Taking a defensive driving 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:
Can You Take Defensive Driving Online in Texas?
Absolutely. In fact, there’s really not a 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.
Since the approval of online defensive driving in the mid-’90s, courses have continued to improve as the years have gone on. The first courses were mainly text-driven, but nowadays include a mix of videos to make the task less labor-intensive. Many online providers even have 100% video courses available.
How Do You Check if You are Eligible for Texas Defensive Driving?
That depends on the reason you are taking the course.
If you are looking to dismiss a ticket, you are most likely eligible unless:
- Your ticket was written in a school or construction zone
- Your license is a CDL
- Your speeding ticket was written for more than 25 MPH over the limit
- You have taken defensive driving to dismiss a traffic ticket in the last 12 months
It must be noted that, even in these circumstances, some courts may still allow you to take defensive driving. The most important thing to remember here is this: No matter what, talk to your court FIRST before signing up for any course.
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.
How Long is the Texas Online Defensive Driving Course?
Whether you take your course online or in a classroom, state law requires that the course be six hours in length. Here’s where choosing online really shines. After all, who has six hours to sit in a classroom? Complete your course at a time and place that works for you. Whether you choose to finish a piece at a time or power all the way through in one sitting, at least you can do it from your couch instead of in a roomful of strangers!
What Defensive Driving Course is Approved by Texas?
Well, our recommended course certainly is, as well as the others we will list below.
When choosing a course, be sure the one you take is approved by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. A TDLR-approved course is the only one your court will accept for ticket dismissal, so it’s important to check before you sign up. We’d hate to see you have to do all that work twice.
How Do I Complete Defensive Driving in Texas?
There are a number of steps to the process. All of them are easy, but you want to get them done in order to make sure your ticket gets dismissed.
- Step 1—Contact the court that has jurisdiction over your ticket. Pay the court fees required to attend defensive driving. 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 a driver safety course.
- Step 2—You may attend traffic school in person or online. Be very sure you select a school that has been approved by the Texas TDLR. You can begin your search for a school on the TDLR website or simply choose from one of the TDLR-approved providers on this page.
- Step 3—Complete your traffic school course by the deadline given you by the court.
- Step 4—Acquire a 3a copy of your driving record. This record will be used by the court to determine whether you have dismissed another ticket with defensive driving in the last 12 months.
- Step 5—Present your traffic school certificate of completion and driving record to your court.
It is important to note here that these steps represent only a general guide to the process. Each of the nearly 5000 courts in Texas has its own special instructions. 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, TDLR-approved providers in the chart below. And if five choices aren’t enough, here’s a place where you can see them all!
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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