Carefully studying the Missouri Driver Guide will increase your driving confidence and broaden your knowledge of Missouri traffic rules and regulations. The more knowledge you have, the safer you are!
To test your knowledge of traffic laws, you will need to take a written test of 25 multiple-choice questions. Studying this guide will prepare you for that test. You must correctly answer 20 questions to pass the test. All of the test questions come directly from information found in this guide. There are no "trick" questions.
To test your ability to drive a vehicle, you must take a driving skills test. Your examiner realizes a driving test will probably be an unusual experience for you, and you might even become nervous or uneasy. If you do become nervous or fearful, please remember your examiner has accompanied many other people exactly like you, and the examiner rides with you only to make sure you can control your vehicle and observe the rules of safety. Your examiner will not try to trick you in any way. Remember that thousands of people pass this test every year and become licensed drivers. If they can do it, so can you! Just relax and do the best you can.
We would like to hear your comments and questions about the material included in this manual:
Driver License Bureau
P.O. Box 200
Jefferson City, MO 65105-0200
The names and telephone numbers of other related agencies and offices are located inside the back cover of this guide.
If you need a Missouri Commercial Driver License Manual or Motorcycle Operator Manual, you may request one from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, or any Motor Vehicle and Driver Licensing Contract Office (contract office). The Missouri Commercial Driver License Manual and the Motorcycle Operator Manual are also posted on our web site: www.dor.mo.gov.
Anyone who operates a motor vehicle or motor-driven cycle on public roadways in Missouri is required to have a valid driver license. You may obtain a Missouri driver license at any one of Missouri’s 183 license offices.
You must have a Missouri driver license if:
Certain persons are not required to obtain a Missouri driver license. You do not need a Missouri driver license if:
You are required to carry your driver license or permit when you drive. If any law enforcement officer asks to see your driver license or permit, you must present it. It is against the law for you to allow anyone else to use your license or permit.
TIP! Anyone obtaining a new license or permit or renewing a license or permit is required to show verification of name, date of birth, place of birth, social security number, and Missouri residential address. These requirements are explained in detail later in this chapter.
Depending on your age, whether you are obtaining a new license or permit, if you are renewing one, or if you have just moved to Missouri, the requirements to obtain a license are slightly different.
If you are under 21 years of age, you will be issued a permit identifying you as a minor.Back
This is the first step in Missouri's Graduated Driver License Program for young drivers. Generally, this permit allows a young person to learn to drive with the supervision of a licensed adult. See later in this chapter for detailed information.
You may apply for a motorcycle instruction permit to learn to operate a motorcycle or motortricycle. The age you are eligible to apply may be 15½ or 16 years, as described below.
When you are ready, you may take the motorcycle driving test and pay the appropriate fee to become motorcycle qualified.
For more information on Missouri’s laws on motorcycles, please obtain a copy of the Motorcycle Operator Manual at the Missouri Highway Patrol testing station or at one of our license offices.
If you are under 21 years of age, you will be issued a license identifying you as a minor. When you reach age 21, you may apply and pay for another driver license (without the minor indication) or wait until your under-21 license expires.
This is the second step in Missouri's Graduated Driver License program for young drivers. Generally, this license allows a young person certain restricted driving privileges. See later in this chapter for detailed information.
This is the basic driver license, also called an operator license. You must have a Class F license to operate any motor vehicle (other than one requiring you to have a Class A, B, C, or E license.) The Class F license does not allow you to drive a motorcycle unless the license shows the Motorcycle (M) endorsement. Endorsements will be discussed later in this chapter. You must pass the Class F written, vision, road sign, and driving tests.
When you test for a Class E license, the written exam will include questions based on Chapter 15 (Commercial Driver Licenses). You must also pass the vision and road sign tests. If you already have a Class F license, a driving test is not required. However, you must still meet the "under 21 requirements" (see page 21) for a full license if you apply for a Class E license at age 18. There are a number of reasons you may wish to obtain a Class E license, such as:
You must have a Class M license or permit (or a driver license with the M endorsement) if you operate a motorcycle or motortricycle on public roadways. You will need to pass the Class F and Class M written, vision, road sign, and motorcycle skills tests. Graduated driver license requirements will apply to Class M license applicants between the ages of 16 and 18. See the Graduated Driver License requirements later in this chapter.
For more information about Missouri’s motorcycle laws, please obtain a copy of the Motorcycle Operator Manual at the Missouri Highway Patrol testing station or at one of our license offices.
You must have a commercial driver license based on the type of commercial motor vehicle you drive. You must be at least 18 years old to apply for a CDL, and at least 21 years old to obtain a CDL with a Hazmat or school bus endorsement. You must still meet the “under 21" requirements if you apply for a CDL at age 18. Please refer to the Missouri Commercial Driver License (CDL) Manual for detailed information about the CDL program.
You may obtain a photo nondriver license for identification purposes. Your nondriver license expires on your date of birth in the sixth year after you apply. If you are age 70 or older, your nondriver license will never expire.
When you obtain or renew any license, permit, or nondriver license, you will be required to show verification of name, date of birth, place of birth, social security number and Missouri residential address, as required by Missouri law. If renewing, you will also be required to present and surrender your current license, permit, or nondriver license. Details of these requirements are listed below. For more information, visit www.dor.mo.gov.
State law requires you to include your Social Security Number (SSN) on your application to obtain a license or permit. A license office employee may ask for proof of your SSN. Any one of the documents below are acceptable as proof of SSN:
If you do not have a social security number, you must sign an affidavit stating that you do not have a social security number. If a social security number has not been assigned, you must present a letter from the Social Security Administration (SSA) regarding the status of your social security number. Your application and supporting documents will be sent to the central office for verification. Your permit/license will be issued if approved.
A U.S. citizen may show a birth certificate issued by a state or local government (with an embossed, stamped or raised seal), a valid or expired U.S. passport, a Certificate of Citizenship, Certificate of Naturalization, or a Certificate of Birth Abroad. A hospital-issued birth certificate is not acceptable. U.S.Military Indentification Card or Discharge Papers accompanied by a copy of U.S. Birth Certificate issued by a state or local Government. Non-U.S. citizens must present the appropriate immigration documents indicating the applicants status. Examine the full list of acceptable required documents at www.dor.mo.gov/mvdl/drivers/idrequirements.pdf.
If you are renewing a non-commercial permit/driver license or nondriver license and are age 65 or older you are exempt from presenting documents for place of birth
A Social Security card or Medicare card with your current name can be presented. If your name on the Social Security card or Medicare card does not match your current name, additional documents must be presented to supply verification of your name change.
You have a variety of options to prove your current address. Examples include a recent utility bill (including phone, electric, gas, water, sewer, and cable), property tax receipt, most recent bank statement, voter ID card, or any official letter issued within the last 30 days by another state or local governmental agency on its letterhead. A Missouri residential address will be required each time you apply to renew a driver license, nondriver license, or instruction permit. If you are under the age of 21 and cannot provide verification of a Missouri residential address, a parent or legal guardian may provide such a document on your behalf.
If the name on your required documents does not match your current name, present one of the documents below showing your correct/current name.
TIP! Make sure you have all the necessary documents with you before you go to your license office. It will save you time and the time of your fellow customers!
