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Defensive Driving Course



To elect to attend a driver improvement course approved by the State of Florida* to satisfy an eligible traffic violation and pay the required civil penalty using a credit or debit card for a Traffic Ticket online, click here.

PLEASE NOTE: In accordance with Florida Statute 318.14 (9), anyone holding a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) is prohibited from electing driving school.

COSTS: You must pay the civil penalty (THE FINE ON YOUR TICKET).* There is also a cost for the driving course.

Call the 24 hour automated Traffic Information Hotline, (727) 464-4846 for the civil penalty YOU OWE or refer to the handout material furnished to you by the law enforcement officer at the time you were cited for the violation.
*Effective February 1, 2009, per Florida Statute there is no reduction in civil penalty fines if you elect to take a driver improvement course.

Once YOU HAVE COMPLETED a State of Florida approved* Defensive Driving Course and SUBMITTED proof of completion to the Clerk’s Office, the violation will be entered on your driver history as an "adjudication withheld".
IN OTHER WORDS, NO POINTS WILL BE ASSESSED AGAINST THE DRIVER LICENSE.

Only one election to satisfy one traffic violation in twelve (12) months or five (5) in a lifetime may be made.

PLEASE NOTE: If you elect to attend a defensive driving course:

  • YOU MUST: enroll, attend and complete the course, AND PROVIDE proof of completion to the Clerk's Office, within the sixty (60) CALENDAR days from the date you elected to attend.
  • You will need to be prepared to pay for the course at the time you enroll.
  • IF YOU FAIL TO MEET ANY ONE OF THESE REQUIREMENTS FOR ANY REASON:
    1. an $18.00 processing fee WILL be due,
    2. a late fee WILL be charged,
    3. your driver's license WILL be suspended,
    4. a reinstatement fee WILL be required and
    5. a conviction of the violation will be reported on your driver history record.

If you elect to attend, but fail to satisfy the requirements, the election will still count toward the five allowed.

Please allow 5-7 days for our office to receive and process your citation before attempting to make an election.



TO ELECT TO ATTEND A DEFENSIVE DRIVING COURSE:

Read the Election Information contained on the insert in the envelope furnished to you by the officer at the time you were cited for the violation. Within thirty (30) CALENDAR days of the date your ticket was issued, complete the bottom portion of the insert and return the information to the Clerk's Office:

To elect by mail or in person, be sure to include your check or money order for the full civil penalty and allow sufficient time to ensure your Election Information is received in the Clerk's Office within the required thirty (30) CALENDAR days.

    ONLINE: using a credit card to pay a Traffic Ticket click here.
After you have completed and SUBMITTED your election to the Clerk, contact a school approved by the State of Florida* to arrange a schedule for the course.

FIND A DEFENSIVE DRIVING COURSE:

The Clerk does not provide the names of defensive driving courses.

  • Refer to the yellow pages of your phone directory under DRIVING INSTRUCTION,
  • search the internet for "defensive driving courses in Florida", or,
  • check the listing provided by the Department of Highway Safety.

Courses are available on-line, by video, or classes are conducted in several physical locations. The course you select after you make your election and pay the civil penalty must be approved by the State of Florida*.


IF YOU RECEIVE A TICKET OUTSIDE OF PINELLAS COUNTY:

You must make your election and pay the associated fines and costs to attend a driver improvement course in the county in which your ticket was issued. However, You may attend a defensive driving course, approved by the State of Florida, anywhere within the State of Florida. You MUST submit the certificate of completion of the driver improvement course to the Clerk's Office in the County where the citation was issued.
FOR EXAMPLE: If you were issued a citation (ticket) in Hillsborough County, you must make your election, pay your fines and submit your course certificate to the Hillsborough County Clerk's Office.


IF YOU RECEIVE A TICKET IN PINELLAS COUNTY:

Upon completion of the State of Florida Approved Defensive Driving Course*, (within the sixty (60) CALENDAR days from the date you elected to attend) please mail or bring in a copy of your completion certificate to any Clerk's office location or email your certificate to ddcclerk@mypinellasclerk.org.

You may also want to make a copy of your certificate for your personal records.


*Defensive Driving Courses that are approved by the State of Florida should make it known on their website or in their advertising materials. For a listing of Approved courses, click here.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

  • Defensive Driving Course Information (FL DHSMV) click here
  • Check the status of your driver's license online click here
  • To elect to attend a driver improvement course approved by the State of Florida* to satisfy an eligible traffic violation and pay the required civil penalty using a credit card for a Traffic Ticket online, click here.

CRIMINAL COURT RECORDS
PINELLAS COUNTY JUSTICE CENTER

14250 49th Street North
Clearwater, FL 33762
(727) 464-7000

NORTH COUNTY BRANCH OFFICE
29582 U.S. 19 North
Clearwater, FL 33761
(727) 464-7000

CLERK'S TYRONE BRANCH OFFICE
1800 66th Street North
St. Petersburg, FL 33710
(727) 464-7000

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