Applying for a New License (Drivers 18+) in Mississippi
Compare Insurance Rates in 3 Easy Steps
1. Start Your Quote:
- 1) Choose Your License
- 2) Take a Driver’s Education Course
- 3) Prepare for the Test
- 4) Locate a DPS Driver License Location
- 5) Make Test-Day Preparations
- 6) Take the Written Test
- 7) Get a Car
- 8) Get Car Insurance
- 9) Take the Driving Skills Test
- 10) Receive Your License in the Mail
If you're a first-time driver or a new resident of Mississippi, you may not be certain of which kind of driver's license you will need.
In Mississippi, a Class R driver’s license allows first-time drivers and new Mississippi residents to drive regular passenger vehicles in the state, and a Class LP learner’s permit is the first step in that direction―even if you’re over 17 and don’t have to keep it for any specific length of time.
However, before beginning the application process, take note of all the licenses the Mississippi Department of Public Safety (DPS) offers:
- Class D Non-Commercial Licenses allow you to operate non-commercial vehicles that aren’t quite “regular” passenger vehicles (taxis, etc.) .
- Class E Motorcycle Permits and Endorsements allow you to operate motorcycles.
- Commercial Driver Licenses (CDLs) include Class A, B, and C licenses and allow you to operate commercial vehicles.
NOTE: If you’re under the age of 18, you must comply with Mississippi’s own version of the graduated driver licensing (GDL) system. This means, in addition to a Class LP learner’s permit, you must also get a Class Y intermediate license before you’re ready for full driving privileges. Please visit our Teen Drivers section for more details.
Younger than 15―You’re only required to take a state-approved driver education course if you plan to apply for your Class LP learner’s permit at 14 ½ years old.
15 and Older―You aren’t required to take a driver education course, but enrolling in a supplemental training course certainly helps prepare you for your tests and for driving.
Mississippi’s Driver’s Manual will definitely come in handy once you’re ready to begin studying, and you can pick up a copy at your local driver license location for $2. Once you’ve studied it, consider testing yourself with a few practice tests.
Your local DPS driver license location is where you’ll take your written tests and driving skills tests. You can call ahead to make an appointment or ask about hours and test schedules.
Whether you’re testing for your learner’s permit, your driver’s license, or both, be prepared to:
- Contact your nearest driver license station to ask about appointments, hours, and test schedules.
- Complete an Application for Mississippi Driver’s License.
- Present your Social Security card or a document from the Social Security Administration.
- Show your birth certificate.
- Present proof of domicile.
- Pass the required vision, written, and/or driving skills tests.
- Pay the appropriate fee (learner’s permits are $4, Class R driver’s licenses for applicants under 18 are $6, and Class R driver’s licenses for applicants older than 18 are $21).
NOTE: If you’re younger than 18, you must also present a Certification of School Attendance.
Unless you’re a new Mississippi resident with a valid out-of-state license who simply needs to exchange for a Mississippi driver’s license, you must take the written test. Because not all stations offer every service, it’s best to contact your local driver license station to ask about services, appointments, and hours.
In addition to making sure you have all the required documents, paperwork, and fees―and possibly taking a supplemental training course―you can also prepare for your written test when you study the Mississippi’s Driver’s Manual.
NOTE: DPS driver license locations offer audio testing for applicants with special needs.
Once You Pass
Once you pass the written test, you will get your learner’s permit. As long as you’re at least 17 years old, you can immediately take your driving skills test (if time is available).
If You Fail
You are allowed to take your written test three times during a one-month period. If you fail all three times, you must wait 30 days to take the test again.
If you took a driver education course, chances are your instructor provided a vehicle for practice; however, now that you’re ready to take your driving test and make use of your driver’s license, you’ll need to get your own vehicle.
Make sure you purchase a vehicle that fits your lifestyle needs. If you do a lot of traveling, look into a car that gets good gas mileage. If you have a big family, perhaps you need a vehicle with plenty of room. And, if you’re looking for something especially affordable, consider purchasing a used vehicle. Given how easy it is to get a vehicle history report, you can make sure you’re getting a good buy―and not someone else’s problem.
Mississippi requires all drivers to have insurance policies that meet certain minimum liability coverage requirements. We thoroughly cover those requirements, as well as help you shop for the best rate, at our Insurance Center.
Except for new residents with valid out-of-state licenses, everyone must take the driving skills test. Call ahead to find a driver license station that offers driving skills tests. You may need to make an appointment, or find out specific hours and test schedules.
You must bring your own vehicle for the driving skills test, and you must be able to show proof of insurance for that vehicle. Our Insurance Center can help you make sure your policy meets Mississippi’s minimum liability insurance requirements.
NOTE: The driver license station won’t administer your driving skills test if a licensed driver doesn’t drive you to the station.
Once You Pass
You will receive your Mississippi driver’s license immediately upon passing the driving skills test.
If You Fail
If you fail the driving skills test, you may be able to try again the next available day; however, this is always at the discretion of the examiner.
Conveniently, Mississippi drivers receive their licenses as soon as they pass their driving skills tests. Still, it’s best to keep your most current mailing address on file with the DPS for other correspondence.
Mississippi recognizes valid out-of-country driver’s licenses, but it’s also a good idea to get an International Driver's Permit (IDP) from your home country before you leave.
If you decide to establish residency, you must apply for a Mississippi driver’s license.
How to Apply as a Non-Citizen
You’ll follow the same application process as listed above (with the exception of presenting a Social Security card), and you must also be prepared to show your:
- Birth certificate (a state-run university must translate it first).
- Your passport.
- Your I-94 card.
- Your proof of domicile.
- Either your I-20 or your DS-2019.
- Any other valid immigration papers the DPS requests.
Your driver’s license will be valid for one year.
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