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What Is The Best Defensive Driving Course in Texas For 2021?

Best Defensive Driving Course in Texas 2021

Whether it is because you have to or because you are choosing to, there are a number of benefits to taking a defensive driving course in TX. Some people take a Texas defensive driving course to save on insurance rates, but the majority sign up for a course after receiving a traffic ticket. Although there are numerous ways to take defensive driving courses, the best way to take the course is online.

The state of Texas has a total of 50 online defensive driving courses approved in 2021. While any of those 50 state-certified courses will work to dismiss a traffic ticket, some courses are much better than others. This guide will help you choose the best online defensive driving course approved in Texas.

Reviews Of The Best Online Defensive Driving Courses In Texas For 2021

No matter what your reasoning is for taking a defensive driving course in Texas, the best courses available are those that are available online. Taking a course online provides you with flexibility and convenience, allowing you to complete the course anytime, anywhere. Before enrolling in a course, you should ensure that the course is approved by the state of Texas. Consider our picks for the best defensive driving courses below, which are all approved by the state.


1. Approved Course

Approved Course Online Defensive Driving Texas

Approved Course is my top recommendation, but I need to be fully transparent here. Approved Course is owned and operated by a friend of mine. This is a family-run online defensive driving course that has been certified in the state of Texas for almost a decade now. By choosing to take this course, you are supporting a small family own texas-based business.

Approved Course was actually started by my friend’s father. He was a defensive driving instructor in the 1990s when defensive driving still had to be taken in a classroom. In the year 2000, he was laid off as the company he worked for got rid of classroom courses and went entirely online. That’s when my friend and his father decided to start up Approved Course, their own online defensive driving course.

Even though Approved Course is a small business, they still offer all the perks (and maybe even more) that the big corporate-owned defensive driving courses offer. The price is as low as you’ll find in Texas, they have customer service available 7 days per week, you get free certificate delivery, they are approved in all courts, and there isn’t even a final exam. Just pass the short quizzes and you’re good to go.

So while I may be a bit biased as my friend owns Approved Course with his father, I really do vouch for the quality of this online defensive driving course.

Get The Best Price On Approved Course!


2. Aceable

Aceable Best Texas Online Defensive Driving

Aceable is one of my favorite courses for Texas online defensive driving. This is actually the newest online defensive driving course approved by the state of Texas. This Austin, Texas-based startup company just launched in 2016. While being the newest online defensive driving course in Texas may sound like a disadvantage, the opposite is actually true.

The biggest issue with Texas online defensive driving courses is how outdated many of them have become. Most of them were created in the early 2000s and have received minimal updates ever since then. Some of them still don’t even work well on mobile devices, so you need to take the entire course sitting at an actual computer or having a laptop with you.

This isn’t the case with Aceable. They are the only online defensive driving course to actually have dedicated apps for Apple and Android devices. This course works absolutely flawlessly on mobile devices. So, if you plan on completing your defensive driving course from your phone while you’re on the go or even watching a movie on the couch, this is the course you want to go with.

In addition, Aceable delivers the course content in many different ways and they keep it pretty interesting. Most online defensive driving courses in Texas rely on having you just read page after page of text. With Aceable, you’ll get content delivered not just through text, but also videos, games, animations, graphics, and interactive features. Aceable really is way ahead of everyone else.

Get The Best Price On Aceable!


3. iDriveSafely

iDriveSafely Online Drivers Ed

iDriveSafely is another reputable company that offers great defensive driving courses in Texas. The company offers more than 15 years of expertise in dozens of states, so they know what they are doing. Their courses are developed by professional driving instructors and learning theory experts. iDriveSafely is one of the most used online defensive driving programs and they have had over 5,000,000 people dismiss their traffic tickets by taking the course.

While some parts of iDriveSafely are starting to feel a little outdated, they are still an excellent option because they are the fastest course allowed by Texas state law. Unfortunately, the state of Texas requires “course timers” to be used. They want your 6-hour course to actually last 6 hours, so each page is timed. It’s super annoying and frustrating, but it is a requirement that all online defensive driving courses in Texas must abide by. iDriveSafely set up the course to last 6 hours and not a second longer, which again, is the state-mandated minimum. You can go at your own pace though and spread the course out over time. iDriveSafely will automatically keep track of your progress.

iDriveSafely offers two different courses in Texas. You have the traditional course which is almost entirely text and pictures. If you prefer video, they do have a video defensive driving program that many prefer. It all comes down to personal preference really.

iDriveSafely works well on mobile devices and you can switch between devices anytime you want. They also provide United States-based customer service 7 days per week in case you have any issues along the way. It’s certainly a school worth considering

Get The Best Price On iDriveSafely!


4. Go To Traffic School

Go To Traffic School

Go To Traffic School is perhaps the most popular online defensive driving course in Texas. They attract a lot of people for one main reason – they promise to be the cheapest online defensive driving course in Texas. If you find another defensive driving course at a lower price, just let them know and they will match or beat the price.

Another cool aspect of Go To Traffic School is the “pay later” feature. Forget money-back guarantees. When you sign up at Go To Traffic School, you can choose to start taking the course for free without having to enter any payment information at all. Take the first couple of sections for free and if you decide the course isn’t for you, there’s no need to even request a refund. That’s about as no-risk as you’ll get. So if you want to try out a cheap online traffic school that is legit and you can start for free, Go To Traffic School just might be the course for you.

Another nice thing about Go To Traffic School is they just updated all of their course material about a year ago. The course was starting to get pretty outdated, but now it works great on mobile devices, has interactive videos, and more than you’d expect from an online defensive driving course that promises to be cheap.

This is another defensive driving course that has had literally millions of drivers go through it. You can’t have 2 decades of experience with millions of customers without doing something right.

Get The Best Price On Go To Traffic School!


5. Improv Traffic School

Improv Texas Online Defensive Driving

Improv Traffic School is one of my personal favorites. This online defensive driving course was started by stand up comedians. They fully understand that taking a defensive driving course is boring and you’re likely not doing it because you want to. That’s why they created this comedy based course.

In this course, you’ll be reading funny jokes, watching funny videos, and even playing interactive games. It is broken up into 6 easy sections that you can do at your own pace. I think this is probably the easiest online defensive driving course in Texas as well. The quizzes are incredibly easy that you should be able to pass without even really paying attention.

All the other features you’d want to see in a good online defensive driving course are there. They have customer service available 7 days per week via phone, email, and live online chat. The course works well on mobile devices, it’s designed to be as fast as the state allows, and it’s even a little entertaining.

Get The Best Price On Improv Traffic School!


6. A Sense Of Humor Driving

A Sense Of Humor Defensive Driving Course

A Sense Of Humor is another comedy based online defensive driving course in Texas. This course doesn’t have stand up comedians, but they do have some pretty humorous narration with funny videos, pictures, jokes, etc. Since the state of Texas mandates all online defensive driving courses to actually take 6 hours, this course makes it a bit less boring to sit through.

Another advantage of this course is their lowest price guarantee. If you find an online defensive driving course in Texas for cheaper, they will match or beat the price. Even though this course is a comedy based and lower-priced, they have still won awards for being a high-quality program.

A Sense Of Humor also doesn’t mess around with hidden fees. You get free audio read along, free certificate delivery, and everything is priced upfront. A lot of defensive driving courses in Texas have some hidden fees such as ridiculous prices to ship your certificate. You don’t need to worry about that with A Sense Of Humor.

Get The Best Price On A Sense Of Humor!


7. DriversEd.com

Drivers Ed Best Texas Online Defensive Driving

DriversEd.com, as you might guess, got their start as an online driver’s education course provider. They are one of the most popular, if not the most popular, online driver’s ed courses in Texas and several other states as well. This online driving school started back in the late 1990’s, and about 10 years later, they also got into the defensive driving side of things.

This is a good online defensive driving course for young adults as much of the course material is taken directly from their online driver’s ed program. DriversEd.com has some pretty cool features such as 3D animated videos, games to help you retain the most important information, and of course it’s easy to pass.

As with any other high quality online defensive driving course, DriversEd.com has customer service available 7 days per week, you can log in and out of the course whenever you want, it works well on mobile devices, and it is designed to take as short as possible to get through.

Get The Best Price On DriversEd.com


8. Get Defensive

Get Defensive Texas Online Defensive Driving Course

Get Defensive is another online defensive driving course in Texas that focuses on being priced as cheap as possible. The state of Texas regulates the price of online defensive driving courses, and Get Defensive is priced at the minimum allowed by Texas state law. You will not find a lower-priced online defensive driving course in Texas.

Get Defensive has a mix of text, videos, animations, and a couple of games thrown in there. However, this is mostly a text-based course and the other stuff is just sprinkled in here and there.

Other advantages include being able to take the course in a couple of different languages. It also works well on any device and the quizzes are very easy to pass. This course does not have a final exam. Once you get through the 6 sections and pass those quizzes, you’re done!

Get Defensive has been around since 2004 and has continuously updated its course as the years go by. They only operate in Texas so 100% of their efforts go into just giving Texas customers what they want.

Get The Best Price On Get Defensive


Full List Of All Approved Texas Online Defensive Driving Courses In 2021

While the online defensive driving courses listed above are the most popular and highest quality courses you can sign up for, it’s always good to know all of your choices. Listed below is a full list of all approved Texas online defensive driving courses. Any of these courses can be used for ticket dismissal purposes.

Source

Why Would You Take A Defensive Driving Course In TX?

Dismiss A Traffic Ticket – Texas law permits the completion of a defensive driving course TX once every year in order to dismiss a traffic ticket. If you get a minor ticket, you may be able to dismiss it by attending a defensive driving course TX. Completing a defensive driving course TX online for as little as $25 can save you the hassle of attending a court date or paying your ticket, which could be significantly more expensive. Be sure that your traffic ticket is eligible to be waived by completing a defensive driving course TX, and that your course is certified by the state.

Expunge Points From Your Driving Record – If you must attend court for a violation, the court may give you the option to expunge points from your record by completing a defensive driving course. This is not mandatory but would grant you the ability to voluntarily clean up your driving record. This can be especially beneficial when it comes to your insurance rates. Having a speeding ticket on your driving record can increase your premium by as much as 15 percent.

Court Mandated – If you have engaged in more reckless and aggressive behavior while behind the wheel, you may be required by the state to complete a defensive driving course TX. Actions that could result in a required defensive driving course are driving 25 miles per hour over the speed limit, or speeding in a school or construction zone. Your Texas judge could make the completion of a defensive driving course TX as part of your punishment – your license could even be suspended, or put on probationary status until you complete the course.

Lower Your Car Insurance Rates – Your insurance company may offer you a discounted rate if you voluntarily take a defensive driving course TX. Typically, this comes in the form of lower premiums. You should check with your insurance company to see what programs are approved. Your defensive driving course will also need to be accepted by the state of Texas in order for it to be accepted by your insurance company. Although discounts are available for all drivers, the deal is typically more worthwhile for younger drivers, since they are typically seen as a bigger risk for insurance companies.

Better Your Work Performance – If you must do a lot of driving for a company, ensuring that you can be trusted could put you in line for a promotion or a raise. If you drive for a ride-sharing service, such as Uber or Lyft, enrolling in a defensive driving course could improve your ratings as a driver, which will lead to an increase in pay.

There are many worthwhile lessons and knowledge to be learned in a defensive driving course. While many drivers take a defensive driving course TX because they are required to, others choose to take the course on their own accord. Many drivers choose to take the course as a refresher to their driver’s education courses that they took when first learning how to drive. Since a defensive driving course TX can be completed for a low cost and in a few short hours at your convenience, there is no reason not to consider completing one. Doing so could save your life one day. Additionally, the course material does not have to be boring. Many courses offer interactive videos that keep you engaged. If you are looking to take the course for fun, consider ASenseOfHumorDriving.com. This course is approved by the state as a certified defensive driving course TX, but the course curriculum is “comedy style,” allowing for a fun, relaxing way to gain valuable information.

