Can I attend?
Any person who does not hold a Commercial Driver’s License (Class A, B, C) and is charged with a non-criminal moving or non-moving traffic violation, is eligible to elect to attend a defensive driving course in lieu of accumulating points on the driver history record. There are a few exceptions and should contact the Clerk of Court to verify the violation you were charged with is eligible for this election.
What is the benefit of making an election?
An election to attend a defensive driving course will be entered on your driver history record as “adjudication withheld” upon successful completion and no points will be assessed against your driver license record. However, if your driver’s license was issued in any state other than Florida, not all states accept the Florida Approved Driving School as a means of keeping points off of your record. It is your responsibility to check with your state’s driver’s license bureau to see if this election will be beneficial for you.
Do I have to pay to elect a defensive driving course?
Yes, you must pay the civil penalty set by law for the violation plus a $7.00 processing fee. You will also have to pay the tuition fee for the driving course you choose. Contact the Traffic Division of the Clerk’s Office for more information or visit.
How can I elect to attend a defensive driving course?
You may come to the Clerk's Office to make your election or, if the officer provided you with an envelope at the time you were cited for the violation, you may make your election to attend a defensive driving course by mail. Read the Affidavit attached to the envelope carefully (or download one here.) Within thirty (30) calendar days of the date your ticket was issued, complete the affidavit, have your signature notarized and return the affidavit to the Clerk's Office in the envelope provided. Allow sufficient mail time to ensure your affidavit is received in the Clerk's Office within the thirty (30) calendar days required. After you have completed and mailed your affidavit to the Clerk, contact an approved school to arrange a schedule for the course. You must enroll, attend and complete the defensive driving course within ninety (90) calendar days from the date you elected to attend. You will need to be prepared to pay for the course at the time you enroll. The tuition fee is paid directly to the course provider, not the Clerk of Court.
Do I need to do anything else after I attend the defensive driving course?
Yes, you must present proof of completion of the defensive driving course to the Clerk's Office. Proof must be received in the Clerk's Office within ninety (90) calendar days of the date you elected to attend the course.
Can I change my mind after I elect to attend a defensive driving course?
If you elect to attend a defensive driving course, you must enroll, attend and complete the course, with proof of completion being presented to the Clerk's Office, within ninety (90) calendar days of your election. If you fail to meet any one of these requirements for any reason, delinquency fees will be owed, your driver's license will be suspended, a reinstatement fee to reinstate your privilege to drive will be required and a conviction of the violation will be reported on your driver history record. Your election will count toward your allowable elections.
How many times can I elect to attend a defensive driving course?
You may make an election to attend a defensive driving course to satisfy an eligible traffic violation one time in a twelve (12) month period, but no more than five times in your lifetime. If you elect to attend, but fail to satisfy the requirements, the election will still count toward the five allowed elections.
What if I receive a ticket outside of Okaloosa County?
You must make your election and pay the associated fines and costs to attend a defensive driving course in the county in which your ticket was issued. You may, however, attend a defensive driving course approved by the State of Florida, in the location of your choice. Contact the local Clerk's Office for the names and locations of defensive driving courses in other counties and states.
Where can I get more information about an election?
For information on the election requirements and costs involved, contact the nearest traffic department of the Clerk's Office. For information on the defensive driving course locations, hours and costs, contact an approved school. A listing of names, addresses and phone numbers of approved schools can be found in the yellow pages of your phone book under the category of "Driving Schools" or a list of state approved schools can be found on the Florida Department Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles Website.
Defensive Driving School Formspdf Driver Improvement School Election (63 KB)