Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between the Basic Driver Improvement Course and the Defensive Driving course?
There are two ways to complete driver improvement training online in Michigan — a Defensive Driving course or a Basic Driver Improvement Course (BDIC).
Anyone can take a defensive driving class in Michigan to learn new skills and become a better motorist. With court approval, you can take this course to complete mandatory defensive driving training after certain traffic violations.
SafeMotorist’s Defensive Driving course is:
- Six hours long
- Either voluntary or mandatory by court order
- Repeatable for future violations
Once in your lifetime, a Michigan court may allow you to take a voluntary Basic Driver Improvement Course. Doing so will let you avoid points on your driving record and prevent possible insurance premium increases. The court will notify you when you are eligible to sign up.
SafeMotorist’s BDIC program is:
- Four hours long
- Only available with a letter of eligibility from a Michigan traffic court
- Offered only once to drivers with two or fewer points on their driving record
- Optional and can never be repeated
If you complete BDIC within 60 days of receiving your notice from the state, your insurance company will not see your recent ticket points as part of your driving record and increase your insurance premiums.
Which Michigan defensive driving course should I take?
You should take our state-approved online BDIC if you:
- Received a letter from the court stating that you are eligible to take a Basic Driver Improvement Course.
- Have never enrolled in Michigan BDIC before.
You can only complete a qualifying BDIC course once in your lifetime, and you will need prior approval from the court.
You should take our online Defensive Driving course if you:
- Were told by a court official that you must complete a defensive driving course to satisfy your court-mandated defensive driving or traffic school requirement.
- Would like to refresh your knowledge of traffic laws, improve your road skills and become a safer driver.
This course may be repeated later when ordered by a Michigan traffic court.
Are these courses approved by the state of Michigan?
Our online Basic Driver Improvement Course is approved by the Michigan Department of State. We are an approved provider of online driver instruction through our BDIC.
The SafeMotorist online Defensive Driving course is not state approved, but it will satisfy court-ordered traffic school requirements with court approval. You will need to confirm local eligibility and requirements with your court before enrolling.
Do Michigan defensive driving courses provide an insurance discount?
Taking the Basic Driver Improvement Course may qualify you for a discount on your monthly insurance premiums. These discounts are provided at the discretion of your insurance company, so you should contact your insurance agent to learn if you qualify for a discount.
Some companies will provide a discount of up to 10% on your automobile liability, no-fault and collision premiums for three years when you provide a certificate of completion from a Basic Driver Improvement Course.
In addition, you may be able to retake the course every three years to renew your discount. Your insurance company can tell you the percentage discount you qualify for and provide instructions on how to submit your course certificate.
What will I learn in the Basic Driver Improvement Course (BDIC)?
Our four-hour course includes seven learning modules covering the following topics:
- Traffic Crash Problems
- The Human Factors
- OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) Prevention
- Crash Dynamics
- Safety Equipment
- Crash Prevention Techniques
- Michigan Traffic Laws
What topics does the Defensive Driving Course cover?
SafeMotorist’s six-hour training is a comprehensive safety program containing four modules. Those include:
- Traffic Safety Problems
- The Human Factors
- Man, Machine and Environment
- Traffic Laws
Specific topics you’ll learn about include:
- Societal and personal losses from traffic crashes
- Leading causes of crashes
- Stress, fatigue and other psychological factors
- Effect of alcohol and other drugs on driver capabilities
- Crash dynamics
- Safety equipment
- Crash prevention techniques
- Signs, signals and road markings
- Speed limits
- Legal penalties for traffic violations
- And more