Fees and duration of permit are based on the applicant’s age at the time of the transaction. Application test fees are not included.
|TYPE||MINIMUM AGE||COST||VALID FOR...|
|Student Permit||15||$1.00||Length of Approved Course|
|Instruction Permit||15||$3.50||0-12 months|
|Motorcycle Permit||15 1/2 or 16||$6.25 or $3.50||0-6 months|
|Commercial Driver License (CDL) Permit||18||$7.50||0-6 months|
Fees and duration of license are based on the applicant’s age at the time of the transaction. Application test fees are not included.
|*Based on the applicant's age or document verification status at the time of the transaction.|
|TYPE||MINIMUM AGE||COST||VALID FOR...|
|Intermediate License||16||$7.50||0-2 years|
|Full License (Class F)||18||$10.00 or $20.00||0-3 years* or 0-6 years*|
|For-Hire License (Class E)||18||$17.50 or $35.00
Age 70 with school bus endorsement.
|0-3 years* or 0-6 years*
|Commercial Driver License (Class A, B, or C)||18||$22.50 or $45.00
Age 70 with school bus endorsement.
|0-3 years* or 0-6 years*
|Motorcycle Only License (Class M)||16||$10.00 or $20.00||0-3 years* or 0-6 years*|
|Nondriver License (ID card)||any age||$11.00||0-6 years* or Non-Expiring*|
|Intermediate License||16||$7.50||0-2 years|
If you have limited driving experience or a medical condition that impairs your ability to drive safely, you may receive a restricted license permitting you to drive only under specific conditions. If you have a restricted license, it will have one or more of the restriction codes shown below. You may be required to take a driving test in order to have a restriction removed from your license. If you disobey the restriction(s), you can be charged with driving without a license, and if convicted, points will be placed on your driving record. If you receive too many points (see Chapter 11), your license may be suspended or revoked.
|B||Outside Rearview Mirror|
|C||Daylight Driving Only|
|D||Auto Trans/Power Steering|
|F||Restricted to 45 MPH|
|G||25 Mile Radius|
|H||Special Hand Devices|
|J||Electrical Turn Signals|
|K||Intrastate CDL Only|
|M||Extension on Foot Device|
|O||Foot Operated Emergency Brake|
|P||Accelerator on Steering Column|
|T||Right Outside Mirror|
|W||3-Wheel Motorcycle Only|
|Y||Left Outside Mirror|
|Z||More than 5 Restrictions|
*An uncoded restriction is any restriction not listed here. Any law enforcement officer, judge, or physician can ask the Department of Revenue to place restrictions on your license.
There are two reasons you may need a physician's statement when you renew or apply for a license:
Endorsements are just the opposite of restrictions because they qualify you to do things you couldn't do without the endorsement, such as drive a school bus or carry a concealed weapon. The endorsements available for your noncommercial (class F, E, or M) Missouri driver license are listed below.
The department will mail you a reminder to renew before your license expires. The reminder will be sent to the address on your driving record. When you move, send a written notice with your new address to the Driver License Bureau, P.O. Box 200, Jefferson City, MO 65105-0200, or send an email to email@example.com.
Your reminder will state the fee required to renew your license.You can renew your license up to 6 months before it expires. Each time you renew, you will be required to take the vision and road sign test.
It is your responsibility to renew your driver license, even if you do not receive your reminder. Failure to renew promptly may cause you to have to retake the written and driving tests. You can be ticketed for driving without a valid license. Exception: If you will be leaving the state/country for an extended time you may request an early renewal of your driver license at your local license office.
A driver license may be valid for up to 6 years. If you allow it to expire, you must not drive. If you would like to continue driving uninterrupted, you must renew your license before it expires. If you do not renew your license within 6 months (or 184 days) after its expiration date, you will have to take the written and driving tests (see Chapter 2), in addition to the vision and road sign tests.
License offices are usually busiest at the end of each month. Since you may renew your license up to 6 months (184 days) before it expires, you are encouraged to select a time to avoid the longer lines. If the renewal dates for your driver license and motor vehicle registration renewal are within 6 months, you may be able to complete both renewals at the same time and save yourself a trip later to the license office.
If your license expires or is lost or stolen while you are out of state, you may request a Mail-In License Application by phone at (573) 751-4600 or download the form (DOR-4317) at our web site at www.dor.mo.gov.
If your license is lost, stolen, or destroyed, you must apply for a duplicate license. If your current license expires within the next 6 months, you may renew your license early rather than obtain a duplicate license. This saves you time and money.
You may take the vision and road sign tests and renew your license even while your driving privilege is suspended. However, if your driving privilege has been revoked, you may only renew your license during the revocation if it resulted from your refusal to take a chemical test, from an “abuse and lose" court order, or a minor in possession action.
You will not receive your license back until you have completed your reinstatement requirements and your driving privilege has been reinstated.
When you apply for a new, renewal, or duplicate instruction permit, driver or nondriver license, the contract office will provide information regarding the first person consent organ, eye and tissue donor registry. You will be asked two very important questions at the time you make your application.
Another way to support organ and tissue donation is to make a voluntary contribution to the Missouri Organ Donor Fund.Your contribution to the fund directly supports registry operation and public education so that people are empowered to make an informed decision about donation. The registry and educational efforts are supported by contributions only.
On the back of your instruction permit, driver or nondriver license, space is provided to designate any organs you want to donate at the time of your death, in other words, an anatomical gift. Write the organ(s) you want to donate and sign and date in front of two witnesses. They too must sign. There is also a place on the back of the license to indicate your Attorney in Fact for health care decisions, including organ donation. An Attorney in Fact is someone to whom you give permission to act on your behalf. Use a permanent marker when completing the back of your driver and nondriver license.
You are strongly encouraged to inform your family of your decision to be an organ, eye, and tissue donor and your decision related to Attorney in Fact. Although Missouri law does not require it, keeping everyone informed will help avoid confusion or delays.
The back of your license also includes areas for you to write your blood type and allergic reactions to medicines. If you are in an accident, this information could help medical personnel save your life.
State law requires the clerk to ask you if you would like to donate $1 to the blind awareness fund when you apply for a license, permit, or non-driver license.
When you apply for or renew your driver license, nondriver license, or instruction permit, you may ask that a "J88" notation be placed on your driver license, nondriver license, or instruction permit. In the event of an emergency, this notation will allow law enforcement or emergency and medical personnel to readily determine if you are deaf or hard of hearing. This will assist in ensuring effective communications with someone who is injured and nonresponsive. In order to obtain the "J88" notation, you must request the notation when applying for a license or instruction permit. You must have one of the following documents if you wish to have the "J88" notation placed on your license or permit:
Agencies or programs authorized to provide documentation that a license or instruction permit applicant is deaf or hearing impaired shall include but not be limited to the following:
The Director of Revenue shall have authorization to review and determine acceptability of any documentation from an agency or program not listed.
Missouri implemented an amendment to the Federal Driver's Privacy Protection Act requiring all states to close the personal information contained on all motor vehicle and driver/nondriver license records. A person or entity may only access the personal information if they are exempt under the DPPA (and have submitted Form 4678 — Request for Security Access Code) or have obtained express consent from the record holder (Form 4681 — Request from Record Holder).
When you apply for or renew your driver license, nondriver license, or instruction permit, the clerk will ask you if you are registered to vote. If you indicate that you are registered to vote, your transaction will be completed. If you are not registered, and are interested in becoming registered, or need to update your name or address on your voter registration card, you may complete an application and it will be forwarded to your local election authority.
