Defensive Driving Resource

Waco Defensive Driving Guide

“I just got a traffic ticket driving down I-35 in Waco between Austin and Dallas.  What should I do?  I live in Dallas and can’t make it back to Waco to take care of it.”

This is a common occurrence and most individuals have either never received a traffic ticket or don’t remember the proper procedure on what to do. First you have 2 basic options when you receive a traffic ticket (take a defensive driving course to keep the violation off of your driving record or pay the fine and let the violation be recorded on your driving record).

You must first determine if you are eligible to take defensive driving. The major determining factor is whether you have completed a defensive driving course in the past 12 months for a ticket, regardless where in Texas the ticket was received.  If you have taken a course already in the past 12 months then you must notify the court of this fact, but you may still request to take defensive driving again, but it is up to the judge’s discretion to determine if this is permissible.

Most traffic tickets have instructions printed on them about the steps required to notify the court that you would like to take a defensive driving course, and the deadline to notify them.  If you fail to notify them of you intention to complete a defensive driving course or pay the fine for the ticket, a warrant will be sent out.   Your other option is to appear before the judge on the date listed on the ticket if you intend to fight the validity of the ticket and plead .  If you choose to take a Waco defensive driving course, the following is a quick guide on the steps for doing so:

  1. Notify the court of your intention to take a defensive driving course, either by phone or by mail using the instructions shown on the traffic ticket.
  2. When you notify the court there is usually a court fee that is required (typically $90-$120).  Once this fee is paid the court will give you 90 days from the pay date to complete an approved defensive driving course.
  3. Register and complete an approved 6 hour defensive driving course.
  4. Following course completion the provider will mail you a completion certificate that you will mail in or hand delivery to the court.  If you decide to mail the certificate, make sure you send it Certified Mail with the USPS, so that you have a signature if the court says they never received it.
  5. Most courts now request that you order a certified copy of your driving record also.  This can be ordered directly from the State of Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.  The cost is $12 and they will send it out via standard US mail. You should receive it in 5 business days.
  6. Once you have your defensive driving certificate and your driving record, you can submit both to the court.
  7. If you send everything via mail, I would follow up with a phone call to verify delivery.
  8. Once the court receives all the paperwork before the 90 day deadline is up, they will dismiss the traffic ticket and it will not be listed on your driving record.  Your driving record will show that you completed the defensive driving course though.

I hope anyone that needs to complete a Waco defensive driving course find this guide useful.  Safe driving out there!

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