You have likely heard of traffic school in Michigan and you may be wondering about the benefits of attending and who is eligible. These driving classes provide a driver improvement course that comes with an array of benefits, such as saving money on auto insurance, reducing demerit points on a driving record and even avoiding a drivers license suspension in some cases. Understanding the benefits of driving school and how you can enroll can prove to be incredibly rewarding. Knowing how the Secretary of State (SOS) office keeps records may also affect your interest in such programs. For more information on Michigan traffic training, including the courses that are provided and how to enroll, review the sections provided below.
What is DMV traffic school in Michigan?
Traffic school is a program offered by sponsors that have been approved by the state of Michigan in providing a basic driver improvement course that is designed as a refresher of basic traffic safety laws and principles. Also known as a defensive driving course, these classes require a minimum of four hours of studying the provided material before attempting to pass the course test. While the minimum amount of time dedicated to the driving course is four hours, the time that it will take participants to complete the course could vary. Motorists should never wait until the deadline before they begin. Approved courses include both online driving school and in-person classes in a driver’s local area.
If you do not pass the driver’s improvement course that is offered by the traffic school, then you will not receive any of the benefits that the program has to offer. Any points or violations that you were trying to avoid will still be added to your driving record and your insurance company will be notified. However, if you are still within the 60-day period of your eligibility notice, then you may pay for and attempt the course again.
You may be wondering, “How much is traffic school in Michigan?” and even how to find affordable traffic school, but fortunately the SOS provides motorists with a wide selection of approved course sponsors, allowing you to shop around for the best price. The price of a defensive drivers course will depend upon the sponsor, but Michigan state law requires that the price not exceed $100.
The Benefits of Michigan Driving School
A new traffic school program was introduced in Michigan in March of 2011 and provides motorists with a way to avoid demerit points on their driving records for minor traffic violations. Successful completion of a defensive driving course would also mean that these violations were not reported to a motorist’s auto insurance company, allowing them to avoid paying higher premium fees on their vehicle’s insurance. In some cases, the successful completion of traffic school in Michigan has allowed motorists to avoid having their driver’s license suspended due to demerit points on their driving record. With the new state program comes additional eligibility requirements that a motorist must meet to take advantage of the course. Not only must drivers meet SOS traffic school eligibility requirements, but the course must be arranged, completed and passed within a 60-day time frame in order to receive the benefits from the court.
Who is eligible for traffic school in Michigan?
Eligible Michigan traffic lesson participants will receive a letter by mail notifying them of their eligibility in the state program. General DMV traffic school eligibility requirements that have been set forth by the state include the following:
- You must have a valid, non-commercial Michigan driver license.
- You must have two or fewer points on your Michigan driving record.
- The violation in question must not have been committed in a commercial motor vehicle.
- The violation must not be a criminal offense.
- The ticket in question must be eligible.
Generally, the ticket must be worth three or fewer points and must not have been issued for careless or negligent driving. Some of the eligible DMV traffic school tickets include:
- Speeding up to 15 mph over a posted speed limit on a non-freeway or up to 25 mph over the speed limit on a freeway.
- Failing to stop within assured clear distance.
- Failing to maintain minimum speed limit.
- Disobeying a stop sign or traffic signal.
- Failing to obey railroad crossing restrictions or failing to stop at a railroad crossing.
- Failing to yield.
You can find a more complete list of eligible traffic school tickets in Michigan on the Secretary of State website. In addition to these driver improvement course eligibility requirements, you will also be disqualified from the program if you are within the 60-day period of a course for a previous ticket, you have already avoided points under the state program and/or the ticket in question is an out-of-state ticket.
Lastly, only traffic school courses that are approved by the SOS are eligible for the state program, even if you are temporarily out of state. You will likely still be eligible for traffic school online if you are temporarily out of state.
How to Enroll in Michigan Driving Classes
In order to enroll in Michigan traffic school, you will need to provide the course sponsor of your choosing with both your Michigan driving license number and the last day you can complete the course. This information is all provided in the letter you receive that permits your attendance. If you have misplaced the letter, then you can request the information from the Secretary of State office.
As outlined above, both online driving school courses and courses that are held in person at a local community are available for you to choose from. By far the most common, traffic school online is convenient, as it allows you to complete the course material and take your final test at your own pace, as long as you pass the course within your 60-day period.