Getting a ticket is a major drag. Fortunately, while your citation is a headache right now, you can probably take some steps to save yourself from an ongoing hassle. In fact, in the state of Texas, you have the option to get some traffic tickets dismissed entirely by taking a specific course. The Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation (TDLR) oversees defensive driving classes that some courts approve as a way for drivers to get their traffic tickets dismissed. Once your ticket is dismissed, you’ll have fewer points on your license. Plus, your traffic ticket dismissal can help keep your auto insurance rates low.
Can you use a quick course to get your Texas traffic ticket dismissed? Here’s a look at how this process works and what you can expect.
Pull out your traffic ticket. No, we’re not trying to make you relive the unpleasant memory of getting your citation. On the back, it has some information you’ll need in order to find out if you’re eligible to use a defensive driving course to get your ticket dismissed.
The back of your citation should list a specific court. You need to contact the court to inquire if you’re able to get your ticket dismissed. Don’t start taking a defensive driving course until you have court permission. You’ll need their go-ahead to apply any course hours toward a ticket dismissal.
Assuming the court gives you the green light, you’re ready to find and complete your Texas defensive driving course.
The TDLR has approved a number of defensive driving course providers. They might call their course a ticket dismissal class, an insurance discount class, traffic school, a seat belt class, or a defensive driving class. It doesn’t really matter what the course is called. What does matter is that the provider leading that course has TDLR approval.
You can check if a course provider is approved in a few ways. On the TDLR Driver Education & Driving Safety webpage, you can look up in-person and online courses in the “Driving Safety - Defensive Driving” category. Alternatively, you can look up a provider you know you like by their license number to confirm that they’re TDLR-approved.
No matter where you take your course, it’s six hours long and costs $25. You can either opt for a classroom course or you can knock out your owns online at your own pace.
Just taking the course isn’t enough. You also need to get your Certificate of Completion into the hands of the court handling your traffic ticket.
Within 15 days of completing your defensive driving course, your course provider is required to send you a Certificate of Completion showing that you finished all six hours of the class. Next, you need to submit that certificate, along with your driver record, to the court.
You can order a driver record to come by mail, but it’s faster and easier to get your record online from the Texas Department of Public Safety. You’ll need to get a Type 3A driver record, which is a certified list of all of your crashes and violations. Have your credit card handy because you’ll need to pay $10 to get this record.
Submit your Certificate of Completion and 3A driver record to the court listed on your citation. With those two documents, they should dismiss your Texas traffic ticket, pulling the points off your license and helping you keep your car insurance rates from going up.