Florida Defensive Driving

Brandon Myers - Author by Brandon Myers | Last Updated: January 13, 2021

Florida drivers who enroll in driver improvement courses can benefit from driving education. Driver improvement courses in Florida are a good idea for drivers whether you need to get help with a ticket, habitual driving violations, or want to save money on your auto insurance premiums.

Driver Improvement Courses in Florida

If you’ve been charged with a traffic ticket in Florida, you may have the option to attend a driver improvement course to have your adjudication withheld. This means you will avoid having points assessed against your license, and your insurance company can’t impose an additional premium or refuse to renew your policy due to the ticket. There are, of course, exceptions for habitual offenders and other situations. Still, most Florida drivers who attend a defensive driving course will be able to wipe out traffic violations and penalties with a driver improvement course.

Basic Driver Improvement Courses in Florida

This course is available to any person charged with a traffic violation that would result in points being assessed to their driving record, with few exceptions. For most drivers, the course is not mandatory but can be elected if you’d like to avoid adding points to your license and paying higher auto insurance premiums.

In some cases, a basic driver improvement course is required if you want to keep your driver’s license. You may be required to complete a basic driver improvement course if you received a ticket for:

Advanced Driver Improvement Courses in Florida

Drivers with multiple traffic violations may be required to take an advanced driver improvement course. This course is required for habitual traffic offenders or by court order. It is also required if your Florida driver’s license was suspended for accumulating too many points. If you earn 12 points in 12 months in Florida, your license will be suspended for 30 days, earn 18 points within 18 months, you will be suspended for 3 months, and earn 24 points within 36 months, you will have a one-year suspension. This is, of course, in addition to the driver improvement course.

3-in-3 Driver Change Course

Another course required by Florida state law is the 3-in-3 driver change course. This course is reserved for drivers who have had three crashes in three years. To avoid having your driver’s license canceled, you will be required to complete a 12 hour 3-in-3 Crash Course or an advanced driver improvement course. You will also receive four hours of behind the wheel training and must pass the extended road test with a Florida driver’s license examiner.

Florida Driver Improvement Course Eligibility

For most drivers in Florida, there is no problem being qualified to take a driver improvement course. Driver improvement courses are available to any driver charged with a traffic violation that would result in points. However, exceptions exist that can keep drivers from taking advantage of this benefit. Check with the Florida HSMV Restrictions include:

Additionally, drivers may only choose to attend a driver improvement course once in any 12 month period and no more than five times in a lifetime. If you choose to attend a driver improvement course, sign the affidavit, and then do not attend, it is still counted as choosing the course option in that 12 month period, and against the five times, you’re allowed to choose the option in your lifetime.

It’s important to verify that you are eligible to complete a driver improvement course before enrolling with the court. By doing so, you’ll ensure that you can get credit for your course and avoid points and insurance penalties.

Florida Traffic Ticket Dismissal with Defensive Driving

Enrolling in a basic driver improvement course is simple for choosing an elective defensive driving option to avoid driver’s license points. Within 30 days of receiving a traffic violation, you must inform the Clerk of Court in the county where you received the citation to attend the driver improvement course. Elections will not be accepted after the initial 30 days after the citation.

You will sign an affidavit, pay an election fee to the clerk, and will also be required to pay a civil fine. You may then enroll in the course with a provider of your choice. If you’re allowed to enroll in a basic driver improvement course, you will have between 60 and 90 days from the ticket’s date to complete your course and submit your completion certificate to the clerk’s office.

Drivers who elect to attend a driver improvement course and pay the civil fine but fail to attend to present the completion certificate to the clerk’s office will be adjudicated guilty. You will be required to pay the clerk the amount that was deducted due to the course election and a processing fee and late fee. Points will be assessed to your driving record, and you may experience higher car insurance premiums as a result.

Defensive Driving Courses Available in Florida

Completing the basic driver improvement course will teach you about important topics in safe driving. You’ll sharpen your driving skills, get an update on traffic laws in the state of Florida. Basic driver improvement courses are four hours long. They may be offered in a single day or one or more sessions. Courses are available both in-person and online. Course curriculum includes instruction on:

Defensive Driving for Car Insurance Discounts in Texas

Driver improvement courses aren’t just for people with tickets. In fact, all drivers can benefit from enrolling in the basic driver improvement course, especially if it’s been a while since you first learned to drive. A basic driver improvement course can improve your driving skills with safe driving knowledge and help prevent accidents and traffic citations. Drivers who enroll in a Florida driver improvement course may be eligible for a car insurance premium discount at the insurance company’s discretion.

Florida Defensive Driving Insurance Discounts

Most insurance companies offer drivers a discount on liability insurance premiums for completing the basic driver improvement course in Florida. The discount varies and depends on the policies of the individual insurance company. This course is four hours long and includes instruction on safe driving in the state of Florida.

Florida Defensive Driving Insurance Discount Eligibility

All Florida drivers are eligible to receive car insurance discounts for completing a driver improvement course without a ticket. However, it is important to note that most car insurance companies will only offer discounts on premiums to new teenage drivers or mature drivers over 55. Before deciding to enroll in a basic driver improvement course for an insurance discount, you must contact your insurance company to verify your eligibility and the amount of discount you may receive for completing the course.

Insurance Defensive Driving Courses Available in Florida

Florida’s voluntary driver improvement course is the same course offered for drivers with traffic violations. In this course, you will learn about important safe driving techniques, risk factors, and more. Courses include instruction in topics including:

Enroll in a Florida Driver Improvement Course

Ready to enroll in a driver improvement course? View our directory to learn about courses available to Florida drivers.


Brandon Myers
Brandon Myers is a Drivers Education and Safe Driving enthusiast. After a rollover vehicle crash and DUI, Myers has dedicated his life and career to the Drivers Education industry. Believing safe driving techniques save lives, Myers has spent over 5 years improving the industry with IDriveSafely, Aceable, and DriversEd.com.