Driving is such an integral part of life for most Americans that we can’t imagine what we would do if we couldn’t head to our cars and get out on the road. That’s very true in Texas, where the large amounts of space, distances between locations, and stunning scenery all combine to create not only a need for a personal vehicle – but also an enjoyment of driving one.
Unfortunately, the state of Texas is known for something else. Their law enforcement professionals. State, county, and local police are out in force on Texas roadways, and they are eager to issues citations to those who violate Texas driving laws. If you live in Texas for an extended period of time, chances are pretty good that you’ll eventually get a traffic ticket.
The good news is, you can complete an online defensive driving course in Texas. This will keep your traffic ticket off your record, which will save you money on your car insurance and protect your Texas driving record.
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Finding The Best Online Defensive Driving Course In Texas
So, with all of this information in mind, just what is the best online defensive driving course in Texas? There are numerous options, and I’ve taken the time to narrow down the field to the three that I feel truly stand out. My picks are based on a number of things including their simplicity, the ability to complete your training fast, the range of programs offered, how lessons are delivered, user reviews, and more.
Take the time to look at what each of my picks has to offer and then compare them to what it is that you need. From there, you should be able to find the best online defensive driving course in Texas for you.
The 7 Best Online Defensive Driving Courses In Texas For 2021
There are many online defensive driving courses you can choose from in Texas in 2021. As a former driving instructor and creator of various online driver training programs, I can personally vouch for these courses.
Aceable is without a doubt the best online defensive driving course in Texas for 2021. Based out of Austin, Texas, Aceable is a relative newcomer to the online defensive driving scene. However, that is actually a good thing. Aceable was created just a few years ago, and because of that, they are the most modern and up to date defensive driving course in Texas. Many online defensive driving courses in Texas have become really outdated over the years, but Aceable is the exact opposite.
For example, most defensive driving courses you can take online are compatible with smartphones, but they are browser-based. Aceable has dedicated apps for both iPhone and Android devices. This makes the course work much smoother. If you’re going to be taking the course on a mobile device, you really should look no further than Aceable. You can learn more about this course in my full Aceable review.
iDriveSafely has been around for years and has consistently received positive reviews from its users. This continues to be a top choice in 2021 as it has been for many years now. It offers numerous programs including defensive driving courses and delivers them over any device you want to use. It also offers some of the best student support services in the country, letting you get help when you need it quickly so you can get back to your lessons.
With iDriveSafely you can log into or out of the course whenever you want. You also have options available with how you want to complete the course. You can either take the traditional text-based course, or you can opt for the video-based course. If you want a legitimate Texas online defensive driving course that has proven themselves over a 20-year history, then iDriveSafely is a safe bet. In fact, they guarantee you’ll be satisfied or you get your money back. If you want to learn more about iDriveSafely check out my full iDriveSafely review.
Approved Course is a Houston-based online defensive driving course in Texas. This is by far one of the easiest online defensive driving courses you can sign up for in Texas for 2021. I’m not sure exactly what it is about Approved Course that makes it so easy, but this course is simple to pass. It is broken up into easy-to-manage sections with simple quizzes after each section and there is NO final exam at all!
Approved Course works on mobile devices, and they just recently (within’ the past few months) updated their entire course and user platform. It is modern, easy to use, and their customer service can’t be matched. Unlike most online defensive driving courses that are run by giant corporations, Approved Course is operated by a small business. If you call customer service, there’s a good chance you’ll get the actual owner of the company or one of the family members that help to run it. This is a great way to support a local Texas-based small business. Check out my full review of Approved Course to learn more about how it works.
Go To Traffic School is a defensive driving course in Texas that has been around since literally the 1990’s. They first started by offering home-based defensive driving programs that were sent through the mail using VHS tapes and booklets. As time progressed, they began to change their business model, and in the early 2000’s they began offering their home-based defensive driving course online in Texas.
As with most high-quality defensive driving courses, Go To Traffic School can be completed on your own schedule. They keep track of your spot, so you can log into or out of the course anytime. You can even switch between different devices as the course is fully mobile-friendly. Go To Traffic School is also one of the cheapest online defensive driving courses in Texas for 2021, so for those on a budget, this would be a great choice. You can learn more in my full Go To Traffic School review.
Improv Traffic School is one of my personal favorites for 2021. They take a very unique approach to defensive driving. Improv Traffic School is fully aware that most people don’t take defensive driving courses by choice. Most people are only doing it because they basically have to. That’s why Improv Traffic School created a comedy based program written by Hollywood comedians.
