Taking a traffic school course rarely appears high on anyone’s to-do list, but if you have a ticket to dismiss or would like to save a little money on your car insurance, there’s really no easier way. Not ready to jump in yet? Here are a few more answers that may help you decide.
Answers in this post:
How Long is Traffic School in Florida?
The answer to this question is…it depends.
Florida has three different driver improvement courses. How long the course will take depends on the one you need.
Florida’s 4-Hour Basic Driver Improvement Course (BDI)
Florida’s BDI course is four hours long. This is the one you need if you are looking to dismiss a first-time ticket, keep points off your driving record, or qualify for an insurance discount. This course is also known as a Traffic Collision Avoidance Class (TCAC).
Florida’s 8-Hour Intermediate Driver Improvement (IDI) Course
Florida’s IDI is an 8-hour, court-ordered course for drivers who have received two tickets in 12 months or less. If you took the 4-hour course for the first ticket, some Florida courts will allow you to take this course to keep the second one off your record.
Florida’s 12-Hour Advanced Driver Improvement (ADI) Course
Florida’s ADI is a 12-Hour course. Taking the ADI is the first step to license reinstatement for drivers whose licenses have been suspended for excessive driving record points. The ADI is also required for drivers revoked licenses after being classified as habitual traffic offenders.
If you find yourself in need of either the 8-hour or 12-hour course, take a look at the offerings from our trusted partner, TrafficSchoolOnline.com.
How do I know if I am eligible for traffic school in Florida?
Eligibility depends on why you are taking the course—ticket dismissal or insurance discount.
If you are looking to dismiss a ticket, you are most likely eligible unless you were:
- Ticketed for speeding 30 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit
- Not carrying the vehicle’s certificate of registration
- Operating a motor vehicle with an expired registration
- Operating a motor vehicle with a driver’s license expired for six months or less
- Operating a motor vehicle without carrying a driver’s license
It must be noted here that, even in these circumstances, some courts may still allow you to take a BDI course. The most important thing to remember here is this: No matter what, talk to your court FIRST before signing up for any course. If they give you the go-ahead, be very sure that the FLHSMV has approved the course you choose; otherwise, the court won’t accept it. We would hate for you to have to go through this dance twice.
If you are looking for an insurance discount, the best place to start is with a call to your agent. Most companies offer some type of discount to policyholders who take defensive driving, and these discounts a generally good for three years. If your company doesn’t offer such discounts, there are plenty who do. Do a little research and see how much switching companies could save you.
Can I Take Traffic School Online in Florida?
Absolutely. In fact, there’s really no better or easier way to complete a defensive driving course. An online course allows you to get the job done quickly and easily on a schedule and at a pace that works for you. Work on it whenever you have a few minutes, and it will be over before you know it.
How Many Times Can a Driver Take Traffic School in Florida?
The FLHSMV allows drivers to take a BDI course once every 12 months for ticket dismissal. Unfortunately, this courtesy is allowed to drivers by the Florida courts only five times in a driving career, so be careful out there.
If you have more questions about BDI courses, you can get answers straight from the horse’s, ahem, FLHSMV’s mouth on their website.
How Do I Complete Traffic School in Florida?
There are several steps to the process. All of them are easy, but you want to get them done to make sure your ticket gets dismissed.
- Step 1—Contact the court clerk in the county where you received your ticket. Pay the court fees required to attend traffic school. You can do this in person, by mail, by phone, or online, depending on the procedures required by your court. In exchange, you will receive permission from the court allowing you to attend driver improvement school.
- Step 2—You may attend traffic school in person or online. Be very sure you select a school that has been approved by the Florida HSMV. You can begin your search for a school on the FLHSMV’s website or simply choose from one of the FLHSMV-approved providers on this page.
- Step 3—Complete your traffic school course by the deadline given to you by the court.
- Step 4—Present your traffic school certificate of completion to your clerk’s office.
It is important to note here that these steps represent only a general guide to the process. Every court has its own special instructions. So follow the directions of your court exactly to be sure your ticket gets dismissed.
Need More Help Deciding on a Course?
For help deciding, you can read reviews of our number one choice (as well as a couple of others), or you can just get started with any of the other fine, FLHSMV-approved providers in the chart below. By the way, if five choices aren’t enough, we also have a list of all the online traffic school providers in Florida.
John FabelI have a long and checkered history with defensive driving. I took my first "court invited" course at age 15 and realized immediately that there had to be a better way. Since that first experience, I have gone on to teach defensive driving classroom courses and to author four internet courses in 2 states. After nearly 25 years in the industry, I can help you find a course that will be the best fit for you.
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