Finding a Legitimate Online Traffic School

Published: 05th August 2006
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Having a healthy dose of wariness when it comes to purchasing products or services online is often necessary to protect yourself from scams and dishonest businesspeople simply looking for an easy way to make money. Checking out a company ' an online traffic school or defensive driving school, for example ' is essential to ensuring you get what you are promised before you hand over your hard-earned money.

Online traffic school offers drivers an easy, convenient way to fulfill their court requirements for traffic violations. An increasingly popular alternative to traditional classroom-based traffic school, online traffic school helps students avoid having costly points placed on their driving records. Of course, with the rising popularity of online traffic schools came the expected onslaught of companies and websites, claiming to be legitimate online traffic schools. Today, the Internet is literally wall-to-wall with thousands of online traffic schools, all promising the same thing: an easy, inexpensive way to complete your traffic course.

The problem is not all of those online traffic schools are legitimate, so it's important to exercise caution when searching for the right traffic school. The good news is it's easy to tell if an online traffic school is, indeed, legitimate. "To tell if a traffic school is certified, you can look at the courts list (handed to every student going to take traffic school). The courts list can be sometime be found online at the counties courts website or at the court house," says Travis, founder of Ticket Relief, an online traffic school serving California including Los Angeles and San Diego counties and defensive driving courses in Texas (in partnership with Continued Ed) and Florida (in partnership with American Institute).

The lists handed out in court and sometimes posted on county websites include only those online traffic schools that are certified. (Ticket Relief itself is certified by the National Traffic Safety Administration and the Coordinated Courts System while its partner schools are DMV-approved.)

According to Travis, "Online traffic schools are approved in different ways depending on the state and county. In California, there are about three to four monitoring companieshave contracts with the courts to monitor and review California traffic schools/online traffic schools. Each monitoring company has a handful of counties to monitor and approve/certify. Florida traffic schools and Texas traffic schools are different; everything is handled through the DMV. The DMV would approve/certify a traffic school."

It's important to keep in mind that some online traffic schools will advertise they are certified when, in reality, they are not. Don't take their word for it unless they're on a court-approved list. Instead, ask which organization certified the online traffic school, and contact that organization to verify the certification. A quick hint that an online traffic school may not be all that it claims is grammatically sloppy, poorly written course materials.

Online traffic schools must meet strict qualifications before they are certified. Their course materials ' which average between 100-150 pages ' are rigorously inspected to ensure they meet curriculum, law and grammatical standards. Once an online traffic school has effectively met those standards, it is certified and can begin business.

Another effective way to determine if an online traffic school is legitimate is to check its website for the official Better Business Bureau logo. To become a member of the BBB, as Ticket Relief recently has, businesses are subjected to extensive background checks. If an online traffic school you are considering is a member of the Better Business Bureau, you can contact the BBB to determine if there have been any complaints against the school. This is a good way to both determine if the online traffic school is legitimate and if it provides consistently good service.

Ticket Relief, in business since 2004, offers its clients certification and a promise of security. Those who register with Ticket Relief are ensured of 128byte encryption, which means all credit card and other personal information is protected from hackers. "At Ticket Relief we believe in privacy. None of our customer's information is sold or used for any marketing, or advertise purpose," says Travis.

With a goal of expanding their online traffic school to include the entire country, Ticket Relief updates its course materials on a yearly basis, to ensure students are getting the most current information. Those who sign on with Ticket Relief can also expect a company "dedicated [and] totally geared toward customer service."

Author: Beth Williams
February 21, 2006

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