Male applicants, age 18 to 26, may register with the Selective Service at the time of their license or permit application.
There are a number of reasons your license may be revoked or suspended or denied.Your best bet is to be responsible and be a good driver. You can lose your license for any of the following reasons:
Missouri's Graduated Driver License Law requires all first-time drivers to obtain an instruction permit and complete a period of driving with a licensed driver followed by a period of restricted driving (intermediate license) before getting a full license.
Studies from across the country show that deaths and serious injuries from traffic crashes involving young drivers decline by as much as 58 percent after a Graduated Driver License Law is implemented. Consider the instruction permit as step one, the intermediate license as step two, and the full (Under 21) driver license as step three. The following are descriptions of each step to help you understand the GDL program. STEP ONE: Instruction Permit
Eligible Age: 15
Valid: 0-12 months, based on document verification status
To Obtain an Instruction Permit:
To Graduate to an Intermediate License:
Eligible Age: 16 to 18
Valid: 0-2 years, bases on document verification status
To Obtain an Intermediate License:
Immediate familyshall include parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, stepbrothers, stepsisters, and adopted or foster children residing in the driver's household. Parent shall include a foster parent, stepparent or adoptive parent. Grandparent shall include a foster grandparent, stepgrandparent or adoptive grandparent.
To Graduate to a Full Under-21 Driver License:
Eligible Age: 18
Valid: 0-3 years, based on document verification status
To Obtain the Under-21 Full Driver License:
If you are under 21 years of age, the Department of Revenue will issue you a license identifying you as a minor. When you become 21 years old, you may apply and pay for another driver license (without the minor indication) or wait until your under-21 driver license expires.
You must have the following documents with you when you apply for a Missouri driver license, instruction permit, or nondriver license. Take all the documents with you to a contract office when you apply for your license or permit.
*Please refer to the list of acceptable documents in this chapter.
Note: Additional documents and verification of SSN may be required if the documentation submitted is questionable, or if the contract office clerk or MSHP examiner has reason to question the validity or authenticity of the documents, or needs further verification.
You are encouraged to study this Driver Guide before you attempt the written exam. Almost 50 percent of all test-takers fail the first time. You will have a much better chance of passing your test if you take time to review this Guide.
The driver examination consists of a four-part test:
You should be prepared to take the driver exam if:
The Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) administers the driver examination. To find the testing center nearest you, contact the MSHP or the Department of Revenue. The phone numbers for the Department of Revenue and MSHP are at the back of this guide. You can also find these locations on the MSHP web site: www.mshp.dps.missouri.gov.
Before you can take the driver exam, you must prove your legal name and age. This identification must also be shown to the Department of Revenue when applying for a driver license or permit and any time you take the written or driving tests. (Refer to Chapter 1 for a list of acceptable documents for verification of name, date of birth, place of birth, social security number, and Missouri residential address.)
Driver License (Class F)
If you are applying for a Class F (operator) license, you must take a 25 question multiple-choice written test. The questions will be on the laws and methods of driving covered in this Guide. The test is NOT an open book test. You will not be tested on the information on commercial vehicles in Chapter 15.
For-Hire License (Class E)
If you are applying for a Class E (for-hire) license, you must take a special written test. The questions will be on the laws and methods of driving covered in this Guide but will also include the information on commercial vehicles found in Chapter 15. The test is NOT an open book test.
You must take an acuity vision test and a peripheral (side) vision test when you apply for any new or renewal driver license or permit. The standard minimum acuity is at least 20/40 with either or both eyes. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, you may need them for the vision test. The standard minimum peripheral reading is at least 55 degrees in each eye or 85 degrees in one eye. If you are unable to meet the vision standards as required, you may be denied a license, or restrictions may be placed on your license.
If you fail the standard vision test, the examiner will give you a vision exam form that your eye specialist or physician must fill out. If the physician prescribes glasses or contact lenses to correct your vision, you may have to wait for the glasses (or contact lenses) before the written and/or driving tests may be given. If both your natural and corrected acuity vision are worse than 20/160, or your peripheral combined is worse than 70 degrees, you cannot take the driving test and cannot have a driver license.
The road sign test will check your ability to recognize and understand traffic signs.
After you pass the written, vision, and road sign tests, you may then take the driving test. You will take the driving test with a driver license examiner of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. The examiner will check your vehicle for the required equipment. The examiner will also check your vehicle for its safe operating condition. You cannot take the test if the vehicle is not properly equipped, or the examiner believes that giving the test will be dangerous. You should take the test in a vehicle that is familiar to you. The vehicle must have:
THE EXAMINER WILL ASK YOU TO FIND AND USE THE VEHICLE'S CONTROLS, such as the accelerator, brakes, turn signals, windshield wipers, etc. You will be tested for:
THE EXAMINER WILL ASK YOU TO START DRIVING.
You will be tested for:
THE EXAMINER WILL TELL YOU WHERE TO DRIVE, TURN, STOP, ETC.
After the examiner tells you what to do, you will have enough time to look for traffic and to drive as asked. You will be asked to do the following:
THE EXAMINER WILL WATCH FOR YOUR USE OF GOOD DRIVING
You will be tested for:
Throughout the driving test, the examiner will subtract points for any driving errors you make. If you lose more than 30 points, you will fail the test. You will also fail the test if you:
When you pass the driving skills test, you will be given a form with your test results. Before you drive, you must apply and obtain a license at a license office. The test result form itself is not valid for driving.
If you fail the driving test, the examiner will suggest that you practice before retaking the test. You may take only one driving test per day.
If you fail the driving test three times, no further tests will be allowed without written authorization from the Department of Revenue (department). The driver examiner will give you a form that you must send to the department. After you send the form to the department, you will receive a letter from the department requiring additional behind-the-wheel driver training. You must send proof of the additional driver training before you will be allowed to take the driving test again.
It is a crime to commit fraud. Anyone who makes a false unsworn statement or affidavit or who commits or assists another person in committing fraud or deception during any examination process for a Missouri license, permit, or nondriver license, is guilty of fraud. Fraud is a Class “A” misdemeanor that may result in the loss of your driving privilege for up to one year.
Some examples of fraud could include cheating, or using or attempting to use any recording, photographic, or two-way communicating device during any testing process.
Lines and symbols on the roadway indicate a number of things to drivers: where lanes are divided, where you may pass other vehicles, or change lanes, which lanes to use for turns, where pedestrian walkways are located, and where you must stop for signs and traffic signals.
|LINES||— BROKEN LINES may be crossed in a passing maneuver.|
|— SOLID LINES should not be crossed in a passing maneuver.|
|COLORS||—YELLOW divides oncoming traffic.|
|— WHITE divides same-direction traffic.|
If the line on the left of you is YELLOW, the traffic on the other side of the line is moving in the OPPOSITE direction.
When the line on the left of you is WHITE, the traffic is moving in the SAME direction. A solid white line marks the right edge of many roads.
The center marking for roads with four lanes consists of TWO SOLID YELLOW LINES. The yellow lines tell you the traffic on the other side of the lines is moving in the opposite direction. You should never cross the two solid yellow lines to pass.
