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Millions of Michigan drivers find themselves in traffic school at some point. Usually, it’s because of some minor infraction like getting a ticket for going a little bit over the speed limit, not fully stopping at a stop sign, or making an illegal turn.
In Michigan, traffic school is referred to as the Basic Driver Improvement Course (BDIC). It’s meant to be a refresher course that goes over the essentials of traffic safety and best driving practices. Or as the Michigan Secretary of State’s office puts it the BDIC is, “curriculum for which there is documented evidence from a federal, state or local government agency of course effectiveness in reducing collisions, moving violations or both.”
Keep reading to find out more about why the drivers would want to take a BDIC and the steps to completing a course.
Reasons to Take the Michigan Basic Driver Improvement Course
There are over 7.2 million licensed drivers in the state of Michigan and about 3.2 million registered vehicles, which means that the roads of the state are dynamic places with a lot going on. Even the most experienced drivers can make a mistake. These mistakes usually lead to traffic tickets, and the traffic tickets can lead to points on your driving record that stay there for several years.
So don’t let one unfortunate lapse, oversight, blooper or blunder wreck your driving record! Michigan traffic school can help you keep that record clean.
Keeping your driving record clear of points helps:
- Prevent your car insurance premiums from increasing. Don’t let a ticket cost you long-term. Drivers that successfully complete a BDIC won’t get hit with higher insurance premiums. The ticket and information related to it isn’t available for insurers to review.
- Background checks go smoother during hiring processes, especially if the position is related to transportation, where points on your record are undesirable and can put you at the back of a long line of candidates. A lot of companies do pre-employment background checks to find out whether prospective employees are trustworthy and reliable people, so you need to make sure your driving record is squeaky clean.
- Make renting a car easier. Car rental companies often offer better deals and discounts to drivers who can show a good driving record. So you can save money on trips and avoid any car rental rejections due to recent moving violations noted on your record.
- Get approval on a car loan. If you are applying for an auto loan, banks and insurance companies are going to want to find out what kind of driver you are by checking into your DMV records. Needless to say, any points on your driving record may affect the interest rates or value of the loan.
Fortunately, the laws of Michigan allow drivers to clear their driving record and avoid paying extra fees by taking a Basic Driver Improvement Course. The course reminds drivers of the laws of the road and was created to prevent drivers from making further mistakes, maybe even fatal blunders.
Steps to Clearing Your Michigan Driving Record
Step 1 - Look for a Notice From the Secretary of State
The Secretary of State (SOS) office will send you a notification letting you know if you’re eligible to take a BDIC course. Once you receive the notification the clock starts ticking. The SOS office gives you 60 days to complete a Basic Driver Improvement Course. The eligibility notification will have the deadline for completing the BDIC.
Step 2 - Find an Approved Sponsor and Enroll in a BDIC
The Basic Driver Improvement Course can be taken in-class or online so long as the course is provided by an approved sponsor. All sponsors are approved by the Michigan Department of State and are listed on the department’s website.
Watch out for anyone charging more than $100 for the Michigan Basic Driver Improvement Course. By law the course cannot exceed that amount.
Step 3 - Take the Minimum 4 Hours of Instruction
It’s best to start the BDIC as early as possible to ensure you meet the deadline. The course will take a minimum of four hours.
Step 4 - Pass the Final Test
After four hours of instruction you can take the final test, but make sure you’re ready. If you don’t pass the final test you’ll have to review the course material again before a second attempt.
Step 5 - Wait for Verification
Your course sponsor will let the SOS office know you passed your final test and completed the BDIC. This happens electronically so the SOS office should get word within a day or two. You may also receive a certificate from your course provider.
Step 6 - Check Your Driving Record
You may want to follow up and check your driving record to make sure the points aren’t there. Unfortunately, there’s no way to remove the ticket information from your driving record. But at least insurance companies won’t be able to see that information.
Taking the Michigan Basic Driver Improvement Course Online
The biggest advantage of taking online traffic school versus going to actual class is the opportunity to do the assignment on your own schedule. With DriversEd.com you have around-the-clock access to your account. This means that you can log in and logout as many times a day as you need from anywhere with internet access.
This can be critical if you are close to the deadline because if you miss it you don’t get another shot. With our app-based program, you can take and pass the BDIC the day before, which isn’t possible with a classroom course.
Our BDIC program is developed by defensive driving professionals with more than 20 years of experience. The curriculum is interactive and aims to engage as you learn the fundamentals of traffic safety to hopefully prevent a repeat traffic violation.
The program is approved through the Michigan Secretary of State, so you can feel confident that you’ll receive credit for taking the course.
Get started now to meet the deadline without paying a premium. Sign up for the Michigan Basic Driver Improvement Course.
*This article was updated on 2/2/21.