Traffic school in Tennessee is required after you accumulate too many points on your driving record. Additionally, taking a driver improvement course may allow you to reinstate your driving privileges if you already have a suspended driving license. A DMV traffic school program is commonly referred to as a defensive driving course in Tennessee. Defensive driving courses can be mandated by the Tennessee Department of Safety or by a judge if you commit a traffic violation that results in a court hearing. A drivers improvement course allows you to avoid temporarily losing your driving privileges after receiving tickets and points on your record. However, even if you attend driving school, some traffic violations still result in a drivers license suspension. Driving classes cannot be taken to remove charges from all traffic citations, but some violations can be reversed by successfully completing traffic school. Continue reading to learn how to complete a TN driving course and what the benefits of driver improvement courses are.
When are Tennessee defensive driving courses required?
The requirements for a Tennessee driving course vary depending on whether you are an adult or a juvenile. Driving classes are required if you are older than 18 years of age and acquire more than 12 points on your driving record over a 12-month period. If you are younger than 18 years of age, then you must take traffic school after accumulating only six points on your record in a 12-month period. Defensive driving classes are required for fewer points for younger drivers because it is far more dangerous for young motorists to be involved in repeated traffic incidents. The goal of traffic training school is to help you better understand traffic laws and make driving safer for everyone on the road.
In many cases, you may take Tennessee traffic classes in order to prevent your driver’s license from being suspended. Sometimes, a driving improvement course can prevent certain convictions from appearing on your driving record if you successfully complete a class. Traffic school may be required automatically, but you can also ask a traffic ticket attorney whether or not you can take a driving course to avoid certain penalties. There are certain traffic convictions that cannot be removed from your record after taking a class. This includes serious violations such as driving under the influence or leaving the scene of an accident in which you were involved. Similarly, Tennessee traffic courses do not always prevent you from losing your driving privileges. In some cases, though, a driver improvement course may be taken to reinstate a suspended driving privilege.
If you are required to take a TN defensive driving course, then you will be notified by the Department of Safety. The notice will tell you whether taking driving school will allow you to avoid further penalties. You may respond to the notice and request an administrative hearing at a Department of Safety office. When you waive the right to request a traffic school hearing, you could lose your driving privileges for six to 12 months and will have your driver license marked as “suspended” in the Department of Safety system. You will also face severe penalties if caught operating a motor vehicle while your license is suspended.
Where to Take Tennessee Driver Improvement Courses
A defensive driver course can be taken in many different locations throughout Tennessee. There are a variety of affordable traffic school programs that you can enroll in. “How much is traffic school in Tennessee?” is a question you may ask when seeking courses. The price varies greatly from school to school and it depends on how long your session is. Most driving classes can be completed in four to eight hours, but the requirements will vary by school.
Online driving school is a popular option in Tennessee. However, in most cases, you can only take traffic school online if you are considered a “first offender.” You are categorized as a first offender if you have never been cited for receiving too many driving record points or if a period of more than five years has passed since you were last cited for an accumulation of driving points. Defensive driving courses can also be taken in person in a classroom setting. Police departments, local courts and private driving training schools are common places that offer classes.
How to Complete a Defensive Driving Course in Tennessee
Once you have applied for traffic school in Tennessee, you must make a payment for your course and attend the class as scheduled. Driving school payments may be accepted in person, online or through the mail, but it is best to check with your school to see what its policies are first. Most driver improvement schools will not allow you to reschedule or miss your class unless a significant, unavoidable event prevents you from attending. Note that you must complete your TN driving class within 90 days of receiving your initial notice to attend the class. Failing to do so will result in your license being suspended the same way it would be if you elected to not take the class. Extensions are available for certain situations, but must be approved by the Department of Safety in advance.
When your driving improvement class is complete, you must submit a certificate of completion to the Tennessee Department of Safety. After completing TN traffic school, the Department of Safety may also require that you retake knowledge tests or road skills tests to fulfill your driving school requirements.