Question: What is a driver’s safety course?
A driver’s safety course is a six hour course identifying and promoting safe driving practices. You may be eligible to take this course for the dismissal of your traffic violation if you meet the statutory requirements. Many people elect to take a driver’s safety course for the dismissal of a citation. If the course is completed and accepted by the Court and the case is dismissed, State law prohibits insurance companies from holding the citation against you in determining your auto insurance rates. Many parents of juvenile drivers find the course is beneficial in stressing safe driving practices to teens.
Question: Who is eligible to take a driver’s safety course for the dismissal of a violation?
Under State law you are eligible to take a driver’s safety course for the dismissal of a traffic violation if:
Question: Are there some violations for which a driver’s safety course may not be taken?
You may NOT take a driver’s safety course for the dismissal of the following offenses:
Question: What procedure must I follow to sign up for a driver’s safety course?
You must complete four steps in order to take a driver’s safety course for the dismissal of a violation:
Question: Where, how and when can I get Court approval?
It is necessary that you secure approval for the driver’s safety course before you take the course. You have up until the arraignment date listed on your citation to secure the approval. If you are a juvenile you must appear at your arraignment before the judge.
If you are an adult, you may secure approval one of four ways: in person at any bond office location, by mail, by fax, or in person at the scheduled arraignment hearing before the judge. It is necessary that you pay the required court costs and administrative fee imposed for the driver’s safety course. The amount can be determined by calling 546-2901, or by visiting any bond office to confirm.
Question: Why must juveniles appear before the judge?
State law requires that juveniles and the parent or legal guardian appear before the judge in Court. Juveniles may request a driver’s safety course from the judge at the arraignment.
Question: How do I select a course?
Once you have secured court approval and paid the court costs you may select the driver’s safety course best suited to your schedule and budget. Private companies offer these courses at various locations and times throughout the area through a variety of means: classroom instruction, video instruction and internet instruction. Companies typically charge between $25 and $45. Please verify with the company that the course is approved for the dismissal of citations through the Texas Education Agency, http://www5.esc13.net/drivers/. Companies advertise their services through phone books, posters, flyers, newspaper ads, internet ads, etc. The Court may not and will not recommend one company or course over another.
Question: How long do I have to take the course and turn in my proof of compliance?
Effective September 1, 2003, in compliance with Code of Criminal Procedure 45.0511, the following will be required within 90 days from the date of the court order for violations occurring after September 1, 2003:
To obtain a driving record from the Department of Public Safety:
1.) On line, please click on http://www.texasonline.state.tx.us/NASApp/txdps/TXDPSLicenseeManager.
2.) You may click to print the DPS form and mail in your request: http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/ftp/forms/dr-1.pdf.
Please note, this option will require 4 -5 weeks to receive your driving history from DPS.
Submit it along with the required fee to the address shown on the form.
Texas Department of Public Safety
Driver Records Bureau
P.O. Box 149246
Austin, Texas 78714-9246
Question: How will I know if my proof of compliance is accepted?
The certificate of completion and your proof of financial responsibility will be reviewed by the Court. If the judge accepts your documents, your case will be dismissed for the completion of a driver’s safety course. No notice will be sent to you. The Court will notify you by mail if the paperwork is incomplete or if other problems with the case are found. You will receive instructions on how to proceed in resolving your case. An example is when the standard search of court records reveals that you took another defensive driving course for the dismissal of a ticket within the 12 month period. Payment of the fine in full is required under these circumstances.
Question: What will happen if I fail to comply with the Court order ?
You will be required to appear at a Show Cause Hearing before the judge if:
You will be notified by mail of the date of your show cause hearing.
Question: What will happen if I do not come to the Show Cause Hearing?
If you fail to appear at the scheduled Show Cause Hearing, an arrest commitment will be issued for you.