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Defensive Driving in Michigan
If you’ve received a traffic citation for a minor traffic offense, the Michigan Secretary of State (SOS) may allow you to complete a basic driver improvement course (BDIC).
Completing driver improvement, also known as defensive driving, will allow you to:
- Avoid accumulating points on your driving record.
- Avoid increased car insurance rates.
- Satisfy any requirements of the court and/or the Michigan DMV.
You may also be eligible to complete traffic school to receive a safe driving discount on your car insurance.
Regardless of your reason for taking a defensive driving course, you’ll be provided with a refresher on basic safe driving skills and traffic laws. The course can help to reduce your chances of committing traffic violations and being involved in accidents.
On this page you’ll find information about driver improvement traffic schools in Michigan, your options for completing a course, and what you’ll need to submit once you pass.
You may be able to take a defensive driving course to:
- Dismiss a traffic ticket.
- Avoid a driver’s license suspension.
- Earn a car insurance discount.
If eligible, you’ll have the option of completing traffic school online or in person.
Online defensive driving courses give you the benefit of completing the course at your own pace and on your own schedule.
For a complete list of Michigan SOS-approved program providers, please visit the MI SOS website.
Dismissing a Michigan Traffic Ticket
If you’re eligible to take a basic driver improvement course to dismiss a traffic ticket, the Michigan SOS will mail you a notification letter.
Generally, you’ll be eligible to dismiss your traffic ticket if:
- You have a valid, non-commercial driver’s license.
- You have 2 points or less on your driving record.
- Your ticket is for a non-criminal offense.
- Your citation is for an eligible offense and for 3 points or less, such as:
- Running a stop sign or traffic light.
- Following too closely.
For a complete list of eligible violations, please visit the Michigan Secretary of State website.
If you decide to take a defensive driving course to dismiss your ticket, you’ll need to complete the course within 60 days.
After you successfully pass the driver improvement program, your course provider will notify the Michigan SOS.
If you are not eligible to take defensive driving, points will be added to your driving record and your car insurance rates may increase. Too many driving record points can lead to a driver’s license suspension.
For more information, please visit our pages on the following topics:
Earn a MI Car Insurance Discount
If you decide to take a defensive driving/traffic school course voluntarily, you may be able to earn a discount on your car insurance.
While this discount is often available to older and teenaged drivers only, you may still qualify regardless of your age.
Please contact your auto insurance provider for more information.
Regardless of your reason for completing defensive driving, your course will cover topics, such as:
- Basic safe driving techniques.
- Michigan traffic laws and violations.
- Sharing the road with other drivers.
- Alcohol/drug violations and consequences.
Your driver improvement program may take anywhere from 4 to 12 hours to complete. Your course can cost up to $100.
You’ll likely need to pass a final exam to complete the program. Once completed, your defensive driving school should either:
- Submit your completion information to the Michigan DMV.
- Provide you with a completion certificate, which you can submit to your car insurance provider.
For specific course information and fees, contact your driver improvement course provider directly.Other Topics in This Section