Defensive Driving in Arizona

Learning to drive defensively can be an effective skillset for any driver, anywhere. With collision-related deaths in Arizona going up from 2019 to 2020, from 980 to 1,057, now is a good time to keep in mind your safety and the safety of those around you while on the road in Arizona.

Of course, many people taking defensive driving courses, or comedy driving courses, are taking them as part of a court order, to avoid further marks on their driving record and their license. Following is some information to have before signing up for a defensive driving class in Arizona.

Are You Eligible to Attend a Defensive Driving Course?

Arizona’s laws are very specific as to who can and who cannot attend a defensive driving course in order to affect the points on their license. The basic requirements are as follows:

  • You cannot have attended a Defensive Driving Course in response to a traffic citation that was issued in the last 12 months
    • This is based on the date of your current violation, and is not related to the last time you attended such a course in Arizona
  • The violation you are attending Defensive Driving class for must be on the official Arizona government list of violations

What Are Other Limitations on Defensive Driving Courses?

Defensive Driving courses in Arizona are not intended as a catch-all, or “Get Out of Jail Free” card, so you can only attend Defensive Driving courses in order to have a single violation dismissed.

If the violation you are hoping to address with a class regards an accident which was fatal, or resulted in a serious injury, you are not eligible to take a Defensive Driving course.

Are Commercial Drivers Permitted to Take Defensive Driving Courses?

Under certain conditions, drivers with a commercial driver’s license may be able to take advantage of the Defensive Driving Program. To qualify, you must:

  • Have been driving a vehicle that required a Class D or Class M license
  • Not have been driving for commercial purposes at the time of the violation
  • Have a class date on or after 9/1/2019
  • Meet other defensive driving eligibility requirements for holders of non-commercial licenses

Other Information About Arizona Defensive Driving Courses

Once you have entirely and successfully completed a certified Defensive Driving course, the results are forwarded to the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division, and no points are assessed to your record. This does depend on meeting all requirements, including completing your course no later than 7 days prior to your court date.

Defensive Driving courses can be taken online, as well as in person, unless you were ordered by a judge to take your class in person.


Be sure to follow all of the instructions necessary when taking a defensive driving course, not just to satisfy the terms of the class or your court order, but for your own education. The tools provided in these courses are intended to make you a better, safer driver, for yourself and for everyone else on the road, including bicyclists and pedestrians.

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