New York’s driver safety course known as the “Point & Insurance Reduction Program” (PIRP) provides drivers who successfully complete a DMV-approved Driver’s Safety Course with certain benefits, such as reduction of points on their driving record that would otherwise count toward license suspension and revocation, and reduction of insurance premium costs.
Point Reduction and Prevention of License Suspension or Revocation
A driver who successfully completes a PIRP course approved by the New York Department of Motor Vehicles can reduce up to four points on his or her driving record. Completion of a PIRP course does not erase points from a driver’s driving record; rather, “point reduction” means the DMV will not count up to four points on your driving record toward license revocation or suspension, though the points will remain on your driving record.
In New York, a driver risks having his or her license suspended or revoked if he or she receives 11 or more points for driving violations within an 18-month period. The effect of taking a PIRP course is that a driver who is nearing or just above the 11-point mark for license suspension can avoid losing his or her driving privileges.
There are certain limitations on which points are eligible for reduction through PIRP. Only points assessed for violations that occurred within eighteen months preceding completion of the course can be reduced; PIRP does not affect points for earlier violations, and cannot be used to offset points received for future violations. Points may be reduced only once in any 18-month period, and your point total cannot be reduced to lower than zero.
Moreover, the PIRP does not prevent license revocation or suspension for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) or Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) charges, or for three speeding violations within 18 months, as license revocations and suspensions for these offenses are mandatory and not based on points. Any offense that involved drugs or alcohol will remain on your driving record for 10 years. In addition, if your license has already been revoked or suspended, or if a violation hearing has already been scheduled, PIRP point reduction will not keep your license from being revoked or suspended.
Point reduction on your driving record also will not affect your insurance company’s calculations of your points. Nor will completion of a PIRP course prevent you from being charged a Driver Responsibility Assessment (DRA), or an annual fine for three years that is given to drivers who accumulate 6 or more points within 18 months, get convicted of a drug- or alcohol-related traffic violation (e.g. DUI/DWI, etc.), or refuse to submit to a chemical test.
Once you complete a PIRP course, the sponsor of your particular course will notify the DMV of your course completion within ten weeks and a notice will be entered on your driving record. The DMV will then automatically reduce your point total by up to four points. You may wish at that time to request a copy of your driver’s record to make sure that it reflects your point reduction.
Insurance Reduction Benefits
If you are the principal operator of a motor vehicle, you can receive a minimum 10% reduction in the base rate of your automobile liability and collision insurance premiums each year for three years following successful completion of a PIRP course.
The insurance premium reduction applies to all motor vehicles principally operated by the motorist who completes the course. The reduction can be applied to only one driver for each covered vehicle. However, any insured driver who is the principal operator of a motor vehicle and completes a PIRP course will receive the reduction, even youthful operators and drivers participating in an assigned risk pool. Likewise, Commercial Driver License (CDL) holders can take advantage of the insurance discount through PIRP, though ineligible for point reductions through the program.
Your liability and collision premium reduction will begin immediately, retroactive to the date you completed the course, so long as you present your certificate of course completion to your insurance company within 90 days after you have taken your course. If you present your certificate more than 90 days after course completion, your premium discount will become effective from the date your certificate is presented.
Drivers may take the course once every 36 months to maintain their insurance reduction benefits. However, it is important to note that the insurance reduction available through PIRP does not prevent general premium increases, or premium increases due to violations or accidents.
Drivers can take advantage of the PIRP through a DMV-approved program either in a classroom or online or through another alternate delivery method. Each course lasts at least 6 hours long, and must be completed within 30 days following course registration.
No formal testing is required to complete a PIRP course. However, to verify the identification of individuals taking the course, you may be asked to register in person and/or to take an exam at the end of the course to ensure that you are the one who completed the course.
New York Traffic Ticket Lawyer
Remember! The PIRP does NOT remove points from your record. The only way to prevent points on your driving record is to fight your traffic ticket. Adam H. Rosenblum of Rosenblum Law is a traffic ticket attorney licensed to practice in both New York and New Jersey. He can be reached via e-mail or at 888-883-5529.
(Sources: http://www.dmv.ny.gov/broch/c32a.htm; https://transact.dmv.ny.gov/pirp/; http://www.dmv.org/ny-new-york/point-reduction.php)