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Back on the Road to Safe Driving

A driver improvement clinic will put you back on the road to safe driving.

Driver Improvement Clinics

When you satisfactorily complete a driver improvement clinic, you'll learn defensive driving techniques that can help you avoid and prevent crashes. These eight-hour classroom sessions cost no more than $100 and are offered at sites around the state and as a computer-based course on the Internet. Contact the court to be sure it will accept a computer-based course. Also, if you are under age 20, you must enroll in a clinic that provides classroom instruction.

If DMV requires you to attend a clinic, you must complete the entire eight-hour course. If you fail to satisfactorily complete the clinic within 90 days, your driving privilege will be suspended until you meet this requirement. If you are attending college outside of Virginia or you are a member of the military or a military dependent and stationed outside of Virginia, you may be eligible for an extension of the 90-day requirement. The extension will be granted only if you are in an area where no approved clinics are offered. The extension will last until a break in your schedule.

You may be awarded 5 safe driving points, once every 24 months, after you successfully complete a driver improvement clinic. The highest safe driving point balance you may accumulate on your driving record is 5 points. If a court requires you to complete a clinic, the court determines if you will be awarded safe driving points.

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Commercial Drivers

If you hold a commercial driver's license (CDL) or committed an offense while operating a commercial motor vehicle, and you are required to attend a driver improvement clinic, you must satisfactorily complete a commercial driver improvement clinic designed specifically for commercial drivers.

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Insurance Discounts

Insurance companies may offer premium discounts to policyholders 55 and older who complete an accident prevention course for mature drivers. Check with your agent to see if your insurance company offers this benefit.

If you take a driver improvement clinic to reduce your insurance premium, you will not be eligible to receive safe driving points. If a court assigns you to complete a clinic, you will not be eligible to receive the insurance premium reduction.

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Drivers on Probation

If you are convicted of a demerit point offense that was committed while you were on probation, your driving privilege will be suspended. The suspension period depends on the number of demerit points assigned for the violation.

  • 3 point violation = 45 day suspension
  • 4 point violation = 60 day suspension
  • 6 point violation = 90 day suspension

Once you complete the suspension period, you will be placed on probation for another six months.

If you are convicted of a demerit point offense that occurred while you were on probation for the first time, you may request that DMV grant you restricted driving privileges. If you violate a second or subsequent probation, DMV will grant you restricted privileges only if the probationary period during which the violation occurred was immediately preceded by a control period (an 18-month time period during which your driving record is monitored).

Restricted driving privileges granted by DMV are valid only in Virginia and allow you to drive only

  • to and from your place of employment,
  • during employment hours only if driving is a required part of your job,
  • to and from school if you are a student,
  • to and from a religious place of worship one day per week,
  • for health care services, including medically necessary transportation of an elderly parent or of a person residing in the driver's household with a serious medical problem,
  • to transport your minor child to and from school, day care or for medical treatment,
  • to and from a court-ordered visitation with your child,
  • to and from court appearances when subpoenaed as a witness or a party,
  • to and from an intensive case monitoring program for child support ordered by juvenile and domestic relations district court for non-custodial parents,
  • to and from appointments with a probation officer; or
  • to and from any programs required by the court or as a condition of probation.

You must provide documentation to support any restrictions you are requesting, such as a court order or letter from your employer, school, place of religious worship, or healthcare professional. Any letter you present in support of a restriction must be on the letterhead of its source. Restricted driving privileges are not available to operate a commercial motor vehicle.

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Drivers Under Control Period

If you receive demerit points for a violation during the 18-month control period, you will be placed on six months probation. Once you successfully complete the control period, you will exit the Driver Improvement Program.

If you need more information, contact us.

Additional Information

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