How to Start a Traffic School in California
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The first thing you want to do is go to the California DMV website, dmv.ca.gov I will add links for you so you can find the information easily as the DMV website can be a little difficult to navigate through. (AB2499 is New CA legislation for traffic schools that was put in place 9.1.2012) It covers all the rules and regulations as well as the qualifications needed for the owner operator and instructor.
After you go through the information you will want to print out the traffic school owner checklist, it will prove to be very helpful in checking off each thing you need to complete.
Opening up a Traffic violator school can be a long and tedious endeavor; there are many requirements that need to be in place before the DMV approves you.
I will list a few of the steps involved in opening up your school:
1) The first thing the DMV requires is to submit a traffic school lesson plan along with an $800.00 fee for your original review of an online course, $800.00 for a home study course review or $475.00 for a classroom course to be submitted with your OL764 form. You will have to wait up to 120 days for the DMV to do a background check on you as well waiting for your approval or rejection of your course. If you would prefer you can purchase a pre approved lesson plan which is probably easier than writing your own which is a 6 month to a year project. Plus you will get your approval letter from the DMV in about a week and only have to pay a $25.00 fee to use a pre approved course.
2)The DMV must approve your traffic school name before you can move forward with the rest of your application, you will need to fill out the OL 612 form, but before you your waste time purchasing your domain name for an online traffic school you can call the DMV and check to see if the name you wish to use is available at the time of your call (916) 229-3126. If your name is similar to another name being used, your domain name will be rejected. If the name is available then you can send the form up to DMV by overnight mail, they will send you back an approval for your chosen name by US mail.Once you get your application approved, your school name will be placed on the DMV website, which is free marketing for you.
Some additional DMV requirements are: being fingerprinted by live scan, securing a bond, pay the required fees, submit an insurance certificate, purchase a DMV approved lesson plan,or write your own, rent an office space in which to run your business out of and hold your traffic violator classes if you wish to teach a classroom course. FYI…The DMV makes no distinction between a classroom traffic school or an online traffic school course in terms of the application process,the DMV wants you to have an office space even if you only have an online course. They state that students should be able to come into the business they have chosen to take their traffic school course with.
Your application must also have: Assurance of compliance with the American with Disabilities Act. Property use verification. If you Incorporate or choose to have a Limited Liability Company or Limited Liability Partnership owned businesses: You will need a copy of the Articles of Incorporation, Corporate Minutes or other document filed with the Secretary of State, which identifies the officers, share holders and managers with an interest in the business is required.
A copy of your Business License
Copy of your Fictitious Name Statement
Copy of your rental or lease agreement for all offices and classrooms or use form OL 144, Traffic Violator School Classroom Lease or Rental Agreement.
A California traffic school consists of an owner or owners, an operator who oversees the operation of the school and the traffic school instructor who will teach the classes. The operator has to take an 8 hour course either online or inclass as part of their application process if they have never been a licensed DMV operator before. If they have previously been a DMV licensed operator then they only need to take a 4 hour online or inclass course. After class they will receive a certificate which can be taken to DMV with their application packet. After the operator has taken their initial course whether a 4 or 8 hour they will have to take a mandatory 4 hour class each year. The owner does not have to take a DMV test, but the operator and instructor do. The written exam will consist of traffic laws, Safe driving practices, Knowledge of teaching methods and techniques. The operator will also have additional test questions on statutes and regulations, office procedures and record keeping.
These are just some of the requirements that I have listed above, read through the information on the DMV website before you decide if you want to proceed with opening up your school. In my future articles i will go over the requirements in more depth for the operator and instructor as well as marketing yourself on the internet.
To view the forms and fees along with the application requirements for the traffic school owner the link below will show you all the information on one page.