Keep Your Entire Family Safe – Today’s younger generations are having a more difficult time staying focused while on the road. Temptations are greater than ever, especially with cell phones. Distracted driving is becoming an increasingly greater epidemic. Consider completing a defensive drivers course as a family. This will hopefully protect the younger drivers in your family, but will also serve as a refresher for you as well. Even if your kids are not able to drive, instilling good habits in them early and leading by example could prove extremely beneficial when they do start to drive.

Online Drivers Ed Course Reviews For 2021

Online Drivers Ed Course Reviews For 2021

The number of states allowing drivers ed students to complete their "classroom" hours online has only continued to increase over the years. While every student is different, online drivers ed is the best option for most. Taking online drivers ed has many advantages such as:

  • Convenience - Being able to take drivers ed anytime and from anywhere is a huge advantage to taking drivers ed online. No need to be in a certain classroom at a certain time. Learn when it's convenient for you.
  • Increased information retention - Sitting in a classroom listening to lectures is not the best way to retain driving laws, rules, techniques, and safety tips. Online drivers ed is interactive with games, videos, animations, graphics, and more. This helps students pass their written exam on the first try.
  • Parent resources and progress tracking - Many online drivers ed courses have resources for parents, along with the ability to track your teens progress.
  • Cost efficient - Typically, online drivers ed courses are cheaper than classroom based courses run by local driving schools.

There are many advantages to taking an online drivers education course, but the bottom line is it helps students learn the information better while also being more convenient. While some students may learn better in a classroom with a physical instructor to ask questions to, most teens much prefer the freedom and flexibility of online drivers ed.


Quick List Of The Top 7 Best Online Drivers Ed Courses


What to consider when picking an online drivers ed course in 2021

Our criteria for identifying high quality online drivers ed courses is pretty strict. The things that teens learn today will help them become safe (or unsafe) drivers for the rest of their lives. It is crucial that good habits are formed early, so going with a low quality online drivers ed course that doesn't teach the student much is not ideal.

So what criteria exactly should we be looking for in an online drivers ed course? Well, like we said, they need to meet very high standards if we can trust them, and here they are:

1. Experienced reviewers - For starters, I am personally the in-house online drivers ed reviewer here at DrivingTips.com. The reason I am the chosen one for this position is because I have created online driver training programs myself. I have personally gone through each of these courses to determine their quality. I've also tested things such as calling their customer service numbers, requesting refunds, etc. 

2. Enrollment: Good drivers ed courses are those that have constantly had a high number of people enrolling and graduating over the years. If very few students are enrolling in a course, it's a good sign they may not be the highest quality. On the other hand, courses that have had millions of students graduate must be doing something right.

3. Reputation: Being a reputable online course is absolutely essential. Here you want to be sure that they have many positive reviews, and these can come from a range of platforms, whether they are online forums,  yelp, review websites or scam website checkers. We also check their Better Business Bureau records to make sure they have at least an A rating.

4. State certifications: Many online drivers ed courses trick people into signing up for a course that is state certified. All of the courses listed below will verify your eligibility.

And quite frankly, these reviews and ratings are based a lot on my personal opinion of the course as a driving instructor. My advice is to check them all out and decide for yourself which one looks best.

Are online drivers ed courses better than what you can get in a classroom?

Online drivers ed courses offer an interactive way of learning about driving. The level of interaction you can get is thanks to the very visual and varied format an online course can take on. It's not simply a lecture or plain text, but online courses are able to incorporate interactive quizzes, photos, animations and more to engage a student. It's a way of learning that goes beyond the limited capacity or resources of the traditional classroom, which may be limited to lectures, textbooks and workbooks, which aren't as engaging or visual for young students trying to learn about driving.We've already briefly touched upon comparing an online course with a classroom, but let's take a look at this further. First things first, it's worth acknowledging that every student is different and each have different learning preferences. For example, some may prefer having a one-on-one lesson with a driving instructor. But if questions come up related to driving, students can easily ask their parents. Let's not forget that most parents are actually quite qualified when it comes to knowing about driving, with their decade or two (or more) of experience. Parents will find that online courses offer parent specific resources that can help you help your child get a grasp of drivers ed and learn what they need to become a safe driver.

Also, online drivers ed courses have the advantage of personalizing the learning experience and allowing students to grasp concepts at their own pace. For instance, if there's something that you don't pick up on or don't understand initially, then you can easily go back and revisit parts of the course. So, in short, online courses are really an effective way to teach drivers ed - and as we're seeing their increasing popularity, we can tell that it's becoming the preferred way for many students and their parents.

My reviews of the top 7 best online drivers ed courses

We can go on and on about the benefits of online drivers ed courses, but now that you've got the gist of it, let's see what the best online drivers ed courses are. I of course haven't reviewed every online drivers ed course out there, but I did review the biggest ones with the best reputations. I have listed these courses in order of my favorite down, but any of these courses are higher quality and will take care of your requirements as long as the course is certified in your state.


1. Aceable (TOP RECOMMENDATION)

Aceable Best Online Drivers Ed Courses Review

Approved in the following states: CA, FL, GA, NV, OH, OK, PA, TX, & IL

Aceable is, without a doubt, the absolute best online drivers ed course in America right now. If you are lucky enough to have this course approved in your state, this is easily my top recommendation and I strongly urge you to check them out. Aceable is actually the least experienced of all the other online drivers ed courses on this list as they just launched in 2016. So why would I recommend them over the more experienced schools?

The fact Aceable is new is actually the big advantage that they have over the rest. They just built their course from the ground up, making Aceable the most modern online drivers ed course on the market. For example, they are the only online drivers ed course that actually has a dedicated app for your phone or tablet. This means Aceable works better than any other course on mobile devices.

Aceable also has the most advanced content delivery platform. You'll learn through reading tet, watching videos, animations, graphics, and even playing interactive games. Their awesome animated mascot, Acea, will guide you through the entire process. Heck, just check out this video below from the Aceable course. If you're on a mobile device, be sure to look around. If you're on a PC or laptop, user your mouse to look around as Ace teaches you how to parallel park. 

Pretty cool, right?! And that's just a little taste. There is simply no other online drivers ed course that does this kind of thing besides Aceable. They are years beyond any other competitor. If I had to sign up for an online drivers ed course today, this would be the one without any question.

Get The Best Price On Aceable Here


iDriveSafely Online Drivers Ed

Approved in the following states: CA, CO, FL, GA, IN, KY, NV, OK, TX, PA, & VA.

iDriveSafely is a very reputable online drivers ed course which has been around for more than 20 years. During this time, they've had high enrollment rates, and altogether, so far they've had more than 5 million students graduate from their online course. You'll also find that many good things have been said about iDriveSafely with positive reviews on online forums and review websites. They also have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

iDriveSafely comes with fun interactive games, videos and animations that are designed to make it an engaging and interesting experience for students. iDriveSafely  works well on mobile devices and you can switch between devices anytime. I really enjoyed the cast of characters that bring students through the course material. iDriveSafely develops a pretty good story line and makes it fun to progress through with the animated guides such as the car air freshener and the hula girl on the dashboard. 

Apart from having valuable student resources, this online course also offers resources for parents, and offers a separate parent guide. This guide helps parents with providing driving lessons, preparing their teen to take the exams at the DMV, information about graduated drivers licenses, and the process to obtain a permit and license.

And finally, iDriveSafely also offers high quality US based customer support in case you run into any issues along the way. For the most part, iDriveSafely  has everything going for it. You can't go wrong with this course.

Get The Best Price On iDriveSafely Here


Improv Traffic School

Approved in the following states: CA, FL, GA, IN, KY, & NV

Improv Traffic School initially only offered an online traffic school, but has gone on to extend it to include drivers ed courses. What's so great about the set up and design is that they've found a way to make it a fun learning experience through humor. They call their learning style "edutainment". Check out the video below to get a bit of an idea of the humor they use.

This program was started by the nationwide chain of Improv Comedy Clubs. They knew how boring typical drivers education is, so they set out to make a course that was fun and engaging through comedy. With their online drivers ed course, you'll be learning all the essentials when it comes to drivers ed, but in a way that engages you and keeps you entertained. However, not all states have access to the Improv Traffic School drivers ed course. So for the lucky few who do have access to the school, it's certainly a worthwhile option to consider for an online drivers ed course.

This is another very experienced online drivers ed course. Improv Traffic School has served millions of students and they've been around for more than 20 years. They actually started before internet courses were available by sending people workbooks through the mail, but now it is all done online.

So if you're looking for a comedy based approach, give Improv Traffic School a try. In most states, you can start taking the course for free without providing any payment information.

Get The Best Price On Improv Traffic School Here


4. DriversEd.com Review

Drivers Ed Best Online Courses

Approved in the following states: AL, AK, CA, CO, DE, FL, ID, MI, MO, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, ND, OH, OK, OR, TN, TX, VA, WA, & WI

DriversEd.com not only has been around for a good number of years, but it was actually among the first online drivers ed courses to be available. That's not it's only claim to fame. With its latest upgrade, the course now has animations and videos that come in a 3D type format. My favorite feature for this course are the 3D animated driving simulations where driving hazards are presented and students must make the correct decisions. They also have students learn some of the more boring information, such as memorizing the colors for road signs, through the use of games. This really helps to increase student retention rates. Check out the quick video demo below.

DriversEd.com also gets an A + rating from Better Business Bureau and has other positive reviews such as on Yelp, Reddit, and TrustPilot. Since they have been around since the lat 1990's, this is another online drivers ed course that has had millions of students served.

I also found that DriversEd.com offered above average customer support. Their customer service office is located in Carlsbad, California and I tested their phone, email, and chat support. All of them left me feeling like they have competent reps that know how to resolve issues.

I tested DriversEd.com from my iPhone 11 and while there are some parts of the course that load a bit slow, it has definitely been optimized to work on mobile devices. That makes this a good course for students on the go.

Get The Best Price On DriversEd.com Here


Teen Driving Course Online Drivers Ed

Approved in the following states: CA, CO, NV, OK, PA, TX, IN, & FL

Teen Driving Course Online has recently been updated, and as a result, it's now one of the best online drivers ed courses on the market. This one may be a better option if you are looking for an online drivers ed course that is affordable but still good. In most states, Teen Driving Course guarantees that they are the cheapest online drivers ed program. If you find one at a cheaper price, they will match or beat it.

In terms of its course, some may say that the ones I've mentioned above are better because this one is not as interactive as the others. Having said that though, this course is on this list not just for its price. It has a good reputation with a stellar Better Business Bureau rating of A + and many years of experience (at least 15). The company also has other notable features such as its money back guarantee, so they stand behind their product.

In the latest update, Teen Driving Course has vastly improved the mobile usability experience. While they do not have a dedicated app, this is one of the better online drivers ed courses for those who want to use a phone or tablet. All in all this is a great well rounded course that you should consider.

Get The Best Price On Teen Driving Course Here


6. Drivers Ed To Go Review

Driver Ed To Go Best Online Drivers Ed Courses

Approved in the following states: CA, CO, FL, GA, IN, NV, NM, OH, OK, TX, VA, & WI

Driver Ed To Go is another good option when it comes to affordability. They also have over 10 years experience and an excellent record with an A + Better Business Bureau rating. You shouldn't be expecting anything as great as say iDriveSafely, but the course still comes with videos, animations and photos. The key thing about this online course is that it's offered at a low price, and is probably one of the cheapest you can find on the internet.

Fortunately, even though Driver Ed To Go is cheap, they did just redo their entire course about a year ago. They added some really great new features like interactive videos that teach you the different parts of a car, how to parallel park, etc. They also updated their videos and written information to be more up to date. So not only is Driver Ed To Go cheap, it's actually one of the most updated courses on the market.

