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Frequently Asked Questions - Mississippi Teen Driver

Before applying for a learner’s permit, you should study the Mississippi Driver Handbook, which covers some of the following topics:

• Your License to Drive
• Rules of the Road
• Making Turns
• Littering on Mississippi Highways
• Speed Limits
• Driving at Night
• Railroad Crossings
• Signs and Road Markings
• Safe Driving Practices
• Interstate Highway Driving
• Effects of Alcohol
• Implied Consent
• Motor Vehicle Inspection
• Safety Belts and Child Restraints
• Road Safety with Large Vehicles

The main purpose of the handbook is to help you learn how to become a safe driver and understand the traffic rules and regulations.

The Mississippi Department of Public Safety requires all applicants to provide a driver’s license with photo from another state or a certified copy of their birth certificate. They must also present a valid Social Security card or a document from the Social Security Administration. The following additional requirements are listed below:

Applicants Under 18
• You must submit an original or certified copy your of birth certificate even if you have a valid license from another state.
• You must provide a Certification of School Attendance form issued by the school principal, headmaster, the county Superintendent of Education or a designee of the superintendent. The form must be less than 30 days old. If you are home-schooled, you can obtain a blank Certification of School Attendance form from the Superintendent of Education with the notarized signature of your parents.

Applicants Under 17
• If you are under 17 years of age, both parents must sign your application for a permit or license if they are alive and have legal custody of you. If neither of your parents is alive, then your legal guardian, employer or another responsible adult can sign your application. The signatures must be notarized. If you are under 17 and married, you must submit a marriage license instead of a School Certification of Attendance.

All Applicants Over 18
• You must show proof of Mississippi residency with a physical address (post office box numbers are not acceptable). If you are under 21, you may provide proof or your parent’s residence.

Non-Citizen Applicants
• You must submit valid immigration papers.
• You must submit a birth certificate translated from a university.
• You must submit a passport with valid I-94 card.
• You must show proof of residency.
• You must present your Alien Resident Card if you have one.

Name Change
• You must submit a document issued by a United States court to change the name on your license.

The State of Mississippi has a course called the “Help for the Teenager Who Wants to Drive” which guides the student and parent throughout the entire course. Parents can following the behind-the-wheel guidelines to help the student pass each level of training.

The State of Mississippi has the following restrictions:

Learner’s Permit Restrictions
• You must be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or another licensed driver who is 21 years or older when driving.

Intermediate License Restrictions
• You may only drive unsupervised between the hours of 6 am and 10 pm. During all other times, your parent, legal guardians or another licensed driver who is 21 years or older must accompany you at all times.

The State of Mississippi requires drivers to pass the following tests:

Written Exam
• The written test consists of multiple-choice questions about Mississippi traffic laws, the rules or safe driving and road signs. You must answer 24 out of 30 questions correctly to pass the test. If you fail the written test three times, you must wait 30 days before taking the test again.

Vision Screening Exam
• You must be able to pass the vision screening exam with a visual acuity of 20/40 or better in both eyes with or without using corrective lenses and a horizontal visual field of 140 degrees (binocularly) or 70 degrees temporal and 25 degrees nasal (monocularly). Drivers who have 20/50 to 20/70 acuity in both eyes will be restricted to driving during daylight hours only while using corrective lenses.

Road Skills Test
• The road skills test in conducted by a trained examiner from the Department of Public Safety. The purpose is to make sure that you understand how to operate a motor vehicle safely in accordance with the traffic laws. Tests will not be conducted if the roads are wet or slippery.

The written exam and road skills tests may be waived if you are over 18 and have held an out-of-state license for at least six months.

It is strongly recommended that teens take the Mississippi First Time Driver course, which has the following benefits:

• Reduces the number of alcohol related crashes among teenage drivers
• Helps new drivers understand the basic traffic laws
• Teen drivers will learn how to safely operate a motor vehicle

In addition, the curriculum will cover the risks of distracted driving and the consequences of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The Mississippi driver’s education course must consist of the following:

1. 30 hours of classroom instruction

2. 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training or an equivalent may be achieved by doing one of the following:

• Actual 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training, or
• 12 hours of classroom instruction in a Mississippi state-approved simulator and 3 hours of behind-the-wheel training
• Any type of combination involving multi-car driving range instruction and simulation instruction and a minimum of two hours of on-street driving.

3. Instruction in a state-approved simulator (when not counted as classroom time) can be substituted for behind-the-wheel training at a 4 to 1 ratio not to exceed three hours substitution.

4. 12 hours in any approved simulator may count as classroom time when it is not substituted for part of the 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training.

5. Multi-car driving range training may be counted at a ratio of 2 to 1 when substituted for on-street driving.

6. A minimum of two hours on-street driving may be required regardless of the combination of simulation, range and on-street driving.

7. Training time on a multi-car driving range can be substituted for on-street driving time (this must receive prior approval from the Mississippi Department of Education).

8. One-half unit credit can be given provided the course meets the minimum hours required and covers a full semester.

9. Items 1 through 7 must receive prior approval from the Mississippi Department of Education.

When applying for a learner’s permit or driver’s license, you will need to do the following:

• Submit a completed application with the notarized signatures of both your parents or legal guardians. If your parents are divorced, the parent with legal custody must sign the application. The application must contain the following information:

1. Full legal name
2. Date of birth
3. Home address
4. Social Security number
5. Physical description
6. Physical and mental condition
7. Driving experience and record

Making a false statement on the application may result in your driving privileges being suspended.

The State of Mississippi has the following requirements for obtaining a Learner’s Permit:

• You must be at least 15 years old.
• You must hold the permit for at least one year before taking the driving test.
• You must show proof that you are enrolled in school by submitting a signed Certification of School Attendance form.
• You must pass both the written and eye exams.
• You must pay the fee of $4 in cash.

Applicants can apply for a temporary learner’s permit at age 14 if you are enrolled in a high school driver’s education course. This type of permit is only valid while operating a driver’s education vehicle when accompanied by an instructor.

The State of Mississippi has the following requirements for obtaining a driver’s license:

Intermediate License Requirements
• You must be at least 15 years and six months old.
• You must have held a learner’s permit for at least one year.
• You must be able to pass the road skills test.
• You must have your parents or legal guardians sign the application.
• You must provide proof of enrollment in a public, private or home school or proof of graduation or GED.
• You must pay the appropriate license fee.

Driver’s License Requirements
• You must be at least 16 years old.
• You must have held an Intermediate for at least six months with a clean driving record.
• You must provide proof of enrollment in a public, private or home school or proof of graduation or GED.

You are not required to have an Intermediate License if you are 17 years of age and have a valid Learner’s Permit.