How Long Do You Have to Complete Defensive Driving After a Texas Ticket?

And Do You Start Before or After Your Court Date?

How Long Do You Have to Take Defensive Driving After Receiving a Texas Ticket?

Like the video said, Texas has two “court dates” when it comes to defensive driving. Depending on your court, you will have 10-14 days to appear at the court and request taking defensive driving. From that point, most Texas courts will give you 90 days to get the course completed and return your paperwork. That means that from traffic stop to clean driving record can take up to 104 days.

However, be careful not to let having 104 days lull you to sleep.

From the view of Day 1, Day 104 seems like an eternity away. You may forget entirely to get a course done because, you know, life.

Plus, waiting until Day 103 carries with it a whole other set of dangers. What if something unexpected makes it impossible to squeeze in your course? What if there is an issue with getting your certificate? Expedited delivery will definitely increase the cost of your course, and you may still not get it in time. What if, oops, Day 103 falls on a weekend and you miss that all-important second court date?

Bottom line? Just get started!

How Do You Get Permission From The Court to Take Defensive Driving?

Getting permission is a simple and straightforward process, provided you haven’t taken defensive driving for ticket dismissal in the last 12 months.

Check the information printed on your ticket for directions about making an “appearance.” Depending on the court, this process might require a trip to the courthouse or might can be handled by mail, phone call, or email. You will have to enter a plea of nolo contendere and pay an administrative fee. “Nolo contendere” is a fancy way of saying  “You guys say I’m guilty, but I’m not saying it. can I take defensive driving pretty please?”

Two things to note here. First, be sure to arrange taking defensive driving on or before the date printed on your ticket. Second, and this is important, do NOT start (or even sign up for) defensive driving before receiving permission from the court. If you do, the court will reject that course and will require you to start over, doubling your cost.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Defensive Driving Certificate?

Back in the day, the state’s mandated standard for schools to get completion certificates to students was 21 days. Imagine spending one-third of the time the court gave you to return your certificate waiting for the darned thing to hit your mailbox!

Over the years, most online defensive driving schools started the practice of offering expedited delivery through companies like FedEx or UPS. Companies LOVED procrastinators because those expedited shipping charges added a whole new revenue stream.

Just recently, though, the state finally moved into the 21st century and now allows defensive driving companies to deliver completion certificates electronically. Now you can get the certificate you need, even if you have waited until day 103

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