Defensive driving courses, which are also referred to as traffic school, driver improvement, and point reduction, are often approved and licensed by your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), Motor Vehicle Division (MVD), Department of Public Safety (DPS), Secretary of State (SOS), Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA), or Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV).
Defensive driving courses/traffic school can generally be taken to:
Dismiss a traffic ticket.
Avoid accumulating more driving record points.
Avoid higher car insurance premiums.
Remove existing points from your driving record.
Reinstate your suspended driver’s license.
Earn a car insurance discount.
Regardless of your reason for enrolling in a defensive driver improvement program, you’ll gain valuable safe driving knowledge that may help to prevent you from receiving traffic citations and causing accidents in the future. Even if you are not eligible to receive the direct benefits of a defensive driving insurance discount, point reduction, or ticket dismissal, completing a course can serve as a good investment in your future as a responsible driver.
Along with safe and defensive driving techniques, traffic school will usually cover topics including:
Traffic laws and violations in your state.
Alcohol/drug abuse and consequences.
Developing better driving attitudes and behaviors.
Sharing the road with other drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians.
Your specific defensive driving school curriculum and requirements will vary by state, but your course will generally last anywhere from 4 to 12 hours.
In many states, you’ll have the option of completing a defensive driving course online or in a classroom. Be sure to check that the program is approved by your state.
Taking Defensive Driving/Traffic School in Your State
Click on your state below to learn about your DMV, MVD, DPS, SOS, MVA, or OMV defensive driving/driver improvement options and requirements.
On your state’s page you’ll find information about taking defensive driving voluntarily for car insurance discounts, traffic ticket dismissals, or driving record point reductions. Additionally, you’ll find information about circumstances that may require you to complete traffic school, such as a court order, major traffic offense, or driver’s license suspension.
Your eligibility to complete a traffic school program will often be determined by your state’s DMV agency, traffic court, or insurance company, and will be based upon your specific circumstances, your personal driving history and whether you’ve recently completed at defensive driving course.
Before enrolling in a course, you should confirm that you are eligible.
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
- Washington DC