The Indiana defensive driving course, also known as the Driver Safety Program (DSP), is a program designed to help residents improve their safe driving skills. Traffic school is an optional program for any licensed driver in the state. The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), however, may require motorists with certain traffic violations to participate.

The BMV does not offer a defensive driving class directly. Instead, the BMV has contracted with several third-party providers to deliver the program. Per state requirements, the class must include topics such as defensive driving techniques, required safety equipment and what to do in case of a collision. Motorists may take a class online or in person. Taking the class online gives students a convenient option to complete the program at their desired pace. Those participating in person receive classroom instruction led by a driving instructor. Costs for the program varies per training provider. However, the BMV caps the cost of the program at $55. Learn more about the many benefits of traffic school and how to register for a class.

Who can attend traffic school in Indiana?

An Indiana defensive driving class is a valuable experience to anyone who wishes to improve safe driving skills and learn crash avoidance techniques. The Driver Safety Program (DSP) is open to any licensed driver in the state. Although in most cases the class is optional, the BMV may require motorists convicted of certain traffic violations to take it.

Defensive driving school may be required of anyone convicted of two or more traffic offenses within 12 months. The state also requires drivers under 21 years of age to participate if they meet the following conditions:

  • Convicted of two or more traffic offenses
  • Involved in two or more accidents
  • Any combination of the above

Types of Defensive Driving Courses in Indiana

The BMV does not directly offer an Indiana driver improvement course but instead has approved several third-party providers offer the program.  Residents may take course online or in a classroom setting. Some programs also offer the program of study in DVD format.

While most programs target the average driver, some target a specific audience. For example, some providers offer a teen safety program developed specifically for teen drivers. Some DMV approved traffic schools also provide a class for senior citizens to enhance their safe driving skills.

Classroom vs. Online Traffic School in Indiana

Residents may complete an Indiana defensive driving course online with no requirement to attend in person. The online traffic school course is a very convenient option as it may be completed at the student’s pace. Online plans require the student to watch slideshows, participate in games or take short quizzes.

Students who opt to take the class in person must complete their training in a classroom setting. A certified instructor leads the in-person courses. During class, students listen to presentations, participate in discussions and take quizzes. In many cases, the course can be completed in one session. However, some programs split the sessions across multiple days.

How to Enroll in an Indiana Defensive Driving School

Anyone looking to enroll in an Indiana defensive driving course must contact one of the BMV approved providers directly to determine enrollment procedures. Many offer traffic school registrations online while others may require students to register over the phone or in person. Those participating online may be required to create an online account with the provider to register. Most programs require students to pay a fee to enroll.

Benefits of Completing Traffic School in Indiana

An Indiana defensive driving class has a variety of benefits many of which impact a person’s driving privileges. The benefits of a driver improvement plan of study include the following:

  • Avoid points on driving record.
  • Obtain car insurance discounts.
  • Fulfill a court order.
  • Reinstate driving privileges.
  • Learn safe driving skills.

Avoid or Remove Points on Your Driving Record

The state does not mandate a DMV defensive driving course for all motorists. However, those who elect to complete it will receive a four-point credit on their driving record. The credit can help offset points a driver may receive in the event they commit a traffic violation. Motorists may only apply for the credit once every three years. However, drivers who take an additional point reduction class will have their period extended an additional three years.

Obtain a Car Insurance Discount

Some auto insurance companies offer a driver safety course insurance discount to those who complete the training. Not all insurers offer this benefit, and thus drivers should check with their insurance company to determine if this option is available.

Fulfill a Court Order

In the state, a judge, at his or her discretion may impose a court order for any traffic-related offense. Motorists who complete the training will fulfill their court order. Also, if a driver completes the training at a BMV approved provider, they may receive the four-point reduction credit on their license.

Avoid Suspension a Drivers License

The court may require defensive driving training as a requirement to avoid suspension of a drivers license. Motorists have 90 days to complete the training. Failure to complete the training will result in suspension of their license.

Learn Safe Driving Knowledge and Skills

DMV traffic school teaches motorists valuable skills to protect themselves and other motorists on the road. The training gives students the knowledge needed to make smart decisions while driving.

Indiana Defensive Driving Class Curriculum Details

Per BMV requirements, an Indiana driving safety course must cover a specific set of topics. The required topics help ensure students learn the skills necessary to avoid dangerous traffic incidents. The course includes a review of required safety devices such as seatbelts and other mandatory vehicle equipment. Drivers also learn defensive driving techniques and safe passing procedures.  Lastly, each course must discuss how to handle driving emergencies and the steps one must take if involved in a collision.

Indiana Defensive Driving Certificates

An Indiana defensive driving certificate is required to show that a student has completed the training. Motorists may be required to present the document to the BMV or an Indiana court to satisfy specific requirements. Most courses award the certificate as soon as the student completes the program. Anyone who submits a certificate to the BMV will have their certificate processed within seven to ten days.

Indiana Traffic School Versus Drivers Education

In the state of Indiana, DMV traffic school and drivers education are two completely different courses. Drivers education courses are for new drivers who wish to learn basic driving skills. The state requires these general education courses of anyone who wants to get an Indiana drivers license.

Traffic school, on the other hand, is a specific type of training designed to teach safe driving skills. A safety course is usually optional, however, in some cases, the state may require the training for specific drivers. For example, those convicted of traffic-related offenses may be required to take the training.

Indiana Defensive Driving Course Fees

The cost for an Indiana driver improvement program varies between training providers. The BMV mandates a maximum fee for any approved DSP course. Students should contact the training provider to determine the exact amount.

Last updated on Wednesday, February 27 2019.

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