If you want to possibly earn a discount on your monthly auto insurance premiums, or simply improve your defensive driving skills, then a defensive driving course in South Dakota is a great way to do it. Unfortunately, the state doesn't allow you to get traffic tickets dismissed or get points taken off your record by completing these courses. However, for certain moving violations, your traffic court may require that you complete a defensive driving course.
The main benefit of taking a defensive driving course in South Dakota is that the information you learn can dramatically improve your driving skills. These types of courses teach techniques that make you safer and more aware behind the wheel, both of which make it less likely that you will get into accidents or end up with any traffic tickets in the future. You'll also get plenty of information on traffic laws in South Dakota, and while you may know about those already, you might be surprised at how useful a refresher can be.
You could also save some money on your auto insurance every month if you complete a defensive driving course. Many insurance companies have safe driver discounts available for drivers who complete defensive driving courses. Insurance companies usually target these discounts toward younger drivers who haven't gotten much driving experience yet, and older drivers, but that doesn't necessarily rule them out for drivers of other ages. To find out if your insurance company offers a safe driver discount that you can obtain by completing a defensive driving course, call or email them to ask. If they don't, you may want to consider looking for other car insurance options. Take a look at SR22 insurance in South Dakota as well if you have a DUI on your record.
Like quite a few other states, South Dakota uses a points system where each moving violation puts points on your driving record. Accumulating too many points could cause the South Dakota Department of Public Safety (DPS) to suspend your license. The standard thresholds for a license suspension are 15 points within a 12-month time period, or 22 points within a 24-month time period. You're able to obtain your South Dakota driving record and see how many points you have at any time. To obtain your South Dakota driving record, you can order it through an online service, request a local DMV office to mail it to you, or visit the DMV in person to get it.
In some cases, the court will order you to take a defensive driving course. It doesn't benefit your driving record to take a defensive driving course in South Dakota, but sometimes you'll need to take one anyway. It could also be helpful for you to take a defensive driving course voluntarily if you seem to keep getting tickets for the same issue, or if you're having issues driving responsibly.
South Dakota has both classroom and online defensive driving courses available to drivers. If you're taking the course to improve your driving or to lower your insurance, either option will work. Online defensive driving courses have become a popular choice for drivers who want to take their course on their own schedule and from their own home. For a court-ordered defensive driving course, you may be able to choose, or the court may decide which type of defensive driving course you must attend.
There are a few ways you can find defensive driving courses in South Dakota. Getting in touch with the South Dakota DPS is one good option. If you received a traffic ticket, you can contact your traffic court to ask. Your insurance company may be able to provide assistance. Of course, you can also find plenty of online and local defensive driving course providers when you search for them online.
Course material depends on the defensive driving course provider, but you can expect each course to cover defensive driving techniques. Other common topics for South Dakota defensive driving courses include the state's traffic laws, alcohol and drug-related driving offenses, how to develop the right driving behaviors, and the importance of sharing the road.
The standard course will be a few hours long, and courses usually have a final exam at the end on all the information from the course. If the course you take has a final exam, then you'll have to pass it to complete the course. As long as you paid attention, you shouldn't have much trouble passing.
Most courses provide completion certificates to all drivers who successfully pass. You can provide this certificate to your insurance company if you took the course for a safe driver discount, or to your traffic court if the course was court-ordered.