How to Take a Defensive Driving Course in North Dakota
There are numerous reasons why you might need to enroll in a North Dakota defensive driving course. You might be trying to keep points off your license. You may be seeking a discount on your insurance. You may simply want a refresher to help improve your driving habits. Either way, your best bet is to enroll in a state approved traffic school program. A state approved program is guaranteed to teach information that is accurate and relevant to you. Its curriculum must be approved by the state to receive approval from either the North Dakota Department of Motor Vehicles or Highway Safety Patrol.
Not all traffic school courses are worth taking, and it is important to know how to differentiate between the good and the bad. The sections below describe everything you should know about traffic school in North Dakota. This includes identifying approved schools, who can enroll, what kind of courses are available, how to enroll, how to receive credit and more.
Who can attend defensive driving courses in North Dakota?
In North Dakota, any licensed driver can attend an approved traffic school course. However, not everyone may be eligible for all the benefits. Drivers can take defensive driving courses to reduce the number of points on their license, earn a mature driver discount or earn a 2 percent insurance discount. The mature driver discount tends to be larger than the regular good driver discount. However, not all insurance companies offer the discount. Drivers interested in receiving a mature driver discount should confirm what discounts their insurance companies offer before enrolling in a course. However, the 2 percent insurance discount is state-mandated, which means all drivers are eligible and all insurance companies must offer it.
Types of Defensive Driving Courses in North Dakota
There are three categories of defensive driving classes available in North Dakota. One course is available to anyone, another is to remove points from the driving record and a third is for mature drivers seeking an insurance discount. The first course available to everyone is the North Dakota mandated insurance course. Anyone who signs up for this four-hour defensive driving course and completes it is eligible for a 5 percent discount from his or her insurance company for two years.
Another course is available to drivers who want to remove points from their license. This course is limited to drivers who have accumulated points. Completing the course can remove up to three points overall, or five points from a single violation. This course can be taken once every 12 months. Finally, drivers older than 55 years of age can enroll in defensive driving school for a greater discount. These courses often focus on how a driver’s skill changes as he or she ages and adjusting techniques to reduce the risk of crash.
Classroom vs. Online Defensive Driving School in North Dakota
Both classroom and online traffic school options are available in North Dakota. There are differences between the two, however, and drivers should determine whether an online program or a classroom course would be better. Classroom courses may offer practical training, which allows drivers to get hands-on training to improve their driving habits. Additionally, drivers can receive face to face, personalized instruction in a classroom setting. However, online traffic school courses like iDriveSafely or Safe2Drive allow drivers to take courses at their own convenience, pace and location. This greater flexibility often includes the ability to retake the test and revisit the material as much as desired.
How to Enroll in a North Dakota Defensive Driving School
Enrolling a defensive driving course in North Dakota is relatively easy to do. Drivers can complete the process online whether they are applying for an online course or a classroom course. To enroll in a defensive driving course, drivers must visit the website for the approved course. Some websites, like the North Dakota Safety Council course site, require drivers to make an account in order to enroll.
After creating the account, drivers must select the time and date to attend the course from the available options. Since the course is only four to eight hours, it is typically completed in a single day. After selecting a course, drivers must provide their legal names and addresses, drivers license information and more. Enrollment for a North Dakota defensive driving course can be as much as $150. In many cases, strict cancellation policies are in place. For example, the NDSC courses state that drivers who enroll must cancel their enrollment at least three business days before the course to receive a full refund.
Enrolling in an online traffic school course often allows for greater flexibility. For example, to enroll in iDriveSafely, drivers should find the appropriate course for their state and need. After selecting an online traffic school course, you select how you want your certificate delivered – you must deliver the completed certificate to your insurance provider for the discount. Finally, submit payment, which is $25 on IDriveSafely. Online courses are generally cheaper than brick and mortar courses, which prices typically under $50.
Benefits of Completing Defensive Driving School in North Dakota
Depending on your situation and the course you take, completing traffic school in North Dakota can come with numerous benefits. For example, the state mandates an insurance discount for students who complete a state-approved course. The following benefits are available through completing a North Dakota defensive driving course:
Avoid Points and Other Penalties
Drivers who receive a traffic ticket in North Dakota can avoid penalties, such as incurring points on their licenses, by enrolling in a defensive driving course. Using this method, drivers can keep points for a violation worth as many as 5 points off their record. Drivers given this option can enroll in traffic school for a speeding ticket or other violation to avoid incurring points. In some cases, drivers can avoid having their licenses suspended or revoked by enrolling. They may also be able to avoid expensive fines by enrolling in a course.
