Mississippi like most US states employs a graduated licensing system (GDL) that is aimed at improving teen fatality statistics in the US. As the highest segment of drivers with crash fatalities, teenagers are required to go through a number of stages before they can get a full license in the state.
Limited Learner’s Permit, 14 years
Although Mississippi is one of only 6 states in the US to allow drivers at the age of 14, it is very restricted license that is allowed to these drivers. At 14, if you are enrolled in a state accepted driver education course, mostly located in high schools, you can apply for a limited learner’s permit. You will need to present your enrollment form, birth certificate, social security card, an application notarized by your parents and a completed education attendance form issued by your school. You must also pass a written and vision test.
This permit is only valid for use in a driver’s education vehicle with a certified driver instructor in the front passenger seat.
Learner’s Permit, 15 years
At 15 years old you become eligible for a full learner’s permit in Mississippi. This learner’s permit allows you to drive with another licensed adult in the passenger seat. You can apply for an Intermediate license only after you have held a learner’s permit for a minimum of 1 year. However, the state counts your limited learner’s permit time towards this minimum time for 6 months allowing you to get an intermediate license at 15 and half years old
Intermediate License, Age 16 years
The intermediate license can be applied for after you have held a learner’s permit for a minimum of 1 year and have passed a driver’s skills test. An intermediate license allows the student driver to drive unsupervised between 6am and 10pm Sunday through Thursday, 6am and 11:30pm Friday and Saturday and to or from work and home at any other time of the day. If outside of these allowances the teen driver must have an adult, over 21 years old licensed driver seated in the front passenger seat next to the student driver.
Full License, 17 years
If you are 17 years old and held an Intermediate license for at least 6 months you will be eligible to apply for a full unrestricted license in Mississippi.
The Mississippi GDL system requires 30 hours of in-class instruction and 6 hours of behind the wheel instruction for driver’s education in the limited learner’s or learner’s permit phase. However, the state does not require a driving log like many other states to add an additional amount of parent or guardian driving hours. Upon reaching 17 years old and passing the intermediate driving skills test you are eligible for a full license in the state.
Out of State and Adult Drivers
If you are under 18, but at least 17 years old, you must enroll in a driver’s education course but do not have the time limit restrictions and only written and driving skills testing will be required after driver’s education, besides a requirement for a GED or equivalent. Those over 18 are only required to submit to the standard vision, written and driving skills tests in order to gain a full license in the state.
Out of state drivers with a valid license from another state must report to a Department of Public Safety office to turn in their license and receive a Mississippi license within 60 days of arriving within the state. You must provide proof of residency, social security card, original birth certificate, pass a vision test and pay a licensing fee to receive your new license.