What Commercial Driver Licensees (CDL holders) need to know about Traffic Violator School in California.by Attorney Felicia Woods-Yates on 01/17/15
What Commercial Driver Licensees (CDL holders) need to know about Traffic Violator School in the State of California…
Are Commercial Driver Licensees (CDL holders) eligible for Traffic Violator School (TVS) in California? Yes, but only under specific circumstances.
- As of January 1, 2011, you may attend TVS if the violation occurred while driving a non-commercial vehicle, AND you have a valid commercial Class A, Class B, or Class C license, issued by the State of California. This means that if you were operating a commercial vehicle at the time you received your traffic citation, OR you were holding an out-of-state CDL, you are not eligible to attend TVS in California under any circumstances. In addition, you will not be eligible to attend TVS if the violation involves, for example, an Equipment offense, a Non-moving offense (such as a parking offenses), a Misdemeanor, an Offense with a Mandatory Court Appearance (i.e. Hazardous Materials; Littering; Speeding in Excess of 100 MPH), any Alcohol-related offenses, or if your cited speed exceeds more than 25 miles per hour above the posted speed limit. If you previously attended TVS, it must be more than 18 months since your last citation was issued for which you attended a TVS program. The 18 months is calculated from the issuance date of the previous citation for which you attended traffic school, to the issuance date of your current citation.
If an eligible CDL holder completes TVS, will he/she avoid Negligent Operator Points on their DMV record ? Generally speaking, Yes.
If a CDL holder completes a TVS program, will the eligible offense remain confidential, and not be disclosed to insurance companies, etc.? Generally speaking, No.
- Effective January 1, 2013, an eligible CDL holder who completes a TVS program will avoid a Negligent Operator Point, BUT his/her record will not be confidential, and shall be disclosed, for purposes of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, and to insurers by the DMV for insurance underwriting and rating purposes. Therefore, motor carriers and insurance companies alike, will eventually become aware of a violation, regardless of whether or not you complete a Traffic Violator Program.
A Superior Court judge has the discretion to order attendance at a TVS program as permitted under California Vehicle Code 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.
Since everyone's traffic incident is unique to that individual and the specific circumstances, you should consult with a competent defense attorney to determine your best course of action. Felicia Yates has been practicing law for over 30 years in California and can be reached at (760) 326-5297, and found at Law Offices of Felicia Yates & Associates.