Remove Points From Your Driving Record
Along with avoiding points, enrolling in a defensive driving school course in North Dakota can help you get points removed from your driving record. By successfully completing a point reduction course, you can remove up to three points from your license. Accumulating too many points in a short period of time can result in suspension of your license.
Avoid Increases On Your Auto Insurance Premiums
You can take a defensive driving class in order to avoid seeing your insurance rates increase after a violation. Accumulating points and tickets on your driver’s record can raise your premiums significantly. By avoiding getting points on your record, you can keep your insurance costs down and not worry about a price jump.
Obtain a Car Insurance Discount
Completing a defensive driving course online or in-person can help you earn a discount on your car insurance. In the state of North Dakota, insurers are required by law to offer a 5 percent discount for two years if you complete a state-approved insurance reduction course. You can retake the course every two years in order to maintain your discount. Other discounts are available as well. For instance, many companies will offer a mature driver discount for completing the course. This discount may be larger than the state-mandated 5 percent discount.
Fulfill a Court Order
In some cases, drivers may be required to complete a defensive driving class by court order. Drivers who have a history of accidents may be required by a judge to enroll in a course in order to maintain their license. Some classes may be specifically aimed at drivers who have a poor driving history or a court mandate.
Reinstate a Drivers License
Because defensive driving classes can remove points from your license, in some cases taking the course allows you to reinstate your license after suspension. For instance, if your license is suspended because you accumulate 12 points in a year, you can take a course to reduce your total points. After removing points, you can pay necessary fees and reinstate your license.
Learn Safe Driving Knowledge and Skills
Drivers can take a defensive driving class purely for the educational benefit. Although earning discounts and getting points knocked off is a big plus side, taking a traffic school course provides valuable knowledge. The course can teach you better driving habits and reduce your risk of getting into an accident, which can raise your insurance rates.
North Dakota Defensive Driving Class Curriculum Details
In the state of North Dakota, a DMV defensive driving course must be at least four hours long. The course will include content to reinforce good driving habits, such as avoiding tailgating and using your turn signals. It will revisit road signs or markings and their meanings, address common issues like panicking that may occur on the road and discuss how substance abuse impacts driving. The course will remind students of driving laws in North Dakota.
For most driver improvement courses, the content is split into several chapters. Each chapter ends with a practice test, and after completing the course you take a final test. Depending on the course, you may be able to revisit materials and retake tests until you successfully pass.
North Dakota Defensive Driving Certificate
After completing a driver safety program in North Dakota, you should receive a certificate of completion. This certificate must be given to your insurance agent, submitted to court or to the Department of Transportation to receive credit. Where you need to submit the certificate depends on why you took the course and what you want to do with the course credit.
North Dakota Traffic School vs. Drivers Education
There is a difference in North Dakota between a DMV approved traffic school and drivers ed. Drivers ed, or a driver training course as it is called in North Dakota, can be taken as part of the general driver training requirements. Completing a drivers ed exam and presenting a certificate can waive some test requirements for drivers seeking their first licenses. However, the course does not affect points on a license, and insurance companies may not offer a discount for students who take it. However, some insurance companies do have discounts specifically for teens who take drivers ed. Parents should double check with their insurance plans to determine if a discount is available.
By contrast, the driving safety course is designed to refresh experienced drivers on the rules of the road. Rather than explaining the basics, the class reinforces lessons and addresses common mistakes drivers make after several years of driving. Upon completing defensive driving training, drivers are automatically eligible for a 5 percent discount from their insurance company. Additionally, they may be able to remove points from their license or reinstate their license.
North Dakota Defensive Driving Course Fees
There are no standardized prices for defensive driving classes in North Dakota. Instead, prices are set by the companies or individuals offering courses. Therefore, the price can range from as little as $25 to $150 or more, depending on the medium.
Taking a defensive driving course online, such as IDriveSafely, tends to be cheaper than enrolling in an in-person class. Therefore, drivers looking to find the cheapest courses should look into the online options available.