Defensive Driving Course in Washington DC
A defensive driving course in Washington DC can help motorists reduce some of the accumulated points on their driving records. Additionally, traffic school is beneficial for drivers hoping to lower their auto insurance costs. Senior motorists typically qualify for receiving such discounts on their insurance policies, but obtaining these benefits depends on the policies of each insurer. As such, be sure to confirm your options before registering for any course.
A D.C. defensive driving school may be completed in person or online, depending on the reason that prompts you to enroll in such a program. While a defensive driving course online is usually accepted by the DC Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), you should still obtain confirmation before registering and paying for a class.
Who can attend traffic school in Washington DC?
A Washington DC defensive driving class can be taken by any motorist who has accrued points on his or her driving record. However, you must first receive the approval from the DC DMV during a moving violation hearing. Then, you may enroll in a course for the purpose of removing the points from your record. Alternatively, any driver may opt to take a course for personal improvement or insurance discount purposes, if applicable.
Types of Defensive Driving Courses in Washington DC
A driver improvement course in Washington DC is most commonly taken via the internet. Popular DC DMV approved traffic school offerings include eight-hour online courses that may be completed on your own time at home. As such, you do not need to complete the course in a single session. However, if you are taking a course in order to remove points from your record, then you do have a deadline for completing the program.
Classroom vs. Online Traffic School in Washington DC
Taking a defensive driving online in DC is a popular option, giving you the flexibility to complete the course on your own schedule. If you choose to take an in-person course instead, you should first make sure it will be accepted by the DMV or by your auto insurance company, whichever one is applicable to your needs. Furthermore, various senior driving courses are offered in person, so be sure to check these options if that is your goal.
How to Enroll in a DC Defensive Driving School
In order to enroll in a traffic school in Washington DC, you need to first consider which course is right for you. As an example, senior motorists must reach out to their insurers and identify which courses will qualify them to receive a discount on their policies. Alternatively, a point reduction class will only be accepted if approved by a hearing first, so be sure to obtain that approval and confirmation beforehand.
Registering for a defensive driving course can typically be done online, with payment made by credit or debit card. Moreover, make sure to have your drivers license on hand, as you will be asked to input its number upon registering for a class.
Benefits of Completing Traffic School in Washington DC
Defensive driving courses in Washington DC can benefit motorists who have accrued points on their records, as well as senior drivers who wish to obtain a discount on their insurance policies. Overall, the following are the most common benefits when taking this type of class:
- Removing points from your driving record
- Avoiding increases on your car insurance premiums
- Getting a car insurance discount
- Fulfilling a court order
- Reinstating a suspended drivers license
- Learning safe driving knowledge and skills
Remove Points From Your Driving Record
Taking DC driving classes to remove points from a record can help you to avoid a license suspension after having accumulated too many points for various traffic citations. Once you have points on your record, you might be able to remove them as long as a local court allows you to do so. As such, during your moving violation hearing, you can request approval to take a class in order to remove the points from your record.
If you receive an approval, you will have to pay the ticket within 15 calendar days of the hearing decision. Then, you will have 30 calendar days from the hearing to complete the online traffic school and remove or reduce the points from your record.
Avoid Increases on Your Auto Insurance Premiums
A driving safety course might be accepted by your insurance company in lieu of raising your insurance premiums. If you have caused an accident or received a traffic citation, then your insurance provider might raise your rates due to your higher risk. If this happens to you, make sure to contact your insurer and ask about taking a course to prevent that rate increase.
Obtain a Car Insurance Discount
Completing a driver safety program might get you a discount on your car insurance costs. However, be sure to confirm with your insurance company before enrolling in any classes. In general, motorists who are 50 years of age or older often receive a discount for successfully completing a DMV-authorized course.
Fulfill a Court Order
DC traffic school courses might be required if you have received a citation for a moving violation. Depending on the court order, you might be able to take a course and then remove the points from your driving record. Be sure to ask about this option during your hearing if the court does not immediately mandate it, since removing the points will be beneficial for you to clear your driving record.
Reinstate a Drivers License
A DC DMV traffic school could also be used if your driver’s license has been expired for more than 365 days. Instead of having to take the written exam again, you might be able to take an approved course. However, make sure to confirm with the DMV before you take the course.
Learn Safe Driving Knowledge and Skills
Defensive driver courses benefit all participants, even if you have a perfect driving record. Overall, it is helpful to review rules and regulations and ensure that you are updated on current safety standards and practices. Learning safe driving skills helps keep everyone safe on the roads.
Washington DC Defensive Driving Class Curriculum Details
The DC driver improvement program can vary based on its primary audience. For example, the mature driver courses aim to make senior drivers aware of potential problems with deteriorating vision and slowing reflexes. However, a general traffic school course will cover the following:
- Hazard awareness and perception
- Learning how to reduce risk and remain safe
- Refreshing knowledge of laws and regulations
A defensive driving class online generally requires you to pass a final exam at the end of the eight hours of instruction. This will serve as confirmation that you have reviewed all of the material successfully, thus qualifying to receive a certificate of completion.
DC Defensive Driving Certificates
A DC defensive driving certificate of completion serves as proof that you have successfully completed a required and approved course. If you are taking a point reduction course, then your certificate will be sent to the DC DMV by your course provider. If you enroll in a program for auto insurance discount purposes, you will have to submit a certificate of completion to your insurance provider directly.
Washington DC Traffic School Versus Drivers Education
A DC traffic school differs from a general driver’s education program. Thus, be sure to understand which classes are appropriate based on your current needs. Generally, driver’s ed is for new motorists who are learning the rules of the road before obtaining a full drivers license. Alternatively, traffic schools are designed for residents who already hold a full license to drive.
DC Defensive Driving Course Fees
Costs for defensive driving courses can vary depending on the type of course you take and the institution that offers the program. The following are some of the DC DMV approved traffic school options, along with their costs:
- American Safety Council – DC Defensive Driving Course: $29.95
- Online Traffic School Inc. – DC Defensive Driving Course: $29.95
Be sure to confirm with your insurance provider regarding policy discount options. If you qualify for receiving such discounts, the DC DMV recommends the following senior defensive driving course options:
- AAA Washington DC RoadWise Driver for Seniors Course: $19.95
- AARP Smart Driver Course: $19.95 for AARP members, $24.95 for non-members
- DC DMV Online Traffic School from DC.gov
- DC Drivers Manual from DC.gov