Licensing & State Laws
Are you legally allowed to drive without supervision now? Learn more about Mississippi’s multi-stage licensing process.
When you turn 14, you may apply for a 14-year-old learner’s permit, but it is only good in a driver’s education vehicle with a driver’s education instructor. For the 14-year-old learner’s permit you must be able to provide proof of being enrolled in a driver’s education program from the school that you are attending.
When you turn 15 you may apply for the regular learner’s permit. To be eligible for a learner’s permit, you must be at least 15 years old. To apply for the regular learner’s permit, you need to visit your local driver exam office and bring a completed application with notarized signatures of both parents or guardians, a state-certified copy of your birth certificate, your Social Security card, and proof you are registered in school. Once you pass the written driver’s knowledge test and a vision test, you’ll be given your learner’s permit.
A learner’s permit lets you drive only with a licensed driver age 21 or older supervising and sitting in the front seat. The learner’s permit lets you practice driving with an experienced adult driver. Once you have held a learner’s permit for 12 months, you are allowed to take the driving test and get an intermediate license.
When you turn 16 and have had a learner’s permit for at least 12 months, you can go to your local DMV to take the driving test. You’ll also need to take a second vision test and you will need to bring the same information as for a learner’s permit. Once you pass required testing, you can receive your intermediate permit. Make sure a parent comes with you to sign the application form or get your parent’s notarized signature on the form ahead of time.
When you have an intermediate license, you’re allowed to drive without a parent, but you must follow certain rules to help keep you safe. Mississippi does not allow teens with intermediate licenses to drive between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Sunday-Thursday, and 11:30 p.m. – 6 a.m. Friday and Saturday, except for driving to and from work. During those times, the intermediate licensee must be supervised by a parent, guardian or other person age 21 years or older who holds a valid driver’s license and who is actually occupying the seat beside the driver. You and all of your passengers must wear seat belts while you’re driving.
At age 16 ½, you are eligible for a full unrestricted license if you have held an intermediate permit for at least 6 months. You must show proof that you are in school by presenting a Certification of School Attendance form obtained from the school you are attending and you must pass a driving skills test. (Note: This form is not valid if over 30 days old.)
Now is a good time to set up a parent-teen driving agreement to help you and your parents establish expectations related to both their rules and those of the state.
For more information on the licensing process, contact the Mississippi Department of Public Safety.
- Expect to present your driver’s license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance.
- Always cooperate and be respectful with law enforcement, whether you’re the driver or a passenger.
- Talk to your parent about what happened.
If you get a ticket or are in a crash, it could lead to a court appearance and many unpleasant consequences:
- Suspended driving privileges
- Driver’s license points
- Attorney’s fees
- Court costs
- Insurance rate increases
The Mississippi Department of Public Safety is in charge of licensing for all drivers in the state.
- StartSmart: Practice Driving – AAA’s tips for parents and teens about practice driving.
- StartSmart: Always Use Seat Belts – 63 percent of 16- to 20-year-olds who die in car crashes aren’t buckled up.
- StartSmart: Distractions and Driving – Read about the most common distractions, and get helpful advice for teens and parents.
- Parent-Teen Driving Agreement – Signing a formal agreement with your parent helps in multiple ways.
- Driver-ZED – Offered by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Driver-ZED is a computer-based program to help you practice driving.