Code Section

Vehicle Code - VEH


  ( Division 5 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )

CHAPTER 1.5. Traffic Violator Schools [11200 - 11223]
  ( Chapter 1.5 added by Stats. 1984, Ch. 1037, Sec. 4. )


(a) A traffic violator school owner shall meet all of the following criteria before a license may be issued for the traffic violator school:

(1) Maintain an established place of business in this state that is open to the public. An office or place of business of a traffic violator school, including any traffic violator school branch or classroom location, shall not be situated within 500 feet of any court of law or within 50 feet of another licensed traffic violator school. The office or place of business shall be a separate and enclosed space consisting of a minimum of 100 square feet and shall have a lockable entry door.

(2) Be open to the public and maintain regular business hours Monday to Friday, inclusive, excluding state and federal holidays. The business hours shall be posted at the established place of business and on any internet website used or maintained by the traffic violator school.

(3) Have an operator or employee in each office or place of business during regular business hours.

(4) Have a name that does not include a cost, price, or amount of the traffic violator school course, unless that name accurately reflects the cost of the course.

(5) Conform to standards established by regulation of the department. In adopting the standards, the department shall consider those practices and instructional programs that may reasonably foster the knowledge, skills, and judgment necessary for compliance with traffic laws. The department shall establish standards for each instructional modality, which may include requirements specific to each modality. The standards may include, but are not limited to, classroom facilities, school personnel, equipment, curriculum, procedures for the testing and evaluation of students, recordkeeping, and business practices.

(6) Procure and file with the department a bond of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) executed by an admitted surety and conditioned upon the applicant not practicing fraud or making a fraudulent representation that will cause a monetary loss to a person taking instruction from the applicant or to the state or any local authority.

(7) Have the proper equipment necessary for giving instruction to traffic violators.

(8) Have a lesson plan approved by the department, and provide not less than the minimum instructional time specified in the approved plan. The approved plan shall include a postlesson knowledge test. The lesson plan for each instructional modality shall require separate approval by the department.

(9) (A) Execute and file with the department an instrument designating the director as agent of the applicant for service of process, as provided in this paragraph, in any action commenced against the applicant arising out of a claim for damages suffered by a person due to the applicant’s violation of a provision of this code committed in relation to the specifications of the applicant’s traffic violator school or a condition of the bond required by paragraph (6).

(B) The applicant shall stipulate in the instrument that a process directed to the applicant, when personal service cannot be made in this state after due diligence, may be served instead upon the director or, in the director’s absence from the department’s principal offices, upon an employee in charge of the office of the director, and that this substituted service is of the same effect as personal service on the applicant. The instrument shall further stipulate that the agency created by the designation shall continue during the period covered by the license issued pursuant to this section and so long thereafter as the applicant may be made to answer in damages for a violation of this code for which the surety may be made liable or a condition of the bond.

(C) The instrument designating the director as agent for service of process shall be acknowledged by the applicant before a notary public.

(D) If the director or an employee of the department, in lieu of the director, is served with a summons and complaint on behalf of the licensee, one copy of the summons and complaint shall be left with the director or in the director’s office in Sacramento or mailed to the office of the director in Sacramento. A fee of five dollars ($5) shall also be paid to the director or employee at the time of service of the copy of the summons and complaint, or shall be included with a summons and complaint served by mail.

(E) The service on the director or department employee pursuant to this paragraph is sufficient service on the licensee if a notice of the service and a copy of the summons and complaint are, on the same day as the service or mailing of the summons and complaint, sent by registered mail by the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s attorney to the licensee. A copy of the summons and complaint shall also be mailed by the plaintiff or plaintiff’s attorney to the surety on the licensee’s bond at the address of the surety given in the bond, postpaid and registered with request for return receipt.

(F) The director shall keep a record of all processes served pursuant to this paragraph showing the day and hour of service, and shall retain the documents served in the department’s files.

(G) If the licensee is served with process by service upon the director or a department employee in lieu of the director, the licensee has 30 days after that service within which to answer any complaint or other pleading filed in the cause. For purposes of venue, if the licensee is served with process by service upon the director or a department employee in lieu of the director, the service is considered to have been made upon the licensee in the county in which the licensee has or last had an established place of business.

(10) (A) Meet the requirements of Section 11202.5, relating to traffic violator school operators, if the owner is also the operator of the traffic violator school. If the owner is not the operator of the traffic violator school, the owner shall designate an employee as operator who shall meet the requirements of Section 11202.5.

(B) A person may be an operator for more than one traffic violator school if (i) the schools have a common owner or owners and (ii) the schools share a single established business address.

(C) A traffic violator school with multiple branch locations may designate a separate licensed operator for each location, but shall designate one of the licensed operators as the primary contact for the department.

(11) Have an instructor who meets the requirements of Section 11206. An owner who is designated as the operator for the school is authorized to act as an instructor without meeting the requirements of Section 11206. The owner license may also include authorization to act as an instructor if the owner is not designated as the operator but meets the requirements of Section 11206. The owner license shall specify if the owner is authorized to offer instruction. If the owner is not approved to act as an instructor, the school must employ an instructor licensed pursuant to Section 11206.

(12) Provide the department with a written assurance that the school will comply with the applicable provisions of Subchapter II or III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 12101 et seq.), and any other federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination against individuals with disabilities. Compliance may include providing sign language interpreters or other accommodations for students with disabilities.

(b) The qualifying requirements specified in subdivision (a) shall be met within one year from the date of application for a license, or a new application and fee are required.

(c) Paragraphs (6) and (9) of subdivision (a) do not apply to public schools or other public agencies, which shall also not be required to post a cash deposit pursuant to Section 11203.

(d) Paragraphs (1), (2), (3), and (10) of subdivision (a) do not apply to public schools or other public educational institutions.

(e) A notice approved by the department shall be posted in every traffic violator school, branch, and classroom location, and prominently displayed on a home study or internet program, stating that any person involved in the offering of, or soliciting for, a completion certificate for attendance at a traffic violator school program in which the person does not attend or does not complete the minimum amount of instruction time may be guilty of violating Section 134 of the Penal Code.

(f) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2020.

(Amended (as added by Stats. 2019, Ch. 307, Sec. 2) by Stats. 2020, Ch. 370, Sec. 266. (SB 1371) Effective January 1, 2021.)