How Do You Take a Defensive Driving Course?

Written by Danielle Thompson

A defensive driving course helps you brush up on safety techniques, earn insurance discounts, reduce points on your license and protect other drivers on the road. But what does that mean?

Read on to find out more about these courses, what benefits you earn and how to take defensive driving online in New York.

What Is Defensive Driving?

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (NYS DMV) created the Internet Point and Insurance Reduction Program (IPIRP) to give drivers access to defensive driving education and help them qualify for point reductions and insurance discounts.

Throughout the driving safety course, you'll learn about traffic laws, safety strategies and a variety of useful skills to avoid accidents. The course explains how to avoid distracted driving, impaired driving and other dangerous behaviors.

An online defensive driving course gives drivers a way to fulfill IPIRP requirements at their own pace using any device. These courses provide comprehensive driver safety information, which leads to safer roads and more prepared drivers.

The NYS DMV requires providers of defensive driving courses to meet strict standards for security validation, quality of information presented and program effectiveness. When you take a defensive driving course from New York Safety Council, you're getting the best driving training in the state at an affordable price. We are approved by NYS DMV to offer online defensive driving courses across the state.

Why Should I Take a Driver Safety Course?

Defensive driving courses provide several benefits. In addition to gaining valuable skills, successful completion of an approved course also qualifies drivers to receive point reductions and discounts on auto insurance.

Each time you complete a qualified defensive driver training course, you can reduce up to four points added to your record following a traffic violation. This can protect your record from point penalties such as a license suspension.

To qualify for point reduction, drivers must have received the violation and accompanying points within the last 18 months. Points for earlier violations or future violations are not affected. A maximum of four points may be reduced within an 18-month period. If your license has already been revoked or suspended, taking this course will not reverse that action. Point reduction also cannot prevent a mandatory license suspension.

These courses are also guaranteed to reduce your insurance premiums by 10%. If you are interested in using a defensive driving course to receive an auto insurance discount, no quote or insurance change is required. Simply complete the online program and present the certificate to your insurance provider. The rate decrease is mandatory and will last three years.

You are permitted to take the course again if you would like to reduce points on your license or renew your discount. How often depends on which benefit you would like to renew. You can take the training again every 18 months to reduce license points or every 36 months to refresh your insurance discount.

What Will I Learn in Defensive Driving Online Training?

In our New York State DMV-approved online New York Defensive Driving course, you will rediscover New York Traffic Laws and learn safe driving strategies.

New York Defensive Driving Course topics include:

  • New York traffic laws
  • Common causes of traffic incidents
  • Consequences of impaired driving
  • How to share the road
  • Defensive driving skills

The course takes at least 5.5 hours to complete and contains four multiple-choice quizzes. You get three attempts to pass each quiz. Due to DMV requirements, you will be locked out of the course and must re-register if you fail to pass a quiz within three attempts. The course does not have a final exam.

You must complete your driver training within 30 calendar days of registering for the course.

How Will I Receive My Defensive Driving Certificate?

Once you have successfully completed the course, your information will be electronically reported to the DMV for point reduction within a week. It can take NYS DMV up to 10 weeks to process your course completion and apply it to your record.

You will also receive a certificate of completion in the mail, which you may present to your insurance provider to redeem your auto insurance discount. Your certificate will arrive in seven to 10 days. Expedited shipping is available for an additional fee.