1. Keeps your driving record clean – This is more important that most people realize. In Texas whenever a person chooses to simply pay for a traffic ticket or moving violation (speeding, etc.) that infraction will officially be put on that driver’s driving record. This is important because Texas now has a points system that will result in surcharges and even license suspension once a certain number of points are reached. To find out more details on how the Texas DMV points system click here. By choosing to take a defensive driving course instead of just paying the fine, as long as you meet the Court’s requirements by completing the course and submitting the certificate of completion along with any other required information to the Court before your deadline, your infraction will be dismissed and will not go on your record. Remember, though that in most cases you are only allowed to take defensive driving once every 12 months for a traffic ticket.
2. Saves you money on the ticket cost – The average cost for speeding tickets in Texas are $150. It is still not cheap to choose the defensive driving course option due to the Court fee (usually $90-$100) plus the cost of the defensive driving cost ($25), but in most cases you will save anywhere from $25 – $50 depending on the cost of your ticket.
3. Saves you money on auto insurance – Whether you take a defensive driving course for a ticket or on your own for insurance savings, you will receive a certificate of completion from the course provider that can be turned into your auto insurance provider for up to a 10% discount. Not all providers offer this discount, but the vast majority do, so this is an added benefit for completing a Texas defensive driving course.
4. Flexibility – This is probably the largest benefit to taking a Texas defensive driving online course. When you register for an online course you are given a unique login code that will allow you to log into and out of the course at your leisure. All state approved Texas defensive driving courses must be 6 hours in length. Most courses accomplish this with timers on each page (the lengths of the timers depend upon how much material is there to read or watch). The course automatically saves your progress and knows the furthest unit and page in the course that has been completed. At any point you have the ability to log out of the course and come back anytime later and the course will allow you to pickup at the furthest unit and page you previously completed. This allows you to do the course at your own pace and at times when it is most convenient for you, rather than having to sit for 6 straight hours as the traditional classroom courses require.
5. Quicker certificate processing – Whenever you complete a Texas defensive driving online course a certificate of course completion must be mailed to you (required by law that it be mailed or sent via courier). Most providers will process your certificate on the same business day or if you finish after their daily cutoff times (usually 3PM) your certificate will be sent out to you the following business day. Also, most providers offer express delivery options if needed for an additional charge. This system is much faster however as compared to the traditional classroom course. When you complete a defensive driving course at a class, you will fill out some paperwork that must be mailed to a course provider that must manually enter your information and process your certificate. Most providers have numerous classes to process, so the turnaround time can be substantial, and definitely favors the immediate processing that the online courses offer.
6. 24 / 7 Availability – Online Texas Defensive driving courses can be accessed anytime, day or night, 24 hours and day. The traditional classroom courses are usually taught on Saturdays starting late in the morning and go 6 hours with breaks for lunch.
7. Accessibility – Another benefit of the online course is that you can access the course from any computer that has internet access. It is important to point out that due to the video that is offered in many courses, if you are planning to take any portion of the course from a work computer that the video is accessible, since many work networks discourage video streaming.
8. Best price guarantee – the State of Texas has a law that says state approved defensive driving providers cannot offer a course for less than $25. This is very important, because there are many websites out there claiming to be approved, but if they offer the course for less than $25 or do not show evidence of being approved by the Texas Education Agency (TEA), I would recommend finding another course.
9. Express delivery options – as mentioned previously, the online courses offer much quicker certificate delivery capabilities, which also includes the option to select overnight delivery options if needed to meet your court deadline. Remember that the course provider must send the certificate to you by law and does not send anything to the Court.
10. Course Entertainment – this all depends on the course as well as the instructor if you chose to take a classroom course. There are some good instructors out there that can keep your interest and make the course entertaining. The good online courses have some exercises that require interaction, high quality video material, as well as quizzes and questions to make sure you are paying attention. This interaction is not always the case with classroom courses.
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