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New DMV Rules on Traffic School may cost you

Sacramento –Chronic traffic offenders face a tougher road ahead, now that the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will track safety convictions in a whole new way.

Beginning July 1, 2011, the courts will no longer be allowed to “dismiss” infractions after a driver attends Traffic Violator School (TVS). Instead, a state law (AB 2499) now requires that all offenses be recorded as “convictions,” which will create a detailed breakdown of a person’s driving history

“This new law creates serious consequences for repeat offenders,” said DMV Director George Valverde. “It is an important step in ensuring that our roads remain safe.”

Under the new guidelines, drivers who attend a TVS course will have their first conviction masked and avoid negative marks on their driver record. However, if they accrue additional violations within the next 18 months, the convictions will appear on the record, negligent operator points will be assigned, and their insurance company will be notified.

Up until now, when convictions were stamped “dismissed,” it was equivalent to a verdict of “not guilty,” so it appeared as though there were no violations. Frequent offenders have been able to use this loophole as a way to repeatedly attend TVS.

Traffic Violator Schools are being required to inform their students about this change in the law.

A TVS conviction will not be masked if:

  • There is a prior TVS dismissal/conviction within the previous 18 months.
  • The conviction is a major (2 point) violation (DUI or Reckless Driving)
  • The driver holds a commercial driver license or was operating a commercial vehicle at the time of the violation.