Defensive Driving

If you are charged with an offense involving the operation of a motor vehicle under either Subtitle C, Section 472.002 or Section 729.001 (a)(3) of the Texas Transportation Code, and you do not hold a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) and did not hold a CDL at the time of the offense you may request, before your appearance date, in writing by mail or in person to take a driving safety course.

Eligibility:

You are eligible to request this course if you:

  1. Have a valid Texas Driver's license which is NOT a CDL or are a member, or the spouse or defendant child of a member, of the U.S. military forces on active duty;
  2. Have not requested and taken a driving safety course for a traffic offense within 12 months preceding the date of the offense for your current ticket;
  3. Are not currently taking the course for another traffic violation; and
  4. Your ticket is NOT for one of the following offenses:
    1. *Speeding 25 mph or more over the posted speed limit;
    2. *Speeding at a speed of 95 mph or more;
    3. *Failure to give information at accident scene;
    4. *Leaving scene of accident;
    5. *Passing a school bus; or
    6. * Any moving violation within a construction zone when workers were present.

Note:   It is your responsibility to determine if you have taken defensive driving in the preceding 12 months.  If the Court, upon review of the certified copy of your driving record that you are required to provide at the end of 90 days, determines that you were not, in fact, eligible to take Defensive Driving because you have already completed Defensive Driving in the past 12 months, then the Court will NOT accept your certificate.


Request for Defensive Driving:

If making the request in person at the court, you MUST:

  1. Present your valid Texas driver's license;
  2. Present your valid liability insurance;
  3. Plead guilty or no contest; and
  4. Pay court costs and an administration fee of $110.00.  This fee will be $135.00 if your violation occurred in a school zone

If making the request by mail, you MUST:

  1. Provide a clear and legible copy of your valid Texas driver's license;
  2. Provide a clear and legible copy of your valid liability insurance;
  3. Plead guilty or no contest in writing;
  4. Pay court costs and an administration fee of $110.00.  This fee will be $135.00 if your violation occurred in a school zone; and
  5. Complete the Defensive Driving Request form and mail the above-referenced documents, the completed Defensive Driving Request form and proper payment to the Court at the address listed below.   You may access court documents to print the Defensive Driving Request form.  If you do not have access to print out the forms, you may mail in the above-referenced documents with a letter requesting the forms to be mailed to you.  


Compliance:

You will then have 90 days from the date of your request to submit the following documents to the Court:

  1. A certificate (court copy) from a driving safety course that has been approved by the Texas Education Agency, or, if you were operating motorcycle at the time of the offense, a motorcycle operator's course approved by the Department of Public Safety.  The certificate must be the designated court copy, it must be signed by you, and it must reflect that you have completed the course for the Dayton Municipal Court within 90 days from the date of your request.  Certificates not meeting these requirements will not be accepted.  Further, driving safety courses offered by AARP, employers or other organizations do not meet this requirement.
  2. A certified copy of your driving record obtained from the Texas Department of Public Safety.

    DO NOT PROCRASTINATE---DEADLINES FOR SUBMITTING DOCUMENTS ARE STRICTLY ENFORCED.

    If you comply as described above, and the Court confirms that you were, in fact, eligible to complete Defensive Driving; then, your ticket will basically be dismissed, you will pay no further fines or costs, and the violation will not appear on your driving record.

    If you fail to comply as described above, you  will be set for a show cause hearing before the Judge.  The Court will mail written notice of this hearing to the last address you provided to the Court.  If your address changes after you request Defensive Driving, it is your responsibility to notify the Court of your correct address.

    At the show cause hearing, if the Judge determines that you did not comply with the terms of Defensive Driving, then the Judge will find you guilty of the offense, this conviction will appear on your driving record and you will have to pay the additional amount specified by the Judge.  Failure to be present at that hearing may result in a Warrant for your arrest.