The Florida Basic Driver Improvement (BDI) course is a class that teaches Floridians how to be safer drivers. The course can be offered in-person or online and must be approved by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV).
While some drivers proactively opt to take the course to improve their driving skills and receive a discount on their car insurance, many drivers decide to take the Basic Driver Improvement course to reduce the impact of a traffic ticket.
In this article, we’ll help you understand what the Florida BDI course is by explaining the benefits, the eligibility policy, and how you can enroll in the course.
The Benefits of Taking a Driver Improvement Course in Florida
Taking the Florida Basic Driver Improvement course offers several benefits, including:
Teaching you to be a safer driver
Providing a car insurance discount if the course is taken proactively
Preventing you from being convicted of certain traffic offenses in court
Preventing points from counting against your permanent driving record
Reducing the cost of a speeding ticket by 18 percent
Possibly preventing your car insurance company from raising your rates or canceling your service because of a traffic ticket. Keep in mind, multiple violations in an 18-month period or speeds exceeding 15 mph over the limit could still result in an insurance rate increase.
Who is Eligible to Take a Driver Improvement Course in Florida?
Any driver is eligible to take the Florida Basic Driver Improvement course proactively to earn a car insurance discount. But to reduce the impact of a traffic ticket, you must be deemed eligible.
According to FLHSMV, you are eligible to take the driver improvement course as long as:
The traffic violation was not criminal.
You do not have a commercial driver’s license.
You notify the clerk of the court of your decision to take the BDI course within 30 days of receiving the citation.
You have not taken a driver improvement course more than four times in total or at all in the past 12 months.
Is the Florida BDI Course Mandatory?
In many cases, drivers voluntarily choose to take the BDI course. But there are a few situations in which the course is mandatory.
The BDI course is mandatory if:
You are given a citation for an accident that was your fault and resulted in someone going to the hospital.
You have more than one crash in a two-year period with property damage costing more than $500.
You are convicted of a serious offense like passing a school bus with the stop sign displayed, racing, reckless driving, or running a red light.
How to Enroll in an Online Basic Driver Improvement Course in Florida
Anyone can enroll in a Florida Basic Driver Improvement course by simply going to a state-approved online driving school and registering for the course.
If you are required by the court to take the BDI course, or you are opting to take the course to reduce the impact of a traffic ticket, the enrollment process has only four steps:
Confirm your eligibility and notify your clerk of the court of your intention to take the course.
Register for your state-approved driver improvement course.
Earn your certificate by completing the course.
Provide the certificate of completion to your clerk of the court before the deadline (which is usually 60-90 days, depending on your county)
The Florida Basic Driver Improvement course provides valuable instruction in safe driving, can get you a discount on your car insurance, and can even prevent a traffic ticket from affecting your driving record. Enroll in your Florida BDI course today!