Beware that this course does have some upgrades available. I wouldn't call them "hidden charges" as they ask you upfront if you want these upgrades, but the base price does not include things like audio read along features that are included automatically with other courses. However, they provide adequate customer service and with more than 4 million students having graduated they must be doing some things right! Check out the video below for a quick sneak peak into their course:


Safe2Drive Online Drivers Ed Review

Approved in the following states: CA, FL, GA, IA, NV, OH, PA, & TX
 

Last but certainly not least is Safe2Drive. This is yet another online drivers ed school that has been around for a couple of decades. One great thing about Safe2Drive is that you can start the course for free without any payment information at all. This makes it truly zero risk. If you don't like it, just stop taking the course. No need to ask for a refund. But even after you pay, they still offer a money back guarantee.

Safe2Drive is a little more text-heavy than some of the other courses on this list, but many students actually prefer that. If you don't want to learn by watching videos and playing games, but prefer a more traditional text-based approach, this is a good online drivers ed program to consider.

Safe2Drive has above average customer support with extended customer service hours 7 days per week. When I called their customer service number I had a very short wait time before I was connected with a live person. Check out the video below for an example of their cousre content.


So there you have it, a list of some very good options for online drivers ed courses. Of course, this list is by no means comprehensive - because there are obviously hundreds more courses out there - but it's supposed to be a list of some of the top quality courses on offer. As you can see from the reviews for yourself, the online drivers ed courses mentioned differ in various aspects. Some may be more better options for their interactive quality, and others for their low price.

But either way, from this list you can rest assured that they are legitimate and trustworthy companies offering drivers education courses online. They all have a solid A + Better Business Bureau rating which makes them reputable, as well as having many years experience (10 plus years). What's more, each of these online drivers ed courses come with money back guarantees, which means that they are confident you'll be getting the experience you sign up for - and if you don't, well then, you've got their money back guarantee.

How you use an online drivers ed course?

The role of an online drivers ed course depends on what state you're living in and the requirements it has. Sometimes its application may be limited and you can only use it to study for your driving permit. But in other states, the role of online drivers ed courses is more prominent - and that's what we said in the beginning, that more states are starting to approve these courses for wider application. In such states, the online drivers ed courses is actually a full substitute to learning the course in the classroom. As a result, the online course is a process that takes months because it serves as your complete drivers education, and with it, you will meet the drivers ed requirements of the state. To find out whether your state permits the online drivers ed courses and the specific process involved, you can go to the website of the online courses we have listed and select your state.

California Online Traffic School Reviews For 2021

California Online Traffic School Reviews For 2021

These California online traffic school reviews will mainly focus on the highest quality online traffic schools you can sign up for online. All reviews are updated as of 2021.

So, the online traffic schools listed below are not just online traffic schools that have been certified by the state of California, but these are the best of the best.

However, what do I mean by “best” online traffic schools in California?

For starters, they are easy as hell. Second, they are the fastest online traffic schools allowed by California state law. It’s not going to take a second longer than it has to. All the online traffic schools listed below are also well established with over 12 years of experience in the industry and offer 24/7/365 customer support.

While I don’t have enough time to create California online traffic school reviews for every traffic school that is available in the state, I did want to give you a heads up on which online traffic schools you should sign up for.

The Top 5 Best California Online Traffic Schools In 2021

Based on my experience in the industry and actually going through dozens of online traffic schools in California, these are the 5 best state-approved California online traffic schools. My advice is to check each of them out and just go with whatever school you are most comfortable with.


Top Pick: iDriveSafely

iDriveSafely Online Traffic School

iDriveSafely is the best online traffic school you can take in California for several reasons. For starters, they’ve been around for literally decades and have had MILLIONS of students go through their traffic school courses. So if you’re looking for an online traffic school in California that is well-established and has a solid reputation, iDriveSafely is definitely worth considering.

However, what really makes iDriveSafely the best online traffic school in California is how fast and easy it is. They know you’re not taking traffic school by choice, so they made the course as fast and easy for you to complete as possible.

For example, in the state of California, traffic schools are not required to have “course timers” like in many other states. That means you can blow through this course very quickly. It’s supposed to take about 6 to 7 hours, but most people are able to finish this traffic school in just 1 to 3 hours depending on how easily you pass the quizzes.

iDriveSafely has a money-back guarantee, so if you sign up and don’t like it, you can just get your money back and sign up for a different course. The price of iDriveSafely is also on point, generally being among the cheapest online traffic schools in California. They do offer some extras such as a video-based traffic school course or audio read-along options, but I just recommend signing up for the basic course as you can generally get it done faster without the addons. All in all, iDriveSafely is a great option to fulfill your traffic school requirements in California.

Get The Best Price On iDriveSafely Here


2. Aceable

Aceable California Online Traffic School

Aceable is another great option to consider and is arguably the best online traffic school you can sign up for. This online traffic school hasn’t been around for nearly as long, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Many of the older and well established online traffic schools have become terribly outdated over the years. Since Aceable was just built from the ground up fairly recently, it is the most modern, user-friendly, and advanced online traffic school in California.

I especially recommend Aceable to anyone who plans on taking their traffic school curriculum from a smartphone or tablet. Out of all my California online traffic school reviews, Aceable is the only course that I’ve seen who has a dedicated app for any device you want to use (Android, Apple, etc.). The vast majority of online traffic schools in California are mobile-friendly, but the are browser-based which have some limitations. Aceable’s app-based approach offers a much smoother and better functioning user platform.

I do think that Aceable might take a bit longer to complete than iDriveSafely, but not by much. It is still a very simple course to complete, the pricing is about the same, and it comes with a guarantee that you’ll like the course. I’ve also found that people generally report a better experience with the customer service department if you find the need to contact them.

You can’t really go wrong with either of these two courses, but if you are going to mostly attend your traffic school using your phone or tablet, I would probably choose Aceable as the best online traffic school.

Get The Best Price On Aceable Here


3. Improv Traffic School

Improv California Online Traffic School

Truth be told, Improv Traffic School is one of my personal favorites. This traffic school began before California even offered online traffic school options. Back in the 90’s, they launched their own classroom-based traffic school courses and had a very unique business model. Instead of just having any old boring driving instructor lecture at you, they had a comedian who would combine a stand-up routine with the traffic school curriculum. Since taking traffic school is so incredibly boring, this model worked great and became a hit right away.

As online traffic school in California became the preferred way for people to fulfill their requirements, Improv Traffic School decided to take this same comedy based approach and create an online course. They coined the term “edutainment”. In other words, they want to entertain you while you learn and go through the course.

Now, I have to admit, I’m pretty easily amused. A lot of the comedy that Improv Traffic School uses is pretty cheesy and what you might consider slapstick comedy. But if you have a goofy sense of humor like I do, you might even laugh while going through your traffic school course instead of having to stare blankly at page after page of boring text.

As with any other high-quality online traffic school in California, you’ll be able to take the course with no risk as there is a money-back guarantee. You can also take the course from any device and it will not take you a second longer than it has to by state law. Improv Traffic School is a great choice if you want to take a fast, easy, and cheap online traffic school while also being entertained by Hollywood comedians.

Get The Best Price On Improv Traffic School Here


4. Go To Traffic School

Go To Traffic School

Go To Traffic School is another online traffic school in California that has existed for decades. The biggest advantage of Go To Traffic School is the pricing. They guarantee to be the cheapest online traffic school in California. If you find a traffic school for a lower price, they will match or beat the price.

In addition to the low cost, Go To Traffic School offers a pretty modern course. I was starting to get concerned about this traffic school as it was starting to get very outdated, but over the past year or two Go To Traffic School has made significant upgrades to their coursework. The improvements include an updated user platform, more mobile-friendliness, and all-new interactive videos and other interactive features like games to help you retain the info you need to know.

I’ve also found that the quizzes seem to be much easier with Go To Traffic School. All online traffic schools in California are required to have 6 quizzes plus a final exam. You must successfully pass each quiz before you can move on. While they are all pretty easy, Go To Traffic School seems to have the easiest quizzes which can help reduce retakes and speed the process up.

Go To Traffic School guarantees that you will pass their course, even though any online traffic school in California will be pretty easy to pass. There are over 4 million people who have taken a traffic school course through Go To Traffic School, so this is a safe bet to go with and certainly worth checking out.

Get The Best Price On Go To Traffic School Here


5. DriversEd.com

Drivers Ed Best Texas Online Defensive Driving

Last, but certainly not least, is DriversEd.com. As their name implies, this online traffic school was first created as an online drivers ed program for teen drivers. They began way back in the ’90s by offering home study drivers ed coursework through the mail. Eventually, they put their coursework online, becoming the most popular online driver’s ed course in California. They then decided to launch online traffic school as part of their business and have had millions of people “graduate” from their program.

The cost of DriversEd.com is right on par with the industry standard. You won’t be getting any sort of crazy deal by signing up for this online traffic school, but you won’t be overpaying, either. The best thing about DriversEd.com is the 3D animated videos. Generally, I don’t recommend online traffic school courses in California that are heavily focused on video because it tends to take longer to get through. With that said, we all learn differently and some of us really don’t do well with plain ol’ text. If you want to change things up by having some high-quality videos mixed in, DriversEd.com could be the best option for you.

This course works well on mobile devices, their course is guaranteed, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone actually failing this traffic school. This is a great course for younger drivers as much of the coursework is taken directly from their online driver education programs, so it could serve as a nice refresher for younger drivers.

After everything is considered, this is a relatively quick, easy, and low priced online traffic school course in California that works well on mobile devices while also spicing things up a bit through videos. this should definitely be a top consideration.

Get The Best Price On DriversEd.com Here


As A Driving Instructor, I Know What You’re Looking For

I am a certified driving instructor and I have a lot of experience with online driver education companies, including the companies that run state-certified online traffic schools in California. As a certified driving instructor, you probably assume I’m some dude that is passionate about safe driving and teaching others about driving safely on the roadways. Gosh, what a bore I must be! While I am indeed passionate about safe driving and teaching others about driving safely on the roadways, I also understand you aren’t taking your California online traffic school by choice. You’re taking traffic school as a way to reduce your driving points, dismiss a traffic ticket, or reduce your auto insurance rates. That probably means you just want to get it done as quickly, easily, and as cheap as possible, right? Right. So, with that in mind, I recommend you stick with one of the above online traffic schools in California that I reviewed for you.

The BEST Overall Online Traffic School In California For 2021

If you just want the fast answer, take a look at this online traffic school. They have existed since before online traffic school was even offered in California and are one of the most popular, if not the most popular choice for California residents. The biggest reason I recommend this online traffic school is because they are the fastest traffic school allowed in the state of California but the course is still high quality. Plus, you get 24/7/365 customer support, a money-back guarantee, and they are certified for every county in the state of California for ticket dismissal and point reduction purposes. Of all the California online traffic school reviews posted here, this is clearly the best one to sign up with.

The Most Entertaining Online Traffic School In California

If you’re looking for a course that is the least boring, here is the best option for that. This course was created by a bunch of Hollywood comedians and is actually run by the nationwide Improv Comedy Club chain. The course is the shortest allowed by law and they provide excellent customer support, but what really sets them apart is the actual course material. It is filled with hilarious stand-up routines related to driving safety, comics, funny pictures, and even a few games thrown in here and there. The basic premise of this online traffic school is simple. Taking traffic school is boring and it sucks, so they made it a little less boring and a little less sucky. You can check out this online traffic school here.

The Cheapest Online Traffic School In California, Guaranteed

When I sat down to write these California online traffic school reviews, I decided I would provide a very cost-effective option. While it might not be the highest quality online traffic school around, this online traffic school is the cheapest one you are allowed to take in California. Sure, it might be a little outdated and they might not have professional comedians creating stand-up routines for the course material, but it’s fast, it’s cheap, and it’ll get the job done. They’ve had more than 5,000,000 people take their traffic school, so it’s completely legit and one of the most used online traffic schools in existence. So, if you don’t really care about anything except signing up for the fastest and cheapest online traffic school you can find, this is definitely the one you should check out.

Be Aware Of Your MANY Options For Traffic School In California

As I said earlier, these California online traffic school reviews are not all-inclusive. Not by a long shot. There are literally HUNDREDS of online traffic school that has been approved in California. The traffic schools I listed above are simply the TOP 5 that I have seen. With my experience in the industry, I do hope you heed my advice, but of course, you should always check reviews on other sites before you make your final decision.

