When Are Driver’s NOT Eligible for Traffic Violator School (TVS) Programs in California?

A Superior Court judge has the discretion to order attendance at a TVS program as permitted under California Vehicle Code (CVC) sections 41501(a) or 42005, or for any other purpose permitted by law. A traffic defendant who is eligible for TVS will NOT forfeit eligibility by contesting a traffic citation and entering a plea of Not Guilty, or by exercising his or her Constitutional right to a Court Trial.

Generally speaking, you are not eligible to attend a traffic violator school or defensive driving program in California, if any of the following circumstances apply to you...

Commercial Operators (Class A & B license holders):

1.  If you receive a traffic citation while operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV)

2.  If your violation involves a non-moving offense such as Overweight, Overlength, Improper Cell Phone Use, or Non-Emergency Parking (CVC Section 22505(b) or 21461(a))

3.  If you receive a citation for a Hazardous Material (Haz Mat) violation

4.  If you receive a citation for Littering (CVC Section 23111, 23112(a) or 23112(b)), or for a serious traffic violation, such as a misdemeanor DUI or Reckless Driving

5.  Any driver who would ordinarily be eligible for TVS, but who has completed a TVS program for a prior traffic citation issued within 18 months of their current or pending traffic citation 


Non-commercial Operators (Class C license holders):

1.  Exceeding 100 MPH (CVC Section 22348b)

2.  All non-moving violations, such as Improper Cell Phone Use, or Non-Emergency parking (CVC Section 22505(b) or 21461(a))

3.  Speeding in a private vehicle at speeds ≥ 26 MPH above the speed limit for the prevailing conditions (CVC Section 22350)

4.  Speeding in a private vehicle at speeds ≥ 26 MPH above the posted speed limit of 65 MPH (CVC Section 22349a)

5.  Speeding in a private vehicle at speeds ≥ 26 MPH above the posted speed limit of 55 MPH (CVC Section 22349b)

6.  Speeding in a private vehicle at speeds ≥ 26 MPH above the posted speed limit of 70 MPH (CVC Section 22356b)

7.  Speeding in a private vehicle at speeds ≥ 26 MPH above the posted speed limit for a Bridge, Tube or Tunnel (CVC Section 22405a)

8.  If you receive a citation for Littering (CVC Section 23111, 23112(a) or 23112(b)), or for a serious traffic violation, such as a misdemeanor DUI or Reckless Driving

9.  Any driver who would ordinarily be eligible for TVS, but who has completed a TVS program for a prior traffic citation issued within 18 months of their current or pending traffic citation


Note:  As far as TVS ineligibility, Speeding in Excess of 26 MPH or greater above the posted speed limit, is the most common scenario that a non-commercial driver will find themselves in while traveling on the California highway system.  The typical bail penalty for speeding ≥ 26 MPH above the speed limit, but not over 100 MPH, is approximately $470.00

By the way...once a person has been referred to a TVS program by a Superior Court judge, CVC §42005(e) states that "A person who willfully fails to comply with a court order to attend traffic violator school is guilty of a misdemeanor." (emphasis added) Essentially, you would be considered in contempt of court - a misdemeanor violation - for disobeying or not complying with a formal court order.



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Felicia Woods-Yates, 
Attorney at Law



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