Motor Vehicle Licensing, Frequently Asked Questions
The following is intended to provide general information concerning frequently asked questions about taxes administered by the Mississippi Department of Revenue. It is an informal interpretation of the tax law and is not intended to serve as a rule, regulation, declaratory opinion, or letter ruling. Legislation, regulations, court decisions, notices and announcements could affect the accuracy of this information. Please refer to the Mississippi Code Annotated and the Mississippi Administrative Code for the most current version of the law and administrative procedures.
Where do I register my vehicle?
For a motor vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of 10,000 pounds or less, register the vehicle and receive your license plate from your local county Tax Collector's office. You will need to register the vehicle in the county where the vehicle is domiciled, or where it is parked (garaged) overnight.
For a motor vehicle with a GVW over 10,000 pounds and which travels only in Mississippi, you will register the vehicle at your local county Tax Collector's office.
For a motor vehicle with a GVW over 10,000 pounds and which travels across state boundaries, you will register the vehicle at the Department of Revenue office in Clinton, Mississippi.
What should I do to renew my vehicle registration (license plates) if I did not receive a renewal notice in the mail?
Please visit your county Tax Collector to complete your renewal. You are responsible for renewing your license plate(s) before the expiration date even if you do not receive a renewal notice. Late penalties will be due if you do not renew the tag within 15 days after the tag’s expiration date.
What is the penalty fee for late renewal of my vehicle registration?
The penalty for late renewal of your license plate is 5% for first 15 days that it is overdue. There is an additional penalty of 5% for each additional 30 days that the tag is overdue. The maximum penalty is 25%. Once you reach the 25% penalty, you will not be allowed any Legislative Tag Credit.
How long after I buy a new vehicle do I have to get the tag?
The vehicle must be registered within 7 working days of the date you purchased the vehicle. If you purchased the vehicle outside of your home county, you have 9 working days from the date of purchase to register the vehicle before penalties apply.
I’m moving to Mississippi. How long do I have before I have to get a Mississippi tag?
You have 30 days to register your vehicle(s) in Mississippi if you have a current registration (license plate) in your prior state of residence. If you do not register within 30 days of moving into this state, you will be charged the standard late fees and a $250 penalty. You will not be allowed the Legislative Tag Credit if your previous license plate has expired, or, if you never registered the vehicle in your prior state of residence.
What about military personnel and students temporarily in Mississippi? Do I need to get a Mississippi tag?
Military personnel (and their dependents) who are stationed in Mississippi, but claim another state as their home, are not required to obtain a Mississippi registration or tag. Military personnel who are residents of this state are required to register their vehicle in Mississippi.
Full time students in Mississippi who are not residents of this state are not required to register their vehicle in this state.
In Mississippi, you pay privilege tax, registration fees, ad valorem taxes and possibly sales or use tax when you tag your vehicle. Registration fees are $12.75 for renewals and $14.00 for first time registrations. All the other taxes are based on the type of vehicle, the value of that vehicle, and where you live (city, county.)
Does Mississippi have a temporary tag for passenger vehicles or drive out tags?
Mississippi has a temporary drive out tag which can be purchased from the dealer who sold the car. The tag is valid for 7 working days from the date of purchase.
I just bought a new vehicle. Can I put my old license plate on it?
No. In Mississippi, the tag is registered to both the vehicle and the owner. If one or the other changes, the tag must be removed and surrendered to your county Tax Collector.
How do I apply for a disabled tag/placard?
To apply for a disabled tag and/or placard, you need to submit to your county Tax Collector a Mississippi Disabled Parking Application, Form 76-104. The application must be completed by your licensed physician or nurse practitioner. There is no additional fee required to obtain a Disabled License Plate or Placard. (All regular taxes and registration fees must be paid.)
You may obtain the application from your Tax Collector. You must submit a new application when the image of the standard plate is changed, which is every 5 years. The statement must be dated within 90 days of your renewal application.