Not everyone will be into the slapstick style comedy that Improv Traffic School uses, but if you have an easy-going sense of humor, this may be the most painless way to complete your defensive driving requirements. Of course, besides the comedy aspect, Improv Traffic School is also mobile-friendly, very easy to pass, provides good customer support, and offer a money-back guarantee. Check out my full Improv Traffic School review to learn more.
Get Defensive is yet again, an online defensive driving class in Texas that has been approved for over two decades. This course guarantees to be the cheapest, and after going through it personally, I can say with certainty that it is extremely easy. For some reason, the quizzes in this course seem even easier than the other ones (which is saying a lot. Unlike some of the other courses on this list, this defensive driving school is focused solely on the state of Texas.
One nice thing about Get Defensive is how they keep the course updated. They recently made a lot of changes to make this defensive driving course work well on mobile devices. They also updated their videos in 2021, along with making some of them interactive. All in all, if you’re looking for a fast and easy traffic school in Texas, this is one of your best options.
One thing I love about A Sense Of Humor is that it is family owned. This defensive driving school was built form the ground up by a father and son. After receiving a traffic ticket and realizing how awful it is to attend defensive driving schools in Texas, they decided to create their own course that would be fun, easy, cheap, and actually have some entertainment value instead of being extremely boring like most of them are.
Over the years, this online defensive driving course has grown, and they have a team of people helping them make things run smoothly. But they are still owned by the same father and son who started it over a decade ago. This is the fastest and lowest priced Texas approved 6 hours defensive driving course, and they provide customer service that the big corporate schools can’t match.
FAQ About Defensive Driving In Texas
Listed below are some of the most frequently asked questions about taking defensive driving in Texas. This FAQ has been updated for 2021, so you can be sure the information here is accurate.
Can I Take Texas Defensive Driving In A Classroom?
Of course! By far, the most popular option for taking defensive driving in Texas is to take the course online. With those courses, you can log into and out of them anytime, complete the coursework from anywhere, and get the exact same benefits as if you attended an actual classroom.
However, some people just don’t like doing things on a computer screen. If you’d rather attend a physical defensive driving school, there are still a decent number available. If you live in a larger or mid-sizes city, chances are there is one located in your city or nearby.
Usually, classroom-based defensive driving schools in Texas are held on Saturdays for a full 6-hours, but some schools also offer coursework in two 3-hour sessions on two weeknights.
How Often Can I Take A Defensive Driving Class In Texas?
There are two different timeframes as far as taking defensive driving in Texas. Let’s quickly go over each one.
Traffic Ticket Dismissal – For traffic ticket dismissal, you can take a defensive driving class in Texas to dismiss a traffic ticket every year. As long as it has been more than 12 months since you last completed a Texas defensive driving course, you can take another course and dismiss another ticket on your record.This is a bit more generous than most other states and can really help you clear your driving record as well as keep your insurance rates low. Speaking of which…
Auto Insurance Insurance Discounts – Many auto insurance companies will give you a discount on your premiums if you take a Texas state-approved defensive driving class. While this varies between policies and you’ll need to contact your insurance agent to make sure you’re eligible, in general, a state-certified defensive driving class will give you a 2% to 10% discount on your insurance premiums for 3 years.
Why Should I Sign Up For An Online Defensive Driving Course In Texas?
There are plenty of different reasons that people decide to take a defensive driving course in Texas. Basically, these programs instruct you on how to drive more alertly and more safely. The benefits are numerous and include:
- Increased safety for you and your family while on Texas roads
- Ability to potentially receive discounts on your auto insurance policy
- More peace of mind when you drive
- You learn how to spot potential safety issues before they arise so you can avoid them
Of course, the main reason people take a defensive driving course in Texas is to dismiss their traffic tickets. Most people don’t take a defensive driving class by choice, but the benefits are still there regardless.
In short, the best online defensive driving course in Texas can not only help keep you learn to be a better driver but could help lower your overall insurance policy costs and dismiss traffic tickets.
But why take your Texas defensive driving course online? Again, there are numerous reasons that people choose to use an online program instead of a traditional offline program. These include:
- Learn at your own pace
- Complete coursework when it fits into your schedule
- No hassle or stress about making it to a class on time
- Can complete your education more quickly
- Learn in the comfort of your own home in a more relaxed setting
- Complete classwork anytime, anywhere
The bottom line here is simple – signing up for an online defensive driving course in Texas is one of the best, easiest ways to dismiss your traffic ticket.
Where Can I Find A Full List Of All State Certified Online Defensive Driving Schools In Texas?
You can find a full list of all Texas state-certified online defensive driving courses here. While it’s not the most user-friendly system, you can also find a list of approved schools on this page of the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation.
