Licensing & State Laws
To get your driver’s license in Mississippi, you’ll move through three licensing stages. As you progress, you’ll also need your parents’ permission at each step.
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.
- Keep track of your practice driving with the AAA Driving Log.
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.
The Mississippi Department of Public Safety is in charge of licensing for all drivers in the state.
- Conducts the written exam and road test for your learner’s permit and intermediate license.
- Provides study materials to help you get ready for the exams.
- Keeps track of your license status and can suspend your license if you get too many tickets, don’t keep insurance on your car or commit other violations.
Your parents will set rules as you learn to drive. But state and local police are involved, too, enforcing traffic laws and investigating crashes. By enforcing laws and requirements on seat belt use, distracted driving, drinking and driving, and teen license restrictions, police keep everyone on the road safer. Breaking laws can lead to fines, license suspension and other penalties.
- If pulled over by the police, present your driver’s license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance.
- If stopped as a driver or passenger, always cooperate and be respectful with law enforcement.
- If in any kind of situation involving law enforcement, talk to your parents about it immediately afterward.
Police and courts are there when things go wrong. You and your parents can help keep things right.
- Use a parent-teen driving agreement from AAA.
- Keep your parents in the know about whom you ride with.
- Let your parents know when and where you’re headed.
- 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.