The Disabled Placard is a removable windshield placard that is hung from the rearview mirror of a vehicle when you park in a disabled parking space. The placard must be used only when a physically disabled person is the driver or passenger of the motor vehicle at the time of its parking.
It is illegal to park in a parking space reserved for persons with disabilities if you do not have the correct vehicle plates or parking permit. You can use the vehicle plates or placard in Mississippi and other states.
How do I get a Disabled Veterans plate?
Disabled American Veteran license plates are issued to veterans (or surviving spouse) who have verification from the Veteran’s Affair Board certifying that they have a 100% service related disability.
One (1) vehicle that is owned by a qualified veteran is exempt from all ad valorem and privilege taxes; however, there is a $1.00 fee for this plate.
An eligible veteran may have more than one tag for other vehicles that he or she owns; but, all taxes and fees are due on the additional plates.
Can I apply for a refund of my unused registration fees and taxes?
Mississippi law does not allow for a refund of registration fees or taxes. However, when the vehicle is sold or ownership changes, the owner may apply the unused portion of a registration to a new Mississippi registration. The tag from the vehicle that was sold must be turned in to the county Tax Collector. Credit is given from the first of the next month following the date of the tag’s surrender. A credit certificate will be given to you if you are not purchasing a new tag the same month. Credit can only be given from the time the tag is turned in, not from the time the vehicle was sold. You may use the credit certificate in any county of this state.
Mississippi law does not provide for refunds when an individual moves out of state and cannot use the credit.
Does Mississippi have compulsory motor vehicle liability insurance?
Yes, but this is not enforced through vehicle registration. Every motor vehicle operated in this state is required to have an insurance card maintained in the vehicle as proof of liability insurance that is in compliance with the liability limits required.
How do I apply for a specialty plate or a personalized plate?
You may order your plate with the county Tax Collector at the time you register your vehicle. Standard personalized plates require an additional annual fee of $31. There are various rates for specialty plates. A listing of all specialty license plates is available on the Department of Revenue website.
I purchased a new vehicle in another state. What do I need to register and title that vehicle in Mississippi?
When registering the vehicle in Mississippi, you will need to provide the title from the other state and an odometer disclosure statement. If the vehicle was not titled in the other state, you will need to provide the Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin.
How much sales tax do I pay when I buy a vehicle?
You must pay the state sales tax on any vehicle purchased outside Mississippi and on any casual sale of an automobile. The state sales tax rate is 5% and is based on the dealer’s selling price before subtracting any dealer's discounts and trade-ins. Tax on a casual sale is based on the assessed value of the vehicle as determined by the most recent assessment schedule.
If you purchase a vehicle out-of-state and it is first tagged in Mississippi, you will not be given any tax credit for any sales tax paid to the other state.
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What are requirements for a motorized bicycle or scooter to be registered?
A motorized bicycle manufactured 1980 and following must have a seventeen (17) digit VIN conforming to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration requirements. There must be a decal or plate attached with a statement that the motorized bicycle meets the Federal Safety Standards. If the motorized bicycle does not meet these requirements, it is considered a “toy vehicle.” A toy vehicle may not be titled or registered in Mississippi and may not be operated on public roadways within this state.
Does Mississippi register boats or watercraft? Boat trailers?
Please contact the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks (phone 601-432-2400) for information on boat and watercraft registration requirements in Mississippi.
Boat trailers are tagged as private trailers. When you register the trailer, you will need to provide proof of ownership such as the bill of sale, Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin (MSO) or title.
I have a tag number for a vehicle; how do I find out who the owner is?
The Federal Driver Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) protects personal information included in motor vehicle records. Information may only be released to applicants that meet an exemption noted on the Records Request form.
The DPPA keeps your personal information private by restricting who has access to the information. The law limits access to your social security number, driver license or identification card number, name, address, telephone number, medical or disability information, and emergency contact information contained in your motor vehicle or driver license records.
The Tax Collector will issue you a substitute tag and decal. There is a $10.00 fee; or $2.50 for only the decal.