Traffic school, though boring, is something that a lot of us find ourselves facing at some point in our lives.
Whether you just want a quick refresher course on your defensive driving tactics, got a ticket you want to get rid of, have one too many points on your driver’s license, want a little something to stave off the boredom (though, why you would take traffic school to do that is beyond me, but hey! To each their own.), or want to try to change or lessen your insurance premium, traffic school is here to help.
Though the list above are reasons why someone may take a traffic school course, the main reasons are the second two I mentioned: getting a ticket pardoned and helping those pesky points on your license disappear.
Typically, if you’ve been permitted to attend traffic school for these reasons, it’s mandatory that you do so, and the regulations for each state vary on things such as the time it takes to complete it and the price you’ll pay to sign up.
In this post, we’ll be covering some aspects of how taking traffic school online can help make both of those things a little easier, more convenient, and a little less painful on yourself, and some ways to make it a breeze for anyone to complete.
What Is Online Traffic School
Online traffic school is your typical traffic school course, only online! While the curriculum is the same old boring information that a regular traffic school will offer, taking the course online offers three distinct advantages:
First, you get to take the course within the comfort of your own home, eliminating the need to drive to a classroom and be forced to sit there for however long the class day takes.
Second, even though some states require you to take the course for a specific amount of time to complete it (for example, in Texas the requirement is six hours, where in California there is no time requirement, so you can finish the courses much faster), you have the freedom to take the course at a pace that is comfortable for you, on a schedule that fits into your daily life.
And third, you’re not forced to deal with the distractions of a classroom environment; no other attendees talking to each other, no useless questions to distract the instructor, just peace and quiet in a space you’re comfortable in.
How Long Does It Take?
This really depends on a couple different factors. When you got your ticket plays a huge role in how long you have to complete the course, as most courts will give you a scheduled date to be back with evidence of completion.
Your state’s regulations mandate how long you have to take the course for, and can range anywhere from half an hour to eight hours or more.
For instance, in the state of California they do not require the use of timers, so you can complete the course in as little as 30 minutes, or stretch it out to last a few hours; it all depends on how you learn and your personal pacing.
In states such as Texas, you are required to complete at least six hours of traffic school in order to pass. Some states have different requirements for different levels of offense as well, so it’s best to check either with your state or on the site of the traffic school of your choosing to determine how long the course will take for you.
How Hard Is It?
Traffic school itself isn’t really very hard at all; everything you’re learning is something you’ve likely learned before when taking the course for your driver’s license.
If you pay attention to the course material and apply just a little common sense and effort when taking the tests, you should do just fine.
However, if you’re worried about not passing, I also have some tips for you to make the course that much easier, and if you follow them and apply yourself just a little, I promise you’ll pass.
Once you get registered for the course of your choosing and start, grab a notebook and pen, or even open a Word document on your computer.
Every time you come across information you think will be important, write it down, or copy and paste it into the document.
Organize the information however you’d like; at this point, I’m sure we’re all familiar with taking notes, right? It’s easy, and since it’s all online, you don’t have to worry about missing something that the instructor said – it’s all right there in front of you.
Once you get to the quizzes at the end of each section, or the final exam if there aren’t sections in your course, you have a handy open-book guide to use to check your answers!
I know it’s boring. I know you’d rather be doing anything else. However, you’re having to take the course for a reason, and it’s honestly in your best interest to take the course as seriously as possible.
A lot of the courses that are available have graphics and videos – some even offer video based traffic school courses rather than putting everything into text – that help make it a little less painful to go through.
Think about it this way – if you pay attention, that increases your chances of passing the quizzes and final exam the first time through, and that means less time within the course for you, and less time reviewing the same information over again.
Who knows, you may even learn something you didn’t know before, and the more knowledge you have about the rules of the road, the less likely you are to end up in this position again.
Research Schools Before Choosing
Not all online traffic schools are created equal. In fact, some of them are downright awful. Finding the right traffic school for you shouldn’t be difficult, you just have to consider the way you learn best and go from there.
Some schools only offer text-based material, some offer a mix of text, graphics, and video, and some offer video-based courses. Most schools worth their salt will have three things going for them: time in the business, a good reputation, and reviews available to back up their claims.
They should offer information about the course prior to registration, so you can kind of get an idea of what the course is going to be like before you spend time and money on it.
If you’re still stuck or just plain don’t want to put that much effort into researching different schools, we’ve also provided a handy guide to our favorite online traffic schools for you, to make the decision making process a bit easier. We even offer discount codes for some of them!
Online Traffic School FAQs
Is attending an online traffic school better than an in-person traffic school?
In terms of convenience, flexibility, and affordability, enrolling in an online traffic school is preferable. You can complete the course at the comfort of your home, using your preferred device, at your most convenient time, and for little cost.
However, some people prefer being enrolled in an in-person class because it’s easier for them to complete the lessons with an actual facilitator or instructor to help them out.
So the answer to this question depends on your preference.
Can I still enroll in an online traffic school even if my due date is today?
You can still enroll, but make sure that you’ll be able to finish the course before the deadline. Make sure also your course provider will be able to submit your certificate of completion electronically into the DMV system that very same day.
Most online traffic schools provide this convenience, but you have to make sure that they will be able to follow through. The DMV will accept your completion certificate before midnight on the day of your deadline.
If you are pressed for time, it might be better to contact your court or the DMV to extend your deadline instead.
What does a money-back guarantee mean?
If a course provider is offering a money-back guarantee, this means that if you are not satisfied with their course, you can get a refund.
Terms and conditions will apply here, like if you are going to get a full refund and up until what point you can request for it.
Most traffic schools will allow you to request a refund as long as your Completion Certificate is not yet issued. Some allow it only if you haven’t started the final exam yet.
Can I extend the deadline if I feel like I’m not going to finish the course on time?
Yes, you can.
However, you need to contact your court handler to request an extension because this does not fall under the responsibility of your course provider.
Most courts will grant a one-time extension if you request one but the policies may vary from court to court. So be sure to contact the court that has issued your citation.