How Long Does Online Traffic School Take In California?

As of 2021, you can get your online traffic school done in California in under 2 hours. Traffic school in California usually takes 6 hours if you go to a classroom, but since online traffic schools are not timed in California, you can get it done very quickly.

The quizzes and tests are all open book, so while you are welcome to read every word on every page and really study, this is totally unnecessary and you’re able to find the quiz answers very easily.

How Often Can Someone Take Traffic School In California?

You are able to reduce driving points on your California driving record once every two years. If you have already taken traffic school in the previous 2 years, your certificate will not dismiss any traffic ticket or remove any points from your driving record, so make sure you are elibible!

What Happens If Someone Fails A California Traffic School?

It is seriously very hard to fail an online traffic school in California. Not only do well over 99.9% of people pass it, but the majority of online traffic schools in California guarantee you will pass. Tests and quizzes are open book, and usually if you fail you can just keep retaking it until you pass. Failing a California online traffic school is exceedingly rare.

Good luck and please be sure to share your feedback once you’ve finished your traffic school. We’d love to hear how your experience went.

5 Tips To Pass Your Driver’s Permit Exam On The First Try

Pass Your Driver’s Permit Exam On The First Try

If you are getting ready to take your driver’s permit exam to get your driving permit, you are probably starting to get nervous. Getting your driver’s license can be a long and tedious process, but it all starts with the learner’s permit. Until you have that permit in hand, you will not be able to start driving and work on your driving skills.

While it is easy to be intimidated by the whole permit process, you do not have to let it get to you. With the right preparation and planning, you can ace all the questions and pass the test with flying colors your first time out.

#1. Use Sound Study Habits

It is tempting to cram for your permit exam, but sound study habits will serve you better in the long run. Cramming for the exam and reading and rereading the driver’s manual may help your short-term memory, but these techniques will do nothing to help you retain the information for the test.

Never wait until the day before the exam to start studying. You should be studying the manual a little bit every day. Looking at that thick set of rules and regulations can be daunting, but breaking the task down into more manageable chunks will help a lot. If you think it will take you a week to read the manual cover to cover, break the task down into days and set bookmarks to keep you on track. This technique will make studying easier and more productive.

#2. Know What the Test is Like

The process for administering the written permit exam varies from state to state. Be sure to research the testing process in your state before you sit for the actual exam.

Many state DMVs use computer terminals or electronic exams to test their new drivers, while others rely on printed testing materials. Knowing what to expect will give you more confidence and help you relax on testing day.

#3. Learn from Your Mistakes

Practicing the test questions with a friend or family member is one of the best ways to learn. It is also the best way to identify your weak points and gaps in your knowledge of state traffic laws.

Each time you practice the test, ask your friend to flag the questions you get wrong. Make those questions the focus of your next learning session, and keep practicing until you can ace every question. Knowing the traffic laws inside and out will give you the confidence you need to pass the actual test with flying colors.

#4. Live a Healthy Lifestyle

A healthy lifestyle is good for your body and your mind. Eating healthy will help you feel more refreshed and less stressed, so include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. Supplement those fruits and vegetables with delicious whole grains, lean meats and dairy products.

Be sure to get plenty of sleep in the weeks leading up to the permit exam. A lack of sleep could leave you feel groggy and unwell on the day of the test, and that could hurt your chances of passing and getting your permit.

#5. Reduce Your Anxiety

Nothing will kill your chances of passing the test as much as nerves. Being nervous on test day will throw off your concentration and can lead to inadvertent mistakes on the questions.

If you meditate or use formal relaxation techniques, now is the time to use them. If not, take deep breaths, close your eyes and visualize yourself passing the test and walking out with your permit in hand.

Getting your learner’s permit gives you the freedom to drive and practice your skills. The state has a vested interest in making sure its new drivers have the knowledge they need to be safe behind the wheel, and the testing process is designed for that purpose. From knowing what to expect to practice the questions and answers, the right preparation can help you get that coveted permit and get behind the wheel.

The 4 Best Online Driver’s Ed Courses

Facts About Medicated Driving

Facts About Medicated Driving

The hazards of driving while intoxicated are well-publicized and facts are widely available. Yet many people drive after taking prescription pain medications, sedatives, and psychotropic medications like antidepressants. Others drive after using illegal drugs. Even some over-the-counter medications can impair a driver, especially an older person. Medicated driving is essentially the same as intoxicated driving, and in some cases, can cause a more serious impairment than alcohol. In this article, we will give some facts about medicated driving and why we will likely see the number of arrests due to medicated driving increase.

About the Brain

The human brain is a fascinating and complex organ, capable of nearly instantaneous responses. The frontal lobes of the brain control decision-making and judgment, while other parts of the brain recognize patterns, colors and sounds, process information and interact with other sensory organs like the eyes and ears. As you drive, your brain receives sensory data, prioritizes information, recalls similar past experiences, anticipates possible scenarios, analyzes and considers various options, and synchronizes movements to steer the car, brake, shift or accelerate. Many medications can affect one or more of these activities.

Age Makes A Difference

One of the more surprising facts uncovered about medicated driving is that age can make a big difference. Drivers at both ends of the age spectrum face some particular risks. In one study, 78 percent of drivers between the ages of 56 and 93 were taking one or more medications, yet less than a third knew of the risks medications posed to their driving ability. Only 18 percent had received education or warnings from their doctors about the potential risks of medicated driving. Young drivers have less driving experience and are more likely to act impulsively. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 15- to 20-year-olds, according to the most recent data from the National Center for Health statistics. For either young or older drivers, medications that case even a minor degree of impairment can be the same as driving while intoxicated.

Prescription Pain Medications And The Impact On Driving Safety

Prescription pain medications (narcotics) affect the central nervous system and can sedate the brain. A person who has taken pain medications may have slowed reaction times or poor judgment, either of which can cause an accident. Narcotics like oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, fentanyl, morphine, tramadol and morphine — also called opioid pain relievers — can have the same effect on the brain as drinking alcohol. They may also cause drowsiness. If combined with alcohol, psychotropic medications, sedatives or some over-the-counter medicines, the effects are magnified.

Psychotropic Medications

Psychotropic medications are used to help people who have mental illnesses or conditions like depression and anxiety. Some psychotropic medications — like antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications — have sedative effects. Others — like medications used for ADHD — are stimulants. Either type of medication affects the brain, but different medications affect different parts of the brain. For example, benzodiazapines, also known as tranquilizers, include familiar medications like Valium and Xanax. These medications affect chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters. Common side effects of benzodiazapines include drowsiness, confusion, irritability, aggression and memory impairment — all of which can affect a person’s ability to drive safely.

Illegal Drugs

Illegal drugs are another source of medicated driving but is also referred to often as drugged driving. The 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found approximately 9.9 million people reported driving under the influence of one or more illicit drugs in the year prior to the survey. Marijuana, for example, affects the control of body movements, coordination, balance, memory and judgment. Studies have shown that a driver who has used marijuana is less attentive and that the drug affects the driver/s perception of time and speed. Cocaine, on the other hand, stimulates the brain and can cause euphoria, which also affects a driver’s judgment. A driver on cocaine is more likely to take unnecessary risks without considering possible consequences.

Non-Prescription Medications

Prescription medications are not the only potential problem when it comes to medicated driving. Many over-the-counter medications can also cause problems. One of the most common side effects of antihistamines is drowsiness. In one study, people who had taken diphenhydramine (brand name Benadryl) had more problems on a simulated driving test then when drinking alcohol. Drivers on diphenhydramine strayed out of their lanes more frequently and had worse steering control. Researchers also found that drivers who had taken diphenhydramine didn’t realize the degree to which the medication impaired their driving abilities. Cold and cough medications like NyQuil can also cause drowsiness. Medications used to control diarrhea or stop nausea can also make some people sleepy.

Other Medication Issues

Opioid and psychotropic medications directly affect the brain, so their ability to impair driving is not surprising. However, other medications that don’t directly affect the brain can also cause problems. Medications like ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers, which are used for high blood pressure, can cause drowsiness or make people dizzy. Medications used for Parkinson’s disease can affect muscle movement and coordination. Others may affect vision or reaction time. The bottom line is that nearly any medication, whether prescribed, over-the-counter, or an illegal substance, has the potential to affect people’s ability to drive. When a medication is combined with alcohol, mental illness, early dementia, or other medical conditions, the risks go up. When a person is taking more than one medication, the possibility of medication interactions also increases and may increase the risk of impaired driving. Medicated driving is often unsafe driving, and the driver may be unaware of the impairment.

Protect Yourself

You can help protect yourself from the risks of medicated driving. Never take a medication unless you really need it. Don’t take another person’s medications — doctors base the dose on a person’ size, age, medical condition and response to medicine; you could easily take too much. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about the potential side effects of a medication. Pharmacists are also a good resource for information about over-the-counter medications and their potential side effects. Never combine medications with alcohol, and don’t use illegal drugs.

Protect Your Loved Ones

Parents and adult children can also help protect their loved ones. In the case of teens, monitor behavior. If your teen shows signs of using illegal drugs, take action immediately. Many teens believe the risks of using marijuana are minor, and are not knowledgeable about the effects of other illegal drugs. Accurate information may help to dispel these unfounded opinions. As people age, their reaction times may slow. Medications can make this problem worse. Be alert for parents who seem to have coordination problems or who are forgetful. Early dementia can affect driving ability; when combined with medication side effects, the potential for impaired driving increases.

Sources used during research of this article:

FAQ’s About Sobriety Checkpoints

FAQ’s About Sobriety Checkpoints

Sobriety checkpoints, DWI checkpoints, and/or DUI checkpoints have been controversial since their inception. As is often the case when two strong competing interests clash, the matter ends up in court. In 1990, the US Supreme Court held that despite the Fourth Amendment concerns, sobriety checkpoints were a valuable tool as a means to control the dangers of drunk driving and were legally permissible if strict rules were followed. However, the matter remains unsettled 25 years later.

Are checkpoints effective in curtailing DUI?

The numbers suggest no. In general, most analysis of checkpoint data shows approximately a one percent rate of arrest among all the drivers passing through a checkpoint. Further, when compared to other DUI arrests, the conviction rates for those arrested at a checkpoint are typically lower. This is primarily due to the ability of an experienced DUI lawyer to attack the constitutionality of the checkpoint.

So checkpoints are allowed in all states?

No. Despite the Supreme Court’s ruling, 12 states do not permit sobriety checkpoints based on state statute or state interpretation of the Constitution. If you live in one of the 38 states other than those listed below or in the District of Columbia, you may experience a DUI checkpoint:

  • Alaska
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Texas
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Do the police have to tell drivers when a checkpoint will be in operation?

Yes. The place and time must be publicized in advance for two purposes: (1) to increase the deterrent effect and (2) to minimize the obtrusive impact on drivers.

How is it decided where the checkpoint will be established?

The location is supposed to be determined by policy makers not field officers based on several factors, among which are:

  • Statistical evidence citing where heavy DUI arrests have occurred
  • In a place that is clearly visible to drivers
  • In a place that the safety of the drivers and laws enforcement personnel can be best assured

Is every car subject to a stop?

It depends. As the law has evolved over the years through various court cases, there were concerns about who was being stopped. Courts have ruled that the driver of every car can be subject to some method of examination or a formula that is pre-determined will be employed. For instance, the police will stop every fourth car and the driver will be asked a few questions.

What if I see a checkpoint and don’t want to pass through it?

The law requires the checkpoint to be established in a manner that allows a driver to clearly see in advance of the stoppage and have the opportunity to avoid it without consequence. As a practical matter, however, it is not unusual for law enforcement to monitor very closely those drivers who turn around and proceed in another direction.

What rights do I have if I am ordered to pull over?

