Mississippi

Driver Services Bureau
Department of Public Safety
P.O. Box 958
Jackson, MS 39205
(601) 987-1200 | www.dps.state.ms.us

Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol
P.O. Box 958
Jackson, MS 39205
(601) 987-1212 | www.dps.state.ms.us

Mississippi Department of Transportation
P.O. Box 1850
Jackson, MS 39215-1850
(601) 359-7001 | www.gomdot.com

Mississippi Tax Commission
P.O. Box 1033
Jackson, MS 39215-1033
(601) 923-7000 | www.mstc.state.ms.us

Title Application

Application for certificate of title for a vehicle, manufactured home, or mobile home should be made to the State Tax Commission.

All vehicles in the state that are manufactured or assembled after July 1, 1969 or which are the subject of 1st sale for use after July 1, 1969, and every owner of a manufactured home which is in this state and which is manufactured or assembled after July 1, 1999, or which is the subject of 1st sale for use after July 1, 1999, must make application for a certificate of title.

Voluntary application for title may be made for any model motor vehicle which is in this state after July 1, 1969, and for any model manufactured home or mobile home which is in this state after July 1, 1999, and any person bringing a motor vehicle, manufactured home, or mobile home into this state from a state which required titling shall make application for title to the State Tax Commission within 30 days after arriving.

Application for certificate of title for a motor vehicle must include the name, current residence and mailing address of the owner, description of the vehicle including year, make, model, vehicle identification number, type of body, number of cylinders, odometer reading at the time of application and whether new or used, date of purchase by the applicant, name and address of the person from whom the vehicle was acquired, the names and addresses of any lienholders, an odometer disclosure statement made by the transferor, and a certified copy of the manufacturer’s statement of origin.


Title Transfer of Ownership

When an owner transfers the ownership of a vehicle, manufactured home, or mobile home, he must, at the time of delivery, execute an assignment and warranty of title to the transferee in the space provided on the certificate and deliver the certificate and assignment to the transferee.


Titles for Mobile Homes

Mobile homes sold in Mississippi are to be titled as motor vehicles.

Application for certificate of title for a manufactured home or mobile home must include the name, current residence and mailing address of the owner, description of the manufactured or mobile home including year, make, model number, serial number and whether new or used, date of purchase by the applicant, name and address of the person from whom the vehicle was acquired, the names and addresses of any lienholders, an odometer disclosure statement made by the transferor, and a certified copy of the manufacturer’s statement of origin.

Registration Application

All vehicles required to pay the road and bridge privilege tax are to be registered with the tax collector in the county or municipality in which they are domiciled or garaged.

Manufactured or mobile homes must be registered with the tax collector of the county where the home is located, within 7 days of purchase or entry into the county.

The road and bridge privilege license tax must be paid annually prior to registration or renewal.

There is no period of grace for late registration.

Registration is not required for pole trailers or utility trailers of less than 5,000 lbs. Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW).


Registration for Non-Residents

Must obtain Mississippi license after 60 days, unless tourist, out-of-state student, or military personnel.


Registration Type

Passenger car registrations must be renewed annually.


Emissions Inspection

No statewide emissions inspection requirement.


Safety Inspection

 

The safety inspection requirement for passenger vehicles is repealed effective July 1, 2015.  Mississippi may still require some vehicles to have window tint inspected.  Vehicles designed and used primarily for the transportation of property or for the transportation of 10 or more persons, may require an inspection upon registration.


Title and Registration Fees

AUTOMOBILE

Title Fee: $8.00

Registration Fee: $14.00*

MOTORCYCLE

Title Fee: $8.00

Registration Fee: $14.00*

DUPLICATES

Plate Fee: $10.00

Registration Fee: $2.50

Driver’s License Fee: $5.00

Title Fee: $4.00 for motor vehicles

Special Plates: $31.00 + regular cost of tags

* Registration fees in addition to privilege and ad valorem taxes, and possibly sales and use taxes, depending on the county, type and value of the vehicle.  Contact your local county Tax Collector for more information.

Plate Disbursement

The State Tax Commission is authorized to issue and renew reflectorized license tags.

A license tag on a motor vehicle or trailer may be renewed for 5-year periods, except for vehicles registered in excess of 10,000 lbs. Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW).

During each intervening year of the period tags are issued, the State Tax Commission will issue 1 decal, in lieu of tags, that specifies the month and year that the tag will expire.

License decals shall indicate the month and last 2 figures of the year the license tag will expire and shall be color-coded to make it easier to distinguish month from year.

The color scheme for license plates is yellow on green.

Personalized license tags may be issued as long as they are the same color as regular license tags and have the name of the county and not more than 7 letters and/or numbers.

Special license tags, decals, and windshield placards are available upon application to persons with a disability that limits or impairs the ability to walk. Application is to be made to the State Tax Commission.

Transfer of Plates

Upon sale or transfer of a vehicle, the seller shall remove and retain the license plate.

