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  • Defensive Driving in Illinois

    Defensive Driving in Illinois

    Defensive driving courses/traffic schools, which are licensed and approved by the Illinois Secretary of State (SOS), may be available to you if you:

    • Have received a traffic ticket.
    • Have a suspended driver’s license.
    • Want to earn an insurance discount.

    Whether you are required to take a course by your Illinois traffic court or choose to complete it voluntarily, you’ll gain valuable safe driving knowledge to help curb your chances of being involved in an accident or receiving a traffic ticket in the future.

    Even if you are not eligible to receive an insurance discount or have your traffic ticket dismissed, you can still benefit from defensive driving.

    On this page you’ll find information about situations that may warrant taking traffic school/defensive driving courses and the appropriate agency to contact for more information.

    Taking an Illinois Defensive Driving Course

    You may be eligible to take a defensive driving/driver improvement course if you:

    • Want to dismiss a traffic ticket.
    • Want to avoid increased car insurance premiums.
    • Avoid a driver’s license suspension.
    • Earn a car insurance discount.

    Additionally, you may be required to take a defensive driving course to satisfy a court requirement or to reinstate your driver’s license.

    Your eligibility to complete a course will be determined by the IL DMV, traffic court, or your insurance company, and will be based upon your personal driving history.

    If eligible, you may have the option of completing a defensive driving course online or in the classroom.

    If you are taking traffic school to satisfy a court of IL SOS requirement, you should receive specific information about:

    • Your deadline to complete the defensive driving course.
    • Which type of course you must take.
    • Additional fees and documents you must submit.

    If you are taking an Illinois defensive driving course voluntarily, your deadline will be determined by your course provider.

    For more information, please contact:

    • The Illinois DMV.
    • The traffic court handling your ticket.
      OR
    • Your insurance company.

    Remember, when you are convicted of traffic violations, you can receive driving record points, fines, and possibly a driver’s license suspension. For more information, please visit our pages on the following topics:

    Illinois Traffic School Car Insurance Discount

    Depending on your auto insurance provider, you may be eligible to take a defensive driving course to earn a safe driver insurance discount.

    Please contact your insurance provider for more information and to check if a discount applies to you.

    Illinois Defensive Driving Course Details

    Both online defensive driving course and classroom traffic school will generally cover topics including:

    • Defensive driving techniques.
    • Safe driving habits and tips.
    • Illinois traffic laws and violations.
    • Sharing the road with other drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

    Your course will usually last anywhere from 4 to 12 hours. If you choose to complete defensive driving online, you’ll have the benefit of completing the course at your own pace.

    At the end of your program, you will likely need to pass a final exam. Many course providers allow multiple attempts to pass.

    After you pass the final exam, you should receive a traffic school completion certificate.

    Depending on your reason for taking defensive driving, you may need to submit your completion certificate to:

    • The Illinois SOS.
    • Your traffic court.
    • Your car insurance company.

    Please contact the Illinois SOS for more information about traffic school courses available to you.

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