If the police have followed the letter of the law in conducting the checkpoint, they still must have reasonable suspicion of a DUI to actually conduct a stop of a driver. This could be based on any number of factors such as the method of driving, an odor of alcohol on the driver’s breath or bloodshot eyes.

Do I have to submit to testing?

It is a common misconception that field sobriety tests are mandated by law. A driver is perfectly within his or her rights to refuse such testing. Often times the police use the results of FSTs to provide the probable cause for an arrest. However, in many instances, an arrest will nonetheless result even if the driver refuses to take the FST, and every state has what is known as implied consent laws that require a driver who has been arrested for suspicion of DUI to submit to blood alcohol content testing.

A sobriety checkpoint must be properly established and conducted in a manner consistent with the law to be valid. If not, evidence that was gathered as a result may be challenged in court. The police do make mistakes; if you have been arrested at a DUI checkpoint, it is prudent to contact a knowledgeable DUI lawyer as soon as possible.

How to Tell If Your Car Needs a Tire Change

How to Tell If Your Car Needs a Tire Change

Tires are one of the most important components of your car. Many critical aspects of your car, such as road grip, braking efficiency, ride quality, stability, handling, and fuel economy, depend on the quality of its tires. It is estimated that every year, tire failures account for over 200 fatal road accidents in the U.S. It is important to check your car tires periodically and maintain or replace them when necessary. Tires have a maximum life of about 10 years, but a number of factors can shorten it.

Tires deteriorate with age

Tires have a shelf life even if they are unused. Even if you use your car sparingly, its tires will slowly deteriorate. The rate at which this happens depends on conditions such as the temperature, tire pressure, wheel alignment, weight of the car, frequency of usage, driving style, and road quality. You must look out for signs of aging, especially when your tires are over five years old.

Cracks on the rubber surface and deformation are signs of dry rot. Such tires can fall apart while you are on the road. When you check the tires, don’t ignore the spare. If you notice any problem with the tires, get them checked by an expert. You must also insist on a tire inspection when your car is serviced. An expert will be able to tell you if it is time to replace the tires. In any case, don’t drive with tires that are over 10 years from the manufacturing date, which is mentioned on the tire wall.

VIDEO: How To Learn How Old Your Tires Are

Damage due to accidents

Accidents, punctures, or driving over poor-quality roads can damage tires. Driving with flat tires can also damage its internal structure. Get your tires checked by an expert if you:

a) Have an accident.

b) Hit the curb.

c) Accidentally drive with flat or nearly flat tires.

d) Drive over a speed breaker at high speed or go over a car-jarring pothole.

If internal damage is a possibility, remove the tire from the wheel to ascertain that it is safe to use. A bulge on the sidewall of a tire is a sure indication of structural damage. You must never drive with such tires because they can burst while you are on the road. A tire blowout at high speed could make you lose control of the vehicle and result in a serious accident. Never drive with tires that are structurally damaged. Replace them immediately.

Uneven wear

The engine is the heaviest part of the vehicle, therefore your car’s front tires endure more stress and wear. Uneven wear also can be caused by incorrect tire pressures, wheel alignment issues, and wheel balancing problems. Problems with the suspension or transmission can also cause tires to wear unevenly. Uneven wear will shorten the life of your tires.

To minimize problems related to uneven wear, ensure that the tires are always inflated to the recommended pressures. Both over- and under-inflation are harmful. Under-inflated tires tend to wear out faster on the shoulders. Over-inflated tires will wear out faster in the middle. Besides preventing unnecessary tire wear, correct tire pressure will also make your ride more comfortable and give you better fuel economy.

Wheel rotation (swapping the front and rear wheels periodically) will reduce uneven wear due to weight distribution issues. Tire wear on just one shoulder indicates a possible suspension misalignment. Ensure that the wheels are aligned and balanced every time your car is serviced. If there is too much uneven wear, get your car checked by an expert and replace tires if required.

VIDEO: Tire Wear Patterns Explained

Normal wear

Tires wear out with usage, and if you drive a lot, your car tires will need replacement much earlier than their maximum life of 10 years. As a tire wears, the tread depth decreases. When the tread depth reaches 1.6 mm, the tire must be replaced. Beyond this point, safety is seriously compromised. In some countries, the law requires a minimum tread depth of 1.6 mm. Even with the minimum legal tread depth, your car may be unsafe on wet roads. Drive slowly and cautiously until you get the tires replaced.

Modern tires have tread wear indicators that will tell you when the tread is down to its minimum depth. Tread wear indicators are small rubber bridges within the treads. When the tire is worn down to the bridge, that is, the bridge is level with the rest of the tire surface, it means you have just 1.6 mm of tread left and the tire is no longer roadworthy. It’s best to replace your tires when you have about 2 mm of tread left. If you drive a lot, you should check the tread depth at least once a month. Do it more frequently as the tires age.

If you experience an unusual vibration in the steering wheel or if the ride is rough, there could be a problem with your car tires. In most cases, it’s just a matter of under-or over-inflated tires or wheels that need balancing, all of which can be corrected easily. On the other hand, if your tires are worn out or damaged, you should get them replaced right away. Before you decide to replace your tires, have them checked by an expert to rule out any other problems.

Minimizing Risks Of Accidents While Driving

Minimizing Risks Of Accidents While Driving

Driving a motor vehicle is a serious responsibility, not only to you, but also to all others on the road. To be a good, safe driver you must know the rules and respect them, know and follow proper driving procedures, and have a good = attitude. The proper attitude toward the laws and toward others on the road is extremely important. Courtesy toward others should be practiced at all times.

GOOD DRIVING HABITS

It is just as easy to develop good driving habits as it is to fall into bad habits. Safety techniques begin the moment you step into the car. Start by forming good habits immediately and use them for EVERY trip, whether it’s for just a few blocks or for several hundred miles.

ENTERING THE CAR

Develop a routine for entering and leaving your car. Adjust the seat, mirrors, and check passengers to be sure they are properly seated and do not interfere with your driving. Before switching on the ignition, buckle your safety belt and see that all passengers do likewise. If you are driving a hand-shift vehicle equipped with a manual transmission, push in the clutch before turning the ignition key. If you have an automatic transmission, be sure the indicator is in park or neutral and depress the brake pedal as you turn the key.

POSTURE AND STEERING

Good posture at the steering wheel is important. It will result in better vision, control, and ability to maneuver in an emergency. You should sit erect, comfortably gripping the outside rim of the steering wheel with both hands. Don’t grip the wheel so tightly as to restrict reflexes but keep a firm grip to maintain control. Always keep both hands on the wheel except when it is necessary to remove one for signaling or for another purpose necessary to the operation of the vehicle.

STARTING FROM A PARKING PLACE

In preparing to leave a parallel parking spot, look over your shoulder as well as in rear view mirrors and wait until the way is clear before pulling into traffic. Indicate your intention by signaling. Enter traffic in the nearest lane and remain in that lane until it is safe to change into another lane.

ON THE ROAD

You must drive within a single traffic lane without weaving from one lane to another or straddling the lane marking. You are in a traffic lane whenever driving on any street or highway. A traffic lane is part of a street or highway wide
enough to permit safe operation of a vehicle or line of vehicles. Often lanes are
not marked, but they are there whether marked or not.

RULES FOR TURNS

These are some of the rules for making safe, courteous and legal turns:

  • Prepare for the turn before you get there. Don’t make the decision to
    turn at the last moment. Observe and be alert.
  • Get into the proper turn lane well ahead of the place where you will
    make your turn. Be sure it is safe to make the change.
  • At least 100 feet before making the turn, signal your intentions.
  • Continue the signal until you are ready to make the actual turn. Signals are given to inform both pedestrians and drivers of your intentions.
  • Both hands should be on the steering wheel when actually turning. Pedestrians have the right of way over the motor vehicle.
  • Reduce speed before making turns.
  • Always finish your turn in the proper lane.
  • Make sure in advance that it is safe to turn. Check to the front, rear, and sides for cars and pedestrians, and also watch for situations developing in the street you will enter upon turning.
  • Be certain your signals are discontinued after completing a maneuver.
  • During the daytime, hand and arm signals may be used in addition to signal lights. Reflection of bright sunlight may make it difficult for other motorists to see your flashing signal light.

TURNING FROM FOUR-LANE HIGHWAYS

In making a right turn from a four-lane or divided highway, enter the right lane well in advance of the turn and make a tight turn into the right lane of the cross street.

For a left turn, move to the lane nearest the center line or traffic divider and turn from the inside lane. Avoid a wide swing during your turn. Enter the cross street just to the right of the centerline. Some intersections are marked to permit turns from more than one lane and you may make your turns as indicated by signs or pavement markings.

PROPER TURNING RULES

  • Plan ahead.
  • Be in the proper lane well before the turn (follow proper steps to change lanes).
  • Signal the direction you plan to turn.
  • Reduce your speed and check for persons and vehicles in your turning path.
  • Turn into the proper lane (see Turning Diagrams).
  • Adjust speed to the flow of traffic.
Alabama Turning Laws
Alabama Turning Laws
Alabama Turning Laws

When making a three-point-turn, turning your vehicle around so that you are driving in the opposite direction from the direction that you were traveling, the three-point-turn must be made without endangering other traffic. They are normally permitted where your vehicle can be seen for a great distance and where traffic is such that making a three-point-turn would not constitute a hazard. Three-point turns are not permitted on interstate freeways, on curves, or near the top of hills where you cannot be seen by drivers of other vehicles approaching from either direction within 500 feet.

Three-point turns are governed by local ordinances and there may be no signs to warn you. Prohibitory signs are usually posted at hazardous locations.

CURVES

Slow down before entering curves because of the danger of running over the center line or leaving the roadway. A driver should enter a curve slow enough to enable him to accelerate slightly when actually rounding the curve.

SHARING THE ROAD WITH MOTORCYCLES

The increasing popularity of motorcycle riding is evident by the variety of riders and two-wheeled motor vehicles appearing on our streets and highways. Motorcycle accident statistics show that a substantial percentage of the accidents involve riders with limited experience.

Motorcyclists have the same rights and responsibilities on public roadways as other highway users. While legally everyone must abide by the same traffic laws, there are special situations and conditions drivers need to be aware of so they can share the road safely with those who choose to use two wheels instead of four.

Why is it so important to be aware of motorcycles and their operation? Primarily because motorcycles are not easily identified in traffic. Motorcycles are only about two feet wide compared with the five-to-six-foot width of an automobile. Even when seen, it’s difficult for some drivers to judge how far away motorcyclists are.

Finally, even when seen and the distance away is correctly judged, some drivers can’t tell how fast motorcyclists are traveling. Being alert to this special perceptual problem and how motorcyclists react in specific situations can help to avoid colliding with motorcyclists in traffic. The following are a few of the specific situations that call for special attention by motorcyclists and the driver.

Left turns in front of an oncoming motorcyclist account for a large percentage of car/cycle injury producing accidents. The problem of not seeing the motorcyclist is two fold: car drivers may fail to pick the cyclist out of the traffic scene, or drivers may fail to judge the speed of the oncoming motorcycle. The correct behavior is to:

LOOK AND LOOK AGAIN. MAKE SURE YOU KNOW THE SPEED OF THE MOTORCYCLE BEFORE MAKING A LEFT TURN.

Turn signals are not automatically self-canceling on most motorcycles. At times, the rider may forget to turn the signal off. Before making a turn in front of any vehicle, BE SURE THE VEHICLE IS TURNING and not continuing straight with a forgotten turn signal still blinking.

Following distance behind the motorcyclist should be the same 2-second following distance given any other vehicle. Following too closely may make the rider nervous, causing the rider’s attention to be distracted from the road and traffic ahead.

Lane usage for the motorcyclist is critical. Motorcycles are entitled to the same full lane width as all other vehicles. A skilled motorcycle operator is CONSTANTLY CHANGING positions within a lane to maximize being seen, to see the roadway better, and to compensate for objects on or near the road. Drivers should never move into the same lane alongside a motorcycle even if the lane is wide and cyclist is riding far to one side. It is not only illegal, but extremely hazardous.