Two-lane roads may have “no passing zones” marked with a SOLID YELLOW LINE. No passing zones are on hills or curves where you cannot see far enough ahead to pass safely. You must complete passing before you enter the no passing zone.
When you see a solid yellow line on your side of the center line, do not try to pass. On any two-lane road, never pass if you cannot see the road is clear for the distance you need to make a pass, even if there is no marking on the roadway.
Some roads have marked left-turn lanes. Notice the solid yellow lines and the thick yellow stripes in the illustration below.
When required to stop because of a sign or signal, you must stop before your vehicle reaches the stop line or, if there is one, the crosswalk. Crosswalks define the area where pedestrians are to cross the roadway. You must yield to pedestrians in or about to enter a crosswalk. Not all crosswalks are marked. Be alert for pedestrians when crossing intersections that do not have defined crosswalks.
Dual use lanes have both a turn arrow and a straight arrow. When both arrows appear on the electric traffic signal, you may either turn or go straight. But if you want to turn, and only the straight arrow is showing, you must wait for the turn arrow.
Some travel lanes are designed to carry traffic in one direction at certain times and in the opposite direction at other times. These lanes are usually marked by double-dashed yellow lines. Before you start driving in them, check to see which lanes you can use at that time. There may be signs posted by the side of the road or overhead. Sometimes special lights are used. A green arrow means you can use the lane beneath it; a red "X" means you may not.
When there are no signs or markings to control the use of lanes, there are rules that indicate which lane is to be used. These rules cover general driving, passing, and turning.
In general, never back a vehicle in any travel lane. Drivers do not expect a vehicle to be backing towards them and may not realize it until it is too late. If you miss your turn or exit, do not back up. Go on to where you can safely turn around. Do not stop in travel lanes for any reason (confusion, breakdown, or letting out a passenger). Keep moving until you can safely pull off the road.
On a road with three or more lanes traveling in the same direction, stay in the right lane except to pass. If there is a considerable amount of traffic entering the right travel lane, then use the center travel lane.
On multi-lane roads, the left-most lane is intended to be used to pass slower vehicles. If you pass on the right, the other driver may have difficulty seeing you and might suddenly change lanes in front of you. Never pass on the shoulder. Other drivers will not expect you to be there and may pull off the road without looking.
You must obey traffic officers at all times. If you see a traffic officer giving directions, do what he or she says and ignore any traffic signs or signals. For example, if the officer signals for you to stop at a green light, you must stop.
Traffic signals are lights that tell you when or where to stop and go.
Flashing traffic signals may occur during emergencies, night time/low traffic volume periods and special events. Flashing traffic signals have the following meanings:
Traffic controls include traffic signals, traffic signs and pavement markings. Traffic control also can be provided by law enforcement, highway personnel or school crossing guards. You must obey directions from these persons.
|A RED LIGHT tells you to stop at the stop line, crosswalk or before the intersection. Unless you are making a right turn, you must wait for the signal to turn green before you proceed. After making a complete stop, you may turn right on a red light if the way is clear of pedestrians and traffic. However, you must not turn right on a red light when there is a "NO RIGHT TURN ON RED" sign posted.|
|A STEADY YELLOW LIGHT tells you the traffic signal is changing from green to red. Stop for a steady yellow light unless you are within the intersection or are so close that you cannot safely stop before entering the intersection.|
|A GREEN LIGHT tells you that you can go through the intersection. However, you must first yield the right-of-way to traffic and pedestrians who are still in the intersection.|
LEFT TURN SIGNALS: When turning left at a green light, there are
three types of left-turn signal phases:
|ASTEADY YELLOW ARROW: appears after a green arrow. It tells you the green arrow will be changing to a circular green light, a flashing yellow arrow or a red light. You must be ready to yield the right-of-way to oncoming traffic or to stop.|
|AFLASHING YELLOW ARROW: tells you that you are allowed to drive in the direction the arrow is pointing but are required to wait for an adequate gap in the opposing traffic prior to making your turn.|
AGREEN ARROW: tells you that you can drive in the direction the
arrow is pointing. You must be in the proper lane and the way must
be clear of all traffic and pedestrians.
Dark signals, or traffic signals that aren’t working operate as a 4-way stop.
Lane use control signals tell you which lanes you may drive in on a
roadway. You will see these signals directly over the lane they control.
Red "X" — Do not drive in this lane.
Green Arrow —You may use this lane.
If you are driving in a green arrow lane and the arrow turns to a red "X," do not panic. The oncoming traffic will not receive a green arrow for that lane until you have had time to change lanes.
|Red = Stop, Yield, or Prohibited|
|Yellow = Warning|
|Black = Regulatory|
|White = Regulatory|
|Orange = Construction|
|Green = direction and Distance|
|Blue = Motorist Services|
|Brown = Public Recreation & Cultural Interests|
|Octagon = Stop|
|Triangle = Yield|
|Vertical Rectangle = Regulatory|
|Horizontal Rectangle = Guide|
|Pentagon = School|
|Round = Railroad|
|Pennant = No Passing Zone|
|Diamond = Warning|
|Horizontal Rectangle = Parks and Recreation|
These signs are yellow with black lettering or symbols and usually diamond shaped. These signs warn you to slow down and be prepared to stop if necessary because a special situation or a hazard is ahead. Some common warning signs are shown below.
Yield to bicycle riders on any bike trail which crosses a road.
There is a traffic light signal ahead on the road you are on. Be prepared to stop.
Yield to pedestrians walking in the crosswalk. Slow Down.
Slow down. Watch for children crossing the road.
|Speed Advisory-Highway Ramp
The highway entry/exit ramp has a speed advisory
Traffic from another road will be entering the road. No merging is necessary because a lane has been added.
|Begin Divided Roadway
The road will soon become twoway traffic divided by a median or barrier.
|End Divided Roadway|
Two-way traffic will no longer be divided by a median or barrier.
Traffic from another road will be entering the road. Be prepared for vehicles to move into your lane.
|Lane Ends/Merge Left|
Two lanes of traffic will soon become one lane of traffic. If you are in the right lane you must merge left, yielding to traffic driving in the left lane.
A curve sign is used to warn of a curve where the recommended speed is less than the posted speed limit for the highway.
|Right Angle Turn|
A turn sign is used to warn of a sharp turn or turn where the recommended maximum speed is 30 mph or less.
A reverse turn sign is used to warn of two turns in opposite directions. The second turn may be sharper than the first. Recommended maximum speed is 30 mph or less.
Curve and turn signs have an advisory speed plate that shows the recommended speed for the curve or turn. Although you may feel comfortable driving at a higher speed in fair weather, you should never do so in rain, snow or icy conditions.
May be seen on the outside of a turn. Slow down for sharp change of direction of travel.
May be used instead of the large arrow sign to outline the edge of a curving road or to supplement the large arrow sign.
Are used to notify drivers of objects in the roadway or very close to the edge of the roadway. This sign emphasizes the need to not stray outside of the marked travel lane.
The shoulder on the side of the road ahead is soft. Do not drive off the pavement.
|Slow Moving Vehicle
A reflective orange triangle on the rear of a vehicle means it is traveling less than 25 mph. You may see this sign on construction equipment or farm vehicles.
|Slippery When Wet|
The road ahead becomes unusually slippery in wet weather. Drive carefully in these conditions.
|Side Road Railroad Crossing
A warning of a railway crossing very close to the intersection. Use caution when crossing tracks.
