The DMV will order certain drivers to attend driver improvement courses due to the accumulation of excessive points within certain periods of time. See page here. § 46.2-498. Alternatively, drivers may voluntarily attend a driver improvement clinic to receive an increase in points or a reduction in insurance premiums (subject to restrictions, see below).
Voluntary Driver Improvement Clinics
Pursuant to § 46.2-498(C) drivers who voluntarily and satisfactorily complete a DMV approved driver
improvement class will receive either safe driving points or a reduction in their insurance premium charges. Drivers may take this class only once within a two year period.
However, a driver may voluntarily attend a clinic again a year after the satisfactory completion of an approved clinic to receive either safe driving points or a reduction in insurance premiums, whichever was not used the previous time. § 46.2-498(C).
Safe Driving Points
Drivers that voluntarily attend a driver improvement clinic are eligible to receive a total of 5 safe driving points, but a driver's total safe driving points may not exceed 5.
Alternatively, if the driver has accumulated demerit points, the driver would be eligible to receive a reduction of five demerit points if he or she had -5 or more points on his/her record.
If the amount of demerit points was less than 5, he/she would be eligible to receive a reduction of demerit points and then additional safe driving points.
The driver needs to inform the clinic he is attending that he is attending to receive safe driving points or a reduction in insurance premiums. § 46.2-498 (D).
Court Ordered Driver Improvement Clinic
In some cases the Court will require the driver to attend driver improvement school. This occurs in cases where the driver was found guilty of a traffic violation.
The judge may require attendance in lieu of a penalty the court may have assessed, or the court may order attendance in addition to any penalty the court may decide to impose. The court also has the power to grant safety driving points as a result of attendance, but the court must specify that the points are to be awarded.
Drivers with CDL's
Driver's with CDL's are not eligible to have their traffic conviction reduced, deferred, or dismissed as a result of attending a driver improvement clinic, if the charge was committed while operating a commercial vehicle or even in cases for CDL holders charged with any offense while holding a CDL.
Failure to Complete Court Ordered Clinic
Drivers are required to notify the court that he/she has completed the course. Failure to attend and satisfactorily complete the class could cause the court to issue a show cause order requesting the driver to indicate why he/she did not complete the course. The court could hold the driver in contempt after such a hearing.
Drivers who fail to attend and satisfactorily a court ordered or DMV required driver improvement course will have their license suspended by the DMV, unless of course the driver took the class on a voluntary basis. § 46.2-503.
Cost of Attendance
Driver improvement clinics approved by the DMV, may not charge more than $100 for their instruction. You do have to pay the fee prior to attending the class.