If you complete the Missouri Driver Improvement Program traffic school within 60 days of pleading guilty to a speeding ticket, the points associated with that ticket will be removed from your driving record.
What is the Missouri Driver Improvement Program (DIP)?
The Missouri Driver Improvement Program (DIP) is traffic school that you can take to remove points from your driving record. Here are a few important facts about the Missouri DIP class:
- You must take the Missouri DIP class within 60 days after you plead guilty to a speeding ticket.
- If you have taken the Missouri DIP class within the past 3 years, you are not eligible.
- You must get the court’s approval before taking the DIP class.
- You must fax proof of completion of the DIP class to the Missouri Dept. of Revenue.
Many courts automatically give defendants their approval to take the DIP driving school, but some courts require you to go to court and ask the judge for permission. If you don’t want to go to court yourself, you can hire an attorney to go to court for you and ask for permission to take the DIP class.
If you don’t have the court’s approval to take the Missouri DIP class, the Missouri Dept. of Revenue will not accept your proof of completion of the class.
Take the DIP Traffic School if You Can’t Get Your Ticket Reduced to a Non-Moving Violation
The courts in most Missouri counties allow speeding tickets to be reduced to non-moving, no-point violations in exchange for paying a higher fine plus court costs. In those counties, drivers can hire a traffic ticket lawyer to get their speeding ticket amended to “Illegal Parking” or some other non-moving, no-point violation that won’t affect their driving record or insurance rates.
Unfortunately, some courts in Missouri refuse to reduce speeding tickets to non-moving violations. In that case, the driver’s only option is to either hire a traffic law attorney to negotiate a plea bargain deal that includes probation, or just plead guilty on your own without an attorney representing you.
If you decide to plead guilty to a Missouri speeding ticket, points will be added to your driving record and your car insurance rates may increase. The DIP program allows drivers to get the points removed from their driving record after pleading guilty.
The Missouri DIP Driver Improvement Program Will Not Keep the Ticket Off Your Driving Record
PLEASE NOTE: If you take the Missouri DIP driving school class, points will be removed from your driving record. However, taking the DIP class does not prevent the ticket from showing up on your driving record and possibly causing your car insurance rates to increase.
Therefore, if at all possible, I strongly recommend hiring a traffic ticket lawyer to get your ticket reduced to a non-moving, no-point violation that won’t affect your driving record or car insurance rates.
Speeding Tickets Cause Points to be Added to Your Driving Record
In Missouri (and many other states), points are added to your driving record when you plead guilty or are convicted of a traffic violation, such as speeding, driving without insurance, driving without a license, driving while suspended, leaving the scene of an accident, careless & imprudent driving, running a stop sign, etc.
Most standard speeding tickets issued by Missouri municipal police officers are 2-point tickets, and most speeding tickets issued by Missouri State Highway Patrol officers are 3-point tickets.
If you accumulate 8 points within 18 months, your Missouri driver’s license will be suspended. Your license will be revoked for 1 year if you accumulate 12 points within 12 months.
Speeding Tickets Can Cause Your Car Insurance Rates to Increase
It is common knowledge that a speeding ticket conviction on your driving record can cause your car insurance rates to increase.
If you are having a hard time deciding whether to hire a traffic law attorney to represent you or just plead guilty, you can call your insurance agent and ask how much your car insurance rates will increase if you plead guilty to the speeding ticket. Then you can compare that amount with the price of hiring a traffic ticket lawyer to get your ticket “fixed” (reduced to a non-moving, no-point violation).
How to Withdraw Your Guilty Plea
In many cases, you can change your mind after pleading guilty to a traffic ticket or other criminal offense.
If you did not have an attorney representing you, and not much time has passed since you pleaded guilty, you may be able to withdraw your plea and get the ticket reduced to a non-moving violation, or get the criminal charge reduced to a lesser offense.
Consult an attorney to get an estimate of the probable outcome of your case.
For more information about the Missouri Driver Improvement Program, read my previous blog post “DIP Class Won’t Keep Tickets Off Driving Record.”
To get your Missouri speeding ticket reduced to a non-moving, no-point violation that won’t affect your driving record or insurance rates, call St. Louis traffic law attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 for a price quote and estimate of your fine and court costs. Or email Andrea at [email protected]