Defensive Driving Summary

All Online Course

The New York DMV approved online defensive driving in May of 2009.

This means you can complete the entire course online from any computer.

DMV Approved

Only take a Defensive Driving course approved by the New York DMV.

By taking an NY DMV approved course you will enjoy the benefits of saving on your NY Car Insurance and reducing up to 4 points from your driving record.

Three Years of Savings

The 10 Percent savings on your auto insurance is for 3 years. And you can take the course every 3 years to continue receiving the savings.

FAQ - NY Defensive Driving Course

If you have a New York Drivers License then you should consider taking a Defensive Driving Course.

It will save you money, and if you have points on your driving record then you could get up to 4 points removed.

Below are the most common questions and answers about taking a New York DMV Approved Defensive Driving Course.

How long is the defensive driving course and what time of the day do I have to take it?

You can take the course at any time on any computer with Internet access (24/7).  You can also log off and on the course as often as you wish. 

The time is saved in the background so every time you log back into the course, you start where you left off.  The course takes a total of 6 hours.  There is no final exam. 

Does the NY defensive driving course online qualify for point reduction and insurance premium reduction?

Yes, the NY DMV approved course reduces your point total by up to four points, if the points were assessed in the last 18 months from the date of course completion. 
The course also gives you a mandatory 10% auto insurance discount off the liability, no fault, and collision insurance premiums for 3 years.

How do I get the points reduced after taking the New York defensive driving course online?

Once you complete the course, the New York DMV is automatically notified.  At that point, the NY DMV will enter the course completion on your driving record and reduce your active point total by up to four points.  (Active meaning traffic ticket points received in the last 18 months.)
Note: “Point reduction” means the NY DMV will not count up to four points on your driving record toward license revocation or license suspension.

How do I verify my course completion has been applied to my NY driving record?

You can request a copy of your New York driving record online. Click here to access the online request form from the York DMV.

How is my auto insurance company notified that I completed the NY defensive driving course?

Once you complete the course, a Certificate of Completion is mailed directly to you.  You should make a copy of it for your records and send the Certificate to your car insurance company within 90 days after course completion.

The car insurance companies are mandated by the NY DMV to immediately reduce your liability and collision premiums. The reduction will be retroactive to the date you completed the course.

If you do not send the Certificate of Completion within 90 days of completing the course to your auto insurance company, then your car insurer can issue the premium discount effective from the date they receive the Certificate of Completion.

How often can I take the NY defensive driving course to reduce my insurance premium?

You can take the course once every 36 months to keep your car insurance reduction benefits.

Can more than one person on the same auto insurance policy receive a discount for taking the course?

The car insurance discount applies to only one driver for each covered vehicle.  The primary driver of a NY registered vehicle can take the course and receive the discount.  A secondary driver cannot take the course and get a second reduction on the same vehicle.

How do I respond to a traffic ticket issued in New York?

You have two options when responding to a traffic ticket.  Your response must happen within 15 days of the traffic ticket violation date. The instructions are on the back of your ticket: 

1. Plead guilty, fill out the requested information, mark it guilty, and sign it.  You need to mail this information in and also pay your ticket fine through the mail or in person. 

2. Plead not guilty, fill out the requested information, sign it, and mail it in.  The New York DMV will mail you a letter telling you when and where to go for your hearing.

For more information on pleading not guilty, visit the New York DMV website with instructions on traffic ticket violations and pleading not guilty.

What happens if I ignore my traffic ticket that was issued in New York?

If you forget or ignore your traffic ticket your NY drivers license will get suspended.  You must respond to the NY traffic ticket by their deadline within 15 days of the violation date (see back of ticket for options.) 

Driving with a suspended drivers license is a crime.  A felony conviction can result with major fines. 

How many points do I get on my NY drivers license for moving violations?

If you receive 11 or more points within an 18 month period, your New York drivers license can be revoked or suspended. 
To avoid a suspension, you can complete the NY defensive driving course online which will reduce up to 4 points off your driving record.  At the same time, the course completion will also reduce your car insurance by 10% for three years.

How many traffic tickets or points cause my drivers license to get revoked or suspended in New York?

There are several ways a NY drivers license can be revoked or suspended:
1. No response to traffic ticket.  If you do not respond to a traffic ticket within 15 days of the violation date, your drivers license may get suspended.  Driving with a suspended drivers license is a crime and can possibly result in a felony charge.
2. Too many points.  If you receive 11 or more points with 18 months, your NY drivers license can get suspended.  Take an online defensive driving course to reduce your points.  See below chart with traffic ticket violation points.
3. Speeding tickets.  If you receive three (3) speeding tickets or misdemeanor traffic violations within 18 months, your drivers license will be revoked for at least six (6) months.
Note:  You can reduce the number of points on your NY drivers license, if you complete an approved online defensive driving course.  Up to 4 points that were received in the last 18 months of course completion will be reduced.

New York Traffic Ticket Violation Points:


Speeding (miles per hour over posted limit)
1 to 10 mph over posted limit - 3 points
11 to 20 mph over posted limit - 4 points
21 to 30 mph over posted limit - 6 points
31 to 40 mph over posted limit - 8 points
over 40 mph over posted limit - 11 points
Reckless driving - 5 points
Failed to stop for a school bus – 5 points
Followed too closely (tailgating) – 4 points
Inadequate brakes (private car) – 4 points
Inadequate brakes (employer’s vehicle) – 2 points
Failed to yield right-of-way – 3 points
Disobeying traffic control signal, STOP sign or YIELD sign – 3 points
Railroad crossing violation - 3 points
Improper passing, changing lane unsafely – 3 points
Driving left of center, in wrong direction - 3 points
Leaving scene of property damage incident - 3 points
Child safety restraint violation – 3 points
Any other moving violation – 2 points