Defensive Driving in Pennsylvania
Defensive Driving & Traffic School in Pennsylvania
If you’ve received a traffic ticket, you may be required to OR have the option of taking a defensive driving course to meet requirements of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (DOT) and your court.
NOTE: Traffic school eligibility and requirements are typically determined on a case-by-case basis and there is no guarantee that you will be able to take a course to dismiss a ticket or satisfy a court requirement.
If you are of a certain age and want to earn a car insurance discount in Pennsylvania, you can take a mature driver improvement program/defensive driving course.
However, even if you are not eligible to receive some of the direct and immediate benefits of completing traffic school, taking a course can still be a smart choice. Defensive driving courses are designed to make you a safer and more responsible driver. After finishing a program, you are likely to walk away with new knowledge that can help you avoid committing traffic violations in the future.
On this page you’ll find information about the reasons for taking defensive driving courses, what your course will likely cover, and the appropriate agency to contact for more information.
While the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (DOT) does not approve any defensive driving courses/traffic schools for the purpose of reducing your driving record points, you may be able to take one to:
- Satisfy a driver’s license reinstatement requirement.
- Earn a car insurance discount.
- Satisfy or dismiss a traffic ticket, depending on the discretion of the appropriate court.
For more information about your enrollment options and traffic school programs in your area, you should:
- Talk to your court.
- Contact the Pennsylvania DOT.
- Check your local listings.
- Search online for traffic school, defensive driving courses, or driver improvement programs.
If you are not required to take a course, you may be able to choose between classroom and online defensive driving courses. Online traffic school gives you the added benefit of being able to finish the program on your own schedule.
Mature Driver Improvement Course & Insurance Discounts
If you are 55 years old or older, you are eligible to receive a discount on your car insurance for completing a DOT-approved mature driver improvement/defensive driving course.
You can enroll in and complete a program once every 3 years to earn a 5% discount on your insurance premiums.
The following organizations offer approved defensive driving courses. Please contact the Pennsylvania DOT or visit their websites for more information.
You may have the option of completing a classroom or online defensive driving course. Check with the approved providers to decide which type of course will work best for you.
For more details about the discount you will receive, contact your car insurance provider.
NOTE: While the mature driver discount is only available to drivers of a certain age, drivers of all ages may be eligible to receive a defensive driving course discount.
Driving Record Points & Mandatory Traffic School
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (DOT) keeps track of your traffic violations by adding points to your driving record. If you accumulate too many points over a certain period of time, you risk a driver’s license suspension.
Unfortunately, you cannot take a PA defensive driving course to deduct existing points from your driving record.
However, points will be removed from your driving record as follows:
- 3 points will be removed from your record if you are able to drive for 12 months without committing a traffic violation.
- Once you reach 0 points and maintain this for 12 months, your driving record will be considered clean.
If you were required to go to court for a traffic offense, your judge may require you to complete traffic school as part of your sentence. If required, you’ll likely receive a deadline to complete the course, a list of acceptable traffic school providers, and any additional materials you’ll need to submit to satisfy your conviction.
For more information on some related topics, please visit our pages on:
Both classroom and online Pennsylvania traffic school/defensive driving courses may last anywhere from 4 to 12 hours. Your course will likely cover topics including:
- Pennsylvania traffic laws.
- Alcohol/drug-related offenses and consequences.
- DUI penalties.
- Defensive driving techniques.
- Safe driving attitudes and behaviors.
- Sharing the road with other drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
Upon completion of your course, you may receive a completion certificate, which you can present to your insurance provider or your court, if necessary.
For more information, please contact:
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- The PennDOT.
- Your court.
- Your car insurance provider.
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