Minnesota Defensive Driving

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

Minnesota drivers can learn life-saving driving skills with a defensive driving traffic school. In Minnesota, drivers often complete traffic school to comply with a court order, improve driving knowledge, or earn an insurance discount.

Defensive Driving Courses in Minnesota

Minnesota state law requires drivers who have serious safety issues to complete a driver improvement course. Typically, a driver improvement course is required if you have committed a major traffic offense, such as a DUI conviction, hit, run, or an accident resulting in serious injury or death. Additionally, you may be required to take a traffic school if you’ve been convicted of several minor traffic violations or your driver’s license has been suspended.

Minnesota typically does not offer driver improvement courses as an alternative to minor traffic violation sentencing. That means if you’ve received a traffic ticket in Minnesota, you’ll probably have to pay it and deal with the increase in insurance rates and tickets on your driving record. However, if you receive too many minor traffic violations, you may be required by the court to complete a driver improvement course. Additionally, some courts will allow you to request a driver improvement course from a hearing officer.

Minnesota Defensive Driving Course Eligibility

If you’re required to complete a driver improvement course due to an accident, accumulated violations, DWI, or suspension, you will be notified by the court. For a DUI offense, in particular, some municipalities offer a One Day DWI program. This program is an alternative sanction, and it’s available to first time DWI offenders with a blood alcohol content of .19 or less. Check with the Minnesota DMV for defensive driving eligibility.

Keep in mind that additional eligibility requirements may apply in specific situations. It’s best to contact the court handling your offense to be sure you’re clear on your traffic school requirements.

Minnesota Traffic Ticket Dismissal with Defensive Driving

Minnesota does not dismiss traffic tickets for drivers who have completed a driver improvement course. However, drivers who face a suspension can have their driver’s license reinstated by participating in a driver education course.

Defensive Driving Courses Available in Minnesota

Minnesota’s driver improvement courses are available in the classroom or online. In this course, you’ll learn about accident prevention and safe driving, as well as a review of traffic laws. Your actual curriculum will depend on the traffic school you attend, but typically, courses include instruction in:

The DWI program offers additional education in topics that apply to drunk driving and substance abuse, including:

Defensive Driving for Car Insurance Discounts in Minnesota

In addition to traffic school for serious traffic violations, driver improvement programs are available voluntarily. Safe drivers ages 55 and older can often complete an accident prevention course and will typically earn a discount on auto insurance premiums. The course is designed to help mature drivers learn how to continue to drive safely.

Minnesota Defensive Driving Insurance Discounts

Minnesota drivers who complete a voluntary accident prevention course may be eligible for a significant auto insurance premium discount. Your discount will typically range from between 5% to 20%, depending on your auto insurance carrier. Contact your insurance company to find out how much of a discount you may be eligible for.

Minnesota Defensive Driving Insurance Discount Eligibility

In Minnesota, 55 and older drivers will typically be eligible for a discount on auto insurance premiums after completing an accident prevention course. However, some additional requirements may apply, so it’s best to contact your insurance company to verify eligibility before enrolling in an accident prevention course.

Insurance Defensive Driving Courses Available in Minnesota

Minnesota offers several approved accident prevention courses. First-time students must enroll in an eight-hour course, while renewals can complete a four-hour course. Both courses are offered in the classroom as well as online. The course focuses on teaching accident prevention techniques to mature drivers, with a curriculum aimed at safe driving at an older age. This curriculum often includes:

Enroll in a Minnesota Defensive Driving Course

Comply with a court order, earn an auto insurance premium discount, or improve your driving knowledge today with a Minnesota driver improvement course. Please choose from our directory to find qualified, state-approved traffic schools in Minnesota.


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.