffic citations: Make note of the date of each violation to ensure you are eligible for traffic school if needed.
- Consult the court or DMV: If you are unsure about your eligibility, seek clarification from the court that issued the citation or the DMV.
- Choose a reputable traffic school: Opt for a licensed and approved traffic school provider to ensure your completion is recognized by the court and DMV.
Understanding the 18-month rule is crucial for navigating California’s traffic school system. By staying informed and following the guidelines, you can maximize your chances of dismissing your citation and keeping your driving record clean.
IX. We Can Help
The Law Offices of Mark A. Gallagher has been handling citations successfully for over 20 years. Most traffic tickets are worth fighting and when you have an experienced attorney by your side, you increase the chances of getting the best possible outcome for your particular case. If you or a loved one was cited for a traffic violation and you’d like to fight it, call our offices at 800-797-8406 or visit our website at https://www.socaldefenselawyers.com/ for more information.