Defensive Driving in New York

Defensive Driving Courses in New York

In New York, defensive driving courses, or traffic school, is referred to as a point and insurance reduction program (PIRP). This comprehensive driver safety course provides you with the knowledge and techniques you need to become a safe and lawful driver.

By successfully completing a PIRP, you can remove up to 4 points from your New York driving record.

New York Defensive Driving Course Providers

In the state of New York, you can take a defensive driving course from an approved classroom provider. Your classroom course must be lead by a certified instructor and you will need to attend in person for the entire duration of the course (320 minutes of instruction).

Another option to complete your point and insurance reduction traffic school course is to take it from an approved online provider. Online PIRPs have become very popular due to the ability to access the course around the clock, from wherever you can find an Internet connection. The ability to pause the course and resume when ready, is a much more convenient option for you if you have a busy schedule.

New York Traffic School Requirements

If you decide to complete defensive driving course online, it will usually need to be completed within a certain number of registration. Check with your course provider for more information. If you do not successfully pass the course within the required time, you may fail the course and will not be eligible to get a refund.

Here are a few basic requirements to be eligible for a PIRP course:

  • You must have a valid NY driver's license.
  • If completing the course to dismiss a traffic ticket:
    • You must not have been cited for more than a single violation.
    • You must not have been cited while driving a commercial vehicle.

If you want to dismiss a traffic ticket, you usually can not have already completed a traffic school course in the past recent months for the same purpose (usually within the past 12 to 18 months). Check with the NY DMV or the court handling your case for more information.

New York Defensive Driving Course Details

Upon successful completion of an approved defensive driving course/traffic school in New York:

  • Your safe driving knowledge will be refreshed.
  • You can remove up to 4 points from your NYS DMV driving record.
    • Note that these points will likely still show on your record; however, the DMV will not count them toward any license suspension or revocation.
  • You will receive a 10% insurance rate reduction for 3 years.

The completion of a defensive driving course/accident prevention course will not:

  • Prevent a mandatory revocation or suspension of your New York driver's license.
  • Relieve your responsibility to pay a driver responsibility assessment.

When you successfully pass your defensive driving course, your course provider will mail you a completion certificate:

Once you present your New York traffic school completion certificate to your insurance company, within 90 days after course completion, your liability and collision premium reduction will come into effect. If you present your certificate of completion more than 90 days after you complete the course, your insurance provider may issue your premium discount effective from the date presented.

If you don't receive your certificate within 8 weeks after completing the course, you should immediately contact your defensive driving course provider. This course can be taken once every 3 years to maintain insurance reduction benefits.

It's important to note that the completion of traffic school/PIRP does not prevent general premium increases, or premium increases due to accidents or violations.

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