How Long is Traffic School in California? What You Should Know

man receiving traffic ticket and calling about his options

Whether you’re looking to dismiss a ticket or reduce points on your driving record, knowing how long the process takes can help you plan accordingly. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the time commitment required for traffic school in California and the factors that can influence it.

Generally, How Long Does It Take to Complete Traffic School in CA?

Traffic school in California takes roughly 8 hours to complete. This is the state standard, regardless of whether the course is online or in-person. The goal is to ensure that drivers have a thorough understanding of safe driving practices through a comprehensive curriculum that includes traffic laws, safe driving practices, and defensive driving techniques. For instance, a typical course might include modules on the consequences of speeding, understanding road signs, and the importance of seat belts. 

Does the Specific City Matter?

The city where you attend traffic school will affect the availability and scheduling of classes. Larger cities offer more options for class times and locations compared to smaller towns. For example, Los Angeles offers multiple-traffic schools with various schedules, including weekends and evenings. In contrast, a smaller city like Fresno will have fewer options, potentially extending the time to find a convenient class.

Here are California’s top 5 populated cities where traffic school options might vary:

  1. Los Angeles: Numerous schools with flexible schedules.
  2. San Diego: A variety of options, including weekend classes.
  3. San Jose: Multiple locations with weekday and evening classes.
  4. San Francisco: Offers both traditional and online classes.
  5. Fresno: Limited options, potentially requiring more planning.

In-Person vs Online

When it comes to attending traffic school, California drivers can choose between in-person and online courses. Here are the differences between the two choices:

In-Person Traffic School

  • Typically conducted in a classroom setting: In-person traffic school requires in-person attendance and is usually situated at a local community center or a dedicated traffic school facility.
  • Fixed schedule, usually lasting a full day: Class schedules will vary but often require a full-day commitment. 
  • Opportunity for direct interaction with instructors: You can ask questions and get immediate feedback, which can be beneficial for understanding complex topics.

Online Traffic School

  • Can be completed at your own pace: Log in and out as your schedule allows, which is ideal for busy individuals.
  • Flexible timing: You can start the course at any point, even in the evening or during weekends.
  • Requires a stable internet connection and a computer or smart device: Ensure you have the necessary technology or access to necessary technology to avoid disruptions.

Factors to Take into Consideration 

Several factors will influence how long it takes to complete traffic school:

  • Learning Pace: Some individuals will quickly grasp the material and finish faster, while others may need help to fully understand each section. might take their time to understand each section fully.
  • Course Format: Online courses offer the flexibility to complete at your own pace, whereas in-person classes have a set schedule. 
  • Instructor: The teaching style and efficiency of the instructor will impact how quickly the material is covered. A well-organized instructor can help the class stay on track and finish on time. 
  • Attendance: Missing in-person classes due to scheduling conflicts can prolong the process. Online courses provide more flexibility, but you must still complete all modules to meet the requirements.

DMV Time Requirement for Online Traffic School

The California DMV requires that online traffic school courses meet a minimum duration of 8 hours. This ensures that all the necessary material is thoroughly covered, regardless of the format. Online courses track your progress and time spent to ensure compliance with this requirement. For example, you might find that certain modules have timers to ensure you spend enough time on each section before proceeding.

Common Reasons for Traffic School

Drivers attend traffic school for various reasons, including:

  • To dismiss a traffic ticket: Successfully completing traffic school can prevent a ticket from appearing on your driving record, helping to avoid increases in insurance premiums.
  • Point Reduction: Helps in reducing points on your driving record, which can prevent a suspension of your driving privileges.
  • Court Order: In some cases, a judge may order a driver to attend traffic school as part of a sentencing for a traffic violation.
  • Voluntary: Some drivers take traffic school voluntarily to improve their driving skills and knowledge, such as new drivers or those who want to refresh their knowledge after years on the road.

Eligibility for Traffic School

Eligibility for traffic school in California generally includes:

  • Non-commercial drivers: Only drivers with non-commercial licenses are eligible.
  • Non-major infractions: The ticket must be for a moving violation, not a major offense like DUI. For example, speeding, running a stop sign, or making an illegal turn are eligible violations.
  • Frequency: Drivers are typically allowed to attend traffic school once every 18 months to dismiss a ticket.
  • Court Approval: The court handling your ticket must approve your attendance at traffic school. For instance, you might need to request permission during your court appearance or through a court-appointed traffic division.

Can You Request Traffic School After a Ticket is Paid?

In California, once you pay a traffic ticket, you typically forfeit the right to request traffic school. It is crucial to request traffic school at the time you pay the fine or during your court appearance. For example, if you pay the ticket online, there is usually an option to request traffic school before completing the payment. If you fail to request it initially, you might lose the opportunity to attend and dismiss the ticket, which means the violation could remain on your record.

Getting Started with ComedyTrafficSchool Today

If you’re ready to start traffic school and want to have a bit of fun while learning, consider enrolling in ComedyTrafficSchool. Known for its engaging and entertaining approach, ComedyTrafficSchool makes the process of completing traffic school more enjoyable.

Steps to Get Started:

  1. Sign Up Online: Visit the ComedyTrafficSchool website and register for the course. The registration process is straightforward, and you can begin almost immediately.
  2. Choose Your Format: Select between online or in-person classes. For instance, online classes allow you to complete the course from the comfort of your home, while in-person classes might be available at a location near you.
  3. Complete the Course: Follow the instructions to complete the required 8-hour course. The course includes humorous content designed to make learning enjoyable, such as funny videos and interactive quizzes.
  4. Submit Your Completion: Ensure that your course completion is reported to the DMV and the court. ComedyTrafficSchool typically handles this for you, ensuring all necessary paperwork is submitted.

By choosing ComedyTrafficSchool, you can fulfill your traffic school requirement while enjoying a few laughs along the way. This approach not only makes the process less tedious but also helps you retain the information better due to the engaging and entertaining format.