Mississippi CDL Requirements
The first step toward getting your commercial driver’s license (CDL) in Mississippi is providing the documents and meeting the application requirements established by the state Department of Transportation, then acquiring your commercial learner’s permit (CLP) by taking and passing the written test. The CLP allows you to drive on public streets with a driver who holds a valid Mississippi CDL in the vehicle with you. Your permit will be valid for 6 months and must be held for at least 14 days before you can begin the CDL application process.
To drive a commercial vehicle within Mississippi state lines, you must be at least 17 years of age. Drivers who wish to also drive outside the state or drive vehicles designed to haul hazardous materials must be at least 21 years of age. Those applying who are under 18 must present an educational attendance from the school they attend or the County Superintendent of Education’s Office verifying school attendance, or a General Educational Development (GED) certificate.
Please note that before you take any tests, it is important to determine which type of commercial vehicle you will be driving. Because certain types of commercial vehicle licenses require specific endorsements, additional tests are sometimes required. You want to make sure you take all of the required tests for the category of vehicle you plan to drive.
To acquire a CLP in the state of Mississippi, you must pay the required license fee and provide the following:
- a valid Mississippi driver’s license
- proof of Social Security number (Social Security card, paystub, W-2 form. No photocopies accepted)
- a score of at least 80 on the required knowledge exams
- a passing score on required vision test
- proof of identity and Mississippi residency (lease/rental agreements, car title, utility bill, etc.)
- proof of permission to work in the United States
- proof that you have no previous CDL disqualifications
- proof of DOT medical certificate conducted by a licensed medical examiner
Additionally, your driving record will be checked for the past 10 years in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
If you are not a U.S. citizen, you must present immigration papers, including a birth certificate (translated by an approved translator), proof of legal presence, and two proofs of Mississippi residence.
After you have successfully obtained your CLP and fulfilled the 14-day practice period, you will be eligible to take the tests required for a CDL, which consists of three basic areas: vehicle inspection, understanding of basic controls, and a road test.
The requirements for drivers differ slightly, depending on whether you are testing for a Class A license or a Class B license. The road test portion of the skills test requires that you bring with you the type of vehicle you plan to drive.
Class A vehicles are classified as trucks or truck combinations that weigh 26,001 lbs. or more and tow a vehicle or unit that weighs more than 10,000 lbs. Tests for Class A CDL include questions on general knowledge, combinations vehicles, air brakes, pre-trip knowledge, basic skills. You will also have a road test in your vehicle.
Class B vehicles are classified as straight trucks and buses weighing 26,001 pounds or more. Tests for Class B CDL include questions on general knowledge, air brakes (if applicable), and basic skills. You will also have a road test in your vehicle.
If you are applying for any additional endorsements on either a Class A or Class B CDL, you will be tested on subject matter specific to those endorsements. Endorsements are special authorizations to transport certain materials or a certain number of passengers. These include hazmat vehicles, tank vehicles, vehicles transporting more than 15 persons, school buses, and double or triple trailers.
It is important to note that all CDL holders in the state of Mississippi must comply with federal regulations and self-certify with the Mississippi Department of Public Safety (MDPS). This means the driver must inform the MDPS whether they plan to drive only within state lines or if they plan to drive in other states and whether they are required to hold a medical certificate.