Illinois Defensive Driving

Brandon Myers - Author by Brandon Myers | Last Updated: April 7, 2021

Illinois drivers can take advantage of the Driver Safety Program (DSP). In this program, drivers in the state will learn about improving traffic skills, avoiding traffic violations, and becoming a safer driver. Often, Illinois drivers use the Driver Safety Program as an alternative to sentencing for minor traffic violations.

Defensive Driving Courses in Illinois

If you are charged with a traffic violation in Illinois, you may be eligible to participate in the Driver Safety Program by taking a defensive driving course. In most counties, drivers who have been charged with minor traffic violations are eligible to have their citation dismissed by attending defensive driving or traffic safety school.

If you enroll in and complete a defensive driving course with a traffic safety school, you can avoid a conviction on your driving record, and your insurance rates will not increase as a result of the violation. Check with the Illinois Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

Illinois Defensive Driving Course Eligibility

For most Illinois drivers who have received a traffic citation, defensive driving is an option for avoiding a conviction. However, several exceptions may make a driver ineligible to use this benefit. Reasons why you may not be able to take a defensive driving course in Illinois include:

In some cases, drivers who are not eligible for the basic defensive driving course will be contacted and offered the opportunity to attend an advanced course.

Before you enroll in a defensive driving course, you should verify your eligibility to do so with the court. If you are ineligible and choose to attend traffic safety school anyway, you may receive a conviction on your driving record.

Illinois Traffic Ticket Dismissal with Defensive Driving

Illinois drivers who want to dismiss a traffic ticket with defensive driving must request permission to do so with the court. You will plead guilty, register for the driver safety program, and pay a non-refundable fee to the court. You will be required to pay an additional fee for driving more than 20 miles per hour over the speed limit in some courts. You must make your request early, as your application form and payment must be received no later than five business days before your scheduled court date.

You will be required to fill out an application for court supervision and driver safety school. On this application, you’ll need to select a class location area. Many Illinois courts offer an online defensive driving option. If you prefer to take your defensive driving course online, you’ll need to indicate that you wish to enroll in an Internet defensive driving course on the application.

Once you’ve completed your application and payment, you will be mailed a class assignment. If you are unable to attend the assigned class, you will need to reschedule. However, note that you will only be allowed to reschedule once at no charge in many courts, and if you do not call to reschedule at least 24 hours before the assigned date, you may be assessed a fee.

Drivers who miss the class or are too late, you must reschedule and pay a fee to avoid having the conviction reported. If you ultimately do not attend class, there is no additional fee for most courts; however, you will have a conviction reported on your driving record.

Defensive Driving Courses Available in Illinois

Most drivers who take a defensive driving safety course will take a four-hour program that shares defensive driving techniques. The course is designed to improve driver safety and knowledge and prevent deaths and injuries. Some of the curriculum in this course includes:

For some Illinois drivers, the eight-hour defensive driving course will be required. Drivers who need to take this course may have already completed the four-hour course, have multiple violations, or have major traffic violations. This course includes much of the same curriculum as the four-hour course but requires a test both before and after the program to see how much participants have learned. Additional curriculum includes:

Defensive Driving for Car Insurance Discounts in Illinois

Often, drivers in Illinois will take a defensive driving course to avoid earning a conviction on their driving record for traffic violations. However, defensive driving courses are open to all drivers interested in improving their safety and driving schools. Often, Illinois car insurance providers will offer a safe driver discount on premiums to drivers who voluntarily complete a defensive driving course.

Illinois Defensive Driving Insurance Discounts

Your insurance company may provide you with a discount on your insurance premium to voluntarily complete a defensive driving course. Typically, this discount is up to 10% and can last for one or more years. The defensive driving course offered for insurance discounts is the same as those who have enrolled for traffic violations. It is four hours long and can be completed both in-person and online.

Illinois Defensive Driving Insurance Discount Eligibility

In Illinois, nearly all drivers can receive a discount on auto insurance for completing a defensive driving course. Of course, discounts are purely at the discretion of the individual insurance company. That means it’s important that you check with your insurance company before enrolling in a defensive driving course to ensure that you’ll be able to benefit from an insurance discount.

Insurance Defensive Driving Courses Available in Illinois

The insurance defensive driving course offered in Illinois is the same course that traffic violators will complete. This course is four hours long and offers instruction in driving safety and defensive driving. This curriculum includes:

Enroll in an Illinois Defensive Driving Course

Ready to enroll in an Illinois defensive driving course? View our directory to choose a state-approved school today.


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