How to Take a Driver Improvement Course in New Hampshire
A New Hampshire defensive driving course, also known as a driver improvement course, can provide many benefits for drivers who complete the program. These courses can reduce driving points, satisfy court requirements and much more. Drivers will typically learn about essential topics including New Hampshire traffic laws, highway safety and basic vehicle maintenance.
Most drivers will be required to complete the course in person at an approved driving school, but in some cases an online driving course can be a convenient substitute. Continue reading to learn more about the numerous benefits of signing up for defensive driving school in NH.
Did you know? Too many demerit points on your record may result in a suspended or revoked driver’s license by the New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles. Order a copy of your NH driving record to find out how many points you may have.
Who can attend defensive driving school in New Hampshire?
All drivers are allowed to attend traffic school in New Hampshire. However, the most common reason that motorists enroll is to reduce the number of points on their driving record, or if they are satisfying a court order. Drivers who attend for these reasons must complete a New Hampshire approved Driver Improvement Course, which must be taken in-state and not through an online class.
Motorists who want to brush up on their safe driving knowledge are also encouraged to complete the course, but they have the option to enroll in either an in-person or online course.
Types of Defensive Driving Courses in New Hampshire
In New Hampshire, there are two types of driver improvement courses that are recognized by the Department of Safety’s Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Drivers can enroll in either a Driver Improvement Program or a Driver Attitude Program. Although motorists have the option to take a driving course for personal knowledge and practice, these two programs are the only courses that have been authorized by the state for official purposes. Online courses are not accepted, and the classes must be taken in New Hampshire to satisfy a court order or count towards a demerit reduction.
Driver Improvement Program
If you have accumulated at least three points on your driving record, you can complete an approved Driver Improvement Program (DIP) in order to reduce your total demerits by three points. Although this may lower your point total, the demerits will still appear on your driving record. However, the points reduced by the DIP course will not be counted towards a license suspension should you accumulate more demerits. This type of program will help you reduce unwanted points on your record and is always voluntary, but will not satisfy any court ordered driving safety course requirement.
Driver Attitude Program
You may be required to enroll in a New Hampshire traffic school with a Driver Attitude Program to reinstate your driver’s license if you:
- Were ordered by a justice of a district court to complete the program.
- Were ordered to attend after an administrative hearing concerning your driving record.
- Had your New Hampshire driver’s license revoked after being certified as a habitual offender.
Note: Not all traffic schools offer the Driver Attitude Program, so be sure to check if the program is available by calling the course provider.
Classroom vs. Online Traffic School in New Hampshire
Traffic school in New Hampshire can be completed in person or online, depending on the reason you are taking the course. If you need to complete a Driver Improvement Program for point-reduction, or a Driver Attitude Program to satisfy a court order, you must take the course in person. However, if you are trying to receive insurance discounts or reinforce your safe driving skills, you may want to enroll in an online traffic school like idrivesafely.com.
How to Enroll in a New Hampshire Defensive Driving School
Enrolling in an NH defensive driving school can be done by calling or visiting a state-approved course provider, paying the appropriate fees and scheduling your classes. If you are joining for insurance discounts or personal skills and knowledge, you can visit an online driver school and enroll from the comfort of your home.
Benefits of Completing the Driver Improvement Program in New Hampshire
Completing the NH Driver Improvement Program can benefit you in many ways such as:
- Reducing the point total on your driving record.
- Fulfilling a Department of Safety or court order.
- Obtaining a car insurance discount.
- Learning safe driving knowledge and skills.
Reduce the Point Total on Your Driving Record
In New Hampshire, drivers can enroll in driving classes to remove points from their record if they obtained demerits for traffic violations. After accumulating three points or more, drivers are allowed to complete a state-approved Driver’s Improvement Program to forgive three demerit points and keep their license from being suspended. These points will still remain visible on their driving record but will not count towards the points needed for a license suspension.
Fulfill a Department of Safety or Court Order
If you have been required to complete traffic school by an official court order, you must complete an approved Driver Attitude Program before having your driver’s license reinstated. Unfortunately, not every state-approved defensive driving school offers this program. Before enrolling in a school, ensure that they offer the Driver Attitude Program that you need.
Obtain a Car Insurance Discount
Some insurance companies may offer discounts on premiums for drivers who complete a defensive driving course. Many of these companies will even accept certificates from online traffic schools like idrivesafely.com as proof of completion. Motorists are encouraged to call their insurance providers and ask about discounts for completing a safe driving course before enrolling.
Learn Safe Driving Knowledge and Skills
Many drivers take a defensive driving class just to learn driving knowledge and skills to help them stay safe on the road. Although it may not be directly, these courses can save New Hampshire motorists hundreds of dollars by reducing their chances of being in a costly car accident.
New Hampshire Defensive Driving Class Curriculum Details
Depending on whether you are enrolled in the Driver Improvement Program or the Driver Attitude Program, you will generally be spending six to eight hours completing your course. While certain programs may have unique course material, you will commonly study topics such as:
- New Hampshire traffic laws and road regulations.
- Highway safety.
- Drunk driving laws and penalties.
- Common hazards and safe driving techniques.
- Basic vehicle maintenance.
Your New Hampshire traffic school curriculum will typically be tailored to your reasons for attending. If you are in the Driver Attitude Program, you can expect the course material to be personalized for your driving behavior.
New Hampshire Defensive Driving Certificate
Upon completing a safe driving program, you will receive a defensive driving certificate from the course provider. In most cases, the New Hampshire Department of Safety will be notified by the school immediately, so you may not need your certificate. However, if you enrolled in the course to receive insurance discounts, then you must provide your insurance company with a copy of the certificate. Some online traffic schools like idrivesafely.com make it easy for you to complete a traffic course for an insurance discount and will deliver your certificate to you within five to seven days.
New Hampshire Traffic School vs. Drivers Education
Driver’s education is similar to traffic school and can be helpful at any age. However, driver education is mandatory for NH residents 18 years of age or younger who wish to apply for a driver’s license. These programs help young, first-time drivers learn the basics of safe driving and other essential tips for the road. A driver’s education course in New Hampshire will include:
- 30 hours of classroom instruction alongside a certified driver education instructor.
- 10 hours of practice driving with a certified instructor.
- Six hours of driving observation with a certified instructor.
New Hampshire Defensive Driving Course Fees
The New Hampshire defensive driving course fee generally ranges between $20 and $35 depending on the provider you choose.
- Driver Improvement Courses from NH.gov