Traffic school keeps points off your Missouri driving record and can prevent your driver’s license from being suspended, but the speeding ticket conviction will still show up on your driving record.
Your Driver’s License Will be Suspended if You Have Too Many Points
If you accumulate too many points on your driving record, your Missouri driver’s license will be suspended or revoked. A speeding ticket is a moving violation that causes 2 points to be added to your driving record if the ticket was issued by a city or county police officer. 3 points are added if the ticket was issued by a Missouri State Highway Patrol officer.
If you accumulate 8 points on your Missouri driving record within 18 months, your driver’s license will be suspended for 30 days, if it’s your first suspension. If it’s your second suspension, then your driving privileges will be suspended for 60 days; for a third suspension, your license will be suspended for 90 days. Your license will be revoked for 1 year if you accumulate 12 points within 12 months, 18 points within 24 months, or 24 points within 36 months.
Out-of-state speeding tickets are also reported to your home state of Missouri and points are added to your driving record, just as if you received those traffic tickets in Missouri. See my previous blog post about how out-of-state speeding tickets affect your Missouri driver’s license.
Traffic School Can Prevent Your Missouri Driver’s License From Being Suspended
The Driver Improvement Program (DIP) is a statewide traffic school program, presented in cooperation with the Missouri Division of Highway Safety and the Missouri Department of Transportation, that drivers can attend to reduce the points on their Missouri driver’s licenses. Some people refer to this as “Traffic School,” “Driving School,” or “Defensive Driving Class.” If you search online, you will find many Missouri traffic schools that offer classes, both online and in person.
If your Missouri driver’s license is about to be suspended because of too many points, attending traffic school can prevent the suspension by reducing the amount of points that will be added to your driving record.
Your Speeding Ticket Will Not be Dismissed if You Attend Traffic School, But No Points Will be Added to Your Missouri Driving Record
After successfully completing traffic school, your speeding ticket will not be dismissed (it will still show up on your Missouri driving record), but no points will be added to your driving record. If you are pulled over for a traffic violation, the police officer will see the no-point speeding conviction on your driving record. And an insurance agent will be able to see the speeding ticket when he reviews your driving record before giving you a price quote for car insurance.
What You Need to Know Before Attending a Missouri Traffic School
Before attending a Missouri traffic school or taking an online driving school class, here are a few things you need to know:
- Prior to attending a Missouri traffic school, you must plead guilty to the moving violation and pay the fine and court costs to the court. The traffic ticket will be reported to the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR), but no points will be added to your driving record at that time.
- You have 60 days from the date you pleaded guilty to complete driving school. After successful completion of the driving class, the traffic school will send a certificate to the DOR, proving that you completed the class. Then your speeding ticket will be reported on your driving record, but no points will be assessed for it.
- Traffic school is an 8-hour class and can be taken online or in person. (Many people complete the class in less than 8 hours.)
- You are allowed to attend traffic school to avoid point assessment only once every 36 months.
- You must contact the court that issued the speeding ticket to confirm that they will allow you to attend traffic school.
- Many courts (for example, municipal courts located in St. Louis County) require that you go to court and ask the judge for permission to attend traffic school.
- Call the DOR to confirm that the court has notified the DOR that the court is allowing you to attend traffic school.
- Confirm that the traffic school or driving class is approved by the Missouri Safety Center.
- For violations committed while operating a motorcycle, the driver must attend an approved motorcycle-rider training course.
- If your driver’s license was issued by a state other than Missouri, attending traffic school in Missouri may not help you. Check with your home state to determine how it will treat a speeding ticket received in Missouri, and find out if you can attend traffic school in your home state.
- Traffic school is not available for drivers who commit a traffic violation while driving a commercial motor vehicle, or for any driver who has a commercial drivers license (CDL) from Missouri or any other state.
- Prices for Missouri traffic school range from $20 to $35, depending on the court and the county. Many websites advertise that they offer online traffic schools.
FCC Speeding Ticket Points Can be Removed From Your Driving Record if You Attend a Missouri Traffic School
If a Missouri State Highway Patrol officer (a state trooper) pulls you over and issues a speeding ticket to you, most likely the ticket will have “FCC” or “Fine Collection Center” written on it, and instead of a court date, it will state, “Due in 30 Days”. That is called an FCC speeding ticket. If you have received an FCC ticket, you may be able to attend a Missouri traffic school to keep the points from being added to your driving record, if the county in which you received the ticket allows it. You will have to plead guilty and pay the fine and court costs to the FCC before taking the traffic school class.
