How To Find Defensive Driving Courses in Ohio

An Ohio defensive driving course could help you erase violation points or save on car insurance costs. Just make sure the course is approved before you pay.
Written by R.E. Fulton
Taking a defensive driving course in Ohio could help you keep violation points off your license, reinstate a suspended license, or get a discounted rate on your
car insurance
. Just make sure that the course you take is approved by the court or insurance company before you sign up. 
Driving violations in the state of Ohio will earn you points on your driver’s license. Rack up 12 points in two years, and
your license will be suspended
. To keep that from happening, many Ohio courts offer traffic school as a way to reduce violation points. Read on to find a course and ensure that you’re getting the right benefits from it. 

Taking a defensive driving course in Ohio could…

…reduce points on your driver’s license

Ohio allows drivers with traffic violations to reduce the points on their driving record by two points once every three years by taking defensive driving courses. A single course will knock two points off your record, and you’re allowed to do this a maximum of five times over the course of your life. 
To get points off your record with a defensive driving course, you must: 
  • Contact the court that issued the citation or the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) to get approval. You must have 2-11 points on your license to qualify. 
  • Enroll in an Ohio course approved by the BMV or court. 
  • Complete the course and present your certificate of completion to the court or BMV. 
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…help you get your license back

If your Ohio driver’s license has been suspended due to an excess of traffic tickets, a defensive driving course could help you get it back. To do this, you should:
  • Contact the BMV to check your eligibility. Only a 12-point suspension can be reversed with a remedial driving course, and you will likely have to serve the full suspension before you get your license back. 
  • Find an approved defensive driving school
  • Complete the course and submit your certificate of completion to the BMV along with your reinstatement fee and
    SR-22 certificate of insurance

…earn you an insurance discount

Many auto insurance companies offer discounts for policyholders who take driver improvement courses. If you’re looking for a way to reduce your insurance premiums while brushing up on your
Ohio traffic laws
, follow these steps:
  • Contact your insurance company to see if you’re eligible for a driver safety discount. 
  • Find a defensive driving course approved by your insurance company. 
  • Take the course and send your certificate of completion to your insurance provider. 
Not every defensive driving course in Ohio will qualify you for an insurance discount from your provider. For instance, State Farm offers a discount to Ohio drivers who take a defensive driving course with the
National Safety Council (NSC)
, but you must have a car insurance policy from State Farm in order to get the discount, and the exact savings will vary from driver to driver. That’s why it’s so important to contact your insurance company first so you can find a course that maximizes your savings! 
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…improve your driving skills

A defensive driving course is a special type of driver education course that covers the basics of safe driving, traffic laws, and defensive driving strategies. An online defensive driving course will use videos, animations, and quizzes to test your knowledge, while an in-person course will typically involve group discussions and hands-on experience. 
Taking any type of driver training course can improve your driving and help you avoid car accidents and traffic citations, reducing costs over the course of your life! 

How to find Ohio defensive driving courses 

Finding defensive driving programs in Ohio isn’t hard—what’s harder is finding one that fits your needs. 
In order to earn you a point reduction or insurance discount, your traffic school course must be approved by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) or your insurance provider. The Ohio BMV maintains a list of
approved driving schools
, which is a good starting point. 
Another great resource is the Ohio chapter of the
National Safety Council (NSC)
, which offers two defensive driving courses at its
offices. For rate reductions and some violation remediation cases, you can take a four-hour class either virtually or in person, and for license reinstatement, there’s an eight-hour in-person course. Visit the website to see course offerings in other counties, and call your insurance company or local court to make sure the course is approved. 
Finally, there are plenty of online traffic school companies offering courses you can take at your own pace.
DriveSafe Online®
are among the most popular online traffic schools, but you should contact your insurance company or the BMV to be sure the course will satisfy their requirements. 

How much is a defensive driving course in Ohio?

The cost of a defensive driving course in Ohio varies from provider to provider, but it’s typically between $25 and $50. In some cases, such as NSC’s eight-hour course for license reinstatement, the fee can go up to $85 or more. 

How long is a defensive driving course in Ohio? 

Usually between one and eight hours. An in-person course will typically take longer than an online course, but you can also take virtual courses at your own pace. Some companies will even allow you unlimited attempts at your final exam! 
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