Defensive Driving in Montana

SUMMARY: Montana Defensive Driving Courses

In Montana, a defensive driving course designed to make you a smarter, safer, and more responsible driver. In other states, defensive driving is also referred to as:

  • Traffic school.
  • Driver improvement program (DIP).
  • Point and insurance reduction program (PIRP).

Depending on your circumstances, you can potentially use a traffic school in Montana to dismiss a ticket, reduce violation points, or earn a discount on your car insurance.

This page gives you information about taking a defensive driving course in Montana, and why it would be required.

Why Take a MT Defensive Driving Course?

Some of the reasons for taking a defensive driving course or traffic school in the state of Montana may include:

  • Ticket dismissal.
  • Insurance discounts.
  • Driving record point reduction.

Ticket Dismissal

If you received a traffic citation in Montana, you may be able to get it dismissed by successfully completing a defensive driving course.

Check your traffic ticket or contact the court handling your case to see if this is an option for you.

Insurance Discount

Montana law mandates that insurance carriers offer a premium discount if you are 55 years old or older and you have completed a defensive driving course.

If you're younger than 55 years old, please check with your insurance provider to see if you're eligible for a rate reduction once you complete a defensive driving or traffic school course.

Driving Record Point Reduction

Completing a MT defensive driving course may prevent you from getting additional points added to your driving record.

The Montana Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) keeps track of negative points accrued on your driving record. Depending on how many points you accrue, your driving privileges could be suspended or revoked.

Here's a list the most common traffic violations and their associated points:

  • Driving without a valid driver's license – 2 points.
  • Ignoring a stop sign – 2 points.
  • Speeding – 3 points.
  • Reckless driving – 5 points.
  • Driving with a suspended driver's license – 6 points.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol – 10 points.

If you accumulate 30 points or more within 3 years, your driver's license will be revoked. For more information, please refer to our Suspended Licenses in Montana page.

It is important to keep track of your driving record points to make sure your driver's license doesn't get suspended. For more information, see our Driving Records in Montana page.

Defensive Driving Course Providers

A defensive driving or traffic school course in Montana can be taken:

  • Online.
    • Check with the court handling your traffic ticket to see if they will accept an online course for ticket dismissal or point reduction.
  • Through a third-party commercial driving school.

Alternatively, you can also complete the Montana DRIVE workshop offered by the Montana Office of Public Instruction.

MT Defensive Driving Course Details

A defensive driving course in Montana will usually last about 4 hours.

If you take your course from a traditional commercial driving school, you'll need to be present for a minimum number of hours in order to pass. If you opt for an online traffic school, timers will be integrated into the course to make sure you fulfill the required hours.

Your traffic school course will cover topics including:

  • Safe driving techniques.
  • Drug and alcohol awareness.
  • Responding safely to critical driving situations and conditions (including emergencies).

Once you complete your defensive driving course:

  • You will be given a completion certificate.
    • You will need to present your certificate to the Montana MVD and/or your insurance company.
  • Your course provider will automatically notify the MT MVD and your driver record will be updated.

If you have any additional questions about Montana defensive driving courses, you may contact the Montana MVD customer service center at (406) 444-3933.

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