No matter how long you’ve been driving or how good a driver you believe you are, we all find ourselves faced with a traffic ticket at some point. Nobody is perfect, and we’re all subject to it.
If you go to court for your ticket – whether with the intention to contest it, or if you’ve been ordered to go to court due to one too many points on your license, or whatever the reason, sometimes you’re faced with a choice; pay your ticket and deal with the points on your driving record, or take an online traffic school course.
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Now, I know that nobody wants to go through traffic school again. Why would you? Driving school at it’s very best is boring, and if you’ve already been through the information and training once, it can be that much more unbearable.
I completely understand! However, the benefits of taking this small course could be worth not getting your license taken away. For instance, online traffic school can:
- Reduce or even completely void your ticket fines;
- Help you to maintain your driving privileges by preventing license suspension;
- Help you to improve your driving record, both by preventing or offsetting points taken to your license and help you keep your insurance rates;
- Enhance your driving skills due to the defensive driving section of the course you’re taking.
No matter the reason, online traffic school could prove to be a great benefit to you.
If you’re gearing up for a court date, you can always contact the county clerk before you’re due to come in to make sure that online traffic school is an option for you. If so, it might be worth going through it.
While there are surely some reading this post who have been through traffic school before, let’s break it down for those who’ve never been faced with this option before.
What Is Online Traffic School?
Online traffic school is a traffic school course taken over the internet that is similar to a course one would take in a classroom.
The length and content of these courses is entirely based on the requirements of your state or the court issuing the court, but they are usually mandated by a certain time frame in which they should be taken, or word counts in the course itself.
To simulate a classroom setting and make the courses as cohesive as possible for at-home study, they will usually be broken down in sections with quizzes at the end of each to ensure understanding of the course and retention of the information given.
When considering taking an online traffic school course, it’s extremely important to remember that not all courses are created equal.
You should not only make sure that it’s an actually valuable source of the information you need, but you should also make sure that the particular course you’re looking at is approved by both your state and the court issuing the order.
You should make sure that they lay all information needed out in a cohesive way, including the price for processing your certificate, whether or not they make use of identity verification, and it’s always best to check the site for reviews on their course as well, to see how other people have responded to it.
All of these things will determine whether the course will be worth your time and effort to take them. We also have a list of reviews on some of the best online traffic school courses out there, so check that out if you’re not a fan of individual research!
What To Expect From Online Traffic School
I’ll go ahead and tell you right now that the first thing you can expect from online traffic school… is to be bored. They aren’t fun. I wish I could tell you that they were, but they just aren’t.
However, the list provided above does have the ones that we consider the best around, and some even have discount codes to lower your price a little, too. Now that that’s out of the way, on to what you can expect from online traffic school.
When signing up for an online traffic school course, the first thing you’ll notice is the registration process. Most of the time, this process is a simple matter of filling out the needed information (usually your name, address, phone number, driver’s license and citation information, etc.)
Some make you enter payment information at registration and some allow you to pay halfway or even after completing the course; this just depends on the site you decide on. Making sure you have this information handy will make the process that much smoother, and once you’ve finished that, you’re ready to dive into the course.
Once you’re in, you’ll be pleased to find that most online traffic school courses give you the freedom to take the course at your leisure.
While some states do require it to be completed within a certain time frame, or make use of timers to ensure you can’t complete it early, it’s all pretty straight forward.
If there’s no use of timers in the course, you can take as much or as little time as you need before your completion date (the date you must have it completed by, determined by the court).
It’s also important to be aware that some, if not all, courses require the use of identity verification to ensure you are who you say you are, and that you’re the one taking the course, rather than having someone do it for you.
Some courses use voice verification, and others will ask you to answer questions that only you should know the answer to. Both are set up before the course begins and will pop up periodically throughout.
Once you’ve finished and passed all sections of the course and their quizzes, you’re ready to take the final exam.
You absolutely must pass this exam before you can complete your traffic school course and have it count, but don’t worry; some courses allow you a couple of chances to re-cover information and retake the final.
The number of questions on this test will vary depending on the requirements set by your state and the court, but they all require a passing grade.
Once you’ve passed, a certificate of completion will be issued to you, as well as to the local DMV and the court issuing the order.
Once these have been sent out (you’ll need to verify whether it is automatically sent or if you must mail it yourself), you’ll just need to call the court after a week or so to make sure your case is dismissed, and you’re all done!
Is Online Traffic School Better than Classroom-Based Education?
I want to be honest here. I strongly believe that online traffic school offers more benefits than taking it the traditional way. This is more true with the Covid 19 pandemic still being a threat to everyone’s safety.
Health concerns aside, convenience is the number one reason why I think online traffic schools are better. You won’t need to drive to school to take the course. You can enroll in one as soon as you receive approval from your court handler – right where you are.
Since the course can be completed on your own time, you don’t have to meet a fixed schedule, either. You can start (and finish) the course at your most convenient time.
Classes conducted on an online platform are usually cheaper as well – companies don’t have to rent out classrooms and hire instructors as everything is already available online. Besides, to beat competitors, online traffic schools often offer discounts and promos that you can take advantage of.
You will also be able to choose what type of teaching style suits you. For example, if you prefer lessons to be fun, you can opt for MyImprov Traffic School courses written in collaboration with professional comedy writers. This course is laden with jokes and comedy skits that will keep the lessons humorous.
If ever there’s something you’ll miss here is that in-person classes provide more room for social interaction. In an online class, you’re basically completing the course on your own. If this is something important to you, then you can also try online live stream courses that are offered by some providers.
But overall, there’s no doubt that I’d choose an online traffic school, and I guess you will, too.