Approved Defensive Driving Class
A MESSAGE FOR TEXAS DRIVERS
An Introduction by
The Texas Education Agency (TEA)
Traffic collisions in Texas annually take the lives of thousands of people and cause billions of dollars in economic losses. Death, injuries, and property damage have to be reduced, and drivers must improve their attitudes and skills. It is particularly important that Texas citizens identify and implement all reasonable means to reduce human suffering and property loss that result from vehicle collisions. To those ends, this driving safety course is intended to improve your knowledge, perceptions, and attitudes about driving.
By law, all driving safety classes must cost at least $25 and must be six hours in length in order to dismiss a traffic citation. You’ll be signing a statement on your Certificate of Course Completion that you have completed the entire six-hour driving safety course. If you sign this statement falsely, you could be charged with tampering with a government document, and the penalty for tampering with a government document is two to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
During this course, you will be asked to complete a Student Information Form. It is very important that this information be accurate and readable because it will be used to print and mail your course completion certificate to you. Your certificate must be mailed to you, not to the court. The address that you provide needs to be your current mailing address, and it may not necessarily be the one that is on your driver’s license. Do not fill in the court’s address as the mailing address of the certificate. On another part of the Student Information Form, you will need to identify the court that has jurisdiction of your case. Please be specific. Writing in “JP” or “Municipal” is not sufficient. The court information that you provide will be printed on your course completion certificate. It must be accurate, so write in the name of the judge, justice of the peace, or city municipal court exactly as it appears on your traffic citation. If you try to guess and get it wrong, the court may not accept the certificate, and you may be required to take the course again at your cost, so please make sure your information is correct. Pay close attention to the date that the court gave to you for submission of your completion certificate to the court. You must abide by the court date so you don’t end up with a warrant for your arrest.
Your certificate of course completion will not be given to you at the end of this class. It will be mailed to you within 21 calendar days from the date that you complete the course unless you arrange for earlier delivery, and it will be in two parts: court copy and insurance copy. When you receive the certificate envelope, open it carefully and make sure you keep all parts of the document to ensure that you have both your court and insurance copies. If you have not received your course completion certificate after 15 days, call ___________________ (your instructor will give you the course provider’s phone number).
Remember… the court needs the course completion certificate that you receive in the mail - not your receipt.
If you report information about the selling of certificates or early dismissal of a driving safety class to the Texas Education Agency, you could receive a reward of up to $500. In order to be eligible for the reward, a person must supply enough information for TEA to conduct an investigation that leads to revocation of an instructor’s or school’s license or a criminal conviction in a court of law.
Finally, if you leave here believing that this course did not provide you with accurate information that will improve your knowledge, procedures, and attitudes about driving, please inform the Texas Education Agency.
By working together to change our way of thinking, attitudes, and skills, we can make Texas roads and highways a safer place to drive.
This introduction was produced by the Driver Training Division of
Texas Education Agency, 1701 N. Congress Avenue, Austin, TX
Telephone: (512) 936-6777
Fax: (512) 936-6799