How Do You Take Defensive Driving Online?
Pretty Much Like Anything Else You Do Online—But Be Sure You Don't Miss a Step!
First Things First—Get Permission
This may come as a surprise, but the first thing to come after getting a ticket is NOT signing up right away for defensive driving. The court takes a dim view of people who don’t ask, “Mother, may I?” first. Once you have gotten permission, the shopping can begin.
The first step of the getting-rid-of-your-ticket dance is to contact your court by the date written on your ticket. There are over 1000 courts in Texas that handle traffic tickets, and each may have their own picky little ways to get things done. One thing they all have in common is this: If you take (or even sign up for) a driver safety course before they give the OK, you’ll have to do it again. Once you have gotten the all clear, the rest of the dance looks something like this.
Step Two—Let the Shopping Begin
If you are reading this, your defensive driving Googling has obviously already started…
…and if you’ve gotten very far in the process, you’ve already learned that there are about a kajillion online defensive driving courses available in Texas. How do you decide?
If price is your only concern, it shouldn’t be. Basic defensive driving courses that will get your ticket gone are available from all TDLR-approved providers for a state law minimum price of $25. You can pay more (and you may want to), but you certainly don’t have to.
The bottom line is this. All of the courses, no matter the provider, have to cover the same state-mandated curriculum, and every one of them will tell you theirs is the best. Don’t listen to them; ours is.
Step Three—Get Going and Get It Done
No matter which course you decide to go with, the sign up process is basically the same for them all. You’ll be asked for basic information (name, address, birthdate, etc.) along with your driver’s license and license plate numbers. These last two will be used to create “personal identification questions” that you will be required to answer to continue the course. If you don’t have them memorized, keep ’em handy. You’ll only have 90 seconds to respond to these personal ID questions and if you miss three of them you’ll be locked out of your course.
Once you’re in the course, following along is easy, and you can stop and start as often as you like. Texas does require courses to be six hours long and every provider is required to build timers into their courses to make sure you stay in the course at least that long. Most courses are a mix of text and video and the state requires a question be answered after every video that lasts over a minute to make sure you’re watching.
To successfully complete the course and receive your certificate for the court, every course has some sort of test you must pass with a score of 70 or above. Depending on the course, the provider may use 10-question quizzes after every unit or may choose to wrap up with a 20-question final exam at the end of the course. Option B certainly requires answering fewer questions, but it does require you to remember things you may not have seen for hours (or days or weeks!) depending how long you have chosen to take to complete the course. If you are more comfortable with option A, I do have a course I could recommend…