Another road crosses the road. Watch carefully for traffic crossing your path.
|Side Road Ahead
Another road enters the road from the direction shown on the sign.
|T Intersection Ahead|
The road you are traveling does not continue. You must turn either right or left.
A roundabout intersection is ahead. Slow down as required by the speed restriction sign and follow the road rules for roundabouts.
Many regulatory signs are square or rectangular-shaped and are white, with black and/or red letters or symbols. They give you information about rules for traffic direction, lane use, turning, speed, parking, and other special situations.
Some regulatory signs have a red circle with a red slash over a symbol. These indicate you cannot do something, for example, no left turn or no U-turn.
Other common types of regulatory signs are:
A stop sign is red with white letters and has eight sides. When you see a stop sign, you must come to a full stop.
You must wait until crossing vehicles and pedestrians have cleared the intersection.You must stop at the stop line if one is present even if it is located past the stop sign. If there is no stop line, pull up and stop near the edge of the intersection, look both ways, and then proceed when it is safe.
|a. Stop before the stop line. OR...||b. Stop before the crosswalk. OR...||c. If there is no stop line or crosswalk, stop before entering the intersection|
A yield sign is triangular. It is red and white with red letters. It means you must slow down and yield the right-of-way to traffic in the intersection you are crossing or roadway you are entering.
You made a wrong turn and have entered a lane of oncoming traffic. As quickly and safely as possible, pull off the road, turn around and go back.
When you see this sign at roadway openings, do not enter this road.
These signs use an arrow symbol to tell you which direction you can go from each lane. The signs are along the road or hanging over the road.
Speed limit signs indicate the maximum speed allowed by law, and do not mean that all parts of the road can be safely driven at those speeds under all conditions. The speed limit is the maximum allowable speed in ideal conditions. Adjust your speed for hills, curves, slippery roadways, limited sight distance, pedestrians, bicyclists, and slow-moving vehicles. These conditions may make the posted speed limit unsafe. By law, when conditions demand it, you must slow down. Interstate highways also have minimum speed limits. If this minimum speed is too fast for you, then you should use another route. You may not drive slower than 40 mph on interstate highways under normal roadway conditions.
Use the following guide unless posted speed limits direct otherwise.
|Rural interstates and freeways||70|
|Interstate highways, freeways or expressways within urbanized areas||60|
|All other roads and highways not located in an urbanized area||60|
The speed limit in any city, town, or village is 25 mph, unless posted otherwise. The Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission has the authority to set speed limits higher or lower than the uniform maximum speed limits for safety reasons or to expedite the flow of traffic. There are 13 interstates in Missouri. The speed limit is posted 60 mph when these interstates are near or within the following five Missouri cities: St. Louis, Kansas City, Columbia, St. Joseph, and Springfield.
Many railroad crossings have signs or signals to warn drivers. The round advance warning sign tells you that you are nearing a railroad crossing. Never try to beat a train across the tracks. Never start to cross the tracks until there is room for your vehicle on the other side of the tracks. It is not wise to shift gears when crossing railroad tracks, just in case your vehicle might stall.
You may also see a pavement marking before a crossing. Like the round advance warning sign, pavement markings tell you that you are nearing a railroad crossing.
A white, X-shaped sign or "crossbuck" is located at the railroad crossing. This sign has the same meaning as a "yield" sign; therefore, you must yield to trains at crossings. The sign under the crossbuck tells you how many tracks cross the road.
At some crossings, along with the crossbuck sign, you will see side-by-side red lights that flash alternately. At some crossings there is also a crossing gate (some with a bell) that will lower when a train is coming. At both of these signal-equipped crossings, you must stop and you cannot cross the tracks until the train has passed.
When you see any of these signs, SLOW DOWN, look for a train, and be ready to stop.You must STOP if the red lights are flashing or the gate is down.You must stop within 15 to 50 feet before the railroad tracks. DO NOT try to go around the gate.
The red lights may continue to flash after the train has gone by. If there are two or more tracks, look for a second train before you cross.
Work zone signs are fluorescent orange and indicate some type of work is being performed on or along side the roadway. Be extremely careful when you see these signs. There may be other traffic control devices or flag persons to help direct you safely through the work zone.
If you are caught speeding or passing in a construction zone or work zone on Missouri state roadways, you could be fined a minimum of $250 for the first offense and a minimum of $300 for a second or subsequent offense in addition to any other fine authorized by law according to State Statute 304.582.
These signs are square or rectangular, and are green or brown with white lettering. They show direction and distance to various locations such as cities, airports, and state lines, or to special areas such as national parks, historical areas, and museums.
These signs are square or rectangular, and are blue with white letters or symbols. They show the location of various services, such as rest areas, gas stations, campgrounds, and hospitals.
The shape of route signs indicates the type of roadway: interstate, United States, state, or county. When planning a trip, use a highway map to determine your route. During the trip, follow the route signs. This will help you so you will not get lost.
North-south routes are identified by odd numbers. East-west roads are identified by even numbers. Interstate highways that loop around cities are identified by three-digit even numbers. Roadways that direct traffic into a city’s road system (called "spurs"”) are identified by three-digit odd numbers.
Understanding exit numbers is easy when you know interstates traveling west/east are numbered starting from the west and going east. This means exit numbers start at zero and increase as you drive east. Likewise, if you come from the east, the numbers will decrease to the west. Interstates that travel north/south have their exits numbered beginning at the south point and increasing north. If you enter the state from the north and drive south, then the exit numbers decrease.
Emergency reference markers are mile markers placed along the outside shoulder to mark the edge of the roadway and convey information to drivers about their location on the interstate for navigation and emergency situations. The reference markers are located every two-tenths of a mile, so motorists will always be in sight of a sign. They tell the direction of travel and route number.
Your highest duty as a motorist is to drive your vehicle carefully and prudently. Your speed and manner of driving must create a safe environment for yourself and other road users, including pedestrians, cyclists, and other motorists.
no signs or signals to regulate traffic, there are rules that say who must yield the right-of-way. These rules tell drivers who goes first and who must wait in different traffic situations.
The law says who must yield the right-of-way; it does not give any driver the right-of-way. You must do everything you can to prevent striking a pedestrian or another vehicle, regardless of the circumstances.
Passing is a dangerous maneuver where the dangers are compounded by intersections, other vehicles within an intersection and two-lane roads (Refer to No Passing Zones in Chapter 3).
If you are caught speeding or passing in a construction zone or work zone on Missouri state roadways, you could be fined a minimum of $250 for the first offense and a minimum of $300 for a second or subsequent offense in addition to any other fine authorized by law according to State Statute 304.582.
Use the same care when passing a pedestrian or cyclist as when passing a motor vehicle.You may need to slow down and wait for a safe opportunity to pass a pedestrian or cyclist, just as you would for any other slow-moving traffic
The driver of a motor vehicle may overtake and pass to the right of another vehicle only under the following conditions:
In no event shall such movement be made by driving off the paved or main traveled portion of the roadway (shoulder).