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.

Distracted Driving

All drivers are prohibited for texting while driving. Exempts the use of technology utilizing a cellular connection to a vehicle to relay vehicle operational information between the vehicle and a call center or repair facility, and vehicle navigation. School bus drivers may not use a wireless communication device when transporting minor passengers.


Emergency Radio/Cellular

Channel 19 is monitored intermittently. Cell number is *47.


Headsets

No prohibition on wearing of headsets while driving.


Impaired Driving

All 50 states and the District of Columbia prohibit the operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating beverages, with the illegal per se limit set at 0.08 percent blood alcohol content (.08 BAC). All 50 states and the District of Columbia set the legal drinking age at 21.

Every state’s chemical test law has ‘‘an implied consent’’ provision providing that any person operating a motor vehicle on a public highway, who is suspected of driving while intoxicated, consents to a chemical test to determine if he or she is inebriated. Failure to submit or pass such a test may cause the driver’s license to be suspended or revoked regardless of any court action finding the person innocent of the charge.

The most comprehensive resource on U.S. impaired driving laws is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Digest of Impaired Driving and Selected Beverage Control Laws.  NHTSA’s Digest is updated annually.

Mississippi requires the use of ignition interlocks for all impaired driving offenders.


Move Over Law

State law requires drivers approaching a stationary emergency vehicle displaying flashing lights, including towing and recovery vehicles, traveling in the same direction, to vacate the lane closest if safe and possible to do so, or slow to a speed safe for road conditions. Also included in the law are utility vehicles, municipal vehicles, and road maintenance vehicles.


Seat Belts

Seat belts or appropriate child restraints are required for the driver and all passengers.

Violation of the seat belt law is a standard offense.

Riding in the cargo area of a pickup truck is permitted.


Child Passenger Safety

Children age 4 through 6 who are less than 4 feet 9 inches tall and weigh less than 65 pounds are required to be secured in a booster seat.

Children under age 4 shall be properly restrained in a child passenger restraint device.

Violation of the child restraint law is a standard offense.


Railroad Crossing

Whenever a person driving a vehicle approaches a railroad crossing and a clearly visible electric or mechanical signal device gives warning of the immediate approach of a train, the driver of such vehicle shall stop within 50 feet but not less than 10 feet from the nearest track of the railroad and shall not proceed until he can do so safely.

The driver of a vehicle shall stop and remain standing and not traverse a railroad crossing when a crossing gate is lowered or when a human flagman gives or continues to give a signal of the approach or passage of a train.

The State Highway Commission is authorized to designate particularly dangerous highway railroad crossings and to erect stop signs thereat. When such stop signs are erected, the driver of any vehicle shall stop within 50 feet but not less than 10 feet from the nearest track and shall proceed only upon exercise of due care.

The driver of any motor vehicle for hire carrying passengers or any school bus carrying any school child must stop within 50 feet but not less than 15 feet from the nearest rail of a crossing to listen and look in both directions for any approaching train or signals indicating the approach of a train and shall not proceed until he can do so safely.

The driver of any motor vehicle for hire carrying passengers or any school bus carrying any school child does not need to stop at a railroad crossing where a police officer or a traffic control signal directs traffic to proceed.


School Buses

Upon meeting or overtaking a school bus that is stopped to receive or discharge children, the driver of a vehicle must come to a complete stop at least 10 feet from the bus; the driver and shall not proceed until the children have crossed the street and the bus has resumed motion or ceased flashing red lights.

Bumper Height

Modification of original vehicle bumper height cannot exceed 8 inches total lift with a maximum of 6-inch suspension lift front and rear.


Headlight Use

Headlights are required to be on from sunset to sunrise, and when visibility is less than 500 feet.


Hazard Light Use

Hazard light usage is permitted while driving.


Tire Chains

Tire chain usage is permitted for hazardous weather or other related incidents only, but may not damage the highway surface.


Studded Tires

Studded tires are not permitted.


Glass/Window Tinting

No vehicle registered in Mississippi shall have windows that are covered with any glazing material that causes a mirrored effect.

No person shall drive any motor vehicle registered in Mississippi with any tinted film, glazing material, or darkening material of any kind on the windshield except material designed to replace or provide a sun shield in the uppermost area as authorized to be installed by manufacturers of vehicles under federal law.

Requires that tinted windows not exceed 20% luminous reflectance and have a light transmittance of 28% or more, and have a label certifying the percentages.

School buses, buses used for public transportation, any bus or van owned or leased by any nonprofit organization, any limousine owned or leased by a private or public entity, or any other motor vehicle the windows of which have been tinted or darkened before factory delivery as permitted by federal law or regulation, are exempt from all window tinting rules.


Telematics

No statewide telematics restriction.


Radar Detectors

Radar detectors are permitted for passenger vehicles but prohibited for use by commercial vehicles.


