If you have received a traffic ticket or were at-fault in an accident, the Department of Motor vehicles issues you a certain number of points. Different infractions and reasons for accidents are assigned different point values. If you reach a certain level of points, your driver license may be suspended. However, signing up for a defensive driving course may reduce the number of points you have on your driving record.

This is important because insurance companies look at the number of points you have when deciding how much you will pay for insurance, and reducing your points helps to prevent your license from being suspended. Here is some more information you will want to know about defensive driving courses and point reduction in both New York and New Jersey.

Defensive Driving Courses Reduce Points in New York

In the state of New York, you can take a defensive driving course once every 18 months to reduce the number of points on your driving record. Participating in one of these courses can reduce up to four points from your record toward license suspension. However, taking this course will only reduce active points, or points accumulated in the last 18 months.

To have the points taken off, you must enroll in a New York approved DMV defensive driving course. If you take a course that is not DMV approved, your points will not fall off. Upon completion, the school will notify DMV and they will take the points off your record. You will also receive a certificate of completion from the school. It is up to you to mail a copy of this certificate to your auto insurer. By law, your auto insurer is required to give you a ten percent auto insurance discount off your liability, no fault and collision premiums for three years after taking this course.

Defensive Driving Courses and Point Reduction in New Jersey

In the state of New Jersey, you can take a defensive driving course once every 5 (five) years to reduce up to two points from your driving record. You can take this course anytime you have points on your record if you have not had points removed in the past three years. The infractions do not need to be recent. To receive this discount, you must enroll in a course approved by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle commission.

Just like in the state of New York, you automatically qualify for a ten percent discount on your liability, no fault and collision premiums for three years after taking this course. You will need to submit the certificate of completion to your insurance company to qualify for this discount.

If you have received a ticket or were involved in an accident for which you were found at fault, the state licensing department in your state will issue points against your driving record. Your auto insurer will then see those points and increase your auto insurance rates. Fortunately, the states realize that everyone makes a mistake and a single traffic infraction does not make you a bad driver.

As such, both New York and New Jersey will allow you to take part in a defensive driving course to remove a certain number of points from your record and receive a discount on your auto insurance premiums. This is a great way to improve your driving, while also ensuring you are not punished for a prolonged period of time due to one driving mistake.