No vehicle shall at any time be driven to the left side of the roadway under the following conditions:
The following right-of-way rules apply at intersections:
You must yield the right-of-way to police, fire, ambulance, or any other emergency vehicles using a siren or air horn, and a red or blue flashing light. Pull over to the right edge of the road, or as near to the right as possible, when you see or hear an emergency vehicle approaching from any direction. If you are in an intersection, drive through the intersection before you pull over. Remain stopped until the emergency vehicle passes. Follow any instructions given over the emergency vehicle's loudspeaker. Emergency vehicles may follow each other so proceed only when the way is clear.
When approaching a stationary emergency vehicle displaying lighted red or red and blue lights, you must:
For more information regarding the “Move Over Law” see page 117 (back cover).
When a school bus stops to load or unload school children, the driver activates the mechanical and electrical signaling devices to notify other drivers of an impending stop. Amber warning lights will flash 500 feet before the bus comes to a designated stop. When the school bus is stopped, the alternate flashing red lights and the stop signal arm are activated. Oncoming and following traffic must stop before they reach the bus when these signals are activated. You must stop:
No driver of a school bus shall take on or discharge passengers at any location upon a highway consisting of four or more lanes of traffic, whether or not divided by a median or barrier, in such a manner as to require the passengers to cross more than two lanes of traffic. The following are situations when you do not have to stop:
After stopping for a school bus that is unloading school children, watch for school children walking along the side of the road.You must remain stopped until the bus moves or the bus driver signals for you to proceed. Proceed with caution.
Before you stop, turn or change lanes, let the other drivers know what you are going to do by signaling. You can signal with your hand and arm or with your vehicle's turn signals and brake lights. You should signal at least 100 feet before you turn so the other drivers can be ready. Check your vehicle's turn signals often to ensure they are working properly. The pictures below show the correct hand signals to use when turning or stopping.
As a good driver, you should get into the proper turn lane and signal at least 100 feet before you turn. Before you make any turn, you should look both ways for oncoming traffic or pedestrians.
If there are no signs or lane markings to control turning, you should turn from the lane that is closest to the direction you want to go, and turn into the lane closest to the one you came from. This way, you will cross the fewest lanes of traffic. When making turns, go from one lane to the other as smoothly as possible without crossing lane lines or interfering with traffic. Once you have completed your turn, you can change to another lane if you need to.
You should only make a U-turn when it is safe. U-turns should not be made on any curve or near the crest of a hill when your vehicle may not be seen by other drivers. Some towns and cities do not allow U-turns. Never make a U-turn at a location that is marked with a No U-Turn sign.
On right turns, avoid swinging wide to the left before turning. If you swing wide, the driver behind you may think you are changing lanes or going to turn left, and may try to pass you on the right. If you swing wide as you complete the turn, drivers who are in the far lane will not expect to see you there and you could cause an accident.
When making a left turn, avoid cutting the corner so sharply that you run into someone approaching from the left. However, you must leave room for oncoming vehicles to turn left in front of you.
Begin the turn in the left lane. Enter the two-way road to the right of its yellow dividing line. If the two-way road is a fourlane road, you may enter it in the right lane if that lane is free of traffic.
Begin the turn with your left wheel as close as possible to the yellow dividing line. If the one-way road has two lanes, turn into its left lane or right lane, whichever is free of traffic.
Begin the turn with your left wheels as close as possible to the yellow dividing line. Enter the road to the right of its center line. If the road onto which you are turning is a four-lane road, you may enter it in the right lane if the right lane is free of traffic.
Some streets may have more than one lane marked for left turns. If you are turning from the left side, left-turn lane, enter the left lane on the right of the yellow dividing line. If you are turning from the right side, left-turn lane, enter the right lane.
Some streets have a center lane marked as a two-way left-turn lane. Only enter this lane when preparing to slow down or stop before making a left turn from the main roadway. Do not use this lane as travel lane (a vehicle may not travel in this lane for more than 500 feet), and do not use this lane when entering the roadway from a side street.
At a roundabout, drivers who approach the intersection make a slight right turn to go counterclockwise around a circular center island. The driver may then either exit the roundabout onto a different roadway, or continue on the same roadway. When approaching a roundabout, always yield to traffic in the circle and pedestrians in the crosswalks.
Local governments may make traffic ordinances in addition to laws made by the state. You must obey any traffic sign or regulation whether set by a municipality, county, or the state. Cities and towns may have regulations to do the following:
Drivers are responsible for making sure their vehicles do not become hazards after they have been parked. Whenever you park your vehicle, be sure it is in a place that is far enough from any travel lane to avoid interfering with traffic and visible to vehicles approaching from either direction.
There are many areas where you cannot park. Check for signs that may prohibit or limit parking. Some parking restrictions are indicated by colored curb markings. Do not park:
Handicapped parking spaces may only be used when the vehicle displays a handicapped person placard or license plates, and a physically handicapped person is the occupant of the motor vehicle at the time of parking, or a physically handicapped person is being dropped off or picked up.
This symbol marks spaces for vehicles operated by or used to transport people with handicaps. Violators, when convicted, shall be punished by a fine of no less than fifty dollars ($50) and no more than three hundred dollars ($300).
The law also provides that:
Before leaving your parked vehicle:
Before you drive away from any parking space, be sure to check for traffic
Good driving requires you to be observant and aware of your surroundings. You must look down the road, to the sides, and behind your vehicle, and be alert for unexpected events. Many accidents occur because drivers do not pay enough attention to their driving. Do not take your eyes off the road for more than a few seconds at any one time. For example, if you need to look at a map, pull safely off the road. Do not try to read the map while you are driving.
When driving on a highway with a total of two lanes (one lane in each direction), drive in the right hand lane. You may cross the center line for passing when there are no oncoming vehicles and no solid yellow line. On highways with a total of four or more lanes (two or more lanes in each direction), always keep to the right unless you are passing slower traffic, letting another driver have room to enter safely, or getting ready to make a legal left turn.
The best way to control your speed is to know how fast you are going. Check the speedometer often, and pay attention to the posted speed limits. This is especially true when you leave high speed roads and begin driving on much slower local roads. For more information on Missouri’s speed limits, refer to Chapter 3.
Use the left lane only to pass another vehicle. You can use the right lane when passing a vehicle that is making a left turn. Never use the shoulder or unpaved part of the highway to pass.
Before you pass a vehicle in front of you, make sure you are in a safe passing zone. On four-lane highways, check the left lane for traffic by using your left and inside rearview mirrors and briefly looking over your left shoulder. Looking over your left shoulder is important because it allows you to check for "blind spots." Blind spots are the spaces you cannot see with your rearview mirrors. Do not drive in another vehicle’s blind spot.
If the way is clear, signal that you are changing lanes. Pass the other vehicle quickly and smoothly, being careful not to exceed the speed limit.
Give plenty of room to the vehicle you just passed. Do not turn back into the right lane until you see the passed vehicle in your rearview mirror.Remember to look over your right shoulder to check your blind spot, and be sure to signal.
If another vehicle begins to pass you, stay in your lane and do not increase your speed. If many vehicles are passing you in the right lane of a multilane roadway, you are probably going slower than the rest of the traffic. Unless you will be turning left soon, you should move into the right lane when the way is clear.
Vehicles moving in the same direction and lane, and at the same speed cannot hit one another. Accidents involving two or more vehicles often happen when drivers go faster or slower than other vehicles on the road.
If you are going faster than traffic, you will have to keep passing others. Each time you pass someone, there is a chance for a collision. The vehicle you are passing may change lanes suddenly, or on a two-lane road, an oncoming vehicle may appear suddenly. Slow down, and keep pace with other traffic. Speeding does not save more than a few minutes an hour.
