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  • Driver Improvement Course in New Hampshire

    SUMMARY: New Hampshire Driver Improvement Courses

    New Hampshire has driver improvement courses, also known as defensive driving courses, to help its citizens in a variety of ways. You may want to attend a driving school because:

    • You received a traffic ticket and want to reduce the points on your driving record.
    • You were charged with a DWI and are required to complete a course.
    • You're interested in improving your driving skills.
    • You want to reduce your insurance rates.

    NH Driver Improvement Course Options

    Points Reduction

    If you are hoping to reduce points on your driving record, you must attend a Safe Driver Course at an approved traffic school.

    In New Hampshire, all violations have associated demerit points. The number of points assessed depends on the seriousness of the offense. The number of points assessed for a motor vehicle conviction will appear on a certified copy of your driving record. If you have accumulated at least 3 points, you're allowed to complete a Safe Driver Course to earn a credit of 3 points and avoid license suspension. Note that the points will still appear on your driving record, but will not be counted toward the total assessed for suspension.

    Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)

    If you lose your NH driver's license due to a DWI conviction, you'll be required to take one of several alcohol awareness training programs.

    Depending on your violation, and your previous driving record, you may be ordered to attend and successfully complete:

    • An Impaired Driver Intervention Program (IDIP).
    • A Weekend Impaired Driver Intervention Program (WIDIP).
    • A Phase II program for impaired drivers.
    • The Multiple Offender Program (MOP).

    Fees for these classes vary and can be quite costly.

    For more information, be sure to read our DUI & DWI offenses page.

    Lowering Insurance Premiums

    Contact your insurance company to check if you're eligible for a reduction in your insurance premiums. Many companies offer discounts on auto insurance premiums, but be sure ask how much they cost.

    You may not qualify for a discount based on your age or your driving record.

    Types of Defensive Driving Courses in NH

    Driver Improvement Program (Safe Driver Course)

    If you have accumulated a minimum of 3 demerit points, once you pass this course, you will earn a credit of 3 points, and by proxy, your point total will be reduced. As stated above, the points will still appear on your motor vehicle report, but won't be counted against you for purposes of license suspension.

    Completion of a defensive driving course may be ordered by the justice of a superior, district, county, or circuit court, or following an administrative hearing.

    Driver Attitude Program

    New Hampshire also offers a driver attitude program. Successful completion of this program is required prior to restoring your driver's license if you:

    • Were ordered by a justice of the district court to complete the program.
    • Were ordered, after an administrative hearing.
      OR
    • Had your NH driver's license revoked as a result of having been certified as a habitual offender.

    There are many defensive driving programs offered throughout New Hampshire. However, only those authorized by the state will be accepted by the court or the NH DMV. These classes must be taken in the state of New Hampshire. Online courses are not acceptable.

    Defensive Driving Course Details

    Depending on which course you are required or choose to take, you can generally expect to spend between 6-8 hours completing your course. Among chapters specific to your defensive driving program, you will study subjects like:

    • New Hampshire traffic law and road regulations.
    • Drunk driving laws and penalties.
    • Driver attitude and defensive driving measures.
    • Common hazards and prevention techniques.

    Your New Hampshire traffic school course will be specific to your reasons for attending, and for the Driver Attitude Program, you should expect the curriculum to be tailored to your driving behavior.