How it Works: 4-Hour Traffic School in Florida
The whole traffic school process can be confusing, especially in Florida with 3 different kinds of courses. This guide covers the Florida 4-hour Basic Driver Improvement (BDI) course. Take this course if you’ve received a non-criminal minor traffic ticket, or have been ordered by the court to complete a BDI course. You may also take this course voluntarily to receive an insurance discount.
How to Remove Points from Your Driving Record
1. Contact your court and request permission to take traffic school.
Unless your court has ordered you to attend a driver improvement course, you will need to inform them of your wishes to take traffic school in lieu of license points. To submit your request to the court you may either appear in person by the date indicated, or submit a request by mail. To request traffic school by mail:
- Indicate on your citation your intention to attend a traffic school course
- Complete the affidavit given with your citation envelope
- Have your signature on the affidavit notarized
- Mail in your citation and affidavit within 30 days to the county clerk’s office where you received the citation
You will be eligible and should be granted permission providing that:
- You have not taken traffic school within the past 12 months
- You do not hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL)
- You have contacted the court within 30 days of receiving your traffic ticket
You must still pay your ticket fine, which is typically done at the time you request traffic school. You must also pay a court election fee, which varies by county.
2. Enroll in and complete your I Drive Safely Florida 4-hour Traffic School course.
3. Submit your completion certificate to the court within the deadline specified.
Each court will give directions on how they wish your certificate to be submitted (fax, mail, in person, etc.), and each will give you a time frame after you’ve finished your course within which to submit your certificate.
4. Check your driving record to verify your point reduction.
Make sure the DHSMV has received your completion certificate and has given you credit for your traffic school course. Though the violation will remain on your record, the points associated with it should be removed.
How to Get a Discount on Your Auto Insurance Premiums
1. Call up your insurance provider.
They will provide you with eligibility requirements for reducing your insurance rates, in addition to the amount of your cost savings!
2. Enroll in and complete your 4-hour Traffic School course.
You only need to take the 4-hour basic course for an insurance reduction.
3. Send your certificate of completion to your insurance company.
You may mail or bring in your certificate – whichever your provider prefers.
4. Enjoy your reduced insurance rate!
The Risks and Consequences of Reckless Driving
Reckless driving is defined as "any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property" (Florida Statute 316.192). This isn’t quite the same as careless driving, which is an unintentional slip-up like speeding without "wanton disregard" for the safety of everyone around.
A careless driving citation will usually carry the option for dismissal if you complete a DHSMV-approved Florida traffic school course. Reckless driving is a misdemeanor charge that has the potential to carry jail time. According to Florida statute 545.401, the punishment for reckless driving may include:
- A up to $500 fine
- Up to 90 days in jail
- Both jail time and the fine combined
The fines and jail time doubles for a second offense. If property damage is involved or you cause serious bodily harm to a person, you’re facing a third degree offense. Third degree offenses are punishable by a fine of $5,000 and up to five years in jail.