If you are charged with a traffic offense, you may be eligible to request the Judge allow you to take a driving safety course to dismiss the charge. The request must be made on or before the appearance date on your citation, either in person or in writing. If you were operating a motorcycle and request to take a driving safety course, you must take a motorcycle operator’s training course.
At the time of the request, you must do the following:
- Plead guilty or no contest by completing the Drivers Safety Course Request form
- Present proof of financial responsibility (liability insurance) valid on the day of your request
- Present your Texas driver’s license valid the day of your request
- Pay court costs of $114 for regular zone offenses or $139 for offenses occurring within a school zone. Payment can be made:
- money order through the mail
- cash or Visa/MasterCard accepted in the Clerk’s office (the card must be in the Defendant’s name along with photo identification)
The case will be deferred for 90 days to allow you time to complete the course. You must attend a driving safety course that has been approved by the Texas Education Agency or a motorcycle operator’s course approved by the Texas Department of Public Safety.
You are eligible to request this course if you:
- Have not requested and taken a driving safety course for a traffic offense within the last 12 months (The court will go by the date recorded on your driving record).
- Are not currently taking the course for another traffic violation.
- Have not committed the offense of speeding 25 mph over the speed limit.
- Are not a Commercial Driver’s License holder.
- Have not committed one of the following offenses:
- Failure to give information at Accident Scene
- Leaving the Scene of Accident
- Fleeing or Attempting to Elude Police Officer
- Passing a School Bus
- Any violation while operating a commercial motor vehicle
- An offense committed in a construction maintenance zone when workers are presen
Common Problems when taking driving safety course to dismiss charge
- Failure to complete the course within the time limit
- Failure to obtain a certified copy of your driving record within the time limit
- Sending someone else to take care of these items for you
- Failure to call the Clerk’s office and confirm receipt of documents mailed
- Lost documents in the mail
- Waiting until the last week to plan completion and there is not enough time to complete required tasks
If you do not take the course within the time limit and/or fail to present the Court with a certificate of course completion and certified copy of driving record, the Court will notify you to return to court and explain why you failed to show proof of completion. Your failure to be present at that hearing will result in:
- a conviction for the offense being reported on your driving record
- an additional $30 fee for reporting the unpaid balance to the Texas Department of Public Safety for the denial of the renewal of your driver’s license
- an additional criminal charge may also be filed against you further increasing the fees due