Defensive Driving in New Jersey
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Drivers of all ages can benefit from the defensive driving program―offered by state-approved schools― as it teaches basic techniques to improve your driving skills. Completing a course might even reduce your auto insurance premiums. Check with your own insurance company, though; some may offer discounts only for certain ages, or may not offer discounts based on your driving record.
This program also allows you to have two points deducted from your driving record. You can take this course once every five years for point reduction.
Note about Traffic Tickets
The state will not dismiss a traffic ticket whether you attend a driver education class.
For drivers 50 and older, the AARP offers the "55 Alive" driving course as a refresher. This Mature Driver's Program provides a minimum 5% discount on your auto insurance premiums, and is offered in many cities and towns state-wide. Check its website for a schedule and location near you.
Part of the sentencing associated with certain traffic violations within New Jersey includes a mandatory training offered by the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC).
Driver Improvement Program
Take the Driver Improvement Program for a fee of $100, and your license won't be suspended for 30 days, after you've racked up 12-14 points on your driving record. When you pass this course, up to three points will be reduced from your record and your license will not be suspended. Information about the program will be mailed to you by the state if you are required to participate.
You can also take Driver Improvement on your own, to remove up to three points once every two years.
Probationary Driver School Program
New drivers―those having their license two years or less―will be assigned to a Probationary Driver School if they are convicted of two or more violations that total more than four points in that two-year period. The cost of this program, for teens or adults, is $100. The state will inform you if you're required to attend.
After you've passed the program successfully, up to three points can be reduced from your record, but you still face a one-year probation period. If you have more violations during that year, your driving privileges will be suspended.
If you've been convicted of any alcohol- or drug-related violation, you will be required to attend an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) program at one of the numerous center locations state-wide. The program includes mandatory classes in Alcohol and Highway Safety Education, evaluation of your drug or alcohol problem and if needed, treatment for the problem. You can also supplement your treatment with self-help programs, if you wish.
Successful completion of an IDRC program will help you get your license reinstated. Refuse to participate and you could face jail time and a longer license suspension. You'll pay a minimum of $350-$400 in fees for this course, and other costs may be involved.
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