Driver’s License Examination
A driving test will be administered that examines the applicant’s ability to read and understand road signs and to give the required signals. The applicant must take a test composed of at least 10 questions relating to the safe operation of a motor vehicle.
Prior to administration of the driving test, the license examiner will inspect the horn, lights, brakes, inspection certificate, and vehicle registration of the motor vehicle that the applicant expects to operate while being tested. If any of the items are deficient, no license or endorsement shall be issued to the applicant until they have been repaired.
Any applicant holding a valid driver’s license from another state is not required to take a written test.
An applicant for an original motorcycle endorsement or restricted motorcycle operator’s license is required to pass a written test which consists of questions relating to the safe operation of a motorcycle and a skills test. An applicant may be exempt from the skills test if a certificate of successful completion of an approved course can be provided.
An applicant is required to pass a vision test (requires 20/40 vision acuity).
Driver’s license examinations may be conducted in high school driver’s education classes instead of by the Driver Services Bureau.
Graduated Driver’s Licensing
Mississippi has a system of graduated licensing for novice drivers.
At age 15, individuals are eligible for a learner’s permit, or age 14 if enrolled in driver education. Permit holders may not drive unsupervised.
At age 16, drivers who have held the learner’s permit for at least 12 months are eligible for an intermediate license.
- Intermediate license holders are prohibited from driving unsupervised between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Thursday through Sunday nights and 11:30 p.m. and 6 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights.
- Mississippi does not have a passenger restriction for intermediate license holders.
- Intermediate licensees must hold their license for 6 months before applying for an unrestricted license.
At age 16 and 6 months, drivers are eligible for an unrestricted license. License applicants 17 years old or older are exempt from the 12-month learner’s permit holding period and the intermediate license phase.
Driver’s License Issuance/Application
A person must have a driver’s license to operate a vehicle in Mississippi.
To lawfully operate a motorcycle, a person must have a restricted motorcycle license or motorcycle endorsement.
A person under 18 years of age applying for a driver’s license must submit the appropriate form with the application, indicating that the person is attending school or not attending school under acceptable circumstances.
An application for a driver’s license is made to the Department of Public Safety and shall include the name, date of birth, sex, race, color of eyes, color of hair, weight, height, residence address, and information regarding whether or not the applicant’s driving privileges have ever been suspended or revoked, whether any previous application has been denied, and whether the applicant has any physical defects that would interfere with the safe operation of a vehicle.
A social security number must be provided to the Commissioner of Public Safety; however, a licensee may choose to use or not use his or her social security number as his or her driver’s license number.
Each license must contain a full-face color photograph in such form that the license and the photograph cannot be separated.
A driver’s license must contain signatures of the Commissioner, assistant commissioner, or authorized deputy and an ink signature of the applicant.
No person shall be issued a commercial driver’s license unless that person is a resident of Mississippi, is 21 years of age or older, has passed a knowledge and skills test, and has satisfied any additional state or federal requirements.
A person 17 years of age or older who meets all requirements for a commercial driver’s license may be issued an endorsement that authorizes the licensee to operate a commercial vehicle only within the geographic boundaries of Mississippi.
The licenses of documented aliens that do not possess social security numbers are valid for only 1 year.
Driver’s License Renewal
A driver’s license may be renewed electronically according to rules set by the Commissioner of Public Safety.
All licenses of persons 18 years of age or older shall be issued for a 4-year or 8-year period and may be renewed any time within 6 months before the expiration, which is midnight on the licensee’s birthday.
All licenses of persons under 18 years of age shall be issued for a 1-year period and may be renewed any time within 2 months before the expiration, which is midnight on the licensee’s birthday.
An expired license may be renewed any time within 18 months after expiration upon application, payment of the required fee, and payment of a delinquent fee in lieu of a driver examination, unless an examination is required.
Any person in the U.S. Armed Forces and their dependents who are out of state due to military service at the time of expiration may renew the license any time within 90 days after being discharged from such military service or upon returning to the state.
Any person holding a valid license who is going overseas for 2 to 4 years and whose license is going to expire during the overseas stay, may renew the license for 4 years or 8 years) prior to leaving with proper proof of such overseas travel.
Any person in the U.S. Armed Forces and their dependents who are out of state due to military service at the time of expiration may renew the license any time within 90 days after being discharged from military service or upon returning to the state.
Types of Driver’s Licenses
A Class A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) allows a licensee to operate a combination of vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 26,001 lbs. or more, provided the GVWR of the vehicle or vehicles being towed is in excess of 10,000 lbs.
A Class B CDL allows a licensee to operate any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 lbs. or more, and any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 lbs.
A Class C CDL allows a licensee to operate any single vehicle with a GVWR of less than 26,001 lbs. or any such vehicle towing a vehicle with a GVWR not in excess of 10,000 lbs. comprising (1) vehicles designed to transport 16 or more passengers including the driver; and (2) vehicles used to transport hazardous materials which are required to be placarded.
A Class D CDL allows a licensee to operate all other vehicles or combination of vehicles which are not included in Class A, B, or C and for which a commercial license is not required.
A Class R license allows a licensee to operate non-commercial passenger vehicles in the state.
Commercial endorsements and restrictions include: (1) “H” authorizing the driver to drive a vehicle transporting hazardous materials; (2) “K” restricting the driver to vehicles not equipped with air brakes; (3) “T” authorizing the driving of double and triple trailers; (4) “P” authorizing the driving of vehicles carrying passengers; (5) “N” authorizing the driving of tank vehicles; (6) “X” representing a combination of hazardous materials and tank vehicle endorsements; and (7) “S” restricting the driver to school buses being operated for the purpose of transporting pupils to and from school or to school-related functions and/or to all other vehicles not requiring a commercial driver’s license.
A restricted motorcycle license can be issued to any applicant who fulfills all the requirements necessary to obtain such a license. The license allows the person to operate a motorcycle and no other motor vehicle.
A motorcycle endorsement may be issued to any person who holds a valid Mississippi driver’s license and meets the requirements for endorsement.