Mississippi Driver's License: A Step-by-Step 2018 Guide

Learn what to expect and how to get behind the wheel faster.
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On this page: Types of licenses How to apply Knowledge test Road test Replace or renew New residents

How Does It Work?

If you are a Mississippi driver, or only start thinking about driving in The Magnolia State, you will need a Mississippi driver’s license. Getting your license is quite easy. You will have to pass a written test, vision test, and a road skills test. To save you a considerable amount of time, here is a step by step guide that you will need to follow to get a driver’s license in Mississippi.

Get a learner's permit

Allows you to practice driving under supervision.

Get an intermediate license

Allows you to drive unsupervised with restrictions.

Get a Full (Adult) License

Allows you to drive with no restrictions.

Types of Driver's Licenses in Mississippi

For each license type there's a corresponding type of instruction permit
Mississippi Class R Driver's License
Class R
This is the regular operator's license that allows you to drive common cars and trucks. Read the MS DPS Driver's Manual or take a free MS DPS practice test.
Mississippi Class A/B/C Driver's License
Class A/B/C (Commercial)
Class A is for operating any combination of vehicles with a GVWR greater than 26,000 pounds with the GVWR of the towed vehicle greater than 10,000 pounds. Class B is for any single vehicle with a GVWR greater than 26,000 pounds. Class C is for transporting 16 or more passengers (including the driver) or hazardous materials. Read the MS Professional Driver's Manual or take a free MS CDL general knowledge test.
Mississippi Class D Driver's License
Class D (Light Commercial)
It allows you to operate a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) less than 26,000 pounds commercially. It also covers all commercial vehicles that are not covered by Class A, B and C.
Mississippi Motorcycle Driver's License
M Endorsement
To operate a motorcycle, you are required to have a valid driver's license with a motorcycle endorsement. Read the MS Motorcycle Manual or take a free MS Motorcycle practice test.

How to Apply for Your Class R Operator’s License in Mississippi

To apply for a Class R driver license you should first apply for an instruction permit, pass a knowledge, vision and road skills test. This is your complete plan of action depending on your age.

How to Apply for Your Learner’s Permit in Mississippi

The regular learner’s permit allows you to drive accompanied at all times by an adult driver (21+) in the front seat. You can get it at the age of 15. However, you can get the Temporary Learner’s Permit at the age of 14 if you are enrolled in your high school driver education program to drive an education vehicle only with your driving instructor. The regular learner’s permit is valid for 2 years.

1COMPLETE THE APPLICATION FORM

You can download it here. Your application is not finished without your parents' notarized signatures. If your parents are divorced, the parent with custody should sign the form.

2APPLY IN PERSON AT A DRIVER LICENSE LOCATION

You can find all the locations here.

3BRING DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED

  • Your Social Security card (US citizens)
  • A certified Birth Certificate
  • Certificate of School Attendance. Have it signed at your school. It's valid for 30 days only.
  • 2 Proofs of Residency. You can use your parents' residence documents. Some ideas include a mortgage agreement, electricity bill, bank statement, Mississippi driver's license of parent/guardian, etc.
  • Valid immigration papers and passport, or Permanent resident card, or I-94 and passport (non-US citizens).

4PAY THE FEE

$7.00 by cash, debit or credit ( no personal checks).

5PASS THE COMPUTERIZED EXAM

It tests your knowledge of Mississippi traffic laws and safe driving rules. Study before you go with the help of free practice tests and read frequently asked questions about the test.

If you fail the test, you can retake it as early as the next business day. If you fail the test 3 times, you will have to wait at least 30 days before your next attempt.

6PASS THE VISION EXAM

It will check your vision. If it shows that you need glasses to drive a car, you must have your eyes checked by an eye specialist or optometrist, who will complete a vision form ( DE26). You can get the form at a DPS office.

7RECEIVE YOUR LEARNER’S PERMIT

Start practicing supervised driving as soon as you get your permit. Note that you have 2 years to pass your driving exam. If you wait longer, you will have to retake the computerized test.

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How to Apply for Your Intermediate License (Class Y) in Mississippi

If you are younger than 17 years of age, the intermediate license is the second step towards your full driver’s license. It allows you to drive unsupervised from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 6:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. (There are no time restrictions if going to and from work.) At all other times, you must be supervised by a parent, guardian or other licensed driver 21+ who is in the front seat.

  1. HOLD YOUR LEARNER'S PERMIT FOR AT LEAST 12 MOTNHS

  2. APPLY IN PERSON

    You can find all driver license office locations here.

