A Massachusetts defensive driving course helps problematic drivers learn or improve habits that foster safe driving. The traffic school is required for those who currently have their drivers license suspended or revoked. Completing the course is one of the prerequisites for reinstating the license.

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) mandates one of the three classes to anyone convicted of serious driving violations. The driver retraining program is for adult drivers while the State Courts Against Road Rage (SCARR) and Driver Attitudinal Retraining classes are aimed at younger drivers. Each program helps motorists understand the consequences of the actions and provides them with tools to correct the behavior. All courses are taught in a classroom setting and are lead by an instructor trained to reshape driving behavior. Read further for everything you need to know about the Massachusetts defensive driving course, how it can benefit you and how to sign up for the program.

Who can attend traffic school in Massachusetts?

Motorists must take an MA defensive driving course as a result of traffic violations that result in the suspension or revocation of an individual’s drivers license. The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) mandates that motorists attend a driving safety course administered by the National Safety Council (NSC) to regain driving privileges. The course required depends on the nature and severity of the offense committed and the age of the driver.

Driver Retraining Program

The driver retraining program is for motorists who have had their driving privileges suspended, or for those that are in danger of having their driving privileges revoked due to an accumulation of points on their driving record. Anyone ordered by a judge to attend this course is also eligible to complete the program.

State Courts Against Road Rage (SCARR)

The SCARR program helps younger drivers face the consequences of reckless driving behaviors. The defensive driving class is required of motorists who have their drivers license or learners permit suspended due to traffic violations.

Driver Attitudinal Retraining

Motorists between 16 and 24 years of age must take the attitudinal driver retraining program called “Alive at 25”. Motorists may choose from one of several course options to fulfill the requirement.

Types of Defensive Driving Courses in Massachusetts

All MA traffic school courses are conducted in person and there is no option to attend online. Each program offers a certificate of completion once the motorist passes the training. Drivers must attend all sessions and complete the program within the allotted time.

  • Driver Retraining Program – 8 hours
  • SCARR Defensive Driving School – 4 hours
  • Driver Attitudinal Retraining – 4 hours

Did you know? MA defensive driving courses are required for drivers who accumulate three or more surchargeable events on their driving records. Find out if you are at risk for a driver’s license suspension by getting a copy of your Massachusetts driving record today.

Classroom vs. Online Traffic School in Massachusetts

All MA traffic school courses are conducted in a classroom setting. The classes are led by trained instructors. Each session involves lectures, workbook activities and quizzes. In a classroom setting, students get the opportunity to ask questions and receive direct feedback on issues they may be facing.

How to Enroll in a Massachusetts Defensive Driving School

Massachusetts Defensive driving school registrations are handled by the National Security Council. Motorists must be referred to the program to register. Students must visit the NSC website to locate a site for their required class. The NSC allows participants to register for training online or by calling the chosen program site directly. Anyone registering for the training must provide their name, address, date of birth, email address and their anticipated reinstatement date. Students must pay an enrollment fee when registering for one of the NSC defensive driving courses.

Benefits of Completing Traffic School in Massachusetts

Attending a Massachusetts defensive driving course can help a driver in a variety of ways. Each benefit has a direct impact on their driving record and their skills as a responsible driver. Specific benefits of the safety trainings include:

  • Fulfill a court order
  • Reinstate a drivers license
  • Learn safe driving knowledge and skills

Fulfill a Court Order

In the state, drivers may be court-ordered to complete a traffic school course. Completing the training helps the driver fulfill the order and helps them avoid penalties for not complying with the order.

Reinstate a Drivers License

The RMV mandates motorists with a suspended or revoked license to complete a safe driving class. Completing the course is a prerequisite to getting their license reinstated.

Learn Safe Driving Knowledge and Skills

All motorists, regardless of age benefit from the knowledge gained from the class. At the end of the driver improvement course, students have a better understanding of the impact of irresponsible driving behavior. They also walk away with the skills and techniques to safely operate a vehicle, avoid traffic incidents and prevent injury to themselves and others.

Massachusetts Defensive Driving Class Curriculum Details

Each Massachusetts driver improvement program covers topics that correct unsafe driving habits. The type of information included depends on the offense for which a person was charged and the age of the driver.

Driver Retraining Program

The Driving Retraining program helps to change driver behavior behind the wheel. In this 8-hour training, motorists evaluate why they have recurring driving-related problems. These students also explore ways to take responsibility for their actions and prevent future traffic incidents.

State Courts Against Road Rage (SCARR)

The SCARR program helps younger drivers face the damaging effects of their behavior. Students walk away from this 4-hour defensive driving class with a better understanding of responsible driving habits.

Driver Attitudinal Retraining

Drivers in the 4-hour Alive at 25 courses participate in classroom activities designed for individuals between the ages of 16 and 24. The program includes hands-on skills practices and defensive driving techniques.

Massachusetts Defensive Driving Certificates

In Massachusetts, defensive driving courses award drivers with a certificate at the end of the program. The document shows proof that the person completed the training. Motorists must provide the certificate when applying to reinstate their driving privileges.

Massachusetts Traffic School Versus Drivers Education

In MA, traffic school is a specialized form of drivers training focused on correcting reckless driving habits. Defensive driving courses are held in person and involve lectures, workbook exercises and quizzes. Students interact with a group of other students and their instructor to learn the material. There is no hands-on driving in traffic school.

Drivers Education, on the other hand, is the general traffic school required of all new drivers. Anyone who wishes to obtain a drivers license in the state must complete a drivers education course. These classes are often taught in a classroom setting with other drivers seeking their license. Unlike traffic school, students are required to complete hands-on training with an instructor.

Massachusetts Defensive Driving Course Fees

In the state, the NSC operates all defensive driving courses in Massachusetts, and thus students make payment directly to NSC. The fees for the programs vary per course as follows:

  • Driver Retraining Program – $135
  • Driver Attitudinal Driver Retraining – $90
  • SCARR – $90
Last updated on Tuesday, March 12 2019.

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