Suppose a NY driver receives a ticket and it results in points against their license. I’ve heard police officers, lawyers, prosecutors, and even judges say that the defensive driving class can be taken to “offset” four points. Web sites offering the class say things like: “reduces up to 4 points on your license.”

Therefore, many drivers believe a 4 point class reduction essentially eliminates their 4 point ticket.

Whenever I look at a driver’s abstract for a driver after they have taken the class, I can see that the points are still on their abstract. The points to not get eliminated. Here is what really happens:

The DMV web site explains that a NY driver can get up to 11 points without losing their license. However, if a driver takes the class, the 11 points limit gets bumped up to 15 points as the limit as the reward for taking the class. It does NOT say points are eliminated. It is true that this driver can receive more points on future tickets before getting their license suspended since their NEW limit is 15 points rather than 11 points.

As you can see, taking the defensive driving class does not eliminate points.

Completing the class increases the driver’s limit from 11 to 15.

I posted this article because there seems to be a widespread misconception on this topic.

Separately, many insurance companies will give you ten percent off of your insurance rates if you present to them proof that you took the defensive driving class. For insurance reduction purposes, you can take the class once every three years.

CategoryTraffic Law
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