How to Take a Driver Improvement Course in Ohio
In Ohio, defensive driving school courses may be mandated or recommended to drivers with less-than-perfect records. They may be recommended for insurance discounts or point reductions. These courses give drivers a refresher on traffic safety laws and help drivers adjust their behaviors to produce better outcomes. Drivers with a spotty record or who are interested in an insurance discount should explore the options around them. Online and classroom-based courses are available to numerous Ohio drivers looking for additional education. The sections below describe eligibility requirements, how to register for a course, typical fees to enroll and more.
Who can attend defensive driving school in Ohio?
Ohio defensive driving school courses, whether they are remedial driving courses or mature driving courses, are not available to everyone. Only drivers with between two and 11 points on their driving record can complete a remedial course. Additionally, not all drivers with points on their license are eligible. Drivers cannot take the course more than once every three years, or more than five times in a lifetime. The mature traffic school course is limited to drivers 60 years of age and older.
Types of Defensive Driving Courses in Ohio
Ohio offers two types of defensive driving courses: the remedial driving program and the mature driver program. The first is intended to help drivers with points earned after receiving a traffic ticket. By completing the course, drivers can remove up to two points at a time from their license, and up to 10 points in their lifetime.
The second course is the mature driver course, aimed at helping older drivers stay safe. However, mature driver courses are typically less common. Most mature driver courses in Ohio are provided by AAA. The driving safety course for seniors reviews recent changes to driving laws, advancements to car technology and more.
Classroom vs. Online Defensive Driving School in Ohio
A classroom-based driver improvement program will be a different experience than taking a defensive driving course online. A standard remedial course at a classroom driving school takes eight hours to complete in one sitting. In many cases, students will receive the certificate at the end of the course. However, classroom courses are often more expensive, since they require the use of facilities. They may cost between $70 and $300 for a single lesson.
Online traffic school is typically cheaper, since less resources are required for a student to complete the course. Instead, programs like IDriveSafely’s defensive driving course are available for under $40. These programs allow drivers to take the course at their own pace and complete lessons anywhere with an internet connection.
How to Enroll in an Ohio Defensive Driving School
Enrolling in an Ohio driving safety course is relatively straightforward. To register for a classroom course, visit the website of a course provider approved by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). After selecting an available time and day to complete the course, drivers should pre-register and pre-pay for the course. Drivers should then visit the driving school location the day of the class to attend. Schools often require drivers who cannot attend a driver improvement course they registered for to cancel several days in advance for a full refund.
To register for an online traffic school course, drivers should visit the course provider’s website, select the course required and register. They will typically have to pay during the registration process with a credit card. After registering, drivers can begin taking the course at their own pace.
Benefits of Completing Defensive Driving School in Ohio
Completing an Ohio traffic school course can come with significant benefits, depending on your circumstances. The following benefits are available by completing a course:
Reduce Points From Your Driving Record
You can take Ohio-approved driving classes to remove points from your record. Completing a course can remove up to two points at a time from the driving record. Drivers can take the course five times throughout their life to remove a total of 10 points.
Avoid Points on Your Driving Record
In some cases, drivers may be given the option to enroll in a driver safety program in order to keep points from appearing on their driving record. Courts may offer driving courses as an alternative to a mark on a driver’s record.
Avoid Increases on Your Auto Insurance Premiums
Completing a driver improvement school course can keep your insurance prices from rising. Accumulating points on your driver’s license can raise your premiums significantly. However, insurance companies rarely recalculate your premium right after an accident. By taking a course after acquiring points, you can prevent points from affecting your premium.
Obtain a Car Insurance Discount
You may want to complete a driver safety course for an insurance discount. To receive this discount, you should first contact your insurance company to determine if you are eligible. Additionally, you should determine if your company will accept a certificate from a particular course before enrolling.
Fulfill a Court Order
Some judges may require drivers to participate in a BMV approved traffic school course as part of the penalties for a violation. In that case, drivers should complete a state approved program and present the certificate to the court.
Reinstate a Drivers License
In the state of Ohio, drivers whose license are suspended after accumulating too many points must complete a driver improvement course. Drivers must submit a certificate of completion to the BMV to reinstate their licenses.
Learn Safe Driving Knowledge and Skills
Defensive driving training comes with numerous benefits aside from insurance or court benefits. For instance, most courses reinforce knowledge that drivers may have forgotten and instill better driving habits. Drivers reduce their risk of getting into a crash and seeing insurance prices soar.
Ohio Defensive Driving Class Curriculum Details
Driver improvement school courses for remedial purposes typically reinforce basic lessons of driving, with an emphasis on curbing reckless behaviors. For example, a typical course will explore the rules of the road, recognizing road signs and markings and the dangers of driving under the influence. Lessons may also include reviews of safe versus unsafe maneuvers and how to curb bad habits drivers may adopt, such as tailgating. However, defensive driving courses for mature adults may include some review but will typically include segments on aging and adjusting techniques.
Courses are typically divided into segments, and each segment ends with a practice exam. Finally, students take a final exam to determine what they learned from the course. Online programs like iDriveSafely commonly allow drivers to retake exams as many times as needed. However, the option may not be available for all classroom-based courses.
Ohio Defensive Driving Certificates
After completing a driver improvement course in Ohio, you should receive a certificate of completion. You must submit this defensive driving certificate to your insurance company, the court or the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles depending on your reason for taking the course. By submitting the certificate, you can get credit for the course and receive car insurance discounts or a drop in points on your driving record.
Ohio Traffic School vs. Drivers Education
There is a difference between remedial defensive driving school, mature defensive driving school and drivers ed. The former is meant for drivers who are already licensed but have a history of violations and tickets. That class is meant to reinforce lessons of the road and address common bad habits experienced drivers may develop. The emphasis will be on subjects like DUIs and reckless habits.
Mature defensive driving school courses are aimed at helping drivers reinforce lessons, but drivers may not have a bad record. Drivers ed courses, however, are typically aimed at teens or adults who have never held a license. These courses are introductory courses, covering a broad overview of driving requirements. They often include mandatory on-the-road practice and typically take several days or weeks to complete.
Ohio Defensive Driving Course Fees
To enroll in a defensive driving class, you typically have to pay driving fees. These fees can vary from under $40 for online courses like iDriveSafely’s, to as much as $150 for a single remedial classroom lesson. It is much easier to find a cheap defensive driving course online than in person. However, you may prefer the individual attention and hands-on training you can get from a classroom setting. You should determine how much you are willing to spend and whether you prefer to learn online or in a classroom when selecting a course.
- Remedial Driving Course for Two-Point Credit from BMV.Ohio.gov
- Ohio Driver Training from DriverTraining.Ohio.gov
- Online Defensive Driving Course in Ohio from IDriveSafely.com