Going much slower than other vehicles can be just as bad as speeding. It tends to make vehicles bunch up behind you and drivers then become impatient and pass you. If vehicles are piled up behind you, pull over and let them pass when it is safe to do so.
Check your rearview mirrors every few seconds to keep track of the approaching traffic. Make sure other drivers see you. Be sure to keep a safe distance (refer to Chapter 8) between you and the vehicle in front of you.
Some vehicles cannot travel very fast, or have trouble keeping up with the speed of traffic. If you spot these vehicles early, you have time to change lanes or slow down safely. Slowing suddenly can cause a traffic accident.
Never stop on the highway itself. Many highways have rest stops and service areas.
Be alert so that you know well ahead of time when you will have to stop. Stopping suddenly is dangerous. Braking quickly could cause you to lose control of your vehicle. You also make it harder for drivers behind you to stop without hitting you. Try to avoid panic stops by seeing events well in advance. By slowing down or changing lanes, you may not have to stop at all, and if you do, it can be a more gradual and safer stop.
You can stop on the shoulder of the highway in an emergency. If you do, alert other drivers by turning on your emergency flashers. It is also helpful to raise the hood, or tie a white cloth to the antenna.
Many highways have controlled access. This means you can enter or leave the highway only where there are entrance or exit ramps.
Entrance ramps are short, one-way ramps used to get on the highway. At the end of most entrance ramps is an acceleration lane. Use the ramp and acceleration lane to increase your speed to match the speed of the vehicles on the highway.
As you are speeding up, watch for an opening in the highway traffic. Switch on your turn signal, and pull smoothly into the traffic. DO NOT stop at the end of an acceleration lane unless traffic is very heavy and you have to stop.
Drivers already on the highway should give you room to enter, but if they don’t, DO NOT force your way onto the highway. You must yield the rightof- way to them, even if that means stopping at the end of an acceleration lane.
Exit ramps are short, one-way ramps. At the beginning of most exit ramps is a deceleration lane. Make sure you are in the proper lane to leave the highway well in advance of the deceleration lane.
Use the deceleration lane and the exit ramp to slow down when leaving the highway. Be sure you obey the speed limit sign on the exit ramp. Be ready to stop or yield at the end of the ramp.
If you miss your exit, DO NOT stop, back up, or try to turn around on the highway. You will have to get off the highway at the next exit and come back to the exit you missed.
Where two busy highways meet, there may be interchanges instead of entrance and exit ramps. An interchange can be confusing if you have not driven on it before. There are directional signs on interchanges that can help you determine where you need to go.
Highway hypnosis can make you feel sleepy and unaware of the traffic around you. Highway hypnosis is caused by the sameness of the road and traffic. The hum of the wind, tires, and engine also adds to the hypnosis.
You can avoid highway hypnosis by constantly moving your eyes and watching the traffic and highway signs around you. If you feel sleepy, pull off the highway. Do not risk falling asleep at the wheel.
When you feel tired, it is harder to make decisions and to react to the traffic around you. You may fall asleep at the wheel. When you feel sleepy, pull off the highway at the nearest rest stop or service area. If you are really sleepy, take a nap. Tired drivers are a great danger to themselves, other drivers, and can be as dangerous as intoxicated drivers.
If your vehicle breaks down on a highway, make sure other drivers can see you and your vehicle. Accidents occur because a driver did not see a stalled vehicle until it was too late to stop.
If possible, use a 2-way radio, telephone, or cellular phone to notify authorities that your vehicle (or someone else's) has broken down. Many roadways have signs that tell you the CB channel or telephone number to call in an emergency. The cellular number to call in an emergency is *55. If you are having vehicle trouble and have to stop, consider the following:
Some things you should know when sharing the road with motorcycles:
To drive any motorcycle on the public streets, you must have a valid driver license with a motorcycle endorsement or a motorcycle license.
Trucks are not large cars. Whether they are accelerating, braking, climbing a hill, switching lanes, or turning onto a side street, tractor-trailer trucks must perform certain maneuvers that drivers of automobiles do not.
A typical tractor-trailer combination, a power unit pulling a loaded semitrailer hinged to its rear end, may weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Depending on the trailer length, the total length of the combination may exceed 90 feet. On the busiest intercity routes, a motorist may encounter double or even triple-trailer combinations sometimes exceeding 100 feet in length.
Any motorist who has driven behind one of these trucks at a traffic light knows that a semi-trailer combination accelerates slowly. The truck may have to go through ten gears to reach the speed limit. The truck may have two or three times more power under the hood than a car does, but with up to 70,000 pounds of trailer and cargo behind it, a truck engine must move 30 or 40 times more weight than a car engine. (Published with permission from John Deere Transportation Services, Sharing the Road, Deere & Co., 1996.)
To improve safety for all road users, please consider this information.
|When you are facing a "WALK" signal or a green light, you have the right-of-way. You may begin to cross the road after you make sure all drivers see you and stop for you.|
|Do not begin to cross the street when you are facing a "DON'T WALK" signal or a red or yellow light. If the flashing "DON'T WALK" sign appears when you are crossing the street, you may finish crossing the street.|
You should cross the road at an intersection or a crosswalk when:
Otherwise, you may cross the road in the middle of the block without a crosswalk being careful when stepping out between two parked vehicles. You must yield the right-of-way to all traffic when crossing in the middle of a block. Walk facing traffic when no sidewalk is available.
You should not stand in a traffic lane to speak to a driver for any length of time, as this could cause an accident. Instead, you should wait for the driver to pull over to a safe parking spot, and you should remain on the curb side of the vehicle.
In some situations, pedestrians are required by law to yield to vehicles. In other situations, vehicles are required to yield to pedestrians. In all situations, whether the pedestrians are obeying the law or not, you must drive carefully, reduce your speed if needed, and do your best to avoid endangering pedestrians.
Even when you are facing a green light you must yield the right-of-way to all pedestrians in the intersection. Never assume you have the right-of-way. Do not assume pedestrians see you and will stop for you.
Do not pass a vehicle that has stopped or slowed down for a pedestrian.
Watch out for kids. Children will run out into the road without looking for traffic. So, be extra careful when you drive near schools, playgrounds, parks, or in residential areas. You must obey a slower speed limit in a school zone when lights are flashing or children are present. At a school crossing where there is a traffic patrol, stop and yield if a traffic patrol member signals you to do so.
Some things you should know when sharing the road with mopeds or bicycles:
On public streets and highways, you have the same rights and responsibilities as a motor vehicle operator. Always ride with traffic, never against it. When operating at less than the posted speed or traffic flow, generally ride as near to the right side of the roadway as safe. The right edge of the road often has hazards like ditches, gutters, sand, and gravel shoulders. Leave space between yourself and these hazards as needed for safety.
You may move more toward the middle or left of the lane or roadway, as appropriate:
Always check traffic and signal before changing lanes or changing your position within a lane. On a one-way street, bicyclists may also choose to ride as far left as is safe.
The law does not allow you to ride a moped on any part of the federal interstate highway system.