  3. COMPLETE THE APPLICATION FORM

    You can download it here. The application is not finished without your parents' notarized signatures. If your parents are divorced, the parent with custody should sign the form.

  4. BRING DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED
    • Your valid learner's permit
    • Your Social Security card (US citizens)
    • A certified Birth Certificate
    • Certificate of School Attendance. Have it signed at your school. It's valid for 30 days only.
    • 2 Proofs of Residency. You can use your parents' residence documentation (e.g., mortgage agreement, electricity bill, bank statement, Mississippi driver's license of parent/guardian etc.).
    • Valid immigration papers and passport, or Permanent resident card, or I-94 and passport ( non-US citizens)
  5. PAY THE FEE

    $11.00 by cash, debit or credit (no personal checks).

  6. PASS THE DRIVING SKILLS TEST

    You must be accompanied by a licensed driver of at least 21 years of age and bring a legally licensed vehicle that has all necessary equipment to pass an inspection and proof of insurance.

    If you fail the test, you will be asked to wait one full week before retaking it.

  7. GET YOUR INTERMEDIATE LICENSE

    Hold your intermediate license for six months and reach the age of 16½ before upgrading it to a regular license.

How to Apply for Your Regular (Adult) Driver’s License in Mississippi

You can get your first regular driver's license at the age of 16.5 if you have held your intermediate license for at least 6 months. If you have never held a license or permit, you may get your regular license at the age of 17 without applying for a learner's permit.

First timer? Start with step 1.

Learner's permit holder? Start with step 7.

Intermediate license holder? If you've turned 16.5, visit a driver license office, pay the fee of $ 9.00 and get your regular license.

1COMPLETE THE APPLICATION FORM

You can download it here or get it from a driver license office.

2COLLECT DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED

  • Your Social Security card (US citizens)
  • A certified Birth Certificate
  • Certificate of School Attendance If younger than 18. Have it signed at your school. It's valid for 30 days only.
  • 2 Proofs of Residency. If you are younger than 21, you can use your parents' residence documents. Some ideas include a mortgage agreement, electricity bill, bank statement, Mississippi driver's license of parent/guardian (for under 21), etc.
  • Valid immigration papers and passport, or Permanent resident card, or I-94 and passport (non-US citizens).

3APPLY IN PERSON AT A DRIVER LICENSE OFFICE

You can find all the locations here.

4PAY THE FEE

$24.00 for the 4-year license or $47.00 for the 8-year license. Pay by cash, debit or credit (no personal checks).

5PASS THE VISION EXAM

It will check your vision. If it shows that you need glasses to drive a car, you must have your eyes checked by an eye specialist or optometrist, who will complete a vision form (DE26). You can get the form at a DPS office.

6PASS THE COMPUTERIZED EXAM

It tests your knowledge of Mississippi traffic laws and safe driving rules. Study before you go with the help of free practice tests and read frequently asked questions about the test.

If you fail the test, you can retake it as early as the next business day. If you fail the test 3 times, you will have to wait at least 30 days before your next attempt.

7PASS THE DRIVING SKILLS TEST

You can take it on the same day as your computerized exam. Note that you must be accompanied by a licensed driver of at least 21 years of age and bring a legally licensed vehicle that has all necessary equipment to pass an inspection as well as proof of insurance. The test will be waived if you hold a valid out of the country driver’s license along with the international license.

If you fail the test, you will be asked to wait one full week before retaking it.

You will receive your regular driver’s license in the mail in about a week and will be valid for 4 years.

Mississippi Written Test (aka Computerized Exam)

Take a free practice test
What does the exam consist of?
It includes 30 multiple choice questions that cover Mississippi traffic laws, safe driving rules, and driver license requirements. To pass the test, you must get the score of 80%.
How to prepare for the test?
Study MS Driver's Manual as all questions are based on the information provided there. Then prepare with the help of our free practice tests available here. When you feel comfortable with your score, you are ready! You can also download our free DMV Genie app to study on the go. Get it on the App Store or on Google Play.
Can I take the test, if I can’t read well?
Yes, the exam includes a headset, and all questions and possible answers can be read aloud to you.
When should I arrive for the test?
You can come on a walk-in-basis basis any time you want; however, all exam stations close at 5 p.m. (customers who are at the counter by 5 p.m. will be serviced, though). Plan accordingly.
What common errors must I avoid when taking the MS written test?
The most common mistake comes from not knowing enough information out of the manual. This happens when people study solely with practice tests. Make sure you read the manual first. Another problem is rushing through questions. Take your time and remember what you have studied.
Can I use the manual when taking the actual test?
No, it’s considered cheating. Moreover, you mustn’t use your phone or other wireless devices.
What happens if I fail the test?
If you fail the test, you can retake the test as early as the next business day. If you fail the test 3 times, you will have to wait at least 30 days before your next attempt.