You must be 100% certain that whatever defensive driving course you sign up for is approved in Texas for ticket dismissal purposes. If you take a course that is not specifically approved in Texas, you will have wasted time and money. Courts will generally not make exceptions or accept certificates from schools that are not approved in Texas.
Does A 6-Hour Defensive Driving Class In Texas Really Take That Long?
I hate having to say this, but yes, a defensive driving class in Texas really will take you 6 hours. This is even the case if you take your defensive driving course online.
In the state of Texas, all certified online defensive driving schools must time the course. That means, certain sections or pages of the coursework will show a timer at the bottom of the page, and you won’t be able to move forward until the timer reaches zero.
Several of the online defensive driving schools listed above offer defensive driving video courses instead of plain text. If you think video will help keep your attention, this is a good option to consider.
For most people, however, turning on Netflix in the background and waiting for the timer to go down is a sufficient technique.
If you are taking your defensive driving class in an actual physical location, it will still take you 6 hours. Some classes are split up into multiple sessions, but in the end, you’ll have 6 hours of your life tied up in a defensive driving class.
How Do I Know If I’m Eligible To Take A Texas Defensive Driving Course?
In order to take a defensive driving class in Texas, you must:
- Possess a valid non-commercial Texas driver license or permit
- Have not dismissed a traffic ticket within the past 12 months
- Have admitted guilt or sign a statement that you do not contest the citation
- If your ticket was for speeding, it must indicate that the violation was not more than 25 miles-per-hour over the posted limit
Can I Take A Texas Defensive Driving Course If I Live Out Of State?
If you got a traffic ticket in Texas but you live in another state, you can still take a Texas defensive driving course. You’ll need to fill out a notarized Statement of Assurance and send that in, but that is the only additional step you’ll need to complete. You can see an example of that form here.
Can I Take A Defensive Driving Course Using A Smartphone Or App?
At this point, I believe all online defensive driving schools will work on a smartphone just fine. In some cases, like with the Aceable defensive driving school, you can use their downloadable apps for Apple and Android. Even courses that don’t have apps will still have mobile versions of their courses, you’ll just use your phone’s browser instead.
Are The Audio Read-Along Upgrades Worth It?
In my opinion, the audio read-along feature usually isn’t worth it. Many defensive driving schools in Texas will add that feature for free, which is cool, but I personally would not pay extra for it. Most of the audio read-along features are just computer voices reading the text and it goes too slow. But if you prefer to listen to your coursework instead of read it, such as during your commute to and from work, this could be a beneficial option.
What If I Have A Slow Internet Connection?
Many online defensive driving schools in Texas are getting pretty bandwidth-intensive with videos, animations, etc. A slow internet connection might cause some issues for you. If you are on dial-up or some other ancient internet speed, you should find a course that is text-only, such as the one at Traffic101.
By all means, you do not need to have blazing fast internet, but many people in Texas are still stuck with dial-up speeds until they can get their precious hands on Starlink!
How Much Should I Pay For A Texas Defensive Driving Course?
The state of Texas regulates pricing for online defensive driving schools by setting a minimum price they are allowed to charge. That price is $25.
The vast majority of Texas state-approved online defensive driving schools sell their course at the state-minimium, but you may find a few that charge more than $25. Unless you are paying for something very specific, such as a video course instead of a text-based course, $25 is the maximum you should spend on a defensive driving school in Texas.
The fees for classroom defensive driving courses will vary, but are usually more expensive and set independently by individual driving schools.
Are There Hidden Fees With Online Defensive Driving Schools?
YES!! Defensive driving schools in Texas are notorious for tacking on hidden fees and costs, especially at the end of the course. Below are some of the most commonly seen hidden fees with online defensive driving schools.
Hidden High-Cost Expedited Shipping Fees
The first hidden fee you should watch out for is expedited shipping fees. You will need to be mailed a physical copy of your certificate of completion so that you may give it to the court and have your ticket dismissed. Many defensive driving schools in Texas have deliberately long “certificate processing times”, in addition to slow shipping methods.
They do this to capitalize on people who have procrastinated and need their certificate quickly. I’ve seen overnight shipping costs exceed $40! Do not fall for this scam (even if it doesn’t meet the legal definition, that’s what I call it). All you need to do is either complete your defensive driving course at least 2 weeks ahead of your due date or call the court clerk’s office in the district you received your traffic ticket to get an extension. In most cases, all you have to do is ask and they give you one with no problems.
Fees For “Printable” Completion Certificates
Other hidden fees can include very silly add-ons such as a “printable version” of your completion certificate. In the state of Texas, a printable version is not an official copy and does nothing for you. I’ve seen some driving schools charge $10 or more for this.
