I got a traffic ticket in Florida, can I take traffic school?
FLORIDA EXCLUSIVE: This applies to anyone who received a traffic ticket in the State of Florida.
Taking traffic school (the Florida Basic Driver Improvement Course) is optional, but is highly recommended if you are eligible. If you elect traffic school, you will prevent points from your violation from being added to your driving record. Many of the most common traffic citations have a certain amount of violation points that are added to an individual’s license when they receive a ticket.
Your license will be suspended if you accumulate:
- 12 points within 12 months (resulting in a suspension of 30 days)
- 18 points within 18 months (resulting in a suspension of 3 months)
- 24 points within 36 months (resulting in a suspension of 1 year)
It is important to note that points do NOT disappear after a suspension. They continue to accumulate towards the next maximum. For example, if you were to accumulate 12 points within 12 months (which resulted in a 30 day license suspension), and received an additional 6 points within the following 6 months, you could expect a 3 month suspension.
Am I allowed to take traffic school?
If you were ticketed for speeding, passing a stopped school bus, failure to yield at a stop sign, failure to wear your seat belt, improper parking, etc. then you received a non-criminal moving-violation and qualify to attend traffic school to avoid the point penalty. If you were the at-fault driver in a crash where someone was taken to the hospital, or, if you had two crashes within two years where the property damage was over $500, you also qualify.
Traffic school is NOT allowed for:
- Drivers with a commercial driver’s license (Class A, B or C licenses).
- Drivers cited with a criminal violation such as driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident with property damage or knowingly driving with a suspended license.
- Drivers who have taken traffic school within the last 12 months.
- Drivers who have taken traffic school 3 times in their lifetime.
How do I pay for my ticket and tell the court that I want to take traffic school?
If you qualify, you can pay your traffic ticket online
(make sure to choose the correct county). During the process, you will select if you will be taking a defensive driving course.
You have to elect traffic school at the same time that you pay your traffic ticket if you plan to take this option!
Make sure you ELECT to take your defensive driving course at the same time that you pay the ticket or you will lose the opportunity to dismiss your points. You have 30 days to pay your Florida traffic ticket and make your election. Then you have 60 days to complete your defensive driving course.
Where do I find my citation number?
You can find it on the top right corner of your traffic ticket.
How do I read my traffic ticket?
- County where the ticket was issued (top left corner)
- Citation number (top right corner)
- Date that the ticket was issued (4th row from top)
- Information about the violation and officer comments (marked with an “X”)
- Identifies whether the ticket is considered civil or criminal, and whether a court appearance is necessary (lower portion of citation)
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