In Missouri, any driver can volunteer to participate in a driver improvement program at any time. These classes, offered in-person or online, seek to educate drivers on traffic laws, safe driving techniques, defensive driving attitudes, and preventing and avoiding accidents. Participating in these classes may earn you a reduction in your car insurance if you report your completion to your insurance provider, however they are most often used to mitigate the consequences of a traffic ticket.
Participation in a driver improvement course will earn you a reduction in the number of points on your license. In order to qualify for a point reduction, you must have received and plead guilty to a moving violation, and paid your fine, after which you will be automatically eligible to participate in driver improvement courses in many courts in Missouri. You also need to complete the course within 60 days of the citation’s issue in order to qualify.
Contrary to popular belief, taking a driver improvement course will not earn you a reduction in the amount of your fine. You have to pay the fine in full in order to qualify to use the driver improvement program to reduce the number of points on your license. However, a reduction in points may be helpful in avoiding a license suspension and the fines and fees that come with it.
In Missouri, your license can be suspended if you earn eight or more points in 18 months or less. The length of time for a suspension starts at 30 days, and increases by an additional 30 days for each subsequent offense. If you earn 12 points in 12 months, 18 points in 24 months, or 24 points in 36 months, your license will be revoked for one year.
Missouri drivers can only use the driver improvement program to reduce the points on their license once every three years. Completion of the course will ensure that none of the points you would have earned from your citation will be assessed to your license. Because of this, it is advisable to use the option to participate in the driver improvement program carefully, and only when necessary.