Driving Without a License in Mississippi

What does it mean to drive while your license is expired, revoked, suspended or cancelled in Mississippi?

What does it mean to “drive without a license” in Mississippi?

Driving without a license can refer to three scenarios. You’re stopped for an offense and:

  • You have a license but it’s not in your possession. In other words, you were licensed to drive but lacked proof, an infraction that may be dismissed once you can prove that you possessed a valid license at the time of the incident.   (Note: you may have to pay a fine.)
  • You never applied for a license (or your license expired). Mississippi Code § 63-1-5 states that no person shall drive or operate a motor vehicle other than a motorcycle upon the highways of the State of Mississippi without first securing an operator's license. The fine is $200 to $500.
  • Your license was cancelled, revoked or suspended by the authorities. This offense is punishable as a first time offense with a fine (maximum fine of $500).

Who doesn’t have to have a valid Mississippi driver’s license?

Mississippi exempts the following persons from having to possess a valid Mississippi license:

(a) Any person while operating a motor vehicle for military purposes, if the person is a member of the United States Armed Forces or Reserves on active duty, a member of the National Guard on active duty or full-time National Guard duty, a National Guard military technician, or participating in part-time National Guard training.

(b) Any nonresident person who has in his immediate possession a valid license to drive a motor vehicle on the highways of his home state or country, issued to him by the proper authorities of his home state or country, or of any nonresident person whose home state or country does not require the licensing of a person to operate a motor vehicle on the highways but does require him to be duly registered. Such person being eighteen (18) years of age or older may operate a motor vehicle in the state for a period of sixty (60) days without securing a license. However, any nonresident person operating a motor vehicle in this state shall be subject to all the provisions of this article, except as specified above.

(c) Any person while operating a road roller, road machinery or any farm tractor or implement of husbandry temporarily drawn, moved or propelled on the highways.

(d) Any engineer or motorman using tracks for road or street, though used in the streets.

(e) Any person while operating an electric personal assistive mobility device.

How do you fight the charge?

Fighting a “driving without a license charge” can be difficult.   Once the district attorney or prosecutor alleges that you drove without a valid license, the burden of proof is on you to prove that you did possess a valid driver’s license at the time of your offense. If you don’t have evidence of a license, you lose! Depending on your circumstances, you may benefit from the advice or negotiating skills of an attorney.

Can an undocumented immigrant obtain a driver’s license in Mississippi?

An undocumented immigrant is not permitted to obtain a driver's license in Mississippi.


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