Are you looking to start riding a motorcycle in the Magnolia State? Well, the first thing you must do (apart from buying a motorcycle) is getting a motorcycle license.
In Mississippi, you can operate a motorcycle or motor scooter by getting a motorcycle endorsement on a valid Mississippi driver’s license. The state does not offer a motorcycle-only license.
You can apply for a Mississippi motorcycle endorsement from the Mississippi department of public safety (DPS). To get one, you must have a valid driver’s license and be at least 16 years old. And you have to pass a motorcycle knowledge test (written test) and a road skills test.
Applying for a motorcycle endorsement
You need a motorcycle endorsement to ride a motorcycle in Mississippi. According to Mississippi law, the term “motorcycle” includes motor scooters.
“Motor scooter” here means a two-wheeled vehicle that has a seat for the operator, one wheel that is ten inches or more in diameter, and a step-through chassis. It should also have an engine size of 50cc or less and otherwise meets all safety requirements of motorcycles.
To apply for the endorsement, you must possess a standard driver’s license and should be at least 16 years of age. But if you have reached the age of 15, you can apply for a Mississippi motorcycle permit.
If you don’t have a regular driver’s license yet
In this case, new riders can apply for their regular Mississippi driver’s license (Class R) first before they go for the motorcycle endorsement.
In Mississippi, the minimum age to receive a driver’s license is 16 years old. But if you are under 17 years, you have to get a learner’s permit first and hold it for 12 months or till you reach the age of 17.
You need to submit an application, proof of identity, residence, and Social Security Number. Then, pass a vision test and a knowledge test. At this time, a road test is required of any applicant seeking a regular driver’s license.
Once you get the new license, you can proceed to get the motorcycle endorsement. The application process is explained below.
If you have a driver’s license
In this case, if you want to get a motorcycle endorsement, schedule an appointment online first. Then, on the day of your appointment, go to your local DPS office.
You need to bring along documents that prove your identity and residency. This can be your birth certificate, proof of residency, and Social security card. Check the list of required documents. Of course, remember to carry your valid Mississippi driver’s license too.
If you are under 18 years, you will need the written consent of a parent or legal guardian. You also need to complete a motorcycle safety course. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation offers such courses.
Those under 18 years also need to have proof of successful completion of a driver’s education program. Here is a list of Driver Education Public Schools that are approved by the Mississippi Department of Education.
At the appointment at the DPS office, you have to pass a written exam (written knowledge test) and a driving test. You may also need to pass a vision test. Your motorbike will also be inspected before you hit the open road.
After you pass all the necessary tests, you will receive your new license in the mail in about seven business days.
You can study the Motorcycle Operator Manual to prepare for the motorcycle knowledge test. You can also try out Mississippi motorcycle practice tests online on websites such as driving-tests.org.
Get the driving skills to test waived.
You can also get a certificate of completion of a motorcycle safety class endorsed by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA). If you have this certificate, you don’t have to take the skills test to get the endorsement.
But you will still need to complete the knowledge test.
Applying for a Mississippi motorcycle permit
In Mississippi, the minimum age to apply for a motorcycle learner’s permit is 15 years.
You must hold the permit for at least twelve months before you will be allowed to obtain your driver’s license with the motorcycle endorsement. Or until you reach the age of seventeen, whichever occurs first.
If you are 17 years and older, you do not have to hold the permit for 12 months. You can get the permit and standard driver’s license on the same day.
After 12 months are complete, you must apply for the motorcycle license with a valid Learner’s Permit. You also need an up-to-date school attendance form and a signed Waiver of Road Testing Affidavit.
You also have to submit a completed and signed Application. You need to present an Original Birth Certificate or any acceptable document (Not photocopies). You also need to present your SSN Card and two proofs of residency.
Then, you have to pass the motorcycle permit test and a vision exam to get your permit.
The learner’s permit is valid for only two years.
Note: If you have a valid out-of-state Learner’s Permit, you will be given credit for the months they hold toward the required 12-month period.
Currently, a new driver’s license (valid for 4 years) is $24. It is $47 if the validity is for 8 years.
The initial cost of the motorcycle learner’s permit fee is $1 plus $5 for the motorcycle endorsement. A motorcycle endorsement is valid for four years ($1.25 per year).
If you have an out-of-state license with a motorcycle endorsement
In this case, you can apply at your local DPS officer for a new Mississippi driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement. You will have to present your current existing license with the Class M endorsement. But you don’t have to pass any riding tests to get the new license.
Is motorcycle insurance necessary in Mississippi?
Mississippi law requires all motorcycle riders to carry insurance in case of a motorcycle accident. It is colloquially known as 25/50/25 coverage. A Mississippi resident must have motorcycle insurance before registering a motor vehicle.
The insurance policy must have minimum coverage as per the following:
- $25,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $25,000 property damage liability per accident
Mississippi motorcycle laws
If you are riding a motorcycle in the state, you must keep some important laws in mind.
- Mississippi has a universal helmet law. This means all motorcycle drivers and passengers are required to wear a helmet. Under Mississippi Code § 63-9-11, riding without a helmet may result in fines and jail time.
- The helmet should meet the criteria of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) criteria.
- All passengers must also wear an appropriate helmet, regardless of age.
- Lane spilling is not legal in Mississippi. However, it is not strictly illegal either. It is up to the discretion of local law enforcement to make the decision.
In Mississippi, a motorcycle license comes in the form of an endorsement on a regular driver’s license. To get a motorcycle endorsement, you must have a valid Mississippi driver’s license and be at least 16 years old. And you have to pass a motorcycle knowledge exam and a road skills test.