If you receive a traffic ticket, you may not be stuck with it. Many courts allow drivers to waive traffic tickets by completing a defensive driving course. They do this to give otherwise safe drivers a second chance — as long as you prove that you’re serious about improving your driving skills and becoming a more responsible driver by taking a defensive driving course.
Defensive driving may wipe your slate clean and make it like the ticket never happened. Complete the course and associated court administrative tasks, and you can reduce or remove the fine associated with the ticket, remove the ticket from your driving record, and avoid adding points to your license. You’ll redeem your status as a good driver.
In some states, you can’t waive a traffic ticket with defensive driving. Instead, they often have programs where you can reduce your driver’s license points. This may allow you to avoid a driver’s license suspension or other penalties.
Not all drivers will be eligible to complete defensive driving and waive their traffic ticket, though it is possible for most minor traffic violations. Requirements typically include:
- Drivers must not hold a commercial driver’s license.
- Drivers must not have completed a driving safety course for a traffic ticket dismissal within the past year.
- Drivers must not have a serious traffic infraction. Serious offenses include excessive speeding, accidents, work zone offenses, and passing a school bus.
- Drivers must have a valid driver’s license.
- Drivers must have proof of liability insurance.
Most courts allow drivers to complete defensive driving courses online, or you can choose to attend a defensive driving course in person. Most defensive driving courses will be between four to 12 hours depending on your state’s requirements and your level of violation.
A defensive driving course will give you an overview of safe, defensive driving habits. You’ll learn safe driving techniques, get updated on state and local driving laws, and find out how to avoid accidents and further traffic tickets. Curriculum typically includes:
- accident avoidance techniques
- important state traffic laws and regulations
- driver attitudes and responsibilities
- avoiding drunk driving, impaired driving, and distracted driving
- using seat belts, car seats, and other protective equipment
- controlling speed and following distance
- handling driving emergencies