Driving Success: Navigating California’s TVS Owner Requirements with $15,000 Bond for Home Study or Internet Programs

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In California, if you’re looking to start a Traffic Violator School (TVS), it’s essential to understand the requirements for owners. Traffic Violator Schools play a crucial role in helping individuals with traffic violations fulfill their obligations, learn safe driving practices, and potentially reduce points on their driving record. Whether you’re considering a home study or internet-based program, there are certain regulations and a $15,000 bond requirement you must meet.

Becoming a TVS Owner: Requirements

  1. Licensing: Before operating a Traffic Violator School, you must obtain a license from the DMV. This involves completing an application, paying applicable fees, and meeting specific criteria set by the DMV.
  2. Bond Requirement: One of the crucial requirements for TVS owners is obtaining a $15,000 surety bond. This bond acts as a form of financial security, ensuring that the school complies with state regulations and fulfills its obligations to students. In case the school fails to meet its responsibilities, the bond provides compensation to affected parties.
  3. Home Study or Internet Program Approval: TVS owners can choose between offering a home study program or an internet-based program. Both options must meet the requirements outlined by the DMV and undergo approval processes.
  4. Curriculum Approval: The curriculum offered by the TVS must cover topics specified by the DMV, including traffic laws, defensive driving techniques, and the impact of traffic violations. The curriculum must be submitted to the DMV for approval before the school can operate.
  5. Instructor Qualifications: TVS owners must ensure that their instructors meet certain qualifications, including possessing a valid instructor certificate issued by the DMV and completing any required training programs.
  6. Facility Requirements: If the TVS offers in-person classes, the facility must meet specific requirements regarding size, equipment, and accessibility.

Home Study vs. Internet Program

Home Study Program:

  • In a home study program, students receive course materials via mail or electronically. They study the materials at their own pace and complete assessments to demonstrate their understanding.
  • The home study program allows flexibility for students who prefer to learn independently and at their convenience.
  • TVS owners must ensure that the home study program meets all DMV requirements and provides adequate support for students.

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Internet Program:

  • An internet-based program delivers course materials and assessments through an online platform. Students can access the materials from any internet-enabled device and complete the coursework at their own pace.
  • Internet programs offer convenience and accessibility, especially for students who prefer online learning.
  • TVS owners must ensure that the internet program complies with DMV regulations regarding content delivery, security, and student support.

Importance of the $15,000 Bond

The $15,000 bond requirement for Traffic Violator School owners serves several purposes:

  1. Financial Protection: The bond provides financial protection to students and other parties in case the TVS fails to fulfill its obligations, such as providing the promised education or issuing refunds.
  2. Regulatory Compliance: By requiring a bond, the state ensures that TVS owners adhere to regulations and operate ethically. Failure to comply with state laws may result in claims against the bond.
  3. Consumer Confidence: Knowing that a TVS has a bond in place can give students confidence in the school’s legitimacy and commitment to quality education.


Starting a Traffic Violator School in California requires careful attention to regulatory requirements, including obtaining a $15,000 surety bond. Whether opting for a home study or internet-based program, TVS owners must ensure that their curriculum, instructors, facilities, and operations comply with DMV standards. By meeting these requirements, TVS owners can provide valuable education to drivers and contribute to safer roads in California.

What is a Traffic Violator School (TVS)?

A Traffic Violator School (TVS) is a program approved by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that offers courses to drivers who have received traffic citations. These courses aim to educate drivers about traffic laws, safe driving habits, and the consequences of violations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use the $15,000 bond for any other purpose besides operating a Traffic Violator School?

No, the $15,000 bond specifically serves as a form of financial security required by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for Traffic Violator School (TVS) owners. It cannot be repurposed for other ventures or expenses. The bond ensures that the TVS owner complies with state regulations and fulfills their obligations to students. If the TVS fails to meet these requirements, the bond may be used to provide compensation to affected parties.

Are there any alternatives to obtaining the $15,000 bond for operating a TVS?

While the $15,000 bond is the standard requirement for TVS owners in California, there may be alternative options available, such as obtaining a certificate of deposit (CD) or securing a bond through a different provider. However, it’s essential to ensure that any alternative meets the DMV’s criteria for financial security and provides the necessary coverage.

What happens if I fail to obtain the $15,000 bond for my TVS?

Failure to obtain the $15,000 bond as required by the DMV can result in the denial or revocation of your TVS license. Operating a Traffic Violator School without the necessary bond is a violation of state regulations and may lead to legal consequences, including fines and penalties. Additionally, without the bond in place, you may be unable to provide the required financial security for your students and may struggle to attract clients or maintain trust in your business. It’s crucial to ensure compliance with all licensing requirements, including the $15,000 bond, to operate a legitimate and successful TVS in California.


Account Executive at Axcess Surety
Glenn is dedicated to helping contractors get surety bonds and support. Glenn specializes in the construction industry with expertise in bids bonds, performance bonds and payment bonds. Glenn regularly published articles and resources for all things surety bonds.
Glenn Allen
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