The course covers traffic laws and techniques for driving safely on Texas roads. The specific topics are regulated by
the TDLR and include:
- Rules of the Road
- Distracted Driving
- Driving Emergencies
- Protecting Yourself While Driving
- Driving in All Seasons
- Adult and Child Safety Equipment
- Impaired Driving
- Driving Behaviors
- Recent Trends in Driving
- Best Practices and Procedures
Defensive Driving Course Versus Driving Safety Course
The terms defensive driving course and driving safety course mean the same thing. The Texas Transportation Code uses the
term driving safety. Some courts do as well. Most counties, justices of the peace, and municipal
courts use the term defensive driving. Nearly all drivers and schools also use the term defensive driving.
Note, however, the form that you submit to request permission to take defensive driving is called
a DSC Form, which stands for Driving Safety Course Form. Again, defensive driving and driving safety
refer to the same thing.
The Option to Get a Ticket Dismissed
The state of Texas allows motorists to get a citation dismissed for most traffic offenses. Common offenses include
speeding, right-of-way violations, and improper lane changes. Offenses that are excluded include:
- Speeding in excess of 25 mph above the speed limit;
- No insurance coverage;
- Leaving the scene of a collision;
- Passing a school bus;
- Traffic violations in a construction zone with workers present;
You can check with the court or justice of the peace to determine if your ticket qualifies. Only one violation on a traffic
ticket can be dismissed by completing defensive driving. If you were issued a citation with multiple violations, you may choose just one for
dismissal. The others will be reflected on your driving record.
Eligibility for Ticket Dismissal
Each court specifies its eligibility requirements for taking a defensive driving course for ticket dismissal.
You must check with your court to ensure you qualify.
You are usually eligible if you meet the following requirements:
- You have a valid driver license (that is not a Commercial Driver License).
- You were ticketed for a moving violation, such as speeding or running a red light.
- You have not taken Texas traffic school for a ticket you received in the last 12 months.
- Your court has given you permission to take a certified defensive driving course.
Request Permission to Take Defensive Driving
You must request permission
to take defensive driving. The request must be made on or prior to the appearnce date on your citation. Historically, requests
had to be made in person or by mail. Increasingly, courts are providing a way to submit a request online. You must check
with your court to see the options available to you.
The procedure for requesting permission varies from court to court. Sometimes the procedure can be found on the back of the
citation under the heading labeled "DSC instructions". You can also find the procedure on the web site for the court
that has jurisdiction over your ticket.
A request typically involves submitting these items:
- DSC Request Form (i.e., Driver Safety Course Request Form);
- Proof of insurance;
- Proof of valid license;
You must use the DSC form provided by the court that has jurisdiction for your ticket. You can usually download it from the court's web site.
Proof of insurance coverage may be a copy of your policy, an insurance card, or a certificate of self-insurance.
You may also be required to provide a copy of your driving record.
You can save time and have Safe2Drive order your driver record for you.
Showing Proof of Completion
You must follow the procedure your court provides to show proof of completion. Typically, the procedure involves submitting to the court one or more of the
- Certificate of Completion for Defensive Driving
- Copy of Driving Record;
The official term for the certificate of completion is Uniform Certificate of Driving Safety Course Completion. The school where you took the course
issues the certificate to you. It is usually sent by email if you take an online course.
Some courts also require that you send a copy of your driving record. See below for more details.
Many courts also require that you submit an affidavit that affirms you were not already taking a defensive driving course at the time you submitted a request
for permission to take one. It also affirms you have not completed a defensive driving course in the prior twelve months since the citation date.
Deadline for Completing Defensive Driving
You have 90 days to complete defensive driving and submit your certificate of completion. The starting point for the ninety days is most often the
date the court has granted you permission. Once again, the starting date varies from court to court. Most courts use the date you are granted
permission. Some, however, use the date you submitted the request. Refer to procedure your court follows.
Your ticket will be dismissed as long as you complete defensiving driving and submit the required paperwork within the 90-day deadline.
How to Get an Insurance Discount
Texas requires all licensed drivers to maintain an automobile insurance policy. The minimum required insuance is set by law and
includes the following elements:
- $30,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $60,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $25,000 property damage liability per accident
Insurance premiums can be costly. Many Texas insurance companies offer discounts to drivers who complete a defensive driving program.
Check with your insurance provider to see if they offer this discount. Discounts can be as much as 15%.
If your insurance provider does offer this discount, select the "Insurance Discount" option when you register for the Texas Defensive Driving course.
When you complete the course, print a copy of your Certificate of Completion and
deliver it to your insurance company. They'll reduce your car insurance premium.
Insurance discounts are typically valid for three years. You can renew the discount by simply taking the course again.
How Does the Defensive Driving Course Work?
Safe2Drive's Texas Defensive Driving is quick and easy. Get everything done in three simple steps!
Step One: Register for the course
Registration is fast and easy -- only two minutes! You will provide your contact information and create a username and password.
Use your username and password to access the course as often as you want. We provide unlimited logins.
Step Two: Take the course
Our Texas Defensive Driving course consists of 11 short online lessons. We've incorporated the final exam into the
multiple-choice end-of-lesson quizzes. That means you'll take the final exam as you progress through the
course. You must pass the end-of-lesson quiz to proceed to the next lesson.
Most people pass the lesson quiz on their first attempt, but you can retake a lesson quiz as many times as necessary to pass at no extra fee.
Step Three: Print Your Certificate of Completion
When you complete the course, you will receive a printable Certificate of Completion. We also provide a FREE emailed certificate. You must sign the
court copy of the certificate and deliver it to your court. We provide an additional copy of your certificate for you to keep for your records.