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Last month, I got a speeding citation in California (County of Contra Costa). Then I got the ticket in the mail.

Ticket offered 2 options:

  1. Pay the ticket (admission of guilt) = ~$240
  2. Pay the ticket (admission of guilt) + traffic school = ~$310

From what I understand, option-2 makes you take the traffic school and removes the "point" from your license. Your insurance hence doesn't get impacted, as it stays private.

I took (option-2), paid the "ticket + traffic school" (~$310)

Question – What happens next?

Do I wait for a letter from the court asking me to attend a traffic school?

or

Do I take the traffic school and then figure out a way to inform the court ?

2 Answers 2

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You didn't say where in California you were, since this is almost certainly a municipal or county court, but I'll draw your attention this this as it's likely the same in other localities too:

CA Santa Clara Traffic School

To quote:

How do I register for traffic school?

First Step:

You need to pay the Court the "Amount Due for Traffic School" on your courtesy notice. Then the Court will send you an "Agreement to Attend Driver Improvement School." Once you have that document, you may register to attend a California DMV approved traffic school. Check the DMV website for listings: go to the DMV Occupational License website , and after clicking the "Start Search" button and after the disclaimer, select "Traffic School List" from the dropdown. Proceed from there according to the instructions on the site.

There is a fee that the school charges, which is separate from what you pay to the Court for traffic school.

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  • Added "where in California". So, I need to wait for a letter from the court. May 2, 2023 at 2:18
  • You need to call the traffic school, since you already paid the fine. You might never get a letter from the traffic school after paying the fine. And if you pay for the traffic school, you might have problems getting the money for the fine back. So call them. You are not the first person this happened to.
    – gnasher729
    Jun 2, 2023 at 11:28
  • No letter was ever issued after paying the fine with option-2 (i.e with traffic school). I took the traffic school against the citation, and the traffic school submitted the certificate directly to the court. Again, there was no acknowledgement from the court (no letters). The next car insurance bill after a few months suggested no substantial changes, so I assume all went well and is settled. Nov 13, 2023 at 19:38
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Once you have paid the traffic ticket and selected the option to go to traffic school (option 2) you can select any DMV licensed traffic school. From an article on California traffic schools:

Enrolling in a traffic school is typically a straightforward process. First, verify your eligibility, as not all traffic violations may be eligible for traffic school. Once you've confirmed eligibility, you can select your preferred school and sign up either online or in person. During enrollment, you'll need to provide information about your traffic ticket and personal details. Upon completing the course, the traffic school will issue a certificate, which you may need to submit to the DMV or the court, depending on the requirements of your citation.

They will usually auto-submit your results to the court. Just make sure they list a CA school license to be sure they are legit. Usually starts with an "#E".

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