How Long Do Safety Courses Stay on Your Driving Record?

stuck in trafficDriving courses help teens practice skills and gain knowledge on how to pass driving tests. These courses will help you get on the road faster and also more safely. Learn more about the benefits of driving courses and how long safety courses stay on your record.

Why Do Driving Courses Matter?

The short answer is that driver's ed online or in a classroom helps keeps you, the people you love, and other drivers safer. That's what matters most. 

Did you know that teens are at greater risk of car accidents? 

About 300,000 teens ages 16 to 19 sought treatment for injuries due to car accidents in 2017. As a result, the majority of states require teens to take driving safety courses before they can get a driver's license.

You can research whether a driving safety course is required in your state. But taking a course is recommended for anyone who wants to get a driver's license. Ryan Pietzsch of the National Safety Council cautions that you will need to apply what you learn. 

"Taking a defensive driving course alone will not create behavior change," said Pietzsch. "In order to do that, [you] must choose to make responsible and respectful choices behind the wheel."

Along with keeping yourself safe, driving courses have other benefits. In some cases, you can get a lower rate on your auto insurance. Also, you can take additional driving courses to remove points on your license due to a traffic violation. If you get too many points, you can lose your license, so driving safety courses can take points away. 

How Long Do Driving Courses Stay on Your Record?

In general, certificates of completion from driver's ed do not expire. Once you've taken a driver's education class to get your license, you will not be required to take another one. However, states have different rules about timelines for completing the steps to get your license. For example, if you take your written exam as part of a course, that exam may be valid for a certain period of time. 

On the other hand, other types of driving classes may expire. For example, defensive driving classes for car insurance often expire, depending on your insurance provider. That means you may need to retake classes every few years to continue getting a discount on your auto insurance.

The Most Important Benefits of Driver's Ed Never Expire

The good news is the most important benefits of driver's courses can last for a lifetime. You'll use what you learn in these courses every time you get behind the wheel. 

"Many people that make driving defensively a habit have said that it reduces their stress and makes driving fun again because there is no feeling or need to keep up or match other drivers," said Pietzsch.