The first thing you need to do is go to the California DMV website, dmv.ca.gov. I will add links so you can easily find the information as the DMV website can be a bit difficult to navigate. (AB2499 is the new CA legislation for traffic schools that was implemented on 9.1.2012) It covers all the rules and regulations as well as the necessary qualifications for the owner, operator and instructor.

After reviewing the information, you’ll want to print out the traffic school owner’s checklist, it will come in handy for checking off each thing you need to complete.

Opening a school for traffic offenders can be a long and tedious task; there are many requirements that must be met before the DMV will approve it.

I will list some of the steps involved in opening your school:

1) The first thing the DMV requires is to submit a traffic school lesson plan along with a fee of $800.00 for your original online course review, $800.00 for a home study course review, or $ 475.00 for a face-to-face course to send with your OL764 form. You will have to wait up to 120 days for the DMV to run a background check on you and wait for your approval or denial of your course. If you prefer, you can buy a pre-approved lesson plan which is probably easier than writing your own, which is a 6 month to a year project. Plus, you’ll receive 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 proceed with the rest of your application, you will need to fill out the OL 612 form, but before you waste time buying your domain name for an online traffic school , you can call the DMV and see if the name you want to use is available at the time of your call (916) 229-3126. If your name is similar to another name in use, your domain name will be rejected. If the name is available, you can send the form to the DMV by express mail, they will send you an approval for your chosen name by US mail, which is free marketing to you.

Some additional DMV requirements are: being fingerprinted by live scanning, securing a bond, paying required fees, submitting a certificate of insurance, purchasing a DMV-approved lesson plan, or writing your own, renting a space where to run your business without and take your traffic offender classes if you want to teach a face-to-face 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 claim that students should be able to enter the business they have chosen to take their traffic school course.

Your application must also have: Assurance of compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Verification of use of the property. If you incorporate or elect to have a limited liability company or limited liability company: You will need a copy of the articles of incorporation, corporate minutes, or other document filed with the Secretary of State, identifying the officers, shareholders, and managers. An interest in the business is required.

A copy of your business license
Copy of your fictitious name statement
Copy of your rent or lease agreement for all offices and classrooms or use form OL 144, School Room Lease or Lease Agreement for Traffic Violators.

A California traffic school consists of an owner(s), an operator who oversees the operation of the school, and the traffic school instructor who will teach the classes. The operator must take an 8-hour course either online or in class as part of their application process if they have never been a DMV-licensed operator before. If he has previously been a DMV licensed operator, he only needs to take a 4-hour online or classroom course. After the class, they will receive a certificate that can be taken to the DMV with their application package. After the operator has taken his initial course, either 4 or 8 hours, he 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 a few of the requirements I have listed above, please read the information on the DMV website before deciding if you want to proceed with opening your school. In my future articles, I will go over the requirements in more depth for the operator and the instructor, as well as for promoting yourself on the Internet.

DMV Links:

To view the forms and fees along with application requirements for a traffic school owner, the link below will show you all the information on one page.

http://dmv.ca.gov/vehindustry/ol/tvschowner.htm

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