So You Got Yourself a Ticket. Now What?
Never let it be said that the state of Texas is not forgiving toward mistakes. Texas state law allows drivers to dismiss traffic citations at the rate of one per year. While there are a few different ways to get a traffic ticket dismissed, taking a defensive driving class is generally the most straightforward method. So what are the steps involved in getting your ticket taken care of this way? Read on!
Step One – Secure Permission from the Court
Be sure to make an appearance at the court by the required date written on your ticket. This date is usually somewhere between 10 and 30 days from the date you received your citation. If you fail to appear, not only will you lose your chance to dismiss your ticket, you may even be subject to additional fines.
When you arrive at the court, indicate your desire to dismiss your ticket with defensive driving. If the court will allow this (and they usually will) you will be required to pay a reduced fine and you’ll be given instructions about taking a defensive driving course and submitting your completion paperwork. In most courts, your course completion certificate, along with a copy of your driving record (if required), will need to be returned to the court within 90 days of the day permission was granted.
Step Two – Choose and Complete Your Course
After receiving permission, you are free to select whatever defensive driving course that you wish, either online or in a traditional classroom. These days, more and more people are choosing the online option because of the freedom and flexibility it offers.
With a traditional classroom course, you must find a school with a location that is convenient and that offers a class that fits your busy schedule. If your life is as busy as most people’s, the online option may be better for you. Taking a defensive driving class online offers the opportunity to take the class whenever and wherever you choose. Beyond that, the course doesn’t have to be taken all at once. Most online courses will allow you to log in and out of the course as often as you wish, allowing you to truly customize your course to fit your schedule.
The most important factor in choosing your course is that you select one that has been approved by the Texas Education Agency. The court will only accept an approved course for ticket dismissal. SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT: the course offered by Texas Defensive Driving Online is, of course, online and is also approved by the TEA.
Step Three – Return Your Paperwork to the Court
Once you have received your course completion certificate in the mail, return it, along with any other court required documentation, by the date given by the court. Failure to submit your completed paperwork on time will forfeit your right to dismiss your ticket, will likely cost you an additional fine and the ticket will become a part of your driving record.
It is important to keep your driving record free of citations as blemishes on your record will cause your auto insurance premiums to go up. The good news is, by taking a defensive driving course, your auto insurance premiums may even go down. Many insurance companies offer “good driver” discounts. After your course, you will be receiving two copies of your completion certificate, one to submit to the court and the other to your insurance agent. You could be on your way to putting money back into your pocket.
In a Nutshell
If you would like to dismiss your ticket and save money on your auto insurance premiums, just follow these simple steps:
- Get permission from the court to take the course
- Choose a TEA approved course like the one offered by Texas Defensive Driving Online
- Complete your course
- Receive your completion certificates in the mail
- Get one to the court and one to your insurance man
- Say goodbye to your ticket and hello to savings!