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Defensive Driving - Frequently Asked Questions 

What are the benefits of taking a Defensive Driving/Accident Prevention course?

Completing an approved course will

  • refresh your driving knowledge

  • help to prevent you from losing your license in the event you accrued 11 or more points on your driving record

    • 4 points are 'subtracted' for the purposes of calculating a suspension if you have 11 or more points

    • the tickets/points do not physically come off your driving record

    • learn about the New York State point system

  • reduce the base rate of your auto and motorcycle insurance premiums 10% each year for three years

 Completing a course does not

  • prevent a mandatory suspension or revocation

  • eliminate your responsibility to pay a driver responsibility assessment

  • give you a way to reduce future driver violation points

* Reference : New York DMV | How to reduce your points and insurance rate (ny.gov)

What is The Point and Insurance Reduction Program (PIRP)

The Point and Insurance Reduction Program (PIRP) is a driver safety course approved by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The course is designed to teach motorists critical information about highway safety and accident prevention. Upon successful completion of the course, drivers can enjoy certain benefits, such as reduction of points on their driving record that would otherwise count toward license suspension and revocation, and reduction of insurance premium costs.

The PIRP is also known as the Defensive Driving Course or Motor Vehicle Accident Prevention Course. The course is available through private companies or corporations called “course sponsors” throughout New York State. Each qualifying course must meet strict standards for the safe driving information presented and program effectiveness.

When you complete an approved PIRP course

1)If you are the principal operator of a motor vehicle, you will receive a minimum 10% reduction in the base rate of your automobile and motorcycle liability and collision insurance premiums each year for three years. 

2)you may be eligible to reduce as many as four (4) points on your driving record. The DMV computer will automatically note your eligibility to receive the reduction. You can only use a Point & Insurance Reduction Program course to reduce points once in an 18-month period.​

3)It will help refresh your driving knowledge with a review of time-tested safe driving tips and an overview of today's vehicle and traffic laws.

How much time does the PIRP course take, what is it like and what does it cost?

Beginning in 2009, you have two options for completing the PIRP course. Your options are the traditional classroom method or an Alternate Delivery Method (ADM), such as the Internet or other DMV approved method. Regardless of the delivery method, each course is at least six (6) hours long. (Note: The motorcycle safety/accident prevention courses take substantially longer and are only available in a classroom setting). Essential information about traffic safety issues such as driver attitude and behavior, defensive driving techniques, and the Vehicle & Traffic Law must be presented in each course. For both the classroom and ADM methods, additional content, approach, materials and fees vary from one sponsor to the next.

How do I know my driving record shows my PIRP course completion?

AIf you need to verify the course completion has been entered on your record, you may request a copy of your driving record from the DMV. To do so, you can order your driving record online, or complete a Request for Driver and/or Vehicle Record Information (MV-15) This form is available on the DMV website at dmv.ny.gov or at any motor vehicle office.

If your course completion is not noted on your driving record more than ten weeks after you completed it, contact the course sponsor.

After completing the PIRP course, what do I need to do?

The course sponsor should mail you a completion certificate within 45 days after you complete the course. If you present your certificate to your insurance company or agent within 90 days after course completion, your liability and collision premium reduction will begin immediately, retroactive to the date you completed the course. If you present your certificate more than 90 days after course completion, the insurer may issue the premium discount effective from the date presented. If you do not receive your certificate within eight weeks after completion, immediately contact the program sponsor. You may take the course once every 36 months to maintain insurance reduction benefits. 

Will the PIRP course prevent my insurance company from raising my premiums?

No. Insurance reduction does not prevent general premium increases, or premium increases due to violations or accidents. It provides a 10% reduction for three years, from the base rate of your current liability, no-fault and collision premiums.

What effect does point reduction have on my license and driving record?

Point reduction applies only to points assessed for violations that occurred within the eighteen months immediately before course completion.  It does not affect points for earlier violations and cannot be used as "credit" against future violations or points.

§Point reduction cannot reduce your point total lower than zero.

§If your license has already been revoked or suspended, or if a violation hearing has already been scheduled, point reduction will not affect that action.

§Point reduction does not prevent or cancel a mandatory revocation or suspension for violations such as DWI, DWAI, or three speeding violations within 18 months.

§Points may be reduced only once in any 18-month period. The DMV point system and insurance company "point" systems are separate and not related. Point reduction on your driving record does not affect points assigned by your insurance company for violations and accidents.

What if more than one person named on a policy completes the PIRP course?

The insurance reduction applies to all motor vehicles principally operated by the motorist who completes the course. The discount can be applied to only one driver for each covered vehicle.

Will youthful operators and drivers participating in assigned risk pool receive the insurance premium discount?

Yes. Any insured driver who is the principal operator and completes a Point & Insurance Reduction Program course will receive the reduction.

If a youthful operator is already receiving a driver education reduction, will the PIRP discount also be applied?

Check with your insurance company or agent to find out if both reductions will be given at the same time.

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