As one of the top online schools that offer Defensive Driving courses, Traffic School and Driver’s Ed classes, we get a lot of students calling to ask, “Wait, what do I need to take?”

Defensive Driving Course

A defensive driving course is meant for individuals that have received a ticket and would like it dismissed or to avoid the points accumulating on their driving record, received a court order to take a course, received a letter from the DMV requiring that they take a course, or have an insurance company that offers a discount on their premium for taking a course.

The course content, length, and time requirement vary from state to state, but each one is designed to teach students important rules of driving and laws of the road, directly from each state’s driver handbook, which are necessary to know to be a responsible and safe driver.

A student may take the defensive driving course in a classroom or they can take the course conveniently online from the comfort of their own home with online companies, such as Improv Traffic School. Typically, with classroom courses, they will spend a day in the classroom and do it all in one day. With online courses, they can log in and out as much as they would like, as long as they complete the course by the due date designated by the court/DMV/insurance company. Typically, this course is taken as a punishment for a moving violation and therefore can be anticipated as a negative experience.

For Example

The typical defensive driving course for Florida for minor moving violations is the Basic Driver Improvement course. It is a 4-hour course made up of several chapters, covering the content of the DMV driver handbook, and at the end of the course, the student must pass a final exam.

Once they complete the course, their completion is reported to the DMV and they must submit a copy of their certificate to the court. If a course is not taken, points may be applied to their driving record and if enough points add up, the individual may lose their license. It is beneficial for that person to take the course. For more severe infractions, there are also intermediate and aggressive driver improvement courses. Random Fact: an individual that is licensed in Florida can only take a defensive driving course to dismiss a ticket up to 5 times in their whole lifetime!

Driver’s Education Course

Driver’s Ed or Teen Drivers Education is designed for brand new teen drivers that have never been behind the wheel before and are starting the process of getting their license. Driver’s education is typically a requirement to earn a learner’s permit and driver’s license prior to turning 18 years old. The driver’s education course is designed specifically to prepare an individual to pass their permit test and eventually get their driver’s license.

Each state typically has a different requirement regarding how long the course must be (can range from 4 hours and all the way up to 30 hours) or when a teen can take the course. Like the defensive driving course, a driver’s education course covers all the important information from the DMV driver handbook, which is information that a new driver must know to operate a vehicle and drive safely. Typically, the course is taken in conjunction with a behind-the-wheel class. Since this course is a stepping-stone towards getting what they want (their license), it is seen in a much more positive light than a defensive driving course.

For Example

The teen driver course for Florida is called the Florida Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education (TLSAE) course, which is a 4-hour course and its focus is on driving responsibly and the many problems that can arise due to abusing drug and alcohol. Once the course is completed, the student’s completion is reported to the DMV and they are then eligible to take the permit test. Like the defensive driving course, the course and permit test can be done in person or online, for their convenience. Once the student obtains their permit, they can proceed with behind-the-wheel training and practice with a licensed driver over the age of 21 years old.

For any questions you may have regarding the differences of the courses, please feel free to call Improv Traffic at 1-800-660-8908 for extremely helpful answers!