Online Traffic School for Maryland
In Maryland, traffic school or defensive driving courses are known as
driver improvement programs. Most drivers go through these programs to
fulfill a requirement of either a traffic court of the Maryland Motor
Vehicle Administration (MVA). There are also drivers who take a driver
improvement program voluntarily to lower their auto insurance rates or
simply improve their driving skills.
Mandatory Driver Improvement Programs
where you will need to take a driver improvement program.
A traffic court and the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) both have
the authority to require you to go through a driver improvement program for
a moving violation or an accumulation of moving violations. If you had a
provisional driver's license and you received either a conviction for a
traffic offense or a probation before judgment, then you will also need to
take a driver improvement program.
The MVA has a point system, and violations put points on your driving
record. If you get at least 5 points on your record, then the MVA will
require you to take a driver improvement course to prevent further issues.
The MVA makes it easy for you to find a driver improvement program
regardless of who ordered you to complete a program. After a court, the OAH
or the MVA orders you to complete a driver improvement program, the MVA
mails you a written program notice within 4 to 6 weeks. That notice will
include everything you need to know, including the violation that resulted
in this punishment, how long you have to complete your traffic school, and
any necessary documentation or fees.
The MVA provides a list of valid driver improvement programs on its site.
Going Through a Driver Improvement Program
You need to select one of the
driver improvement program providers
from the MVA site and then contact that provider for more information,
including class openings. You'll register for class and pay your fee
through this provider, and it's important that you also bring your program
notice from the MVA to your class. If you lost it, you can obtain a copy
through the MVA.
Driver improvement programs range anywhere from 4 to 8 hours, and you
complete the entire program in one day. There are both classroom and online
options available on the MVA's list of approved providers. Once you finish
the program, you receive a certificate of completion from the provider.
This certificate is for your records and you don't need to show it to the
MVA, because the program provider will let the MVA know that you completed
After completing the program, you may still need to pay off fines and other
fees. It's crucial that you go through a driver improvement program when
required, because if you don't, the MVA could suspend your driver's
license. The MVA may also suspend your license if you commit severe
violations or get too many points on your record, so it's important that
you apply what you learn in your driver improvement program to reduce your
risk of future tickets.
Voluntary Driver Improvement Programs
You can also take a driver improvement program voluntarily, and if you do
so, you can choose to take a course online, in a classroom setting, or by
watching a DVD.
The program will still take between 4 and 8 hours to complete, and you can
expect it to cover defensive driving techniques, accident avoidance,
traffic laws in Maryland, drug and alcohol-related driving offenses, and
building safe driving behaviors.
Depending on the program, there may be a final exam at the end with
questions on what you just learned. You'll need to pass the exam to
complete the program, and you may be able to retake it if you don't pass
the first time around. You should get a certificate of completion when you
finish the course.
Your auto insurance company may give you a discount on your monthly
insurance premiums if you complete a driver improvement program. To find
out, call or email your insurance company and ask. If they do offer a
discount, you should also ask if they have an approved list of programs, or
if you can choose any program you want. Not every insurance company offers
discounts for traffic school. If yours doesn't and you're not satisfied
with what you're paying, then you should think about shopping around for
Check with your insurance company regarding what they'll need from you
after you complete a program. More than likely, they'll have you provide
them with your certificate of completion to verify that you finished a