*These instructions apply to applicants who are at least 18 years of age
To drive in Mississippi, you will need either a Mississippi driver’s license or a valid license in your home country and a valid international driver’s license. Even if you do have the home country and international license, it may still be preferable to get a Mississippi license because of the policies of automobile insurance carriers. An unexpired license from another state can be used for 60 days after abandoning your residence in the issuing state.
Obtaining A Driver’s License in Mississippi
Types of Licenses
- For learning to drive on MS public roads
- Allows you to drive only when a licensed driver who is at least 21 years of age occupies the adjacent seat in the vehicle
- Must pass the written and vision exams
- Valid up to 2 years
- Fee is $7.00
Original Driver’s License
- Vision, Written and Road Skills tests required, but Written and Road Skills tests may be waived if applicant is over 18 and has had an out of state license for at least 6 months.
- Issued for maximum of 4 years but actual length may be shorter depending on immigration status end date
- Cost for license issued for 2-4 year period is $24.00.
- Written and Skills test required
- Valid up to 4 years
- Cost for license is $17.00
Required for all license types:
- Valid immigration documents, including passport, I-20 or DS-2019, I-94 card or I-94 Arrival Page
- Proof of physical address such as lease or rental agreement and electricity, cable, or other utility bill
- Certified birth certificate with English translation on university letterhead
- Social Security Card, if you have one
- Application fee paid with cash, debit card, Visa, or Mastercard
Application and Testing
Applications and required tests are administered by the Mississippi Department of Public Safety at the Oxford Testing Center located on Hwy 7 South at Veteran’s Drive. You may contact the office by phone at 662-236-2066. Tests are administered on a walk-in basis from 8:30- 11:00 and 2:00- 4:00 on Monday – Friday. You may take all of the tests on the same day, however, if a test is failed it cannot be re-taken on the same day.
- Vision test
- Written examination
- Multiple choice test given on computer
- 80% is passing score
- Mississippi Drivers License Manual to study available online
- Road Skills test
- Be accompanied by a licensed driver
- Be in a properly licensed and insured vehicle with an up to date inspection sticker
- A trained examiner and you will be the only vehicle occupants during the test
- Test will not be given when road conditions are wet or slippery
The Written and Road Skills tests may be waived if you are over 18 years of age and have held an out of state license for at least 6 months.
When applying for your initial license and when renewing, be prepared to answer the question “ Do you want to be an organ donor?”. If your answer is “yes”, a symbol will be placed on your license and your information will be entered into a registry. More information can be found at Donate Life MS.
A variety of free practice tests can be found on the internet. Here are some examples (please note that these are third-party website that are not endorsed by the Mississippi Department of Transportation, The University of Mississippi, or The Office of International Programs and all resources should be used at your own risk and crosschecked against the official Mississippi Driver’s License Manual.):
- DMV-permit-test.com: offers 19 practice tests
- Driving-tests.org: offers a variety of types of tests
- FreeDMVpracticeTests.com: offers one practice test
- DriversLiscenseTest.net: offers a variety of tests
- DriversPrep.com: offers 3 practice tests
Directions to Testing Center
From the University, take Highway 6 east towards Tupelo. Turn onto Highway 7 south. The testing center is about 2 miles from here on the right hand side of Highway 7 where it meets Veteran’s Drive. The center shares a parking lot with the Lafayette County Health Department.
Car Insurance Requirements
Liability insurance coverage is required for all vehicles by Mississippi law. You can be asked to show proof of having at least the following minimum coverage:
- $25,000 per person (single accident)
- $50,000 per accident for bodily injury
- $25,000 per accident for property damage
Other types of insurance to consider include:
- Uninsured Motorist
- Underinsured Motorist
- Personal Injury
What to Do in Case of an Accident
Automobile accidents are headaches. Here are some quick tips to help you:
- Turn hazard lights on. In most cases for minor accidents, cars should be moved to the side of the road to avoid causing additional accidents. Take pictures and stay at the scene unless it is dangerous to do so.
- Call the police even if you think an officer is not needed.
- Request accident report from officer.
- Be sure to get names, addresses, phone numbers, tag numbers and insurance information from any other parties involved in the accident. If possible, also take down the driver’s license numbers of the other drivers.
- Contact your insurance agent as soon as possible after the accident.
- To help you remember the details of the accident at a later date, write down everything you can about the accident as soon as you can, your version of what actually happened, position of the cars, information about the weather and road conditions, traveling speeds, and damage done to all vehicles.
- Get the names and phone numbers of any witnesses to the accident.