The Difference between Defensive Driving and Driver’s
Driver’s Education is not mandatory in Missouri; however, the course
is offered in schools and at State approved training centers.
Teens may choose to complete a Driver’s Education as an added safety
measure. Driver’s Education instructs drivers on rules-of-the
road and prepares them for the Missouri driver’s licensing written and
Defensive Driving School, on the other hand, focuses on the defensive
driving skills that make you a safer, more conscientious driver.
The course content differs from Driver’s Education course content in
that the emphasis is on driving behavior that will improve your
knowledge foundation. In other words, Driver’s Education
instructs you in driving fundamentals while Defensive Driving School
builds on these fundamentals by stressing the importance of awareness
and safety. Voluntary, successful completion of both Driver’s
Education and Defensive Driving School completion may result in reduced
insurance premiums and/or insurance discounts.
Finally, while Driver’s Education is not mandatory, enrollment in a
Defensive Driving School may be court-ordered.
What Agency Regulates the Course Content and Requirements?
The Missouri Safety Center has monitored Missouri’s safety
requirements since 1967. In conjunction with the Commission on
Higher Education, the Governor’s Traffic Safety Coordinating Committee
has established the guidelines by which Defensive Driving Schools will
operate. All Missouri State approved Defensive Driving Schools
will operate in accordance with these guidelines and will deliver
course content that is specific to driver safety in Missouri.
The Missouri Safety Center has several approved class locations
throughout Missouri; in addition, Missouri has approved the online
delivery of Defensive Driving School through Driving University.
For the utmost in convenience and flexibility, online Defensive Driving
School is the way to go!
Keeping your driving record point free and successfully completing a
Defensive Driving School will signal to insurance companies that you
are a low risk driver. Insurance companies will be pleased by your
effort to improve your driving skills, and you could be rewarded.
A reduction in insurance premiums keeps money in your pocket every
Teen drivers are especially susceptible to increased premiums because
of their inexperience behind-the-wheel. Insurance companies will
commend a teen’s efforts to improve their driving skills by attending a
Defensive Driving School and, again, you may see discounts and/or
reductions in premiums. The small fee associated with attending a
Defensive Driving School pales in comparison to the money you will save
Because your insurance premium is based primarily on your driving
record and driving history, accumulating points on your driving record
will hurt you. For example, a driver who receives points for a
traffic violation such as speeding ticket will be assessed points on
their driving record, and an insurance company will raise your premium
as a result of your risky driving behavior. In fact, there is a
specialized liability insurance form called an SR-22 that must be
issued to drivers who accumulate a certain amount of points on their
driving record or who commit certain driving offenses. This insurance
is costly and may result in hefty new premiums; even worse, your
insurance company may ‘drop you’ completely. If you can avoid
this point accumulation by attending a Defensive Driving School, it is
highly recommended that you take this opportunity.
Ticket Dismissal and Missouri Online Defensive Driving School
Missouri State statute, Chapter 302 Section 302.302, dictates that a
Missouri Driver may attend a Missouri State approved and court ordered
Defensive Driving School in lieu of receiving points on their Missouri
Driving Record. The point and ticket dismissal, of course, is
contingent upon successful completion of Defensive Driving
On your court date, you or your Attorney may petition the judge to
allow you the option of completing a Defensive Driving School.
Once you have been granted this request, enrollment must be immediate
and successful completion must be within 60 days of your
start-date. Upon successful completion, a certificate will be
submitted to the court and your traffic ticket and points may be
dismissed. Again, considering the benefits of keeping your
driving record free of points, this is highly recommended.
Driving University is a Missouri State approved Defensive Driving
School and will expedite the handling of your certificate to ensure
that the courts are immediately made aware of your successful
completion, thereby expediting the reinstatement of your license and