It’s no secret that driving in Jacksonville traffic can be a challenge. From fender benders on Beach Boulevard to speeding tickets on I-95, there are plenty of opportunities for you to find yourself with a traffic ticket in your hand. The good news is, taking a defensive driving course can help you get your ticket dismissed.
It can also help you avoid getting points on your license and may save you from rate increases on your car insurance. But, to take advantage of these benefits, there’s a process you’ll have to follow. Here’s what you need to know.
Understand Your Options
If you receive a traffic citation in Duval County, you have 30 calendar days from the issue date to respond. You may choose to simply pay your traffic citation, pay your citation and attend driver improvement school, or request a court date.
If you choose traffic school, you agree to pay your citation in full, complete an approved course, and return a certificate of completion within 60 days of your election. Once you’ve successfully completed these steps, adjudication will be withheld and no points will be added to your license.
Make Sure You’re Eligible
While many Jacksonville drivers will be able to take advantage of the opportunity to have their ticket dismissed by taking a driving course, there are some exceptions. Florida law only allows drivers to choose traffic school once every 12 months and no more than five times in their lifetime.
There are also other exceptions. For example, you cannot choose this option if your citation requires additional paperwork or if you hold a commercial driver’s license. You can confirm whether you’re eligible to attend a State of Florida certified Driver Improvement School by visiting the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website.
Follow Traffic School Requirements and Guidelines
To qualify for the benefits of a Florida defensive driving course in Jacksonville, you must inform the Duval County Clerk of Courts of your election within 30 days of receiving your citation and before you actually attend the course. You must also select and complete a course that is approved by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV).
When making the election to attend traffic school, you must also pay your citation fee in full. You can do this in one of three ways:
Use the county’sonline payment system
Pay in person at the Duval County Courthouse (501 West Adams St., Jacksonville, FL 32202) or the Neptune Beach Branch (Tradewinds Plaza, 1543 Atlantic Blvd., Neptune Beach, FL 32266)
Mail the fees along with a notarized copy of the affidavit you received with your citation to: Duval County Clerk of Courts Attn: TRAFFIC VIOLATION BUREAU, P.O. Box 660, Jacksonville, FL 32201
Once you complete the course, you are also responsible for providing proof of completion to the county clerk’s office. This must be done within 60 days from your election and can be submitted in one of four ways:
Drop your certificate off at the county clerk’s office
Fax it to 904-255-2358
Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Mail it to the Duval County Traffic Violations Bureau
It’s important to note that you are responsible for submitting your proof of completion, not the driving school. If you fail to submit your completion form on time, the courts will consider you to have admitted to the infraction and will adjudicate you as guilty.
Sign Up for the Best Jacksonville Defensive Driving Course
Whether distracted driving got the best of you or you had another temporary lapse in judgment, your mistake shouldn’t follow you around forever. Taking a Florida defensive driving course is the quick and easy way to get your Jacksonville traffic tickets dismissed. Check it out today!