Windshield Stickers

Prohibited unless official.


Other Equipment Rules

N/A.

Motorcycle Equipment

All riders of a motorcycle or motor scooter are required to wear a crash helmet that is designed, inspected, and approved by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators.


Motorcycle Licenses

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.


Motorcycle Noise Limits

Every motor vehicle shall at all times be equipped with a muffler in good working order and in constant operation to prevent excessive or unusual noise. No person shall use a muffler cutout, bypass, or similar device upon a motor vehicle on a highway.


Mopeds & Other

License requirements same as motorcycles.

Required safety equipment includes helmets and rearview mirrors.

Trailer Dimensions

Total length: not stated; trailer length: 53 feet; motor home length: 45 feet (excluding bumpers); width: 8 feet 6 inches (excluding safety equipment, for motor homes, excluding appurtenances up to width of rear view mirrors); height: 13 feet 6 inches.


Trailer Brakes

Every trailer carrying over 1 ton, when operated on a highway, shall be equipped with brakes adequate to control the movement of the trailer and to stop and hold the trailer.

Brakes on a trailer should be designed so that the driver of the towing vehicle from its cab may apply them.

Brakes on a trailer should be designed and connected so that in case of an accidental breakaway of the towed vehicle, the brakes shall be automatically applied.

Every new trailer, except a trailer of 2 axles of less than 2,000 lbs. GVW towed by an automobile, hereafter sold in this state and operated on the highways, shall be equipped with service brakes on all wheels of every such vehicle.


Trailer Hitch/Signals

Every trailer which shall be towed on public highways at a speed greater than 20 mph shall be coupled to the towing vehicle by means of a safety chain, chains, cables, or equivalent devices in addition to the regular trailer hitch or coupling.

No more slack shall be left in any safety chains, cables, or equivalent devices than shall be necessary to permit proper turning. The safety chains, cables, or equivalent devices shall be so connected to the towed and towing vehicles and to the drawbar to prevent the drawbar from dropping to the ground if the drawbar fails and shall be of sufficient strength to control the trailer in the event of failure of the regular trailer hitch or coupling.


Trailer Lighting

Means for establishing an electric connection between towing and towed vehicles shall be mechanically and electrically adequate and free of short or open circuits.

Every motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, pole trailer, and any other vehicle which is being pulled in a train of vehicles shall be equipped with at least 1 rear lamp mounted on the rear, which, when lit, shall emit a red light plainly visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear.


Trailer Mirrors

Every motor vehicle that is loaded and obstructs the driver’s view to the rear shall be equipped with a mirror located to reflect to the driver a view of the highway for a distance of at least 200 feet to the rear of such vehicle.


Trailer Speed Limits

55 mph unless otherwise posted.


Trailer Towing

When 1 vehicle is towing another, the drawbar or other connection shall be of sufficient strength to pull all weight towed. The drawbar or other connection shall not exceed 15 feet from 1 vehicle to the other except the connection between any 2 vehicles transporting poles, pipes, machinery, or other objects of a structural nature which cannot readily be disassembled.

When 1 vehicle is towing another and the connection consists of a chain, rope, or cable, there shall be displayed upon such connection a white flag or cloth not less than 12 inches square.

Not more than 3 vehicles in combination shall be towed by saddle-mounts, provided the overall length of the towing and towed vehicles shall not exceed 75 feet in length.

Not more than 1 motor vehicle shall be towed by a tow bar.


Trailer Other Provisions

Riding in towed trailers is permitted.

Accident Reporting

Crashes are required to be reported in cases of death, injury, or when property damage exceeds $500.00.

The deadline to file a report is 10 days.


Bail Bonds

Recognition of AAA arrest bail certificate up to $200.


Liability Laws

State has security and future proof type law. Minimum required coverage is $25,000 for bodily injury or death of 1 person in 1 accident; $50,000 for 2 or more persons in 1 accident; and $25,000 for injury or destruction of property in 1 accident.

A motor vehicle owner may choose to post an indemnity bond in lieu of a liability insurance policy. The bond must guarantee payments in amounts and under the same circumstances as required in a motor vehicle liability policy.

A motor vehicle owner may choose, in lieu of a liability policy or posting a bond, to deposit cash or securities in the amount of $15,000 to the State Treasurer to satisfy proof of financial responsibility.

State has non-resident service of process law; does not have guest suit law.


Weigh Stations

The State Tax Commission, tax collectors, highway patrol, or another authorized enforcement officer, shall have a right to weigh or have weighed any vehicle to ascertain the accuracy of registration.


Bicycles

Bicycle helmets are not required.

Drivers passing a bicycle must pass with a space of 3 feet between the motor vehicle and the bicycle.

Bicycles used at night must be equipped with a front white lamp and a rear reflex reflector or red lamp, both visible from a distance of 500 feet.


Other

Mississippi is party to the Non-Resident Violator Compact.