In New York, defensive driving and driver safety courses are known as PIRP, or point and insurance reduction program.  No matter what you call it, taking a course like this is a good idea.  

New York Defensive Driving

You may take this driver safety course to reduce points on your driving record or to prevent points from a new citation from being added to it. To be eligible for the course there are a few basic requirements:

  • You must hold a valid NY driver’s license
  • If completing the course for ticket dismissal, the citation must not have been received while driving a commercial vehicle

Ticket dismissal is a privilege that you may take advantage of only once in a 12 month period. To ensure your eligibility, contact the New York Department of Motor Vehicles or the court that has jurisdiction over your citation.  If your request is approved, you will be provided with specific instructions on how to complete the process.  

Things That Defensive Driving New York Can (and Can’t) Do for You

After completing an approved defensive driving course in New York:

  • Up to four points can be removed from your DMV driving record
  • Your insurance premiums will be reduced by 10% for three years
  • You will have refreshed knowledge of safe driving attitudes and skills

On the other hand, you cannot take advantage of a defensive driving course to prevent license suspension or revocation due to excessive points on your driving record.  

How to Take a New York Traffic School Course

PIRP traffic school can be completed all online or in a classroom.  Unless you have been instructed otherwise by the court, you can choose to take the class either way.  More and more people are finding that online is the better way to go.  With an online course, the curriculum can be completed all at one time or students are allowed to log in and out as often as they would like to break the course into segments that fit their schedule.

No matter the method you choose or the reason you need defensive driving, be sure to select a course that has been approved by the New York DMV. To help start your search, consult our list of NY DMV approved course providers.  

What Is Covered in New York Defensive Driving?

These courses typically cover the following topics:

  • Traffic laws and violations in New York State
  • How to avoid an accident
  • How to handle an emergency
  • Road signs and markings
  • Sharing the road with others
  • The dangers of drinking and driving

After successfully passing your course, you will receive a completion certificate.  This certificate will be mailed within 45 days if you took a classroom course or within 14 business days if you completed the course online.  

Once you have received your certificate of completion, it's up to you to submit it to either the DMV, your court or your insurance provider.  If you submit your certificate for insurance within 90 days of completing the course, you will begin enjoying your 10% savings effective the date you completed the course.  If you submit it beyond 90 days of completion, your insurance provider many choose to start your benefit from the date that they received your certificate.