The Best Time for a New York Driver to Take a Defense Driving Course

Written By: Benjamin Goldman, Esq.

If you are a New York driver that is paying car insurance, it is a good idea to take a defensive driving course. In general, you are entitled to a discount on your insurance rates upon completion of a defensive driving course. Taking a course has an additional benefit in that it may help you avoid suspension. This is the link for approved online course providers:


Question: Does a defensive driving course remove 4 points from my driving record?
Short Answer: No.
Long Answer: Contrary to what you may read online or what course providers tell you, in New York State, a defensive driving course does not “remove” points. The points that were on your driving record will remain on your driving record after you take the defensive driving course. In New York, a defensive driving course gives you a “credit” of four points. This works as follows: In New York you typically get suspended when reaching 11 points. With a defensive driving course on your record, you can possibly avoid suspension up to 15 points because of the 4-point credit. For information about your specific situation, you should consult a competent traffic ticket attorney.

Question: Should I hold off on taking a defensive driving course until the conviction is on my driving record?
Short Answer: No.
Long Answer: There is one very important requirement that is necessary in order to obtain the 4-point credit from a defensive driving course. That requirement is that the defensive driving course be taken not less than 18 months after the date of the violation. The date of conviction is not relevant. This means if you wait until after the conviction to take the defensive driving course, and the date of conviction is more than 18 months after the date of the violation, you will lose the opportunity to apply the 4-point credit appropriately.

If you have numerous points on your record or have multiple charges pending, the timing of the defensive driving course is very important. With multiple violations over a period of time the calculation for the timing of the course can be complex. It is imperative to consult with a competent traffic ticket attorney to know for sure when it is the best time to complete a defensive driving course.

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Disclaimer: All the content of this website has been prepared by Benjamin Goldman Law Office PC for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The information on this website shall not be construed as an offer to represent you, nor is it intended to create, nor shall the receipt of such information constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Our hope is that you will find the information useful and informative, and we would be happy to communicate with you and answer any questions you may have about our legal services. Readers should not act upon the information on this website, or decide not to act based upon the information on this website, without first seeking appropriate professional counsel from an attorney licensed in the home state of the drivers license of the person who received the relevant traffic citation.