How to Take a Defensive Driving Course in San Diego


Did you get a traffic ticket in San Diego? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, there are over 5 million traffic tickets filed in California courts every year!

Whether you got caught in a fender-bender on the I-5 heading downtown, found yourself inadvertently driving too fast through a school zone, or had some other lapse in judgment that left you with a ticket in your hand, taking an online defensive driving course may be able to help you get your ticket dismissed. Here’s a quick overview of the steps you’ll need to take.

The Steps for Taking Defensive Driving in San Diego

1. Evaluate Your Options

When you get pulled over and receive a ticket in San Diego, you have several options:

  • Plead guilty and pay the traffic ticket

  • Pay your ticket and attend traffic school

  • Provide proof of correction if you got a “correctable violation”

  • Appear in court

  • Ask for a trial

If they’re eligible for a ticket dismissal, many drivers choose to pay their ticket and attend traffic school. When you select this option, you may be able to avoid getting points on your driving record. This can help you avoid an eventual license suspension and may prevent your auto insurance rates from going up. 

Generally, you can qualify for traffic school as long as you have a valid driver's license, are driving a noncommercial vehicle, and have received a ticket for a moving violation. However, if you’ve received a ticket and attended traffic school in the past 18 months, you won’t be able to attend again. There are also other rules that may prevent you from selecting this option. To determine whether you’re eligible, you can reviewRule 4.104 of the California Rules of Court

If you choose to go to San Diego traffic school, you will still have to pay your ticket, as well as an administrative court fee and traffic school fee.

2. Pay Your Fine and Request Traffic School

Approximately two weeks before your court date, you’ll likely receive a courtesy notice in the mail. If you are eligible for traffic school, this will be indicated on the notice.

The easiest way to request permission to attend traffic school is to visit the San Diego Superior Court Public Portal to pay your court fees. Once this is complete, you’ll receive a one-time 90-day continuance to complete traffic school. If you prefer not to make your payment online, you can also choose one of the following options:

  • Mail your court fees to the San Diego court location listed on your ticket or courtesy notice (may take up to six weeks to receive a response).

  • Place your court fees in the express drop box at your San Diego court location (may take three to six weeks to receive a response).

  • Call the court location to pay over the phone.

  • Pay your fees in person (may take three to four hours).

If you fail to complete San Diego traffic school in the allowed 90-day time period, you will lose the non-refundable fee and will be subject to points on your driver’s license as well as potential insurance rate increases.

3. Automatic Filing of Your Completion Certificate

Once you have finished traffic school, the school will notify both the courts and the DMV of your completion. However, it’s up to you to provide them with all of the necessary information. This includes your:

  • Name

  • Date of birth

  • Driver’s license number

  • Case or citation number and the court code based on where the ticket was filed 

It’s important to ensure all this information is correct, as a mismatch could result in the completion not being credited to your case.

Attend the Best San Diego Traffic School

Now that you know how easy it is to have your San Diego traffic ticket dismissed, it’s time to choose the best traffic school. Aceable’s California traffic school course is approved by the California DMV, and since it’s 100% online, you can complete it at your own pace, in your spare time. Check it out today!

Need a CA traffic ticket dismissed? Get your defensive driving course taken care of online today!

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