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Road Test

Step-by-Step Guide
What to expect during MS driving skills test
Road Test FAQ
This test will check your ability to drive safely under normal traffic conditions as well as your knowledge of the rules of the road. You can take it at a driver license office while applying for the license. If you are 17+, it is possible to take the driving skills test on the same day with your computerized test. However, keep in mind that all driver license office close at 5 p.m. (customers who are at the counter by 5 p.m. will be serviced, though). Moreover, no road tests are given when roads are slippery or wet, or if windshield wipers must be used.
Before the test

Bring the following for the test:

  • Completed application. (If you are under 17, your parents must sign it and have their signatures notarized)
  • Learner's permit (for under 17 only)
  • Up to date school attendance form (for under 18 only)
  • SSN
  • Certified birth certificate
  • 2 proofs of residence
  • A person with a valid driver's license
  • A safe legally licensed vehicle that can pass an inspection
  • Proof of insurance

If you don't speak English or are hearing impaired, you may bring an interpreter to accompany you during the test. No other passengers are allowed.

During the test

Before you start driving, your examiner will check

  • Your vehicle's lights
  • Brakes
  • Horn
  • Vehicle registration and proof of insurance

Your job is to driver safely, control the vehicle and follow the examiner's instructions. You won't be tricked or asked to do anything illegal. During the test the examiner will list your strengths and weakness on the Record of Examination. Don't be distracted by the writing. The following maneuvers will help the examiner decide if you are ready to drive independently:

  • Right and left turns
  • A smooth stop
  • Backing up
  • Parking and stopping on a hill
  • Parallel parking
  • A turn-about

The examiner will watch closely how you do the following while driving:

  • Using signals
  • Choosing and using driving lanes
  • Responding to warning and stop signs
  • Reacting to traffic signals
  • Observing and reacting to pedestrians and other cars
  • Keeping safe distance from other cars
  • Choosing appropriate speed (neither fast nor too slow)
  • Your posture

You will fail your exam if you

  • Have an accident
  • Violate the law
  • Drive dangerously
  • Make too many errors
  • Disobey instructions
End of the test

At the end of the test, your examiner will mention your errors and inform you whether you pass or fail. If you fail the test, you will be asked to wait one full week before retaking it.

How to Replace or Renew Your Driver License in Mississippi

  • You should renew your driver's license before it expires if you want to have driving privileges in Mississippi. The license can be renewed 6 months before and up to one year after the expiration date. The easiest way to renew in person is to use a Self-Service Renewal Kiosk. Find kiosk locations here. You may use the kiosk if:

    1. You are between 17 and 75
    2. You have no unpaid tickets
    3. You can pay by credit/debit card
    4. You don't need to change your name or other information on your license.
    5. You license is still valid or expired less than a year ago
    6. You are a US citizen

    How to renew at the kiosk

    1. Swipe your expiring license or credit card.
    2. Verify your information on the screen.
    3. Take a new picture.
    4. Pay the fee of $24.00 (for a 4 year license) or $ 47.00 (for an 8 year license). If your license has expired, pay the $1.00 late fee. You can pay by debit or credit card (Visa/MasterCard).
    5. Get a receipt which will work as your temporary license. Your permanent license will arrive in the mail in about a week.

    If you are not eligible to renew at a kiosk, visit one of driver license offices.

    How to renew at a driver license office

    1. Bring documentation
      1. Your current license
      2. 2 Proofs of residency. If you are younger than 21, you can use your parents' residence documents. Some ideas include a mortgage agreement, electricity bill, bank statement,etc.
      3. (For non-US citizens only) valid immigration papers and passport, or Permanent resident card, or I-94 and passport.
    2. Pass the vision test.
    3. Pay the fee of $24.00 (for a 4-year license) or $ 47.00 (for an 8 year license). If your license has expired, pay the $1.00 late fee. Pay by cash or card, no personal checks.
    4. Get a receipt which will work as your temporary license. Your permanent license will arrive in the mail in about a week.
  • You can renew by mail if you are a Mississippi resident attending college out of state, or you are in the armed services of the United States, holding a Mississippi driver’s license and being out of state due to military service.

