What is Defensive Driving School?
Defensive Driving School, or “DDS”, is a program in Arizona that you are allowed to take to dismiss one citation or violation every year.
Completing driving school only dismisses one violation per ticket, so if you have multiple violations on the same ticket, you can only choose one to dismiss. Taking the course does not dismiss the entire ticket.
The course is available to be completed either online or in person.
Important Note: Defensive Driving School is not the same as Traffic Survival School.
Can I take Defensive Driving School for my ticket?
You can use defensive driving school to dismiss one civil traffic violation per year. In order to be eligible to take the program, you may to have not previously taken defensive driving school in Arizona in the last 12 months. This is based on your date of violation, and not the date that you last completed a defensive driving school course.
For the full list of offenses eligible to be dismissed through defensive driving school, please click here. Remember, you can only take the course to dismiss one violation per ticket. It does not dismiss the entire ticket.
You can take defensive driving school to dismiss photo radar tickets.
If you incident involved a serious accident that caused an injury or death or you are a commercial driver, you are not eligible to take defensive driving school.
How do I check my defensive driving school eligibility?
The school you choose to complete will confirm whether or not you are eligible. If you are eligible, it will let you sign up and move to the next screen. If you are not eligible, it will not let you continue to sign up and will tell you when you are eligible next.
We use this tool to check individuals for eligibility. If it takes you to the next screen, you are eligible. If you are not eligible, you will see a screen that tells you that you are not eligible:
How much does Defensive Driving School Cost?
The course costs approximately $225 to $275 depending upon the school you choose.
You do not pay both the ticket and the school. You only pay for the school. In practice, the school only keeps a small portion of the total fee and the rest of the money goes back to the court. This way, the court still gets paid.
What happens when I complete Defensive Driving School?
Once you have successfully completed Defensive Driving School, the school is supposed to automatically transmit your certificate of completion to the Court. It is recommended to keep a copy of your certificate of completion and confirm with the court that they received it from the school to ensure your ticket is dismissed. Upon receipt of your certificate of completion, the Court will dismiss one violation from your ticket.
What shows up on my record after I complete driving school?
Upon successful completion of Defensive Driving School, the Court will show that they received a copy of your citation and dismissed your ticket.
The court does not transfer any notice to the motor vehicle department and no points are transferred.
Here is an example from Scottsdale:
How much time do I have to complete defensive driving school?
Most courts require defensive driving school to be completed at least 7 days prior to your next court date or the extended deadline. This is to ensure that the school has enough time to transmit the certificate of completion to the court. This time also allows the Court time to process the paperwork to dismiss your charge.
If you are within 7 days of your court date or deadline, it may be possible to get an extension of time. You will need to contact your specific court for this information. If you have already asked for an received an extension, a court may not grant you another one. Some schools take 24 hours to process a request for enrollment, so be sure to act accordingly.
Where do I sign up for defensive driving school?
Arizona has a website dedicated to assisting you in signing up for the class located at www.azdrive.com. If you prefer to call by phone, the phone number is 1-888-334-5565. You may also email [email protected].
To sign up, you will need both a copy of your citation and a copy of your driver’s license. Remember, you must complete driving school at least 7 days prior to your next court date or deadline. Otherwise, you will need to get an extension, so plan accordingly.
What school should I choose?
There are many different schools available. They all cost roughly the same amount. The course we often recommend is the Improv Comedy School program. We have no affiliation with this program but it seem to have been less painful than other schools for many people who have contacted our office.
I have a CDL license, can I take Defensive Driving School?
No. If you are a commercial driver or have a commercial driver’s license, you are not eligible to take driving school. This applies even if you were driving your personal vehicle at the time you received the violation. You may have other options depending upon your circumstances. To protect your license, it is best to contact our office.
Should I take Defensive Driving School?
Taking defensive driving school is a good option for a lot of people:
- DDS is cheaper than hiring a lawyer
- DDS guarantees one violation from your ticket gets dismissed
- DDS dismisses points from that violation (not reported on your driving record)
- Can be taken online or in person
- Costs about the same amount as the ticket (or cheaper)
- Can be taken once every 12 months
- The course is an easy presentation and not a test
The class is not a good option for people:
- Who are commercial drivers
- Who were involved in a serious accident
- Who are not eligible for the program
- Who have multiple violations on the same ticket
I need more information
If you have more questions or need more information about driving school, please visit the main driving school page at www.azdrive.com. If you are need of speaking with our office regarding representation, please complete the form below and a member our team will contact you as soon as possible.