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  • Applying for a New License (Drivers 18+) in Mississippi

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    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.

    1) Choose Your License

    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.

    However, before beginning the application process, take note of all the licenses the Mississippi Department of Public Safety (DPS) offers:

    NOTE:Teens should visit our Teen Drivers section for more details specific to them.

    2) Take a Driver’s Education Course

    Adults 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.

    3) Prepare for the Test

    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. Once you’ve studied it, consider testing yourself with a few practice tests.

    4) Locate a DPS Driver License Location

    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.

    5) Make Test-Day Preparations

    Whether you’re testing for your learner’s permit, your driver’s license, or both, be prepared to:

    6) Take the Written Test

    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.

    7) Get a Car

    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.

    8) Get Car Insurance

    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.

    9) Take the Driving Skills Test

    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.

    10) Receive Your License in the Mail

    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.