UPDATED: JULY 06, 2023 | 2 MIN READ
Defensive driving courses in Florida are beneficial to drivers in numerous ways. Whether motorists take these courses to gain driving improvement, insurance discounts or reduce traffic points on a driving record, most drivers who take these courses are pretty pleased.
What is a defensive driving course?
Defensive driving courses offer techniques and instructions on how to drive safely on the open road. Typically, these driver education classes are about 4 hours long and can be completed in a classroom setting or online.
Once you complete your course successfully, you’ll receive a certificate of completion either by printing it out online or receiving it via snail mail. Once you receive this certificate, you can submit it to your insurance carrier for applicable discounts.
What’s covered in Florida’s defensive driving courses?
These courses are often utilized by drivers who have received traffic violations or wish to get discounts on their insurance premiums. Some of the most common topics covered in this course include the following:
- Driving in different weather situations.
- How to protect yourself while behind the wheel.
- The dangers of distracted driving.
- Florida’s traffic laws.
- Child and adult safety equipment.
- And more.
Who is eligible to take a defensive driving course?
Most motorists in Florida qualify to take a defensive driving course. However, drivers must not hold a commercial driver’s license, and if they’re taking the course to reduce points in the aftermath of a citation, it must be for a non-criminal moving violation.
Motorists can only attend a class once in a 12-month timeframe and can only participate in courses for a maximum of five years throughout their lifetime. Even if you enroll in a course, sign the affidavit, and end up not attending the course, it’ll still be counted as one of the five courses you can receive throughout your life. Before you enroll with the court to begin a course, ensure you’re eligible for credit for your course completion.
Benefits of taking a defensive driving course
Defensive driving courses are jam-packed with benefits. You’ll gain extensive knowledge of how to behave while behind the wheel. But this isn’t the only benefit. Let’s dive into some of the most beneficial factors of enrolling in this class.
Insurance discounts for a 4-hour basic driver improvement course
Floridians can receive up to 10% in discounts on auto insurance premium costs following the completion of a defensive driving course. Discounts can be held for three years if you’re not involved in an at-fault car accident or get a conviction for a moving traffic violation. To get the discount, you’ll need to pass the driving school with a good grade, only take the course for a discount every few years, and you’ll only be able to apply one defensive driving discount for each car in your family.
Insurance discounts for the mature driving program
Residents in the state of Florida who are 55 years old and up and have a Florida driver’s license can save extra money on car insurance premiums, thanks to the mature driver program.
These discounts can save mature drivers nearly $100 each year in insurance rates, which adds up quickly Of course, these savings and discounts vary depending on your insurance company and what you already pay in insurance premiums.
Traffic point reduction
State-approved defensive driving classes are also an excellent source of reducing points on your driver’s license, should you need to. Accumulation of points can lead to a flurry of issues.
One of those issues includes increasing insurance premiums for drivers with negative driving records. For example, you’ll get three points on your license if caught speeding. Failing to obey traffic signs and signals could lead to four points on your license, and reckless driving is also four points.
Defensive driving courses can significantly reduce these accumulations if taken seriously, and you can pass the course. In Florida, if you get 12 points on your license within 12 months, you’ll have the license suspended and won’t be able to drive legally.
But, these courses are designed to help you work towards regaining your driving privileges. Your insurance company may often raise your premium costs when you receive points on your license.
Cheap online defensive driving courses in Florida
Online defensive driving courses in Florida are incredibly affordable for residents. Like anything, costs will range depending on who you choose to go with, and some companies may include fees for processing your completion certificate and state assessment, while others may not, and you’ll need to pay these fees out-of-pocket.
Prices range from nearly $6 to $25. The most affordable online traffic school course is with Lowest Price Traffic School and is entirely online. This online traffic school will cost drivers $5.94 to complete.
One of the more expensive courses online is with Traffic School Online, which is done completely online. This course will run Florida drivers for just about $29.97.
If you take a defensive driving course, do you still need to pay for your traffic ticket?
Even if you pass a defensive driving course, you’ll still be responsible for paying your traffic citations. These tickets must be paid within 30 days of receipt of the citation.
After getting a citation, how long do you take a defensive driving course in Florida?
In Florida, you’ll have 30 days to pay for your ticket. Once you pay your ticket, the county in which you were pulled over gives you anywhere from 60 to 120 days to complete your course. You’ll turn your copy of your certificate into the Clerk of Court. Each county’s timeframe varies.
How do you prove that you’ve completed your driving course?
Once you complete your course with a passing grade, you’ll get a certificate of completion from your traffic school. You’ll need to turn this certificate in to the Clerk of Court, which will prove your completed course.
Are you interested in finding out more about driving courses and your insurance?
Defensive driving courses are packed with valuable information, no matter your reasoning behind starting the class. Whether you’re just trying to save some money or better your driving record, these classes fit the needs of most Florida drivers. If you’re interested in finding out more about how these courses can help reduce your car insurance costs, give our team of licensed insurance agents a call today.