Courts in the following Missouri counties allow drivers who receive FCC speeding tickets to attend traffic school to prevent points from being added to their driving records: Adair, Andrew, Atchison, Audrain, Barton, Bollinger, Boone, Buchanan, Butler, Callaway, Cape Girardeau, Cass, Clay, Clinton, Cole, Cooper, Dade, Daviess, Franklin, Gasconade, Greene, Grundy, Harrison, Hickory, Holt, Howell, Lewis, Lincoln, Livingston, Macon, Madison, Marion, McDonald, Miller, Nodaway, Oregon, Osage, Pemiscot, Perry, Pike, Platte, Putnam, Reynolds, Ripley, Saline, Schuyler, Scott, Shannon, Shelby, St. Clair, Ste. Genevieve, Sullivan, Vernon, Wayne, Worth, and Wright.
For more information, go to the website for the Missouri Fine Collection Center or call them at (877) 866-3926.
For All Other Missouri Speeding Tickets, Get Approval From the Court Before You Attend Traffic School
If you receive a regular (non-FCC) speeding ticket in a county not listed above, such as St. Louis City or St. Louis County, you may still be able to attend traffic school to reduce the points on your Missouri driving record, but you will have to get the court’s approval first. Contact the court that issued the ticket and ask how you can request to attend traffic school.
Most of the courts that are not on the above list require that you personally appear in court on your court date to ask the judge for permission to attend traffic school, but you should call the court clerk to confirm this before going to court.
In St. Louis County Circuit Court, you can not appear in court on your own to ask for permission from the judge to attend traffic school; you have to hire an attorney to represent you and you must appear in court with your attorney. If the judge approves your attorney’s request for traffic school, you will have to pay an additional fee that is donated to the School Fund. You can sign up for traffic school that same day while you’re at the courthouse (in the building across the street from the courthouse in Clayton), or you can enroll in a driving class offered by an online traffic school.
St. Charles County Circuit Court allows drivers to appear in court on their own (without hiring an attorney) and ask the judge for permission to attend traffic school.
In St. Louis City Municipal Court, you must come to court on your court date and ask the judge for permission to attend traffic school to keep points off your driver’s license. The judge will review your driving record and decide whether to allow you to attend traffic school. The same procedure applies to most other municipal courts in St. Louis County when requesting permission to attend traffic school. Municipal courts in St. Louis County, such as Kirkwood Municipal Court, Florissant Municipal Court, Pine Lawn Municipal Court, and Chesterfield Municipal Court all require drivers to appear in court on their court date to get approval from the judge to attend traffic school.
Even if the court that issued your speeding ticket is listed in one of the paragraphs above, you should still call the court to ask what their policy is for requesting traffic school to reduce the points on your driving record.
If the Court Does Not Offer Traffic School as an Option, You Can Hire a Lawyer to Get Your Speeding Ticket “Fixed”
If you plead guilty or are convicted of a speeding ticket in Missouri, points are added to your driving record and the speeding ticket conviction appears on your driving record. As noted previously, if you accumulate too many points within a certain period of time, your Missouri driver’s license will be suspended or revoked.
If you don’t want to attend traffic school to remove the points from your driving record, or if traffic school is not allowed in the county in which you received your speeding ticket, you can hire a traffic law attorney to negotiate a plea bargain with the court to have your speeding ticket amended to a non-moving, no-point infraction. (This is sometimes called getting a ticket “fixed.”) You will pay a higher fine after the ticket is amended, plus court costs, but no points will be added to your driving record, and there will be no record of a speeding ticket conviction on your Missouri driver’s license.
Locations of Missouri Traffic Schools
Click here for a list of online traffic schools approved by the Missouri Safety Center.
To find out more about how traffic school can keep points off your Missouri driver’s license record, click on the Missouri Driver Improvement Program page on the Missouri Courts website.
For more information about Missouri traffic law, points, and Missouri court information, click on the Traffic Law Resources page of my website.