Eligibility Requirements for Defensive Driving

Contacting the court that issued your traffic violation is always an option to check if you meet the defensive driving requirements. A few days after getting cited, most courts will have it in their system and can let you know whether or not you are eligible to take courses for defensive driving in Texas. However, if you review the following general eligibility criteria, you may not need to contact the court.

How do you know if you are eligible to take Texas defensive driving course?


The first thing to verify before enrolling in a defensive driving course is whether your citation is eligible for dismissal. The court will generally notify you if your ticket can be dismissed or not. The ticket itself, as well as any relevant paperwork, might provide instructions for clearing it from your driving record. If you do not receive a notice or see instructions on taking Texas defensive driving courses, you may then contact the court where the ticket was issued.

In Texas, certain requirements must be met to be able to dismiss a traffic citation:

  • You received your traffic citation while driving a non-commercial vehicle.
  • You haven’t completed a defensive driving course in Texas in the past year before you got your ticket.
  • You have a valid Texas driver’s license.
  • You’ve entered a “no contest” plea. Keep in mind that you cannot take the Texas driver safety course if you plead “not guilty.”
  • You received a speeding ticket for driving less than 25 mph over the speed limit.

When Can’t You Have a Traffic Ticket Dismissed in Texas?

A ticket dismissal is essentially a one-time pass for minor infractions. However, certain behaviors are just too dangerous to overlook, even once. If you were doing any of the following, you would not be able to dismiss your ticket:

  • Driving at a speed of 25 miles per hour or more above the normal speed limit.
  • Driving past a school bus.
  • Driving at a speed of 95 mph or more.
  • Getting a speeding violation in a construction zone with employees on site.
  • Failing to stay and provide information and assistance after being involved in a vehicle accident.
  • Fleeing from the cops.

Other more serious infractions (at the police officer’s and court’s discretion) will also prevent you from being able to dismiss a citation.

If you are eligible to take a Texas defensive driving class, to have the citation dismissed, you must submit your certificate of completion by the date of your court hearing (if one is required). One thing to bear in mind is that you may be required to pay a fee for your citation being dismissed.

Driver’s License

Before you take a defensive driving course, you’ll need to present a driver’s license or identification number. This will enable the court to ensure that your completion certificate is correct. Note that a commercial driver’s license will not be accepted in this case.

You may use your out-of-state driver’s license or I.D. number to enroll in this course if you do not have a state driver’s license. Please keep in mind, though, that defensive driving course instructors may want additional information.

For ticket dismissal, points off your license, and car insurance discounts, TX-DPS offers defensive driving courses. The good news is that you can take this online course at your own pace and in any location, which is convenient. Now is the time to sign up for this online defensive driving course!

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