    Plan of Action

    1. Gather documentation (for students only):
      1. Copy of college student identification card.
      2. Notarized letter from your college on their letterhead saying that you are a full-time student.
    2. Gather documentation (for military only):
      1. First page of your military orders placing you at your current duty station.
      2. Letter from your commanding officer stating name, driver's license number and deployment status.
    3. Provide copy of driver's license or social security card.
    4. Add a certified check made out to the Mississippi Department of Public Safety for $24.00 if your license is still valid, $25.00 if expired or $11.00 if you need replacement or lost your license.
    5. Include a self-addressed stamped envelope.
    6. Send the whole packet to
      Office of Central Print
      P.O. Box 958
      Jackson, MS 39205
  • You may renew online only if all of the following are true:

    1. you are at least 16 ½ years of age
    2. you are a U.S. citizen
    3. you can pay by Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or American Express (credit or debit)
    4. you renew as early as 6 months before the expiration date on your license or up to one year after the expiration
    5. you don't need to change address or name on your license
    6. you didn't renew online during your previous renewal

    Plan of Action

    1. Go to DPS Online Renewal page.
    2. Enter your license number, last 4 digits of your SSN, your full name and date of birth.
    3. Pay the fee of $24.00 (for a 4 year license) and a convenience fee of $1.50. If your license has expired, pay the $1.00 late fee.
    4. Save the receipt for your record.
    5. Your driver's license will arrive in the mail in about a week.

New Residents: How to Get the Mississippi Driver's License

If you become a resident of Mississippi and want to be able to drive here, you are required to transfer your current license within 60 days.
Out-of-state license Foreign license
Not sure if you are a resident of Mississippi?
Are you a Mississippi resident?
You’re considered resident if you move to Mississippi and make it your permanent home for the time being.
Residing temporarily?
Are you a visiting California

Good news! You don't have to convert your valid out-of-state license if any of the following is true:

  • You are an out of state resident who is attending college in Mississippi.
  • You work for the United States Armed Forces, or you are a family member of someone in the Armed Forces stationed in Mississippi.
  • You are temporarily operating any road machine, farm tractor, or farm equipment on road or highway.

I’ve Got a Valid Out-of-State License

Moving from another US state? Welcome to Mississippi!
Moving from another state?

If you are moving from another state and have an out-of-state driver’s license, you must visit a driver license location and convert your license within 60 days. You don’t have to take any test apart from the vision test if your current license is valid and you have been a licensed driver for at least 6 months. If your license expired more than 30 days ago, you will be asked to take the computerized test.

Plan of Action
  1. COLLECT DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED
    • Your original Social Security card (US citizens)
    • A certified Birth Certificate
    • Certificate of School Attendance (If younger than 18). Have it signed at your school. It's valid for 30 days only.
    • 2 Proofs of Residency. If you are younger than 21, you can use your parents' residence documents. Some ideas include a mortgage agreement, electricity bill, bank statement, Mississippi driver's license of parent/guardian (for under 21), etc.
    • Valid immigration papers and passport, or Permanent resident card, or I-94 and passport (non-US citizens).
  2. APPLY IN PERSON AT A DRIVER LICENSE OFFICE

    You can find all the locations here.

  3. PAY THE FEE

    $24.00 for the 4-year license or $47.00 for the 8-year license. Pay by cash, debit or credit (no personal checks).

  4. PASS THE VISION EXAM

    It will check your vision. If it shows that you need glasses to drive a car, you must have your eyes checked by an eye specialist or optometrist, who will complete a vision form (DE26). You can get the form at a DPS office.

  5. PASS A COMPUTERIZED EXAM

    You must do it only if your current out-of-state license expired more than 30 days ago. Study before you go with the help of free practice tests and read frequently asked questions about the test.

  6. SURRENDER YOUR OUT-OF-STATE DRIVER'S LICENSE

    If your out-of-state license has been lost, you must get an Affidavit of Inability to Surrender form from the driver license office and have your signature notarized.

  7. HAVE YOUR PICTURE TAKEN

    See top 7 tips for an excellent driver's license photo.

driver's license in Mississippi

Your new Mississippi driver’s license will arrive in the mail in about a week and will be valid for four years.

I've Got a Valid Foreign License

Moving from another country? Welcome to Mississippi!

If you are moving to Mississippi from another country, you will have to convert to the Mississippi driver's license. All applicants must pass the computerized (knowledge) and vision exams. If you hold a valid out of country driver's license along with a valid international license, you will not have to take the road skills test. If you don't have an international license, you will be required to take the road skills test as well.

For the full step-by-step procedure, go to How to Apply for Your Regular Driver's License in Mississippi.

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