Driver Improvement Program in Maryland
Maryland defensive driving course requirements are regulated by the by the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA). In the state, MVA operates two defensive driving courses aimed at improving driver safety. The Driver Improvement Program (DIP) is a rehabilitative driving program for those whom a judge has deemed as problem drivers. The Alcohol Education Program (AEP) is designed to combat the negative impacts of driving while under the influence of alcohol or illegal substances. Motorists must be referred to the program to attend.
The AEP program offers classes that must be completed in person, while the DIP gives students the option to attend in person or online. Anyone who completes either program will fulfill their court order and may apply to have their driving privileges reinstated. Below you will find more information on the value in defensive driving school, who is required to attend and how to find a program.
Who can attend traffic school in Maryland?
A Maryland defensive driving course is for those motorists who were referred to the class by the court. The Driver Improvement Program (DIP) is a rehabilitative defensive driving course for motorists whom a judge feels would benefit from improved driving skills. Those eligible for the program are motorists who:
- Were referred by a District Court Judge or an Administrative Law Judge
- Accumulated 5,6, or 7 points on their driving record
- Convicted or on probation for a moving violation while on a provisional license
The Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) also operates a 12-hour Alcohol Education Program (AEP) for drivers convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI). The defensive driving class is for drivers who were referred by a District Court Judge or Administrative Law Judge. Also, motorists who wish to reinstate their revoked driving privileges must complete the program.
Types of Defensive Driving Courses in Maryland
In MD, traffic school is designed to improve the skills of motorists who exhibit high-risk behavior behind the wheel. Driver training programs are a safety measure to help prevent injuries and fatalities due to traffic-related incidents. The MVA operates two programs to accomplish this goal.
Driver Improvement Course (DIP)
The DIP training is designed to instill safe driving techniques in problem drivers. The session lasts 4-8 hours and may be completed in person or online.
Alcohol Education Program (AEP)
AEP is a driver improvement course targeted at those motorists with DUI convictions. The training teaches drivers the impact of drunk driving and gives them techniques to avoid drug and alcohol abuse that hinders their ability to drive safely. The class must be completed in person.
Classroom vs. Online Traffic School in Maryland
Motorists may take a Maryland defensive driving course online or in person. While most portions of the online class may be taken online, students must take their final exam in person at a testing location. Taking the class online allows the student to learn the material in several sessions at a pace of their choosing.
The classroom training requires students to attend sessions in person at prearranged dates and times. During in-person DMV traffic school, students listen to lectures, complete workbook activities and take a final exam.
How to Enroll in a Maryland Defensive Driving School
Motorists are referred to MD defensive driving courses by either a District Court Judge or an Administrative Law Judge. Anyone ordered to attend the Driver Improvement Program will receive a letter from the MVA. The letter explains the requirements of the program and includes a list of DIP program providers. The student must contact a DIP provider directly to learn class schedules and register or the training.
The MVA sends a letter to those required to attend AEP outlining the program requirements. In the letter, drivers are provided with a list of AEP providers. Students must contact the AEP provider directly for information on registering for a class.
Benefits of Completing Traffic School in Maryland
Those who attend Maryland traffic school receive benefits that have a direct impact on their driving privileges. Those benefits include:
- Fulfilling a court order
- Reinstating a drivers license
- Learning safe driving skills and knowledge
Fulfill a Court Order
Some motorists may be court-ordered to complete a driving safety course as a part of their sentencing. Drivers who complete the program fulfill the requirements of the order and may avoid losing their driving privileges.
Reinstate a Drivers License
Anyone who has had their driving privileges suspended or revoked must attend the safe driver program. At the completion of the training, drivers may apply to have their driving privileges reinstated.
Learn Safe Driving Knowledge and Skills
Motorists who complete a defensive driving course learn valuable skills to make them safer on the road. Students learn the laws of the road and how to safely operate a vehicle avoid harming themselves or others.
Maryland Defensive Driving Class Curriculum Details
The MD Driver Improvement Program covers a variety of topics aimed at improving a driver’s vehicle safety skills. The training is from 4 -8 hours in length and includes instruction on aggressive driving, laws of the road and crash avoidance strategies.
In the state, the AEP program focuses mainly on alcohol and substance abuse topics. The training helps motorists identify risk factors associated with drug and alcohol abuse. Students of this driver safety program also learn skills needed to avoid driving under the influence and how to build a support system to encourage them in their recovery.
Maryland Defensive Driving Certificates
Students who complete an MD defensive driving course receive a certificate. The document serves as evidence that they have met the requirements of the training. Drivers must present the certificate to the MVA to show that they have completed the training and to apply to reinstate their driving privileges.
Maryland Traffic School Versus Drivers Education
Students may attend a Maryland defensive driving course online and complete the coursework online. The material in the online training is presented as videos, animations and quizzes. The online training gives students the flexibility to work at a pace of their choosing.
A classroom course, unlike the online option, must be completed entirely in person. Students attend classroom sessions led by a trained facilitator. Drivers participate in lectures and discussions, complete workbook exercises and take quizzes. They must also attend sessions on a schedule defined by the training provider.
Maryland Defensive Driving Course Fees
Fees for Maryland defensive driving school varies between education providers. It is recommended to shop around to find an affordable class that meets all your needs. You may even find prices as low as $50 depending on the provider and the format of the program.