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Tennessee Defensive Driving Courses
In Tennessee, completing a defensive driving course is an option for you if you want to avoid a driver's license suspension, dismiss a traffic ticket, satisfy a Tennessee Department of Safety (DOS) requirement, or improve your driving skills and knowledge. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to take your course online, or required to attend a classroom session in person.
Whatever your reason for taking a defensive driving course/traffic school, you will likely gain some safe driving skills and knowledge that can help reduce your chances of committing traffic violations and causing accidents in the future.
On this page you'll find information about Tennessee defensive driving courses, when you can take a course, and what kind of course curriculum and requirements you can expect to complete.
Tennessee Defensive Driving Options
You may be able to complete a defensive driving course to:
•Avoid a driver's license suspension caused by driving record points.
•Reduce the amount of time your TN driver's license will be suspended.
•Dismiss a traffic ticket.
•Satisfy a court requirement.
•Lower your car insurance rates or earn a car insurance discount.
Typically, your eligibility to use a defensive driving course for one of the reasons above will be determined by the Tennessee Department of Safety (DOS), your court, or your car insurance company.
The appropriate agency will likely determine your eligibility based upon your driving history, traffic school you have completed in the past, and the circumstances of your offense.
Required Driver Improvement/Defensive Driving
You may need to complete a driver improvement traffic school course if you:
•Accumulate 12 points or more on your driving record within 12 months.
•Accumulate 6 points or more on your driving record and you are younger than 18 years old.
Usually, the Tennessee DOS will send you a notice of pending suspension. You will be able to request a hearing to review your driver's license suspension. The hearing may allow you to complete a defensive driving course to avoid having your driver's license suspended or to shorten the suspension duration.
If you do not request a hearing, your driver's license will usually be suspended for 6 to 12 months.
If you need to order your driving record to check the status of your driver's license or your points, please visit our Driving Records in Tennessee page.
Dismiss a Traffic Ticket
If you've received a traffic ticket, your judge may allow you to dismiss the ticket and avoid accumulating driving record points by completing a defensive driving/traffic school course.
Generally, you can only dismiss a certain number of tickets within a given time frame. Your eligibility will be determined by the court on a case-by-case basis.
Additionally, courts typically only allow minor traffic violations to be dismissed with a defensive driving course.
For more information, please contact your court.
Earn a Car Insurance Discount
If you complete a defensive driving course voluntarily, your car insurance company may award you with a safe driver insurance discount.
While defensive driving discounts are usually aimed towards teens and older drivers, drivers of all ages may be eligible.
For more information, please contact your car insurance provider.