Inclement weather and slippery surfaces can be real problems for motorcycles. Drivers should allow even more following distance for motorcyclists when it’s dark, raining, or the road surface is wet and slippery. Skilled motorcycle riders will slow down under these conditions. Remember that motorcycles only have two wheels compared to four for a car. Be alert to the problem of glare that rain and wet surfaces create, especially at night. It is easy to lose sight of a motorcycle and its rider under the best of circumstances.

Rain, wind, dust, and smog affect the cyclist’s vision. The cyclist’s face shield, windshield, or goggles help but cannot completely overcome all the vision limitations under these conditions.

Cross winds can be hazardous to motorcyclists. Windy conditions can actually move a motorcycle out of its lane of travel. Areas to look out for are wide-open, long stretches of highways and bridges. Fast-moving, large trucks have been known to create windblasts, which can startle a motorcyclist, and under certain conditions, actually move the motorcyclist out of the path of travel. Drivers should be alert to these conditions to prepare themselves for the possible quick change in speed or direction of the motorcycle. Road surfaces and things in the road that do not normally affect other vehicles can create problems for the cyclist. Gravel, debris, pavement seams, small animals, and even manhole covers may cause the motorcyclist to change speed or direction.

Railroad grade crossings may be rough or cross the road at an angle. The rider may slow down or change direction so the tracks can be crossed head on. The cyclist may rise off the seat to help cushion the shock of a rough crossing. Metal or grated bridges create a wobbling sensation in the front tire of the motorcycle greater than the feeling experienced in a car. This wobbling sensation may cause the inexperienced motorcyclist to quickly change direction or slow down.

Grooved pavement, when first encountered by a motorcyclist, may create a similar wobbling sensation. To overcompensate for this feeling, the rider may slow down or change lanes suddenly. Regardless of who is legally at fault in car/cycle accidents, the motorcyclist usually is the loser. The driver’s general awareness of motorcycles in traffic, combined with special attention in the situations described above, can reduce motorcycle accidents, injuries, and fatalities.

SHARING THE ROAD WITH LARGE VEHICLES

When sharing the road with trucks, buses or other large vehicles, there are some special tips that are important to remember:

No-Zones are danger areas around trucks and buses where crashes are more likely to occur. Some of the No-Zones are blind spots where your car “disappears” from the view of the truck or bus driver:

Truck No Zones

Side No-Zones: Don’t hang out on either side of trucks or buses! They have large blind spots on both sides. If you can’t see the driver’s face in the side-view mirror, the driver can’t see you. If that driver needs to change lanes for any reason, you could be in big trouble. This is especially true if there is an accident situation and the driver must take evasive action. When passing a truck or bus, always try to pass on the left and do it as quickly as possible. Get your vehicle ahead of the vehicle you are passing so the driver can see you. Do not ride alongside a truck or bus.

Rear No-Zones: Avoid tailgating! Unlike cars, trucks and buses have huge no-zones directly behind them that may extend as far as 200 feet. The truck or bus driver can’t see your car and you can’t see what is occurring ahead of you. If the truck or bus driver brakes suddenly, you have no place to go. When following a large vehicle at night, always dim your headlights. Bright lights will blind the driver when they reflect off the side mirrors of the bus or truck.

Front No-Zones: Pass safely! Don’t cut in too quickly after passing a large vehicle. Look for the entire front of the vehicle in your rear-view mirror before pulling in front and don’t slow down. Truck and bus drivers need nearly two times more room to stop. A National Safety Council study of reaction time and braking distance found that at speeds of 55 miles per hour, a passenger car needs 193 feet to stop safely and a loaded truck needs 430 feet.

Backing No-Zones: Pay closer attention! Never cross behind a truck or bus that is backing up. Hundreds of accidents occur each year because motorists and pedestrians ignore a backing vehicle. Drivers of large vehicles cannot see directly behind them. They may not be able to see you.

Turning No-Zones: Avoid the “squeeze play”! Truck and bus drivers need to swing wide to the left to safely make a right turn. Watch the driver’s signal. When the right turn signal is blinking, do not attempt to pass on the right. The driver will not be able to see you and you will become trapped. It is best to wait until the truck or bus has completed the maneuver before proceeding.

PARKING

Any vehicle left standing along a rural highway for any reason must be moved off the paved or main traveled portion of the roadway. If the vehicle cannot be moved, you must take lighting and marking precautions to eliminate danger to other traffic.

PARKING ON A HILL

When parking on a hill you must make sure your car does not roll into traffic if the brakes do not hold. Always set the hand brake. Shift to the PARK position if you have one. If not, shift to reverse or low gear. If you park where there is a curb:

Facing downhill, turn your wheels toward the curb and shift into reverse gear or PARK. Facing uphill turn your wheels away from the curb and shift into low gear or PARK. If there are no curbs, turn your wheels toward the edge of the road, whether facing uphill or downhill.

Hill Parking Safety

A. Downhill with or without a curb, turn wheels toward curb.
B. Uphill with curb, turn wheels away from curb.
C. Uphill without curb, turn wheels to the right.

Parking is NOT allowed at the following places:

  • Within intersections.
  • On a crosswalk or a sidewalk.
  • Within 20 feet of a crosswalk at an uncontrolled intersection.
  • Within 30 feet of any flashing beacon, stop sign, or traffic control signal located at the side of a roadway.
  • Within 50 feet of the nearest rail of a railroad crossing.
  • Within 15 feet of a fire hydrant.
  • In front of a driveway.
  • Upon any bridge or in a tunnel.
  • On the roadway side of any vehicle parked at the curb or the edge of a highway.
  • Beside a curb that is painted yellow, or where official signs prohibit parking.
Steps To Parallel Parking

A. Car 2 pulls even with car 1.
B. Car 2 maneuvers gently toward the space.
C. Car 2 turns wheels sharply.
D. Car 2 begins straightening wheels.
E. Wheels on car should be turned parallel to the curb.

BICYCLES

Traffic laws also apply to bicyclists, but sometimes both adults and children cyclists appear unaware of the seriousness of their responsibilities. Some of the younger children do not know all of the rules that apply to bicycle driving; therefore, adult cyclists should be fully aware of the state’s traffic laws and set a good example by obeying them.

Motor vehicle drivers should also be aware of specific laws, which apply to bicycle drivers. Every bicycle driver operating upon a roadway shall ride as close as practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway, except under the following situations:

  • When passing another vehicle.
  • When preparing for a left turn.
  • When reasonably necessary to avoid road or traffic conditions such
    as debris, opening of car doors, pedestrians, etc.
  • Bicycle drivers may ride two abreast unless they impede the normal flow of traffic.
  • Bicycle driversarerequired to signal forall turns, lanechanges, or stops
    by using the same hand and arm signals as motor vehicle drivers.
  • Bicycle drivers and passengers under the age of 16 years are required
    to wear a securely fastened protective helmet when riding on public
    roadways, other public rights-of way, public bicycle paths and in public
    parks.

Since cyclists travel under their own power, it is important for motor vehicle operators to be especially aware of them to prevent collisions. Following are special situations motor vehicle drivers must be aware of:

  • Whenever a bicycle lane has been established on a roadway, any person operating a motor vehicle on such a roadway shall not drive in the bicycle lane except to park where parking is permitted, to enter or leave the highway, or to prepare for a turn.
  • When turning across a bicycle lane, the driver shall drive the motor vehicle into the bicycle lane prior to making the turn and shall make the turn so long as such preparation for a turn shall not encroach upon the safety of the bicycle driver in the lane.
  • Be especially careful when passing bicycle drivers. Make sure there is enough room between the side of your vehicle and the bicycle. When traveling at higher speeds, motor vehicles create strong wind currents which can batter a bicycle rider. Operators of such motor vehicles need to be especially cautious and courteous when passing cyclists.
  • If the road is narrow and you are unable to safely pass a cyclist, do not follow too closely and do not blast the driver with your horn. Remain behind at a safe interval and warn the cyclist that you wish to pass. If possible, use an adjacent lane.
  • Remember that a bicycle is sometimes difficult to see amid other traffic. Be especially watchful at intersections, when crossing sidewalks, or when entering or leaving alleys or driveways.
  • During wet weather, the braking ability of a bicycle is greatly reduced. Motorists should be prepared to compensate for the cyclist’s decreased ability to slow or stop.
  • Since some bicycles may not be equipped with lights or reflectors, the hours of darkness or poor visibility are potentially dangerous.

SAFETY BELT AND CHILD RESTRAINT LAWS

Alabama’s safety belt law requires that all front-seat occupants, regardless of age, be restrained.

Alabama’s child restraint law requires that children through age 15 must be restrained when riding in motor vehicles in Alabama. The law applies to occupants of front and back seats of passenger cars, pickup trucks, vans (with seating capacity of 10 or fewer), minivans and sport utility vehicles. Violators will have points assessed against their driver record, in addition to incurring a fine of $25.

The law requires the following size appropriate restraint systems:

  • Infant-only seat or convertible seat used in the rear-facing position until an infant is at least 1 year of age or 20 pounds.
  • Convertible seat in the forward position or forward-facing seat until a child is at least 5 years of age or 40 pounds.
  • Booster seat until a child is 6 years of age.
  • Seat belt until a child is 15 years of age.

WEARING SEAT BELTS IS THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY TO REDUCE HEALTH AND SERIOUS INJURIES IN TRAFFIC CRASHES

Child Restraint Laws

The 4 Best Online Driver’s Ed Courses

Ways You Can Lose Your License In Alabama

Ways You Can Lose Your License In Alabama

You are responsible for obeying all Alabama traffic laws. If you are arrested for violating Alabama driving law and convicted, you may, in addition to the punishment handed down by the court, lose your driver’s license through cancellation, revocation, suspension, or disqualification.

Cancellation of Driver License

Alabama law authorizes the Director of Public Safety to cancel any driver’s license upon determining that a person was not entitled to the license.

Failing to give required or correct information on a driver’s license application or committing any fraud in making an application is a violation of Alabama driving law and is also grounds for license cancellation.

Revocation of Driver License In Alabama

A driver license may be revoked if a driver is convicted of certain offenses of Alabama traffic laws. After the period of revocation has expired, the driver may apply for a new driver license and will be required to take and pass the complete examinations.

According to Alabama driving law, the Director must revoke your license upon receiving a record of your conviction for:

  • Manslaughter or homicide resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle.
  • Driving or being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor upon a second or subsequent conviction.
  • Driving a motor vehicle while a habitual user or under the influence of a controlled substance to a degree rendering you incapable of safely driving a motor vehicle upon a second or subsequent conviction.
  • Using a motor vehicle in the commission of a felony.
  • Failures to stop, render aid, or identify yourself in the event of a motor vehicle accident resulting in the death or personal injury of another.
  • Perjury or the making of a false affidavit or statement under oath to the Director regarding driver license laws or under any other laws relating to the ownership or operation of motor vehicles.
  • Three reckless driving convictions within 12 months.
  • Unauthorized use of a motor vehicle belonging to another.
  • Suspension of Driver License

The Alabama driving law states that a driver license may be suspended if a driver is convicted of certain offenses or is judged incompetent to operate a motor vehicle.

After the period of suspension, the driver’s license will be reinstated unless it expired during the period of the suspension, or unless all the requirements of the suspension and Alabama traffic laws were not met.

In accordance with Alabama driving law, your driver license may be suspended if you:

  • Have committed an offense for which mandatory revocation of license is required upon conviction.
  • Have been convicted of violating Alabama driving law with such frequency of serious offenses against traffic regulations governing the movement of vehicles to indicate disrespect for traffic laws, and a disregard for the safety of other persons on the highways.
  • Are a habitually reckless or negligent driver of a motor vehicle as established by a record of accidents or other evidence.
  • Are incompetent to drive a motor vehicle.
  • Have permitted an unlawful or fraudulent use of your license or mutilated such license.
  • Have committed an offense in another state which, if committed in this state under Alabama driving law, would be grounds for suspension or revocation.
  • Are convicted of fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer.
  • Are convicted of racing on the highways.
  • Fail to answer a traffic court summons on time.
  • Are ages 15 through 18 and withdraw from school under certain conditions prior to graduation.
  • In accordance with Alabama traffic laws, after a traffic conviction is 2 years old, it loses its point count for suspension purposes but remains on a driver’s record.

