Driver Improvement Program
The Driver Improvement Program is an opportunity to prevent your traffic ticket from appearing as a conviction on your driving record. When you participate in the Driver Improvement Program, you are granted court supervision without going to court (unless you are not yet 18, in which case you must appear in court with a parent or guardian to obtain court supervision).
Court supervision is an unsupervised "probation" that results in your ticket showing as supervision instead of a conviction on your driving record. Your period of supervision lasts six months from the date the Circuit Clerk's Office receives your "PLEA OF GUILTY" and it is your responsibility to pay the traffic fine and Driver Improvement Program fee in full and remain without additional traffic violations during this period.
Court supervision requires you to attend a one-time, four-hour class on defensive driving developed by the National Corrective Training Institute and offered by Illinois Valley Community College (IVCC). You must complete this class within 90 days of the date the traffic ticket was issued.
Payment must be made and the above registration/application form must be filled out on both sides/pages and returned to the Bureau County Circuit Clerk's Traffic Department along with the blue copy of the ticket signed on the bottom half. (See Registration Form for Driver Improvement program concerning remittance).
If you live in Bureau County, you must take the class at the Bureau County Farm Bureau, 535 Elm Place (Route 34), in Princeton, IL or at IVCC in Oglesby, IL.
If taking the class at the Bureau County Farm Bureau, you must pay your traffic fine plus $35.00 to the Bureau County Circuit Clerk. If you find you cannot attend the class you registered for at the Bureau County Farm Bureau, contact the Traffic Department at the Bureau County Circuit Clerk's Office at (815) 872-2001, Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., to reschedule your class. There is a $10.00 charge to reschedule a class.
If taking the class at Illinois Valley Community College, you must pay your traffic fine plus $10.00 to the Bureau County Circuit Clerk. YOU are then responsible to sign up for the class with IVCC by calling (815) 434-8271 and to pay IVCC's registration fee.
Check the Eligibility Guidelines below and the registration information carefully before you complete the application. You must apply for the program through the Circuit Clerk's Office at the same time you pay your ticket's fine. Fees paid to participate in the Driver Improvement Program are non-refundable.
The Driver Improvement Program will notify the Court when you have completed the class. If you complete the program within the 90 days of the date the ticket was issued and do not receive any additional tickets during your supervision period, your ticket will show as supervision and not as a conviction on your driving record.
If you live outside of Bureau County, you may take the class online or in another county.
If you live outside Bureau County you may take the class online at www.gototrafficschool.com, the only online class accepted by the Bureau County Court.
BEFORE TAKING THE CLASS you must pay the traffic fine plus $10.00 to the Bureau County Circuit Clerk, register for the class and pay an additional fee online for the class itself.
If taking the class in another county, pay your traffic fine plus $10.00 to the Bureau County Circuit Clerk, locate a class and pay its registration fee.
After completing the class, you must sign the original Certificate you receive and send it to the Bureau County Circuit Clerk's Traffic Department within 90 days of the date the traffic ticket was issued OR your supervision may be revoked and your guilty plea will result in a conviction on your driving record to the Secretary of State.
In summary, when you receive a traffic ticket, you have three choices:
- Plead Guilty and pay the fine, by mail or in person, without going to court. A conviction will be reported to the Secretary of State.
- Plead Not Guilty and request a Trial (requiring at least one court appearance).
- Plead Guilty, but with Supervision. Attend the Driver Improvement Program. Pay the traffic fine and Driver Improvement Program fee, attend a one-time class on defensive driving and receive no additional tickets during your supervision period. (No court appearance is required.)
Read these Eligibility Guidelines carefully to see if you qualify for court supervision.
- You may participate in the Driver Improvement Program to receive mail-in court supervision for only ONE ticket a year. The year is determined from ticket date to ticket date.)
- Anyone who has already received court supervision (either by order of a judge or by attending a Traffic School Program) for another traffic ticket that was issued within 12 months of this ticket is not eligible.
- If your ticket is marked "MUST APPEAR IN COURT", you MUST FIRST appear in court, in person, on the date shown.
You are NOT eligible for Court Supervision:
- If you are a holder of a Commercial Drivers License (CDL).
- If you are charged with an offense while operating a commercial motor vehicle.
- If the "URBAN DISTRICT" box on your ticket is checked or if "URBAN DISTRICT" is written on your ticket.
- If your ticket is for one of the following violations:
- Speeding - School Zone 625 ILCS 5/11-605(a)
- Passing a Stopped School Bus 625 ILCS 5/11-141(a)
- Speeding - Construction Zone 625 ILCS 5/11-605(b)
- Illegal Transportation of Alcohol 625 ILCS 5/11-502(a) or (b)
If you apply for the program and are found to be ineligible, a conviction will be reported to the Secretary of State. Both your fine and the school fee are not refundable.
*The Circuit Clerk Record Search is intended to be a summary of information for the public. It does not take the place of legal information held in the actual Court file. The Bureau County Circuit Clerk accepts no liability for discrepancies between the electronic version and the official printed document.