Defensive Driving

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the Defensive Driving Program? 

It is a court administered program which presents traffic safety classes through court certified commercial schools. It provides Court, Defensive Driving Board and Certification information.

Defensive Driving is:

·         A Court diversion and education program

 What are the benefits?

·         Points are not assessed to your motor vehicle record

·         Your insurance rate does not go up

·         You will learn valuable traffic information, driving techniques and laws


How do I sign up for a class?

Registration and eligibility questions are best directed to the defensive driving school you have selected.

Can I attend a class via the Internet?

 Yes.

What are the eligibility requirements for taking a defensive driving course?

·         You may not have attended a defensive driving course for citation diversion within the past 24 months 

·         Your citation must be on the list of eligible citations. Most common moving violations are eligible 

·         If eligible you can attend only for one violation

·         If you were involved in a serious injury or fatal accident you are not eligible

           ·         If you hold a commercial driver’s license you are not eligible for the Defensive Driving Diversion Program, 
                     regardless of whether you were driving commercially or your personal vehicle at the time of the violation.
                     In addition, those driving a commercial vehicle requiring a commercial driver's license are also not eligible

           .         You must complete your course at least 7 days prior to your court date.

  

 I received an Arizona ticket, but I live in a different state.  What should I do?

·         Immediately contact an Arizona Certified Defensive Driving School

·         You may take an internet class

·         You may return to Arizona for the class

·         You can attend a class in your home state, ONLY if coordinated through an Arizona Certified School

.          You must complete your course at least 7 days prior to your court date


What if I got a ticket in another state, but I live here in Arizona?

You should contact the court of jurisdiction in that state to see what they allow or require.

I hold a Commercial Driver License or drive a commercial motor vehicle that requires a commercial driver license, am I eligible for the Defensive Driving Diversion Program? 

If you hold a commercial driver's license you are not eligible for the Defensive Driving Diversion Program, regardless of whether you were driving commercially at the time of the violation.  In addition, those driving a commercial vehicle requiring a commercial driver's license are also not eligible.  The only exceptions to this rule are: 1.) if the violation occured before the driver held CDL status or 2.) if the violation occured after the driver surrendered his or her CDL status. For further information, view A.R.S. 28-3392 .

 

What information is required to register for a Defensive Driving Class? 

Schools are required to verify your identity with a government issued ID prior to attendance. Schools are required to collect and retain a copy of your citation and a copy of a court order if one has been issued. Some schools process registration by phone and require prepayment, while others register by phone but collect payment at class. Most schools require payment by money order or cashier's check only. You should check with the school to make sure you have all the necessary documents to attend. You must complete your course 7 days prior to your court arraignment date.

 

What is required for a student to have with them at the time they start their class? 

·         The traffic citation issued to them.

·         Their government issued identification card.

·         Course payment.

·         They will also be required to sign an affirmation of eligibility.

 

Is there anything I need to do after I attend school?

Schools report course completions to the courts by electronic means, but in some cases you would need to submit a completion certificate to the court of jurisdiction, depending on that court’s policy.

 

How do I know a school has been approved by the state? 

Approved schools appear on our website and are listed on our phone line.
 
1.       http://www.azdrive.com
2.       Phone line: (888) 334-5565  This phone will only provide a list of certified schools and their contact phone number.
 

What if I have a question that is not answered on this page?

 If you have question(s), email to: ddrive@courts.az.gov

How long are the defensive driving classes?
 

Classes are required to be a minimum of 4 hours and not longer than 4 and ½ hours. The time for class registration and breaks do not count towards the minimum or maximum time.

 

Can I change my mind after I elect to attend the defensive driving course? 

Yes, only before starting the course. Once the course begins you give up your option to go to Court and for a refund of your class fees.

  

Can I get a refund if I am unable to attend? 

If you have started a course, a refund will not be granted.

 

Do I qualify for a discount on my insurance premium?

Some insurance companies will provide their customers a discount for voluntarily attending a defensive driving class.

 

What if I lose my certificate of completion?

If you need a replacement certificate contact the school you attended.

 

May I take a defensive driving course for point reduction on my motor vehicle record? 

No.

 

May I take a defensive driving course for more than one violation? 

No. You are allowed to attend for one eligible violation once every 24 months.

 

If I experience problems with a Defensive Driving School or Instructor, what can I do? 

On the homepage of this website there is a link that will take you to a complaint form. 

Click on the link http://www.azcourts.gov/drive/formsandDocuments.aspx

 

I’m not responsible for the violation I received. Can I have a hearing in court and then go to defensive driving class later if I lose?

No, you may go to court or you may attend a defensive driving school, not both. One of the purposes of the defensive driving program is to reduce court caseloads.  You must complete a defensive driving school at least 7 days before a hearing is scheduled.

 
What if I can’t attend during the time allowed by the court?

You may ask the court for an extension or continuance in order to allow you the extra time you need to attend. It is not required for the court to grant this extra time, but it is permissible at the judge’s discretion. Under court rules, ONE continuance may be granted.

You must complete the class including taking and passing the exam 7 days prior to your court date.

  
I’ve been ordered by the Motor Vehicle Division to attend a "Traffic Survival School" or they will suspend my license. Is this the same as a defensive driving class?

No, Traffic Survival School is for individuals who have received more serious violations or have an excessive amount of points on their driving record.                                          


Can I be ordered by the court to attend a Defensive Driving School?

Yes, courts do have the right to order a person attend defensive driving school, but in these cases the class is not for dismissal of the violation.                                                                                                                                     


I went to class, but the citation is still on my record.  What should I do?
 

If the citation is the one for which you attended a defensive driving school, call the court of jurisdiction and ask them to correct the problem.

 

I require an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Are there provisions for me to attend a defensive driving class?

Yes. Individuals are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

The Arizona Supreme Court, Administrative Office of the Courts has a TDD telephone line (Telecommunication Device for the Deaf). You may contact us on this line by calling (602) 452-3545. If you call, ask to speak with a representative of the Defensive Driving Program in the Certification and Licensing Division. The TDD line (Telecommunication Device for the Deaf) is in a separate department in the State Courts Building. It will take a few minutes for them to contact us and for us to get to that location, so please be patient. Instead, you might wish to have them forward a message to us to return your call using the TDD line (Telecommunication Device for the Deaf).                                                                                           

If you have a question or need assistance, please send an email to:  ddrive@courts.az.gov          

 

June 2013