The Alabama Point System

The point system has been instituted in Alabama driving law as a means of identifying the problem driver (one who continually disobeys the motor vehicle laws).

Points are assessed for various violations as follows:

  • Any conviction for violation of Alabama driving law which resulted from a charge that involved the drinking of alcoholic beverages and the driving of a motor vehicle but did not require mandatory revocation of the driver license – 6 Points
  • Reckless Driving – 6 Points
  • Speeding In Excess of 85 MPH (86 or above) – 5 Points
  • Failure to Yield Right of Way – 5 Points
  • Passing Stopped School Bus – 5 Points
  • Wrong Side of Road – 4 Points
  • Illegal Passing – 4 Points
  • Following Too Closely – 3 Points
  • Disregarding Traffic Control Device (stop sign, traffic light) – 3 Points
  • Speeding in Excess of Posted Limits – 2 Points
  • All Other Moving Violations – 2 Points

Alabama Driver License Requirements

Alabama Driver License

Under the laws of Alabama, every person (with some exceptions) must be licensed to operate a motor vehicle upon public streets and roadways. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, Driver License Unit, issues driver licenses. This page will cover the Alabama driver license requirements for residence.

This chapter tells you who may qualify and what you must do to obtain an Alabama driver license. If applying for a motorcycle license, you should study the motorcycle manual.

LICENSE REQUIREMENTS

Every Alabama resident who operates any motor vehicle (except a farm tractor or implement of husbandry temporarily upon any street or highway) must have a driver license. All applicants who have not been licensed in Alabama or whose Alabama license has been expired for over three years must pass the required driver examination. A holder of an out of state license which has not been expired over one year does not have to pass a driver examination.

AN ALABAMA DRIVER LICENSE IS NOT REQUIRED FOR THESE PEOPLE

The following persons may drive a motor vehicle upon the streets or highways in Alabama without an Alabama driver license.

  • Any person in the employ or service of the United States Federal Government
  • while driving or operating a motor vehicle owned or leased by the United States Federal Government.
  • Any person while driving any farm tractor or implement of husbandry temporarily operated or moved on the highway.
  • A resident at least 16 years old who has in his immediate possession a valid driver’s license issued to him in his home state or country. This includes military personnel from other states and their families stationed in Alabama, even though their assignment in Alabama may be of long duration.
  • A non-resident at least 16 years old whose home country does not require licensing of drivers may operate a motor vehicle as a driver of not more than 90 days in any calendar year if the vehicle operated is duly registered for the current year in the home country of the non-resident.
  • A non-resident who has a valid driver’s license from the state of the previous residence may drive without an Alabama license for 30 days after becoming a resident of the state.
  • Any non-resident full-time student properly enrolled and registered in a school, college, university, or trade school in this state, who holds a valid license from his home state or country.

WHO CANNOT BE LICENSED

An Alabama driver license shall not be issued to:

  • Persons under 16 years of age.
  • Any person whose driving rights or privilege is suspended or revoked in any state.
  • Any person afflicted with or suffering from a physical or mental impairment which, in the opinion of the ALEA or examining officer, will prevent such person from exercising reasonable and ordinary control over a motor vehicle.
  • Any person failing to pass the examination when required.
  • Any person who is a habitual drunkard or addicted to the use of narcotic drugs.
  • •Any person who is under the age of 19 that is not in compliance with Alabama Act 93-368, which requires secondary school graduation or current attendance, with limited exclusions.
  • AUTHORIZED PRESENCE
  • All applicants for an original Alabama driver’s license or identification card must submit proof of authorized presence in the United States as authorized under federal law. This will help us safeguard the accuracy and integrity of the Alabama Law Enforcement Driver License documents and reduce the high cost involved as a result of using fraudulent identification in obtaining goods and services.

Identification Requirements


Applicants for an Alabama Driver License or Identification card must: 


1. Present two (2) forms of identification, at least one of which contains a photograph, (one form must be from the “Primary Listing”). 


2. Present three (3) forms of non-photo identification (one form must be from the “Primary Listing”). 


3. Applicants transferring an Out of State driver license must present their Out of State driver license, Social Security card (or one of the other acceptable documents for social security number) AND one other form from the “Primary Listing”. 
For the purpose of administering the licensing of non-working authorized foreign national applicants for an Alabama driver license and non-driver identification cards, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency presumes their status in the United States to be unauthorized until the applicant presents documents evidencing, to the satisfaction of the Department, that their presence in the United States is authorized. 
In addition to the identification requirements above, an applicant who has been deported from the United States must present proof from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that their legal presence status has been restored.

Legal Date of Birth Requirements

All applicants for any type of Alabama driver license or non-driver identification card must meet the age requirements relevant to the license or permit.

A record existing on the driver license database, as a result of a previously issued Alabama driver license or Alabama non-driver identification card may be considered proof of birth date. If no such record exists, only an original or certified copy of one of the “Primary Listed” documents could be accepted as proof of birth date.

Documentation Requirements

Only a document, which is an original or a copy certified by the issuing agency, will be accepted. If a document is a copy, the certification attached to it must be original. A document would be unacceptable if:

  • (a)  Correction fluid (white-out) has been used on pertinent informa-
  • (b)  Erasure markings appear on pertinent information.
  • (c)  Pertinentinformationismissing.
  • (d)  Pertinent information is illegible.
  • (e)  Alterations appear in pertinent information.
  • (f)  A fold, crease, tear or hole obliterates or distorts pertinent information
  • (g)  A staple obliterates or distorts pertinent information.
  • (h)  The document is not properly signed.

Social Security Number Requirements

Proof of Social Security Number must be presented by the applicant under the following circumstances, unless the number is already in the database: 
(a) When applying for any class driver license, driver license renewal, vessel license, or non-driver identification card, whether or not the applicant wishes to have the number appear on the license.

  • An original of one of the following documents is required as proof of a Social Security number:
  • (a) Social Security Card
  • (b) A certified letter (on letterhead) from the Social Security
  • Administration stating the person’s name and Social Security number. (c) United States Military Identification Card.
  • (d) United States Military form DD 214.
  • (e) Medicare/Medicaid Identification Card (if Social Security number is followed by the letter A). (f) W2 Tax Form.

Notarization Requirements


  • (a)  The notary’s seal or stamp must be affixed to the document and must be legible.
  • (b)  The notary’s name must be legible.
  • (c)  The notary’s signature must be present.
  • (d)  The complete date that the notary’s commission expires must be 
legible and must have been current on the date the document was
  • (e)  The state in which the notary is commissioned must be legible.

Acceptable documentation for proof of name, date of birth and authorized presence documents must be original or copies certified by issuing agency. Unless otherwise noted, documents must be current or be of the type that does not expire. Immigration documents must reflect at least 160 days allowable time remaining in the United States.

All applicants under the age of 19 must present a current Student Enrollment/Exclusion Form (DL-1-93). Forms may be obtained at your school or any driver license office. Forms must be completed and signed by authorized personnel.

Social Security card (Required for all applicants who have been assigned and/or are eligible for the assignment of a social security number by the Social Security Administration.)

PRIMARY DOCUMENTS

  • Certified U.S. Birth Certificate issued by an agency designated by state or federal authority
  • US Passport (current)
  • Alabama Identification Card
  • Alabama Driver License
  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • Certificate of Citizenship
  • US Certificate of Birth Abroad
  • Resident Alien Card
  • Valid Foreign Passport with a valid United
  • States Immigration Document

SECONDARY DOCUMENTS

  • U.S. State Issued Driver License
  • Non-Driver ID Card
  • Current International Driver License/Permit
  • Marriage License
  • US Armed Forces Driver
  • License
  • US Military DD-214
  • Professional License Issued by a State or Federal Agency
  • Selective Service Card
  • Veterans Administration
  • Medical Insurance ID Card
  • United States Military ID Card
  • ID card issued by School with Photo
  • School Enrollment Form (DL-1/93) Certified School Record.
  • Current Transcript
  • Most recent report card
  • Certified Letter from School
  • GED Certificate
  • Certificate of Graduation
  • W2 Tax Form along with a copy of the previous year’s filed tax forms Documents from Court of Record
  • Divorce Decree Adoption Decree Name Change Decree Bankruptcy Decree.

Probation or release documents issued by State or Federal Departments of Correction with Photo ID cards issued by the same authority or Felon ID card issued by the Sheriff of the county of applicant’s residence

ACCEPTABLE VISA CLASSIFICATIONS

Any person lawfully present in the United States in the following nonimmigrant categories is eligible to apply for an Alabama driver license/learner license/non-driver identification card/vessel license: A, B, except B-1, E, F, G-4, H, I, J, K, L, M, NATO, O, P, Q, R, S, T, TN, TD, TPS or U or V visa categories.

Note: F and M visa holders must also present Form I-20; J-1 and J-2 visa holders must also present Form DS-2019 or IAP-66.

Driver License written examinations are available in foreign languages: Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, French, German, Greek, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Thai and Vietnamese. Information on the administration of these tests may be obtained at the Driver License District Office.

HEARING IMPAIRED EXAMINATIONS

The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, in cooperation with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, has made it possible for driver license written examinations to be administered to the hearing impaired in American Sign Language. This is administered using our automated testing equipment and is available only at certain Driver License offices. Information on the administration of these tests may be obtained at the Driver License District Office.

ORAL EXAMINATIONS

Examinations are available for applicants that are unable to read and comprehend the knowledge tests. Oral Examinations may be administered using our automated testing equipment.

THE LEARNER LICENSE AND RESTRICTED LICENSE

Alabama Drivers License Graduated License law became effective October 1, 2002. Contact your local driver license office for information or log on to www.alea.gov. The minimum driving age in Alabama is 16. There are certain exceptions and restrictions:

RESTRICTED LEARNER LICENSE – Any person 15 years of age may obtain a restricted Learner License for the purpose of learning to safely and effectively operate a motor vehicle. The examination for the license is taken from information in the Alabama Driver Manual. Upon passing the required examination, the applicant will be issued a Class D Alabama driver license with a “Y” restriction. The “Y” restriction indicates that the holder may operate a motor vehicle while accompanied by a person who is 21 years

of age or older and, who is duly licensed in this state or a licensed or certified driving instructor occupying the seat beside the operator. After the holder’s sixteenth birthday, the holder may operate a motor vehicle with any licensed driver occupying the seat beside the driver. This Learner License is valid for four years, and can be renewed once.

LEARNER LICENSE Any person 16 years of age or older who, except for his lack of instruction in operating a motor vehicle, would otherwise be qualified to obtain a driver license, may obtain a Learner License upon passing the required examination. The examination for this license is taken from information in the Alabama Driver Manual. After passing the required examination, the applicant will be issued a Class D Alabama driver license with a “Y” restriction. The “Y” restriction indicates that the holder may operate a motor vehicle with a licensed driver occupying the seat beside the driver. This license is valid for four years.

A Learner License may be suspended or revoked in the same manner and for the same cause as a driver license and may also be revoked for any violations of the terms and conditions on which it was issued.

DRIVER LICENSE – Any person 16 years of age but under 18 years of age who has held a Learner License (to include a comparable license issued by another state) for six months or until their 18th birthday and has developed the necessary skills to safely operate a motor vehicle may present himself to his local driver license examiner for the road test. He must surrender his Learner License at the time of the road test. Upon passing the road test, the applicant will be issued a new regular license with the “Y” restriction removed for the remainder of the four year period. This will be at no cost to the applicant.

