Question:  How can I find out when the last time I took a defensive driving course?

Answer: If you cannot remember how long it has been since you have taken a defensive driving class, then you may try contacting your state's Department of Motor Vehicles to see if they have it listed as part of your driving record.

If you took traffic school, driver improvement class or a defensive driving course to get a traffic ticket reduced or dismissed (adjudication withheld) or points taken off of your record than this may be part of your driving record since the certificate of completion normally has to be sent into the traffic court or the DMV for the ticket or points to be taken off.

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You may need to pay a small fee to obtain a copy of your driving record from your local DMV and check to see when it states you took a defensive driving course. If it is not listed on your motor vehicle record (MVR) than if you sent in the completion certificate to a court you may try contacting that court to see if there is way for them to look up your case file or give you information on where to find this type of information.

If neither of these options pan out, you can try contacting the school you took the class through to see if they have any records on when you last attended or paid for a driver improvement course.

As you are likely aware, some states do not allow traffic school for point reduction or to get rid of a ticket.  However, other states do allow this but only once every so many months or years.

For example, in Florida you can elect to attend traffic school only one time within a 12 month period and only five times in total within your lifetime of having a Florida driver's license. In Florida, the months are floating, meaning that if you received your citation in July you cannot take another traffic school class until after that time period the next year.

In California, you are allowed to attend traffic school once every 18 months. If your offense is eligible for driving classes, it usually will be stated on your citation or court papers.

Besides schools specific to taking keeping off a violation and/or points that you were recently cited for, as mentioned above, some states allow for you to take classes to remove demerit points previously put onto your record.

The state of Wisconsin allows a Traffic Safety School (TSS) to be taken once every five years to have a driver's demerit point total reduced by three upon completion.

New York allows licensed drivers to reduce their violation point total by up to four points and save 10 percent on auto liability insurance by taking a DMV approved accident prevention course. NY points may be reduced only once in any 18 month period.

Your state's DMV should be able to give you information on any traffic school listed on your driving record and also give you information on how often your state allows one to take a traffic course to keep a violation and points off the driving record or to remove previous points.

As you know having a clean driving record has many advantages, from being able to be employed with a company that requires a clean driving record to operate a company vehicle to having better rates with your car insurance company.