FAQ on Defensive Driving DDC (Driver Improvement)

  • What is a Driver Improvement/Defensive Driving Course?
    • Driver Improvement is a 6 hour course designed to teach drivers about safe driving attitudes and behaviors.
  • What is the difference between Driver Improvement and Defensive Driving?
    • There is no difference. Driver Improvement and Defensive Driving are interchangeable terms.
  • Why would I take a Driver Improvement Course?
    • Driver Improvement courses may be court ordered, taken for points reduction, driver’s license reinstatement, insurance premium reduction, or personal education.
  • What is the difference between Driver’s Education and Driver Improvement?
    • Driver’s Education is a separate program required for 16-year-olds to obtain their Class D license.
      Driver Improvement is a program geared toward safety education for licensed drivers of any age.
  • How often may I take a Driver Improvement course for points reduction?
    In accordance with  O.C.G.A §40-5-86, licensed Georgia residents may request that DDS reduce the number of points assessed against their Georgia Driver’s license up to 7 points once every 5 years.

    • If members of my household complete a Driver Improvement course how can we qualify for a reduction in insurance premiums?
      Check with your insurance company to see if you or your family members are eligible for the reduction. For all qualifications you may also refer to O.C.G.A. § 33-9-42.
  • What if I lose my Certificate of Completion?
    • You must contact the clinic you attended and request a replacement. Driver Improvement records are only retained for three years. If the clinic has closed and you took the class within the past 3 years please call 678-413-8745. A fee up to $5.00 may be charged for the replacement certificate. If it has been longer than three years, you must retake the course.
  • I was 5 minutes late arriving for class and the instructor would not allow me to attend the class. Can they do that?
    • Yes. All schools have strict attendance policies, which are outlined in the paperwork you sign when you contract with a school to attend one of its courses. You will be expected to arrive on time and to complete each session. Students that arrive late to any session can expect to be denied entry into class and may be required to start the course over again, at full cost. In addition, students that are absent or leave early from any session may be required to start the course over again, at full cost. It is recommended that you consider the course schedule carefully and take into account any potential scheduling conflicts you may have before signing a contract to attend.
  • Can I get a refund from the school if I’m unable to attend the class or if I was denied entrance because I was late?
    The decision to issue a refund or make alternate arrangements to make up a missed portion of the course is a matter between the student and the school he or she contracts with to take the course. All schools have strict attendance policies, which are outlined in the paperwork a student receives when he or she contracts with a school to attend one of its courses.
  • What is the difference between a Driver Improvement course approved by the Department of Driver Services and a course not approved by the Department of Driver Services?
    • You may use a Certificate of Completion from a DDS approved course taught at a certified Driver Improvement Clinic for certain matters related to your driver’s license.  Driver Improvement courses not approved by DDS, such as AARP, cannot be used for driver’s license related issues. The list of certified Driver Improvement Clinics may be found on our website.
  • How do I know the school has been certified?
  • Can I take a Driver Improvement course online?
    • At this time, DDS does not recognize online Driver Improvement courses for driver’s license related issues. Certificates of Completion from online Driver Improvement courses are not accepted by the DDS for any purposes related to an individual’s driver’s license or driving privileges.
  • Does the Driver Improvement course involve behind the wheel instruction?
    • Driver Improvement courses approved by DDS are classroom instruction only and do not include practical or behind the wheel instruction.
  • I took a Driver Improvement course for license reinstatement. Can I use the same Certificate of Completion for points reduction?
    • When you submit the Certificate of Completion to a DDS Customer Service Center, you must inform them at that time that you wish to use it for both license reinstatement and points reduction.
  • Are Driver Improvement clinics and instructors employees of the DDS?
    • Driver Improvement clinics are independently owned and operated and employ their own instructors and they are not employees of the DDS. The DDS certifies clinics and instructors and ensures compliance in accordance with the requirements set forth by DDS rules and regulations and the Georgia Driver Improvement Act.
  • If I experience problems with a Driver Improvement Clinic, instructor or course, what can I do?
    • All complaints related to a school or instructor must be made in writing using the official DDS Complaint Form
  • What is the cost of a Driver Improvement Course?
    For license reinstatement, points reduction, or court purposes, clinics must charge $95.  For Driver Improvement classes taken for any other reason (i.e. insurance premium reduction, educational purposes), clinics may charge a fee up to $95.
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