Extra fees. Hidden fees. They seem to sneak into the price of most products and services, including driving school costs.
Although you may think these prices are “made up” and only serve the purpose of increasing a company’s profit margin, usually the fees are legitimate and go to outside vendors and merchants.
Driving School and Behind-the-Wheel Classes
Driving school prices will fluctuate depending on the state and city of the school. One of the main reasons behind the behind-the-wheel course cost is gasoline prices. If you live in a city with expensive gas prices, then it may be worth it to consider taking a driving class in a different city, which has lower gas prices. Also, some cars have better gas mileage than others. It may be beneficial to find a behind-the-wheel course that will allow you to drive your own car during the class (especially if your own car gets great gas mileage). You may also want to avoid the worst cities for traffic in the US when choosing where to go to driving school.
Driving school instructors also charge varying prices. Their hourly rate depends on experience, and again, also city and state.
Do not be tempted to choose a driving school based solely on their price! Make sure the driving instructor is qualified and the school’s curriculum is up to date.
Driving courses could end up costing you hundreds of dollars. If your state doesn’t require taking a driving school to receive a driver’s license and will allow you to practice driving with a family member at home, then it could save you a lot of money if you’ve got the time to train with parents, or with your children.
Online Driver’s Ed
DMV Reporting Fee
Some states will allow individuals to take the written portion of the driver’s ed training online. Prices are competitive for each state, but you may see extra fees added on to these courses as well. You may notice a DMV Certificate Processing Fee tacked on to the course price. This is how much the state’s DMV charges the online school to report their completion to the DMV and to have them add it to the student’s driving record. This amount of money goes straight to the DMV. The online driving school does not get to pocket any of it.
You may also see mailing fees added to your online driver’s ed receipt. This, of course, goes to the post office for stamp costs if you choose to have your certificate mailed to you. Some schools offer free downloads, where you can print the certificate from a home computer. Check to see if your school offers this benefit.
Online Defensive Driving Courses
Online defensive driving courses are driving courses that can either help remove points off of one’s driving record, stop points from being added to one’s driving record, or give you a reduction on your auto insurance. Because they are dealing with driving records, they are dealing with the state’s DMV or a state’s driver’s license office, and online schools may charge state reporting fees. These fees differ depending on the state. As of 2020, the NY DMV charges $8.00 per certificate, and the Michigan Department of State charges $17.50 for their reporting fee.
Physically mailing a completion certificate may be mandatory in some states. For those states where it is mandatory, you will see a regular mail fee from $1.00 and up. If you are in a hurry to turn in the certificate to your court, expedited shipping along with extra shipping costs may appear on your bill.
Extra Options, Extra Fees
Online defensive driving schools also may offer various bonus options to make their courses more fun or easier to complete. They may offer an audio read-along or a video option for an additional cost. Extra sample test questions and expedited shipping have also been popular add-on items students will pay extra money to receive.
Online Traffic School Courses
Online traffic schools are driving courses for those who wish to stop the points from a traffic ticket going on their driving record. You may see additional fees for DMV reporting, mailing, audio, video, and expedited shipping on the receipt depending on the online school. Please note that some COURTS will actually charge additional fees for giving you the opportunity to take traffic school. You will pay that fee to the court when you pay your ticket; you will not pay that fee to the traffic school – with one exception:
Arizona Traffic School Exception
Arizona is the only state where you WILL pay the traffic school the court fees if you are eligible to take traffic school. In other states, you will pay the traffic ticket fine and any additional court fees to the court and the traffic school fees to the traffic school. For Arizona, you will pay ALL fees to the traffic school.
The traffic school does not KEEP the court fees, however. They are responsible for paying those fees to the court for you, from your payment.
If you recently received a traffic ticket, need a defensive driving course, or want to take a driver’s education course, click here for the prices and the lowest fees: www.MyImprov.com