Getting a traffic ticket in Virginia can be a nightmare. If you’re left without guidance you may not know what to do in court, how to go about the entire process. Just because you made a mistake and drove too fast or ran a stop sign doesn’t mean you have to make any more errors that can jeopardize your insurance or cause costly fines.
If you’ve just received the ticket, the court may order you to take traffic school to either dismiss the ticket and points entirely or to reduce the fines and fees associated with it. Frankly, you should reach out to the court a week or so after your violation date to find out if you are eligible for traffic school. Then you can select the right online Virginia Driver Improvement course [like this one]. Also, in other instances the DMV may order you to complete a traffic school course. This is a bit rarer as usually these are a condition of reinstatement or to avoid suspension. It does happen though.
Now, in the event you’ve already paid a fine and received demerit points, Virginia also has what’s known as Safe Driving Points. Safe Driving Points are the counterbalance to demerit points. For every year you drive without an accident, Virginia grants 1 point to anyone holding its state driver’s license. However, you can also get 5 Safe Driving Points at once by completing a Virginia Driver Improvement course! This will restore your points balance to zero or a positive balance and keep your record favorable to insurance providers and even possible employers. On the topic of insurance providers, check with your agent to see if driver improvement course can lower your rates. Many companies accept them for a reduction on your premiums. Every dollar helps!
Here’s a pretty big point I’d like to make to you: the courts in Virginia and the DMV have no connection. They don’t talk to each other. Most people give their certificate of completion to the court and think it’s the end of their problems. Nope. You have to make sure your traffic school has also successfully reported your completion to Virginia DMV. You must make sure DMV has your completion on record before you consider all matters closed. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself in a situation where 6 months to a year down the line you’ll still have demerit points on your record. Your premiums will spike and you’ll have to straighten out everything with DMV again to correct your record. Better to do it right the first time.
Finally when it comes to selecting a traffic school course, there are some other things you should know: The state requires anyone with a Virginia license to take a traffic school’s course final exam in what’s considered a “testing center”. So basically at the end of the course, you’ll go to a local testing center your school assigns to you based on your location where you will take your final. This is often a library or private mailbox store where your exam attempt will be monitored. It was a fairly common practice in the early to mid 2000s, and while many states have gotten away from this practice, Virginia still requires it.
With that in mind, you want to use an online traffic school with a solid, easy to use course that has a strong presence of testing centers in the state. For that reason I recommend I Drive Safely.