Taking an online traffic school can be an easy way to keep points from getting on your license and can help your insurance rates stay low too. But don’t forget that you have to choose a school the DMV accepts, or they won’t give you credit for it. So, if you’re asking yourself how long does a defensive driving course take, make sure you consider more than just the time involved. Here’s how long each state requires you to complete traffic school according to their state law.


In California, traffic school is 8 hours. However, if you take it online there are no timers, so actual course time will depend on the individual. It could take one to two hours or the entire eight. There is a mandatory 25 question multiple choice quiz at the end in which you need to get 70% correct to pass. Make sure you study!

New York

Traffic school in New York is best known as a defensive driving course. It can stop points from being added to your driving record due to a recent traffic ticket and it can also get NY residents a 3-year auto insurance discount. It will take six hours to complete online. You can finish the course at your own pace.


When you receive a traffic ticket in Texas you can take a Driving Safety Course which is very similar to traffic school. The course is 6-hours, but the online version includes 60 minutes in mandatory breaks, so you only have to spend a total of 5 hours taking it.


Most FL traffic violators can attend a 4-hour online traffic school or basic driver improvement (BDI) course instead of receiving points on their driving record. However, due to allowance for breaks, students will only have to spend 3 hours and 15 minutes in the BDI online version.  Offenders who have taken the 4-hour course in the last 12 months or are habitual traffic offenders may be designated by the court to take an 8-hour course. There are no timers for this online program, which means students will be able to finish more quickly.


It could take up to 48 hours for an online traffic school to verify your eligibility to take the online course, but once you are deemed eligible, you are required to spend a minimum of 4 hours in the traffic school/defensive driving program.


Once you receive an eligibility letter from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet you can sign up for an online KY traffic school or 4-hour Aware Driver Course. You must spend a minimum of four hours in the course to obtain your proof of completion certificate and point reduction from the state.


Online Indiana defensive driving school is also four hours long. You can do the entire course in one sitting or log off and back on as often as you like until the four hours have been accumulated.


In Nevada, you are required to spend at least five hours in traffic school online. There is also an 8-hour online DUI course available to those who were ordered by a NV court to take a “Driving Under the Influence” course. The online requirement for this course is six hours.


Virginia traffic school is one of the longest online driver improvement courses in the country. It is an 8-hour course, but actual online course time allows for an 80-minute break, which means there is a 6-hour and 40-minutes study time requirement.


Like many states, Georgia has a self-paced online traffic school. You can take it at a time that works for you, complete it all at once, or do it in stages. You will however, must spend a minimum of 6 hours in the course.

New Jersey  

New Jersey requires you to spend at least six hours in traffic school. You can actually remove two points from your NJ driving record by taking the MyImprov NJ MVC approved defensive driving course.


Four hours is the time you’ll spend taking an online traffic school in Tennessee. You can complete it at a time that’s convenient for you, but you’ll need to spend that length of time to have the course count.


Idaho requires a six-hour defensive driving program or traffic school for their point reduction program. Many sites offer a 10-chapter course that is 36 minutes each. Students can log off and back on as often as they wish. Fortunately, with online traffic school, you can take the course when it’s convenient for you.

What Else Should You Know About Online Traffic School?

There’s usually a final exam to take, and you’ll also have to make sure the course completion certificate finds its way to your insurance company if your state and insurance company gives auto insurance discounts for those who complete the online course.

So, how long does traffic school take? From around one or two to more than eight hours, depending on the state you’re in. Knowing the laws and regulations for DMV approved traffic school in your state is important, make sure you are getting the right program for your needs.