When you have one traffic ticket, it might be wise to pay the fine and accept traffic violator’s school (TVS); however, when you have two or more, you must dispute at least one, or it will cost you around $1,500 over the next three years. The wise choice is to consult a traffic attorney about every traffic ticket.
It might seem difficult to believe that an attorney would tell you to avoid traffic court and pay the fine if you have a minor infraction eligible for traffic violator’s school (TVS). However, CA makes it easy to mask a minor infraction and save you hundreds in auto insurance premium increases. Your attorney should make you aware of all the alternatives, not just those that benefit them.
That’s right, when your auto insurance provider takes your “good driver’s discount,” your auto insurance will automatically rise 20 percent. For the average CA driver, that is $413 annually times three or $1,239. That’s how long even your first conviction will stay on your motor vehicle driving record (MVR). But, that’s not all.
After your insurance provider slams you by taking your good driver’s discount after your first conviction if you are not eligible for TVS. They will add another penalty for increased risk, which depending on the offense, is typically 11 to 19 percent or another $227.15 to $309.75 per year, once again for three years.
Therefore, for one minor infraction, you could thousands more in premiums if you are not eligible for TVS, and if you have multiple traffic tickets, you can only keep one confidential.
How Traffic Violator’s School (TVS) Works
You are only allowed to use attendance at TVS once during an 18-month period to keep a ticket confidential from public view. Therefore, when you have multiple traffic tickets, there is no financial benefit to attending TVS. In fact, it will cost you money for tuition and time to complete it.
Although your court reminder (if you receive one) will inform you if you are eligible to attend TVS for that violation, it could be misleading. For instance, there is no financial benefit to attending TVS when you have a correctable or “fix-it” ticket. Things like no proof of insurance or loud exhaust are not moving violations. Therefore, attendance at TVS is not necessary.
You must take the ticket to the Police Department, where you received the citation with your receipt. After making corrections, show it to the police, and they will sign off that you made the corrections. You must then take it to the Kings County Traffic Court Clerk, pay any administrative fees, and it's done. There will be no indication kept on your motor vehicle driving record (MVR).
According to the DMV TVS portal, “A traffic violator school (TVS) is a business that provides traffic safety instruction for individuals referred by a court.”
Therefore, when you have an eligible traffic ticket, you must first plead guilty to the offense. You must also pay the court clerk the total amount of the fine and the admin fee that allows you to attend. Typically, in Kings County, that is $64. Plus, whatever the school charges for tuition.
Some drivers get wrapped up in the moral dilemma of guilt and innocence. However, that should never be used as the premise for disputing a ticket in traffic court. Innocent people are found guilty and must pay a fine or penalty. You don’t want to risk an additional $1,500 in insurance premiums based on principles. Always consult a traffic attorney and accept TVS if they recommend it.
You can only use TVS to mask a minor infraction from your auto insurance provider if:
- You have a valid driver’s license in CA.
- You were not driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) at the time of the offense.
- It was not speeding 100+ mph, misdemeanors, and felonies, which are not eligible.
- It must not have been an alcohol or drug-related offense.
- When there is a mandatory court appearance for the offense.
What’s more, you must attend a DMV-approved course and complete it within the court-ordered period so that your completion certificate arrives at DMV before that date. If you do not complete it on time, you will waste your time and money.
Your auto insurance will raise your premium before renewal, and it will cost you around $1,500 over the next three years in additional premiums.
However, when you are eligible to attend due to one traffic ticket, it could be financially more beneficial than disputing your ticket in traffic court. To determine if one or more of your multiple traffic tickets should be challenged in traffic court, you must consult a traffic attorney.
When You Have Multiple Traffic Tickets That You Need to Dispute in Kings County Traffic Court, Consult Bigger & Harman
Multiple traffic tickets do not allow you to use TVS. You must get one dismissed or reduced to a non-moving violation in traffic court. Call (661) 349-9300 today to get legal advice about your specific traffic tickets. You should consult Bigger & Harman, APC, to determine if you should challenge one or more multiple traffic tickets in traffic court.
Not all traffic tickets are easily “beatable” in traffic court, and some due to technicalities are easily dismissed. However, without consulting a traffic ticket defense attorney you won’t know which is winnable, and which you should use TVS to keep confidential from your insurance company.
Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
The 2021 CA Driver Handbook English y Español.
The DMV.CA.GOV Traffic Violator’s School portal.The Courts.CA.Gov Traffic School webpage