*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
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
- Written and Skills test required
- Valid up to 4 years
- Cost for license is $17.00
Required for all license types:
- Original valid immigration documents plus a copy of:
- Passport including the biographical information and visas
- I-20, DS-2019, or other USCIS Immigration Document (such as an I-797 Approval Notice) and I-94
- Proof of Physical Address (your home or apartment address not PO Box)
- lease or rental agreement
- car registration receipt
- electric or water bill
- letter from Housing Office for students who live on-campus
- Certified birth certificate and **translation if birth certificate is not in English (translation must be notarized)**
- Social Security Card (must be presented IF applicant has one.)
- Letter confirming status and affiliation with the University of Mississippi (obtained from International
Student & Scholar Services)
- Application fee paid with cash, debit card, Visa, or Mastercard
**Here is the process you need to follow for your birth certificate if it is not in English:**
- Translate your birth certificate into English as a word doc (or google doc), not as a pdf or an image inserted into the word doc. It must be typed.
- You can do this by yourself, or with outside help, like a staff or faculty member.
- Upload the word doc to ISSS’s Birth Certificates Upload link and email Tori Goodman at email@example.com that you have done so.
- Wait until you receive a confirmation email from our office. This email will let you know that the copy of your Birth Certificate Translation is printed on University Letterhead.
- Arrange a notary appointment with ISSS’s notary, Kim Coker, by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you are a student, find a faculty member who will come to the ISSS office with you to your appointment in order to sign the documents and attest to the accuracy of the translation. If you are a TA or a scholar, skip this step.
- Bring your passport, original birth certificate, and faculty member to the appointment with Kim Coker in ISSS. She will notarize the document after you and your faculty have signed them in order to attest the accuracy of the translation.
Application and Testing
Applications and required tests are administered by the Mississippi Department of Public Safety at the Oxford Testing Center located at 72 F.D. Buddy E Pkwy. You may contact the office by phone at 662-513-6601. 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 a variety of practice tests including for motorcycles
- 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
Location of Testing Center
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.