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    Defensive Driving in Massachusetts

    If you’ve committed certain traffic offenses, accumulated too many driving record points, or have a court order, you may be required to complete a defensive driving/driver retraining course.

    If you decide to complete a defensive driving course/traffic school voluntarily, your car insurance provider may award you with a safe driving discount.

    Completing a traffic school course will improve your defensive driving knowledge and skills, which may prevent you from committing traffic accidents and causing accidents when you’re on the road.

    On this page you’ll find information about mandatory driver retraining courses and voluntary defensive driving/traffic school programs.

    Mandatory Defensive Driving in Massachusetts

    If you hold a regular Massachusetts driver’s license, you may be required to complete a driver attitudinal retraining course if you:

    • Accumulate too many DMV driving record points.
    • Commit multiple traffic violations.
    • Have been ordered by a court or the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV).

    If you are required to complete a defensive driving course, the MA RMV will mail you a notice with the following information:

    • The specific course you must complete.
    • The date by which you must complete the course.
    • Any additional fees and clearance documents you must submit.

    You’ll need to complete your program within 90 days of receiving notice from the Massachusetts RMV.

    For a complete list of driver retraining courses, please visit the MA RMV website.

    NOTE: If your driver’s license gets suspended, you may face reinstatement fees and additional violation fines. For more information, please visit our Suspended License in Massachusetts page.

    Defensive Driving Course Details

    Defensive driving courses in Massachusetts are designed to:

    • Provide you with safe driving knowledge.
    • Improve your driving habits.
    • Prevent you from committing future traffic violations.
    • Decrease your chances of being involved in traffic accidents.

    It’s important to remember that the MA RMV will add points to your driving record when you commit traffic offenses. Too many points can lead to fines, a driver’s license suspension, and mandatory traffic school.

    You can always order you driving record to check how many points you’ve accumulated. For information, please visit our Driving Records in Massachusetts page.

    SCARR Program for Minors

    If you hold a JOL provisional driver’s license or learner’s permit, you may be required to complete a State Courts Against Road Rage (SCARR) program if you’ve been convicted of a major traffic offense or ordered by the court.

    The SCARR traffic school is designed to teach young drivers about the consequences of dangerous driving habits and to improve the driving behaviors of problem drivers.

    For more information about the SCARR program, please visit the Massachusetts RMV website.

    Voluntary Defensive Driving Courses in MA

    If you take traffic school voluntarily, you may be eligible for a car insurance discount.

    Many insurance companies offer defensive driving and accident prevention discounts to older and teen drivers, but drivers of all ages may be eligible.

    Please contact your car insurance provider for more information and a list of available courses.

    Most defensive driving courses taken voluntarily will last about 4 to 6 hours, however may vary depending on your provider. At the end of your program, you’ll usually need to pass a final exam.

    Once you’ve completed your course, you will usually receive a defensive driving completion certificate, which you may need to submit to your car insurance company.

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