In West Virginia, traffic school programs are known as defensive driving courses, and there are a few reasons why you may want to consider taking one. You could get points taken off your driving record or a traffic ticket dismissed. Completion of a defensive driving course could also lead to a discount on your auto insurance premiums. Regardless of why you take a defensive driving course, it can also make you a safer driver, so you may even want to take one voluntarily.
The West Virginia DMV uses a point system . When you receive a moving violation, the violation adds a certain number of points to your driving record. The amount of points for a violation depends upon its severity, and points stay on your driving record for 2 years.
When you accumulate a certain number of points on your driving record, the DMV suspends your license. For 12 to 13 points, it suspends your license for 30 days. Between 14 and 15 points is a 45-day suspension, 16 to 17 points is a 60-day suspension, and 18 to 19 points is a 90-day suspension. Once you reach 20 points or more, your license stays suspended until you only have 11 points or less.
Completing a defensive driving course in West Virginia takes up to 3 points off your driving record. However, if you accumulate 14 points or more and the DMV suspends your license, you must complete the suspension and cannot remove it through a defensive driving course.
You can check how many points you have on your driving record by obtaining a copy of it through the DMV. The DMV allows you to request your driving record online, in person at any DMV office, or by mail.
For some moving violations, the court will give you the option of taking a defensive driving course to have it dismissed. Whether you're able to do this depends on the severity of the violation and your driving record. There are a few eligibility requirements for getting a traffic ticket dismissed in West Virginia. The traffic court will typically require that you have a valid West Virginia driver's license, that you only received a ticket for one violation, and that you weren't driving a commercial vehicle.
Your traffic court may also require that you take a defensive driving course. In this case, the course is part of your punishment, so taking it doesn't mean your ticket will get dismissed.
Your insurance company may have a discount available if you complete a defensive driving course. This will typically be called a safe driver discount, and it may be available to all drivers, or it may be for only younger drivers and elderly drivers.
Get in touch with your insurance company to see if they offer any discounts for taking a course. If they do, they can tell you more about the process for taking a defensive driving course and following up with them to obtain your discount. For information about SR22 insurance in West Virginia please browse to our other article.
In West Virginia, you must contact a state-approved defensive driving course provider in advance to register for a course. The state has approved five providers, which are:
The West Virginia DMV doesn't allow you to take an online defensive driving school to get points taken off your driving record, so you'll need to attend a course in a classroom setting. If you're taking the course for an insurance discount, you should ask your insurance company about your course options, because they may allow you to take a course online.
Courses vary in terms of length and curriculum, but they tend to be fairly similar. The standard course comes in at a few hours long, and you take the entire course in one day. Common course materials include defensive driving techniques, traffic laws in West Virginia, road signs and common symbols, and building responsible behaviors behind the wheel. If you focus on what you're learning, a defensive driving course can make you a much better driver, so you're less likely to get tickets or cause accidents in the future.
At the end of the course, there will most likely be a final exam covering the material that you just learned. You must pass the exam to successfully finish the course. You may be able to retake the exam if you don't pass it the first time, depending on the course provider. After you complete your course, you should get a certificate that you can provide to the court or your insurance company.