Drivers in West Virginia can take defensive driving to dismiss a traffic ticket, reduce driver's license points, or earn a discount on auto insurance. Defensive driving courses are also an option for drivers who would simply like to improve their driving knowledge and skills.
Defensive Driving Courses in West Virginia
West Virginia's Department of Motor Vehicles assesses points for moving violations. The number of points varies by the severity of the offense. If you accumulate at least five points on your license, you'll receive a warning letter, and a suspension if you continue to accumulate points. Suspensions start at 12 points, and can last for 30 days or longer depending on the number of points on your license.
To reduce your driver's license points, you can complete a defensive driving course. Completion of the course will allow you to remove three points from your record. And, if you have a 30 day (12 to 13 point) suspension impending, but you complete the defensive driving course prior to the effective date of suspension and pay the reinstatement fee, you can have the suspension rescinded.
Defensive driving can be taken once every 12 months for a points reduction. Keep in mind that West Virginia will not allow you to complete defensive driving prior to points appearing on your record. No negative points will apply, and points can only be reduced.
Additionally, some courts will offer drivers the option to dismiss a traffic ticket by attending defensive driving. This allows you to prevent the points from ever being applied to your license, and will help you avoid an increase in insurance rates as a result of the ticket.
West Virginia Defensive Driving Course Eligibility
You can enroll in defensive driving once every year for a points reduction, and between 12 to 18 months for a traffic ticket dismissal (varies by court). Other eligiblity rules will typically apply. Each court handles defensive driving dismissals individually, so policies may vary, but you can expect to need to meet these requirements for eligibility in most, if not all, West Virginia courts that offer traffic ticket dismissal with defensive driving:
- drivers must hold a valid West Virginia driver's license
- offenses in commercial vehicles are not eligible
- minor offenses are eligible only, not major offenses
- drivers may not have taken traffic school within the past 12 to 18 months (varies by court)
If you're interested in taking defensive driving for a points reduction or to dismiss a traffic ticket, you'll need to verify your eligibility first. Contact the West Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles to verify your eligibility for points reduction, and speak directly with the court to request permission to dismiss your traffic ticket with defensive driving. Remember that if you enroll in defensive driving without verifying eligibility or requesting permission to do so, you may not get credit for completing the course.
West Virginia Traffic Ticket Dismissal with Defensive Driving
Some West Virginia courts will allow you to dismiss your traffic ticket with defensive driving. In most cases, you'll need to request directly with the judge or the court clerk that you take the course. You will need to meet court requirements and deadlines -- and be sure to pay close attention to them all. If you're late or do not fully meet requirements, you may not get credit for completing the course, and the ticket will be assessed to your record, adding points, potential fines, and a likely increase in insurance rates.
Defensive Driving Courses Available in West Virginia
Defensive driving courses in West Virginia are designed to help you improve your driving skills and become a safer driver. They'll share tips for defensive driving, avoiding accidents, and avoiding tickets as well.
Most West Virginia defensive driving courses will be four to eight hours long. They are offered both online and in person, but some drivers may be required to take the course in person, so be sure to ask before you enroll. Defensive driving schools will typically allow you to take the course in a single session or in multiple sessions. Online, you'll be able to log in and log out at your leisure.
Each school is different, and curriculum will vary depending on the defensive driving school you attend. However, you can expect for most West Virginia defensive driving courses to include instruction in topics such as:
- avoiding accidents
- the dangers of drunk and impaired driving
- drowsy and distracted driving dangers
- avoiding aggressive driving and road rage
- predicting and managing road hazards including traffic, weather, construction, and accidents
- safe driving habits including safe speed, following distance, and passing technique
- using vehicle safety restraints including seat belts and car seats
- driver expectations and responsibilities
- predicting the actions of other drivers
- current West Virginia traffic laws and regulations
Defensive Driving for Car Insurance Discounts in West Virginia
Drivers in West Virginia often enroll in defensive driving for points or traffic violations, but every driver can benefit from this course whether you've had trouble with the law or not. And, if you enroll voluntarily, your insurance company may offer you a discount on your auto insurance premiums.
West Virginia Defensive Driving Insurance Discounts
Often, auto insurance companies in West Virginia will encourage drivers to complete defensive driving courses by offering a discount on auto insurance premiums. Discounts are usually between 5% and 20%, but most can expect to earn a discount of 10%.
West Virginia Defensive Driving Insurance Discount Eligibility
All drivers in West Virginia may be eligible for a defensive driving discount on insurance. However, it's up to the individual insurance company to determine whether they're willing to offer a discount. Some will restrict their discounts to drivers with a clean record, while others limit by ages such as mature drivers or teenage drivers.
It's a good idea to contact your insurance company prior to enrolling in a defensive driving course to find out if you're eligible for a discount on auto insurance premiums with defensive driving. You'll need to verify your eligibility before enrolling to make sure that you actually get credit for the course, as most schools will not offer a refund even if you don't get credit for the course. If you're with an insurance company that doesn't offer defensive driving discounts, consider shopping around to find another company that can do better.
Insurance Defensive Driving Courses Available in West Virginia
Your defensive driving course for insurance discounts will be the same course offered to drivers who enroll to take care of driving record points or traffic tickets. This course offers the same potentially life saving resources for safe, defensive driving. The course can improve your driving skills, reduce your risk of collisions and tickets, and overall make you a safer driver. You will also learn more about current driving laws in West Virginia. As curriculum at each school varies, what you learn may be different, but most defensive driving courses in West Virginia offer instruction in:
- avoiding drunk driving
- safe speed and following distance
- dealing with road hazards including large trucks, traffic, weather, construction, and accidents
- collision avoidance
- the dangers of distracted and drowsy driving, particularly texting while driving
- right of way for emergency vehicles
- pedestrian and biker safety
- vehicle safety features such as air bags, anti lock brakes, seat belts, and car seats
- predicting other drivers' actions
- safely avoiding road rage and aggressive drivers
- West Virginia's traffic laws and regulations
Enroll in a West Virginia Defensive Driving Course
Start your West Virginia defensive driving course today. Learn more about what defensive driving schools in West Virginia have to offer in our directory.
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