No More Tests to Extend Expired Driver’s License

A bill is in progress to extend the period to renew the expired drivers’ license. The bill is moving to the governor’s desk, Tate Reeves, for approval.  

The bill is named house bill 971, which defines the extension of the license. It will allow for a license to expire for up to five years before a person would have to take a test to renew it. Currently, the law states a test is required for renewal after a license expiration is 18 months. 

The department of public safety has the authority to deny the license of those who are no longer qualified in terms of age and other defined problems. 

Apart from this, the 971 law will prohibit anyone who has been convicted of a trafficking crime under Mississippi trafficking law or federal law from driving a commercial vehicle and will cancel the license. In addition, the bill demands the Mississippi Department of Public Safety is responsible “for regulating a digital wallet for state agency credentials.” 

Since 2019, people can apply for renewal online, and they also place cameras to nab uninsured drivers. Thus, the department can easily find those not obliged to hold the license. 

Back in 2020, the state legislatures introduced over 1,400 traffic safety bills. The respective areas were: 

  • Adult occupant protection 
  • Child passenger safety 
  • Alcohol and other drug-impaired driving 
  • Distracted driving 
  • Teen drivers 
  • Older drivers 
  • Speed limits 
  • Automated enforcement 
  • Motorcyclist safety 
  • School bus safety 
  • Pedestrian and bicyclist safety 
  • Electric scooters 

After the successful function of these laws, the government is introducing new rules to ease the citizens. 

Currently, the essential credentials are the birth certificate, valid license, and citizen proof. Citizens can apply six months before expiration or past one-year expiration. 

In the report of the conference committee, they declared the function of the new bill stating: 

“An act to amend section 63-1-49, Mississippi code of 1972, to increase the time period during which an expired driver’s license may be renewed without examination; to create a new section of law to provide that the department of public safety shall be the state agency with responsibility for regulating certain digital wallets; to amend section 63-1-216, Mississippi code of 1972, to prohibit any person from driving a commercial motor vehicle if convicted of any crime under the Mississippi human trafficking act or any felony involving a severe form of trafficking in persons as defined by federal law; and for related purposes.” 

The report also defined the ban of drivers’ licenses if they encountered any prohibition of the law. It stated that if a person has been convicted of a first violation of operating, attempt to operate in actual physical control of a commercial vehicle on the highway with an alcohol content of 0.04% or more. Additionally, those who fail to stop and render aid are also labeled under conviction. 

“A person shall be disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for life if convicted of two (2) or more violations or a combination of them listed in subsection (1) of this section arising from two (2) or more separate occurrences”, it stated. 

The state hopes to take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2023. 

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