Taking traffic school in Utah is one option for reducing the number of points on your driving record or possibly getting a traffic ticket dismissed. Depending on your auto insurance company, you may be able to obtain a discount on your premiums. Traffic school also teaches you techniques that will make you a better driver, reducing the likelihood that you get tickets or cause any accidents in the future.
Utah has both online and classroom traffic school programs available. Online programs provide greater flexibility to take the course around your own schedule, but there are drivers who prefer the in-person experience they get with a classroom course.
Keep in mind that you may not have both options available depending on the reason you're taking traffic school. If you're voluntarily taking traffic school either for your own benefit, you can obviously take an online or classroom program. Insurance companies that offer safe driver discounts for completing traffic school will likely accept online or classroom programs, but you should check with your insurance company first. For reducing the number of points on your driving record or to fulfill the requirements of a ticket, you'll need to check with the Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS) or the traffic court that issued the ticket.
The Utah DPS uses a point system in which every moving violation results in points added to your driving record. When you reach a set number of points, the DPS suspends your license.
For drivers who are 21 years of age or older, accumulating 200 points or more within a 3-year period results in a suspension between 3 months and 1 year. Drivers under 21 years of age have a lower threshold of 70 points or more within a 3-year period, and suspensions range from 1 month to 1 year.
The DPS takes half your points off your driving record when you go at least 1 year without any violations, and wipes your points clean when you drive at least 2 years without any violations. Points from any violation come off your record automatically after 3 years.
Traffic school, which are also known as defensive driving courses in Utah, take 50 points off your driving record upon completion. However, you can only do this once every 3 years. If you want to go to traffic school to get points removed from your record, you should contact the DPS to find an approved course.
You may be able to get a traffic ticket dismissed by taking traffic school. Eligibility requirements depend on the court, the violation, and your driving record. Fortunately, courts typically notify drivers who are able to get a ticket dismissed through traffic school.
There are several eligibility requirements that are common across Utah. You'll need to have a valid driver's license, and the court likely won't let you dismiss a ticket through traffic school if you have already done that in the last 18 months or if you have received three tickets in the last 2 years. Dismissals are only an option for minor violations, so if you caused an accident or injury, you probably won't be able to get your ticket dismissed.
If traffic school is an option, you can expect the court to provide you with information on approved traffic schools, the deadline for taking the course to get the ticket dismissed, and anything else you need to know. Get in touch with the court if they don't provide you with this information.
Many auto insurance companies provide discounts for young drivers and elderly drivers who take a defensive driving course, and some companies will offer these discounts to all their drivers. You can find out what discounts are available through your insurance company.
If your insurance company doesn't offer a safe driver discount for taking a defensive driving course, you may want to shop around and look for a company that does. For Utah SR22 insurance rates and other info please read our other article.
No matter why you're taking traffic school in Utah, there are several common topics that you can expect your course to cover. Two of the biggest focuses will be Utah's traffic laws and defensive driving techniques that can help you avoid hazards and stay safe on the roads. Courses also cover alcohol and drug-related driving offenses, and how to build your own safe driving habits.
Many courses have a final exam that you need to pass to successfully complete the course. You may get multiple opportunities to take the final exam, or you may only be able to take the final once. After you pass the exam, you'll get documentation showing that you completed the course. You can provide this documentation to the DPS, your traffic court, or your insurance company.