Beware Of “Free” Enrollments
This is sort of new, but many defensive driving schools are now enrolling people into things like free roadside assistance. Generally, these free features will put you on a monthly membership, where it is free for the first few months, and then they sneak in a small monthly charge hoping you won’t notice. Be very careful about opting into free trials or memberships unless you actually want them or remember to cancel before you get charged.
Driving Record Fees
Many defensive driving schools in Texas will offer to give you a certified copy of your Texas driving record. If you are interested in obtaining your driving record in Texas, I highly recommend you only get your driving record directly from the state.
While not always the case, many defensive driving schools charge additional fees or they do not supply an official copy of your record.
What Will An Online Defensive Driving Course In Texas Be Like?
Generally, an online defensive driving course in Texas will include a number of things. Among them, you’ll be able to learn things like:
- Distracted driving prevention tips
- Staying focused on the roads
- Driving techniques for high traffic areas
- Weather-related safety issues
- And more
Each program is different, of course, but at their core, these courses will focus on making you a safer driver and one who is better able to avoid accidents even in high-stress, high traffic density areas.
Lessons online are taught via numerous methods including video, quizzes, and even interactive games or apps. You’ll be given lessons and then can complete them whenever it is convenient for you, letting you take more control over your classroom education. And once you’ve completed the program you’ll be given your certificate of completion. Then, you can use it to move on to any driving-related tests or classes that you have to take – or use it to get safe driver discounts and other opportunities.
Do I have To Finish A TX Defensive Driving Course In One Setting?
No, all online defensive driving schools in Texas offer a great deal of flexibility. In most cases, you can log into and out of your course whenever you want, from any device. You typically have 90 days to complete the course, but how you decide to take the course is up to you. Get it done all at once or do just minutes per day, whatever you want!
With classroom courses, they are typically held for the full 6 hours on a Saturday or over two 3 hour sessions on weekdays.
What Happens If I Fail My Texas Defensive Driving Course?
For insurance discount classes, no. While you may fail the final exam, you have unlimited retakes until you pass.
For traffic ticket dismissal courses, it is indeed possible to fail the course. You must pass a final exam with a passing score of 70%. After three attempts, you will fail the course.
But let me tel you this, you have to be really trying to fail it. Over 99% of people pass their defensive driving course in Texas and most online schools guarantee you will pass. The final exam is open book and VERY easy. Even if you paid no attention throughout the entire course, you should still easily pass it.
However, if you do fail the course somehow, you will be able to retake it. You’ll just have to spend 6 more hours of your life going through the course again. You have an unlimited number of course retakes.
Do Defensive Driving Courses In Texas Expire?
YES! Make sure you read the fine print for whatever defensive driving course you sign up for, but in general, online defensive driving school will expire 90 days after you first start the coursework. Once 90 days is up, you will be locked out of the course and you will need to pay for another one.
How Is The Court Notified That I Completed A Defensive Driving Course In Texas?
In the state of Texas, you must notify the court yourself. Instructions will be provided by your defensive driving school, but once you complete a course, you will be mailed a certificate of completion. You must then either mail that certificate of completion into the court in which is handling your case, or you can go in-person to the court clerk’s office and hand it in that way.
Do I Still Have To Take My Ticket If I Take Defensive Driving In Texas?
Yes, even if you take a defensive driving class, you still must pay your traffic ticket. A defensive driving course will protect your driving record and save you money on your insurance rates by keeping your ticket off your record, but you are still required to pay it. Fees for defensive driving are in addition to your traffic ticket fines.
Can I Take A Defensive Driving Course In Texas To Get An Insurance Discount?
Generally, yes! However, this is not controlled at a state-level and will very from one insurance company to another. Usually, a defensive driving class will get you an insurance discount for 3 years, at which point you can take the course again. However, be sure to call your insurance provider before spending the time and money on a course.
Is There A Difference Between Traffic School & Defensive Driving In Texas?
Nope, Texas traffic school and defensive driving schools are exactly the same, it just depends on what you want to call them. The state of Texas officially call ticket dismissal courses Defensive Driving Classes, but if you’re from a state where it was referred to as Traffic School, it’s the same exact thing.
Do I Have To Order My Texas Driving Record?
All Texas courts require a Texas Type 3A certified driving record in addition to a certificate of completion to dismiss a traffic ticket. You can order it when you sign up for the course, or you can purchase it later, it is up to you. However, be aware that many defensive driving schools overcharge for these driving records. You can also follow these instructions to get your Texas driving record.
Final Thoughts About Taking Defensive Driving In Texas
Taking defensive driving in Texas is more about necessity than choice. Finding the best defensive driving school in Texas for 2021 means finding one that is fast, easy, and cheap. Any of the courses listed above will get the job done, so check each of them out and get this over with!