Do you want to improve your driving skills so that you're less likely to commit violations or end up in traffic accidents in the future? A driver improvement program in Missouri could help you do just that. Taking a driver improvement program may also allow you to keep points off your driving record if you recently got a ticket, or even pay less for your car insurance every month.
There are a few common scenarios that lead drivers in Missouri to take a driver improvement program. You may need to take a course to meet court or Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) requirements after a moving violation, or you may take a course to keep points from going on your driving record. Your insurance company may give you a discount for completing a driver improvement program.
While Missouri doesn't allow you to get a ticket dismissed by taking a driver improvement program, it does let you prevent points from going on your driving record. Your county and the Missouri Fine Collection Center decide whether or not you're eligible to do this depending on the severity of your moving violation and your current driving record. It's smart to do this when you can, because getting too many points on your record will result in a suspended license.
Typical requirements include that you have a valid, non-commercial driver's license and that you take the course within 60 days from your conviction. To keep points off your record through a driver improvement program, you must plead guilty to the moving violation and pay the ticket.
You're able to take a driver improvement program in the classroom or online, and the Missouri Courts include a list of approved program providers on their website. Simply choose one of those providers and contact them to register in a course. They may require information on your case when you enroll, including the name of the traffic court, your case number, your court originator number, and the date of your conviction.
When you complete your course, the provider will give you a certificate of completion. You must mail that certificate to the DOR within 15 days. The DOR's address is as follows:
Missouri Department of Revenue
Driver License Bureau
P.O. Box 200
Jefferson City, MO 65105
Keep in mind that the state only allows you to keep points off your record this way once every 3 years, as it doesn't want drivers to abuse the system.
Insurance companies often have a safe driver discount that they can apply when a driver completes a driver improvement program. They usually offer this discount option to teenage drivers who haven't built up much experience yet and older drivers, but some companies will offer a safe driver discount to any driver.
Check with your insurance company to see whether or not they offer discounts for completing a driver improvement program. If so, make sure to find out if they have a list of approved providers or if you can go with anyone. If your insurance company doesn't have any discounts available for you, it may be time to start looking at other options. If you have a DUI on your record then ask your agent about getting the cheapest SR22 insurance in Missouri.
No matter where you take your course and whether it's online or in a classroom, you can anticipate that it will cover several usual topics. These include traffic laws in Missouri, defensive driving techniques and tips, accident avoidance measures, how to handle hazards and emergencies on the road, and how to share the road.
Courses typically last between 4 and 12 hours. The benefit of an online course is that you can work it around your schedule and complete it at your own pace, but some do find that they prefer the classroom setting.
A driver improvement program course will include a final exam that asks you questions on all the material covered in the course. To complete the course, you must earn a passing grade on this exam. Your program provider may allow you to retake the final exam if you don't pass it the first time around, but this varies from provider to provider.
Upon completion of the course, your provider will give you a driver improvement program certificate of completion as proof that you finished it. If this was a mandated program for you or you took it to keep points off your record, then you will need to provide that certificate to either the traffic court or the DOR. If you took the course to earn a discount on your insurance, then you will need to provide that certificate to your insurance company.