Setting record straight on driving courses

We appreciate the recent letter about the Basic Driver Improvement Course and the Secretary of State’s Office in the Alpena News, and wanted to offer more information.

Readers should be aware that the Michigan Legislature created the Basic Driver Improvement Course, not the Secretary of State’s Office. The legislation was signed into law by Gov. Granholm and is modeled on similar programs in other states. The department is required by law to offer this program.

Lawmakers at the time said the course would allow people to avoid costly insurance increases due to a minor violation. The program allows points drivers normally receive for a minor driving violation to not be counted against them if they pass a traffic safety course. The course can be used to avoid points only once and serious driving violations such as drunken driving don’t qualify for the program. There are dozens of course providers, who charge fees ranging from about $35 up to the legal maximum of $100.

More information about the program can be found at

Fred Woodhams

Communications Manager

Secretary of State’s Office