MOTOR DRIVEN CYCLE LICENSE – Any person 14 or 15 years of age may obtain a restricted license to operate a motor driven cycle weighing not more than 200 pounds, nor exceeding 150cc engine displacement. The examination for this license is taken from the Alabama Motorcycle Manual. Upon passing the required examination, the applicant will be issued a Class M Alabama driver license with a “B” restriction. The “B” restriction indicates that the holder may operate a motor driven cycle only. This license is valid for four years.

MOTORCYCLE LICENSE – Any person 16 years of age or older may obtain a license to operate a motorcycle. A motorcycle is defined as a motor vehicle having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground but excluding a tractor. The examination for this license is taken from the Alabama Motorcycle Manual. Upon passing the required examination, the applicant will be issued a Class M Alabama driver license. Class M indicates that the holder may operate a motorcycle only. The license is valid for four years.

In addition to the above licenses, the Director of ALEA has the authority to impose restrictions on your driver license when it appears that these restrictions are necessary for you to operate a motor vehicle safely. A common restriction is the requirement of wearing corrective lenses while driving. Another is the use of mechanical devices that aid physically impaired persons. Operation of a motor vehicle in violation of restrictions may result in the loss of your license.


VESSEL LICENSE – Any person 12 years of age or older may obtain a vessel license upon passing the required vessel examination at your local driver license office. You may also present an approved Certificate of Completion of a Boating Safety Course. Applicant must meet identification requirements.

VISION SCREENING

Those restricted to corrective lenses must wear them when taking the road test.

If, as a result of the vision examination, it is found that lenses are needed to improve eyesight, you will be required to wear corrective lenses while driving. If you don’t pass your vision examination, you will be required to have your eyes examined by a licensed eye specialist and return the report to the examiner. If the report shows that you can see well enough to operate a motor vehicle safely, you will be allowed to take the remainder of the test.

KNOWLEDGE TEST

The fee for each knowledge test is $5.00, no checks accepted. This test contains questions on Alabama traffic laws, road signs, and rules of safe driving. The test will be taken from material found in this booklet. This manual can also be found in digital format on the ALEA web site at: dps.alabama.gov.


If you are applying for a learner license and pass the knowledge test, the examiner will issue your learner license upon payment of the required fee.
If you are applying for a regular driver license and pass the road test, you will

be issued your driver license upon payment of the required fee
If you are applying for a motor driven cycle license and a learner license, you will be required to take both the motor driven cycle and the learner license examination. 
If you are applying for a motor driven cycle or a motorcycle license, you will need to study the material found in the motorcycle manual. You may pick this manual up at a Driver License Examining Office, State Trooper Office, Probate Judge or License Commissioner Office.

Automated testing is available to all applicants taking the driver license knowledge test.

THE ROAD TEST


The road test is the final step toward qualifying for the privilege of driving on public streets and highways. A driver license examiner will administer the road test. You must furnish a vehicle for the road test. Sixteen year old applicants must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. A seventeen year old applicant doesn’t have to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

The examiner will check the vehicle before the test begins. It must be in safe operating condition and have the required equipment or the road test will not be administered. You must furnish a vehicle with required documents, proof of insurance and vehicle registration, for the road test.

The equipment required for the examination includes rear view mirror, horn, windshield wipers, two separate methods of applying brakes, muffler, headlights, rear tail lights, valid license plate, stop light, directional signals, seat belts, and, if applicable, window tint compliance sticker. The license examiner may refuse to give the road test in event of hazardous weather, road conditions or an inability to effectively communicate.

The driving test will determine your ability to operate a motor vehicle properly under traffic conditions. Ordinary maneuvers may include:

  • Right and left turns
  • Signaling (hand or approved electrical devices) • Use of marked and unmarked lanes of traffic
  • Backing of vehicle
  • Observance of traffic signs and signals
  • Making a quick stop
  • General control of vehicle
  • Observation
  • Three-point turn. Stop the vehicle at the right edge of the curb. When safe, make a sharp left turn; back vehicle. Move forward in the right lane. Do not bump the curb or use the driveway.
  • Parking (uphill or downhill)

During the test, you should turn your head when you observe traffic and look over your right shoulder while backing to indicate to the examiner you are aware of conditions around you. The examiner must mark items during the test indicating “acceptable” or “needs training.” Do not be distracted by the scoring, as it does not indicate you are receiving all bad marks. No passengers or pets are permitted in the vehicle during the road test. Loose items like cameras or radios should not be in the car during the road test.

Causes for immediate failure and termination of the road test are:


  • Violation of a traffic law.
  • A dangerous action.
  • Any accident which you could have prevented, regardless of legal fault.
  • Lack of cooperation or a refusal to perform any maneuver.

If you fail the test, you will be allowed to try again after you have had time to improve your driving skills.

Unless you already have a legal right to drive in Alabama, you must come for the road test in a vehicle driven by a licensed driver. The licensed driver must remain to drive the vehicle away if you fail.

When you have passed all tests, had your photo taken, and paid the required fees, you will receive a temporary license with your photo that gives you the privilege of driving a motor vehicle. You will receive your permanent license by mail. We must have your current mailing address to receive your license. The license must be carried on your person at all times while driving.

LICENSE FEES

Class A Commercial License$66.25Motor Driven Cycle License$36.25
Class B Commercial License$56.25Motorcycle License$36.25
Class C Commercial License$36.25Learner License$36.25
CDL Permit$36.25Duplicate License$31.25
School Bus Only$36.25Identification Cards$36.25
Class D Operator License$36.25  

License fees shown above are subject to change and will be slightly higher in counties where local legislation permits a higher fee.

The minimum age requirements for Alabama Driver License and Non-Driver Identification cards are as follows:

TYPE

Identification Card
Class D Learner License Class D
Motor Driven Cycle Vessel License
CDL Class A Unrestricted CDL Class B Unrestricted CDL Class B Restricted CDL Class C

RE-EXAMINATION

When it appears that you have some physical or mental impairment which might affect your driving ability, you may be required to furnish a statement from a doctor showing your medical history and present condition as it pertains to your driving ability.

Under some circumstances, you may be required to appear before a driver license examiner at any time after you have been issued a license to prove your ability to drive a motor vehicle. If you fail to report for such a driver test or fail to submit any required statements from your doctor, your driver license can be revoked.

IDENTIFICATION CARDS (NON-DRIVER)

A citizen of Alabama may apply to the local driver license examiner for a non-driver identification card. The same degree of proof of identification required of applicants for driver licenses in the state shall be required of applicants for non-driver identification cards. Identification cards are issued to applicants who do not physically qualify for a driver license, do not have a current Alabama driver license, or who wish to discontinue driving and surrender their license. The non-driver identification card bears a number and the name, date of birth, address, description of the person, and a color photo. The Identification Cards are available wherever driver licenses are available.

RENEWING YOUR LICENSE

Your driver license expires four years after it is issued and the expiration date is shown on the license. The license may be renewed at any time within 60 days prior to expiration at your Probate Judge or License Commissioner’s Office.

Military personnel, their dependents, students attending college, or other licensed Alabama drivers who are temporarily out of state due to their job requirement may be eligible to apply if you have obtained an Alabama driver license with your picture and signature in the last four years. Application available on www.alea.gov/driver license.

You must submit the required fee of $36.25 for renewal license or $31.25 for duplicate license by money order payable to the Driver License Unit. No personal checks. Mail to the Driver License Unit, P.O. Box 1471, Montgomery, Alabama 36102-1471. The licensee’s full name, date of birth, driver license number, social security number and out-of-state address should be included along with documentation providing reason for being out-of-state. A license will be issued, provided a photo and signature are on file and mailed to the licensee’s out-of-state address. The license must bear an Alabama address. This does not apply to holders of a commercial driver license.

Alabama law provides a grace period of 60 days after expiration date of a driver license for the purpose of driver license renewal and the driver license shall be valid for this time period. An Alabama driver license may be renewed without examination within a 3-year period after expiration. A license issued under these circumstances will be valid for a four-year period from the last expiration date instead of four years from date of issue. Even though license renewal is possible up to three years after expiration, a person cannot legally operate a motor vehicle with an expired license.

DUPLICATING YOUR LICENSE

If your license is lost, destroyed, or becomes illegible, but has not yet expired, you should apply for a duplicate license at your Probate Judge or License Commissioner Office. No examination is necessary but proof of identity such as a certified birth certificate is required at time of application. Any person making a false affidavit in obtaining a duplicate driver license may be charged with Forgery (Title 13A-9-3), Perjury (Title 13A-10-102) or both under the Criminal Code of Alabama and punished accordingly by fine, imprisonment or both.

CHANGE OF NAME, ADDRESS

If you wish to change your name, you should present proper documents (marriage certificate or court order) to your probate judge or license commissioner. A duplicate fee will be charged for a corrected license. Commercial Driver License operators must go to a Driver License Office.

After changing your address within Alabama, you have 30 days

in which to notify the Driver License Unit, P. 0. Box 1471, Montgomery, Alabama 36102-1471 or contact the department thru the web site at www. alea.gov. To update your address on your driver license or non-driver identification card, apply for a duplicate license at a driver license examining office or renewal office (judge of probate or license commissioner’s office). A $31.25 fee will be charged for the corrected, duplicate license. Before leaving the office, be sure and confirm your correct mailing address to ensure you will receive your license or non-driver identification card. Alabama driver licenses and non-driver identification cards are not forwarded.

ORGAN DONOR PROGRAM

The Alabama Organ Center (AOC) is the federally designated organ procurement organization for the state of Alabama. The Alabama Organ Center (AOC) encourages all Alabamians to make an informed decision about organ and tissue donation. Anyone can register to be a donor via the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) or through our website, alabamaorgancenter.org. It is important for people to share their donation decision with their families. If you are a minor, under the age of 18, you can register your wishes to be a donor, but a parent’s consent is required for donation to take place. For more information, please contact the Alabama Organ Center toll-free at 1-800-252-3677

SPECIAL RESTRICTIONS MAY APPLY

If you drive a commercial vehicle that falls into one of the following classifications, you must secure an Alabama Commercial Driver License (CDL).

CLASS A – This classification applies only to “combination” vehicles with a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) exceeding 26,000 pounds, provided the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed exceeds 10,000 pounds.

The holder of a Class A license, which includes any appropriate endorsements, may operate all vehicles included in Class B, C, & D.

CLASS B – This class includes single or combination vehicles where the GVWR of the single vehicle exceeds 26,000 pounds. The vehicle in tow must not exceed 10,000 pounds. Class B licensees, with appropriate endorsements, may drive all vehicles in Class C or D.

CLASS C – Vehicles designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver, and vehicles placarded for hazardous materials, that do not meet the criteria for Class A or B above fall under this classification and may drive all vehicles in Class D.

CDL Endorsements are required for double/triple trailers, tanker vehicles, passenger vehicles and vehicles placarded for hazardous materials.

ENDORSEMENTS

N Tanks 1,000 gallons or greater H Hazardous materials
X Tanks and Haz Mat
T Double/triple trailers

P Greater than 15 passengers including driver S School bus

Commercial Drivers Manuals and information are available at your local driver license office.

VESSEL LICENSE

In 1994, the Alabama Boating Safety Reform Act was passed requiring operator certification for all operators of motorized watercraft. Persons ages 12 years old and older may obtain a vessel license.

In 2001, The Boating Safety Enhancement Act was passed mandating anyone who turned 12 years old after January 1, 2002, may, after obtaining a vessel license, operate a vessel only if an adult 21 years old or older with a vessel license, is onboard and in a position to take immediate control of the vessel. A licensed operator, 14 years old or older, may operate alone.

Persons born before April 28, 1954 are exempt from examination but are required to go to their driver license office to have vessel class issued. Vessel manuals are available at your local driver license office. The same identification is required for first time applicants getting a vessel license if they do not already have an Alabama Driver License or Non-Driver Identification Card.

PRESENT YOUR LICENSE

In Alabama, a driver must have an appropriate driver’s license (or learner permit) in his or her possession while operating a motor vehicle and be prepared to present that driver’s license to any law enforcement officer upon his or her request.