Defensive Driving in Florida
Florida Traffic Schools
Traffic school, defensive driving, and driver improvement programs approved by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) are available to you if you wish to:
- Avoid a driver’s license suspension.
- Avoid points being added to your driving record.
- Reinstate your driving privileges.
- Earn an auto insurance discount.
Florida traffic school, which is available both online and in the classroom, is designed to teach you defensive driving habits and improve your driving behaviors.
In addition to the benefits of avoiding driving record points and earning insurance discounts, traffic school may provide you with the safe driving knowledge that can help to prevent traffic violations and accidents in the future.
On this page you’ll find information about your Florida traffic school requirements, options, and benefits.
Depending on your circumstances, you may be required to complete a driver improvement course, or you may be eligible to take traffic school/defensive driving voluntarily.
Generally, you’ll have the option of taking traffic school either online or in the classroom.
If you are required by the Florida DMV or court to complete a driver improvement course, failing to do so will result in a driver’s license cancellation and additional fines.
If you take a defensive course voluntarily, you may be able to:
- Avoid accumulating points due to a traffic ticket.
- Avoid an increase in your car insurance rates.
- Earn a safe driver discount on your car insurance, if you did not receive a traffic ticket.
NOTE: You can take traffic school voluntarily once every 12 months and no more than 5 times total.
Dismissing Florida Driving Record Points
If you are found guilty of a traffic violation, the FLHSMV will add points to your driving record. Too many driving record points can lead to fines and a driver’s license suspension.
Depending on the circumstances of your violation, you may be able to take traffic school to dismiss your ticket and avoid any driving record points.
Within 30 days of your traffic citation, you must enroll in an approved defensive driving course and notify your court.
For a complete list of approved defensive driving courses, please visit the Florida DMV website.
For more details, please contact the Florida DHSMV or the traffic court handling your case.
For more information about your driving record and suspended driver’s license, please visit our pages on the following topics:
NOTE: Basic traffic school is required for violations such as:
- Passing a stopped school bus.
- Running a red light.
Florida Defensive Driving Insurance Discounts
If you did not receive a traffic ticket, you may be eligible to take a Florida defensive driving course to receive an auto insurance discount.
Although car insurance discounts are usually only given to elderly or teenage drivers, you may be eligible regardless of your age.
For more information, please contact your car insurance provider directly.
Florida Advanced Driver Improvement
You will be required to complete a Florida advanced driver improvement course if you:
- Commit repeated traffic offenses.
- Have your driver’s license suspended.
- Cause multiple traffic accidents.
- Are required by court for any other reason.
If you cause 3 accidents within 36 months, you’ll need to complete:
- At least 12 hours of a 3-in-3 Driver Change Course or an advanced driver improvement course.
- At least 4 hours of behind-the-wheel training with a driving instructor.
Regardless of whether your take classroom or online traffic school, your course will cover topics including:
- Defensive driving techniques.
- Alcohol/drug abuse, violations, and safety.
- Florida traffic laws.
- Rules of the road.
- Sharing the road with other drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
Depending on your reason for taking a Florida defensive driving course, your program will generally range from 4 to 12 hours.
Upon passing your final exam and finishing your program, your defensive driving provider will electronically submit your completion certificate to the Florida DMV or court handling your case.
For more information about your traffic school options, please contact the FL DMV, your court, or your car insurance provider.Other Topics in This Section