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  • Defensive Driving in Arizona

    SUMMARY: Arizona Defensive Driving & Traffic School Courses

    The Arizona Supreme Court approves defensive driving courses for:

    • Have a traffic ticket or minor violation dismissed.
    • Avoid accumulating driving record points.
    • Earn an auto insurance discount.

    Conversely, a traffic survival school (TSS) is intended for drivers who have committed a serious traffic violation or accumulated too many driving record points. Traffic school is NOT the same as an Arizona defensive driving course.

    On this page you’ll find information about Arizona defensive driving courses and traffic survival school (TSS), as well as your options for completing a course and the steps you’ll need to take once you pass.

    Defensive Driving in Arizona

    Defensive driving courses can be taken online or in a classroom setting and are available to both Arizona drivers and out-of-state drivers who have committed a traffic violation in Arizona.

    Benefits of completing a defensive driving course include:

    • Dismissing your traffic ticket.
    • Avoiding additional driving record points.
    • Avoiding increased car insurance rates.

    Contact the Arizona Supreme Court or the AZ Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) location near you for information about defensive driving courses available to you.

    Dismiss AZ Traffic Tickets

    You’ll be eligible to use a defensive driving course to dismiss a traffic ticket if you:

    • Have not used a defensive driving course to dismiss a ticket within the past 24 months.
    • Are only dismissing 1 violation.
    • Were not in an accident that involved a serious injury or death.
    • Hold a non-commercial driver’s license.
    • Complete the course at least 7 days before your scheduled court date.

    For a complete list of traffic violations codes that are eligible for ticket dismissals, please visit the Arizona courts website.

    If you need an extension to complete your defensive driving course, contact the court that is handling your case.

    NOTE: If you are not an Arizona resident, you must coordinate with an Arizona-approved defensive driving school if you want to complete an out-of-state course.

    For a complete list of approved defensive driving courses for traffic citations received from the Paradise Valley Municipal Court, please visit the Paradise Valley Municipal Court list on the AZ judicial branch website.

    For a list of approved defensive driving schools for ALL OTHER COURTS, please visit the Arizona judicial branch website and choose your county.

    Arizona Driving Record Points

    When you are convicted of a traffic violation and cannot use a defensive driving course to dismiss the ticket, you’ll receive points on your Arizona driving record.

    Completing a defensive driving course cannot be used to remove existing points from your driving record.

    Too many driving record points can lead to driver’s license suspensions, revocations, fines, and other penalties.

    For more information, please visit our pages on the following topics:

    If you were charged with a serious traffic offense or have accumulated too many driving record points, you may need to complete traffic survival school rather than a defensive driving course. For more information, please visit our page on Traffic Schools in Arizona.

    Earn Car Insurance Discounts

    Completing a defensive driving course voluntarily may earn you a discount on your car insurance.

    Regardless of your age, your car insurance company may give you a discount on your auto insurance rates if you successfully complete a defensive driving course.

    For more information about your eligibility, please contact your car insurance provider.

    AZ Defensive Driving Course Details

    Regardless of whether you complete your defensive driving course online or in the classroom, you’ll cover topics including:

    • Defensive driving techniques.
    • Safe driving practices.
    • Arizona traffic laws and violations.

    Each course will include 4 to 4 1/2 hours of course material.

    Upon completing the course, you should receive a completion certificate, which you’ll likely need to submit to your court or insurance company.

    Traffic Survival School

    Traffic survival school is often used to prevent a driver’s license suspension. It may also be a requirement of your traffic offense sentence.

    In Arizona, you will be required to complete traffic school if you:

    • Accumulate 8 points on your driving record within 12 months.
    • Run a red/flashing red light.
    • Are convicted of reckless or aggressive driving.
    • Are convicted of a moving violation/accident involving a death or serious injury.
      OR
    • Are younger than 18 years old and are convicted of any moving violation.

    Failing to complete a traffic survival school program may result in a suspended driver’s license. For more information, please visit our Suspended License in Arizona page.

    For a complete list of traffic schools near you, please visit the Arizona Chapter National Safety Council website, or contact your Arizona court or the AZ Motor Vehicle Division (MVD).

    Arizona Traffic Survival Course Details

    Traffic survival courses in Arizona are designed to teach you safe driving habits if you’re a serious traffic offender or young/at-risk driver. Your course will include information about:

    • Defensive driving techniques.
    • Arizona traffic laws and violations.
    • Sharing the road.
    • Being a responsible driver.
    • Improving driving attitudes and behaviors.

    Upon completion of your course, you will need to inform the Arizona traffic court handling your case.

    Arizona Driving Record Points

    Remember, traffic survival school and defensive driving courses are not the same thing in Arizona.

    Defensive driving is used to dismiss traffic tickets and avoid accumulating additional driving record points. For more information, please visit our Defensive Driving in Arizona page.

    Defensive driving cannot be used to remove points that are already on your driving record.

    If you need to check your points, you should order your Arizona driving record. For more information, please visit our Driving Records in Arizona page.

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