2024 Mississippi CDL Requirements Guide

The basic Mississippi CDL requirements include a valid Class R driver’s license, a medical exam, and passing skills and knowledge tests.
Written by Katherine Duffy
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
background
You must be at least 17 years old and hold a valid Class R
Mississippi driver’s license
to apply for a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in
Mississippi
.
Interested in driving a commercial vehicle such as a tractor-trailer, school bus, or commercial passenger van in Mississippi? Before doing so, you’ll need to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License, also known as a CDL. Larger vehicles present different driving challenges and have unique features, which is why all commercial vehicle drivers in Mississippi must have a valid CDL. 
The process for applying for a CDL is lengthy, but the requirements are clear—generally, you need a valid Class R license, identification documents, a successful medical exam, and passing marks on your knowledge and skills test to obtain a CDL. 
Need some extra guidance? In this article, we'll walk you through the process of applying for your CDL.
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What is required for a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in Mississippi? 

Obtaining your CDL in Mississippi can be a complex process, but it’s much easier to navigate if you know what to expect. The basic requirements for a CDL license in Mississippi include obtaining a regular Class R driver’s license and a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) that you can use to take your CDL skills test. 
The exact requirements may vary depending on the CDL class you need to obtain and any endorsements you might need to operate a specific vehicle. 

Mississippi CDL classes 

There are four types of CDL classes in Mississippi—A, B, C, and D. Let’s take a closer look at which vehicles you’re able to operate under each CDL class. 
  • Class A: any combination of vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more or towing a vehicle with a GVWR of 10,001 pounds or more.
  • Class B: any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more.
  • Class C(a): any single vehicle with a GVWR of less than 26,001 pounds designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver.
  • Class C(b): any single vehicle with a GVWR of less than 26,001 pounds designed to transport hazardous materials that must be placarded u8nder the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act
  • Class D: All other vehicles or combinations of vehicles that are not included in Class A, Class B, or Class C and for which a Commercial License is required to be issued as provided by Section 63-1-43.
For example, you’ll probably require a Class A CDL license to operate a tractor-trailer or a livestock carrier, but you’ll likely need a Class B CDL license for a school bus. If you’re driving a small bus or a HAZMAT vehicle, you’ll need a Class C CDL license. 

Endorsements 

In addition to different CDL classes, you may also need a specific type of endorsement to operate a specific type of commercial vehicle. Here’s a breakdown of each type of endorsement in Mississippi: 
  • T: for double/triple trailers 
  • P: for passenger vehicles
  • N: for tank vehicles 
  • H: for transporting hazardous materials
  • X:for transportation of hazardous materials in a tank vehicle
  • L: for vehicles not equipped with air brakes only 
  • S: for school buses that transport pupils to and from school only
Some endorsements require extra testing to obtain and may have additional requirements to meet. 

Minimum age requirement

The minimum age requirement for obtaining a CDL license in Mississippi changes depending on where you’re planning on driving. If you only need to operate a commercial vehicle within the state of Mississippi, you must be at least 17 years old. If you need to operate a commercial vehicle across states, you must be at least 21 years old

Medical requirements 

Last but not least, Mississippi requires all CDL license candidates to undergo a Department of Transportation (DOT) physical exam to ensure your health is up to par for driving commercial vehicles safely. 
If you pass the DOT physical, you’ll receive a DOT card that you’ll need to renew by undergoing routine physicals. Here’s what the DOT physical consists of: 
  • Vision test 
  • Hearing test 
  • Urinalysis 
  • Blood pressure/pulse rate 
  • Physical exam 

New ELDT requirements

If you’re trying to get a Mississippi CDL for the first time and haven’t started the application process yet, you’ll need to follow new regulations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for
Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT)
Under these requirements—valid as of February 2022—new applicants must find a registered training provider in
FMCSA’s registry
and complete training with them before taking their skills tests or the H knowledge test. 

How to apply for a CDL in Mississippi 

The most important requirement for obtaining a CDL in Mississippi is a valid Class R driver’s license. Prior driving offenses won’t affect your ability to obtain a CDL in Mississippi, but the specific company requiring you to obtain this license may have its own requirements regarding your driving history. Be sure to review these requirements if applicable. 
If you have a valid Class R driver’s license, you can go ahead and gather the other required documents for obtaining a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) in Mississippi, which you’ll need before you can obtain your CDL: 
  • A completed and signed
    application
  • Original birth certificate or other proof of identity
  • SSN card 
  • If going by a new name, legal documents are required for verification
  • Medical card 
  • Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) written exam
Once you have these documents in order, head to your
local driver’s license office
with the $16 registration fee to obtain your CLP. You’ll need to wait at least 14 days from the CLP registration date before writing your knowledge tests and/or performing your road skills performance test. 
During this time, the CLP allows you to drive on public roads with a valid CDL holder in the passenger's seat. The Mississippi CLP is valid for six months
Once you feel ready to write your knowledge tests and perform your road test,
schedule your Mississippi CDL test
at the nearest testing station. While all applicants must write a general knowledge test, you may be required to write different tests based on your endorsements needed. 
For example, all bus driver applicants must take the passenger transport test, if your vehicle has air brakes you must take an air brake test, and you’ll have to take the combination vehicles test if you will be driving any type of tractor-trailer combination vehicle. Additional individual tests are also administered for hazmat, school bus, and tanker tests.
Make sure you arrive for your test on time and that you bring the following: 
  • Your CLP and the application form you filled out to apply for the permit 
  • Your medical card 
  • A passenger with a valid CDL license 
  • A vehicle that meets testing criteria for the class of license you are applying for and that can pass inspection
  • The appropriate application and licensing fees:
  • $25.00 CDL application fee
  • $55.00 for the CDL license
  • $5.00 for each endorsement
  • $100.00 for a Hazardous Materials background check
Your road skills test will evaluate the following skills: 
  • Starting the vehicle 
  • Parallel parking
  • Off-set backing
  • Straight-line backing
  • Lane change
  • Merge
  • Use of lanes
  • Right-of-way
  • Traffic signs and signals
  • Left and right turns
  • Intersections
  • Railroad crossings
  • Curves
  • Roadside stop/start
  • Upshifting and downshifting
After successfully passing both your knowledge and road skills test, you’ve satisfied all the requirements for obtaining a CDL in Mississippi! 
MORE:  How to get cheap commercial truck insurance

How long is a CDL valid in Mississippi? 

Your Mississippi CDL is valid for five years. If you have an H-endorsement, you’ll need to write a knowledge test each time you renew your license. This test will look very similar to the first test with changes only when there have been developments made in the law. 
Drivers may need to get recertified if marks have been added to either their commercial or Class R license. The renewal fee is the same as the licensing fee: $55

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