To drive any motorized bicycle such as a moped on the public streets, you must have a valid driver license. A motorized bicycle is defined as any twowheeled or three-wheeled device having an automatic transmission and a motor with a cylinder capacity of not more than fifty cubic centimeters, which produces less than three gross brake horsepower, and is capable of propelling the device at a maximum speed of not more than thirty miles per hour on level ground.
You do not have to register your moped or bicycle and it does not have to be inspected. However, Missouri law requires certain equipment on mopeds and bicycles.
Brakes - Your brakes must be able to stop you within 25 feet when traveling 10 mph.
LIGHTS AND REFLECTORS — The number of bicycle-auto crashes rises dramatically between sunset and sunrise. Almost all such crashes can be prevented with proper bicycle lights and reflectors. You must have the following lights and reflectors when riding your bicycle from ½ hour after sunset until ½ hour before sunrise:
If you are driving a vehicle in a funeral procession, you should follow the vehicle in front of you as closely as is practical and safe. Every vehicle in the procession must use its flashing emergency lights. An organized funeral procession has the right-of-way at all intersections regardless of any traffic control device, except for emergency vehicles or when directed otherwise by law enforcement officials.
The following rules apply to all drivers not involved in an organized funeral procession.
Road rage is an uncontrolled display of anger by the operator of a motor vehicle (usually in response to another driver’s actions), which can result in property damage or personal injury.
Drivers prone to road rage are usually aggressive individuals who fail to follow courteous driving practices. Some examples of behavior associated with road rage include:
|–Beeping the horn||–Pursuing another vehicle|
|–Flashing the headlights||–Making aggressive gestures|
|–Forcing another vehicle to pull over||–Verbally abusing another driver|
|–Bumping into another vehicle||–Tailgating another vehicle|
|–Threatening another driver||–Braking or slowing suddenly|
|–Damaging a vehicle intentionally||–Deliberate obstruction|
|–Assaulting another driver||–"Cutting off" or swerving|
As our society has become more accustomed to it, road rage has become a "normal" part of our driving environment. These habits can be unlearned, but it takes self discipline on the part of drivers.
When confronted with any of the behaviors associated with road rage, you should try to . . .
If you believe you have seen a drunk driver, tell the police immediately. You may be saving someone’s life. Helpful information to provide the officer includes the license plate number of the vehicle, a physical description of the car and driver, and the vehicle’s location.
|Littering is against the law. It is unsightly and may cause a traffic accident. For example, a lit cigarette thrown out a car window can be blown into the vehicle behind you, causing property damage or personal injury.|
If a judge finds you guilty of littering, you may have to pay up to a $1,000 fine and/or spend up to one year in jail.
USE SEAT BELTS AND CHILD RESTRAINTS Before you drive, always fasten your seat belts and make sure all your passengers are using seat belts or child restraints. Studies have shown that if you use seat belts, your chances of being hurt or killed in an accident are greatly reduced. Seat belts should always be worn with the lap belt low and snug across the hips and the shoulder belt across the chest. Shoulder belts should never be placed under the arm or behind the back. If your vehicle has a two-part seat belt system, be sure to wear both the lap and shoulder belt.
While air bags are good protection against hitting the steering wheel, dashboard, or windshield, they do not protect you if you are hit from the side or rear, or if the vehicle rolls over. An air bag will not keep you behind the wheel in these situations. An unrestrained or improperly restrained occupant can be seriously injured or killed by a deploying air bag. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends drivers sit with at least 10 inches between the center of their breastbone and the center of the steering wheel. Children 12 and under should always ride properly restrained in a rear seat. Never put a rear-facing infant restraint in the front seat of a vehicle with a front passenger air bag. If you need more information about child seat safety, contact: Department of Transportation, Highway Safety Division, web site: www.modot.gov; phone: (800) 800-BELT.
Missouri law requires the operator and front seat occupants of all passenger vehicles to wear a properly adjusted and fastened seat belt. However, ALL passengers accompanying an intermediate driver license holder must be properly restrained.
The law requires children of certain ages, weights and heights to be restrained by a child passenger restraint system, booster seat or safety belt when transported in any motor vehicle other than a public carrier for hire or school bus.
To avoid making mistakes, or being in an accident because of someone else’s mistake, you must drive defensively. As a defensive driver you should:
The way you sit and hold the steering wheel affects your driving. Good posture can help you stay alert and in full control of your vehicle.
Use a proper grip. Place your left hand between the 7 & 9 o’clock positions and your right hand between the 3 & 5 o’clock positions on the steering wheel. This position is comfortable and allows you to make most turns without taking your hands off the wheel.
Look well down the road, not just at the road in front of your vehicle. Look for traffic situations where you will need to steer or slow before you get to them.
When turning corners, turn the steering wheel using the hand-over-hand technique. Do not turn the wheel with just the palm of one hand, because you could lose control. When you complete a turn, straighten out the steering wheel by hand.
Never turn your vehicle’s ignition key to the “lock” position while your vehicle is still in motion. This will cause the steering wheel to lock if you try to turn the steering wheel, and you will lose control of your vehicle.
Be sure to keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. You need a safe distance to stop or turn to avoid an accident. Rear-end crashes are very common. They are caused by drivers who follow too closely and cannot stop in time when the vehicle ahead suddenly stops.
A good way to measure your safe following distance is to use the “three second rule.” Choose an object near the road ahead, like a sign or telephone pole. As the vehicle ahead of you passes it, count slowly, “One thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three.” If you reach the object before you finish counting, you are too close to the vehicle ahead.
It is not always easy to maintain a safe distance behind your vehicle. However, you can help keep the driver at a safe distance by keeping a steady speed, and signaling in advance when you slow down. Follow these safety tips:
You need space on both sides of your vehicle to have room to turn or change lanes.
Your stopping distance equals your reaction distance plus your braking distance. If you are driving fast, are very tired, or if your vehicle has bad brakes, you will need more space to stop your vehicle.
The following distance equals your reaction distance plus your vehicle’s braking distance at different speeds. The reaction distance is the distance you travel after you see a danger and before you apply your brakes. In the chart shown below, the reaction distance is for 1.5 seconds. You have to be alert to react within one and one-half seconds.
The braking distance is the distance you travel after you apply your brakes and before your vehicle comes to a stop. In the chart shown below, the braking distance is for a vehicle with good brakes and tires, in good weather and on a good road.
Generally, other drivers expect you to keep doing what you are doing. You must warn them when you are going to change direction or slow down. This will give them time to react to what you do.
You should use your turn signals before you change lanes, turn right or left, merge into traffic, or park.
Do not use your horn unless you have to. Needless use of your horn may distract other drivers and cause an accident. There is only one reason to use your horn: to warn other drivers. Your horn should not be used as a display of anger or frustration.
It is against the law for you to drive slower than the posted minimum speed under normal driving conditions. You may drive more slowly than the minimum speed if you are driving in bad weather, heavy traffic, or on a bad road.If there is no posted minimum speed, it is still against the law for you to drive so slowly that you block traffic. If you have to drive more slowly, and vehicles line up behind you, you should pull over and let them pass. Many accidents are caused by slow drivers who block other traffic. Remember, slower is not always safer.
Beware of carbon monoxide poisoning. Vehicle motors give off carbon monoxide which is a deadly gas. To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning:
Driving at night is more difficult than driving during the day. Headlights do not let you see as far ahead as you can in daylight, limit your view of the sides of the road, and the glare of oncoming headlights makes seeing the road more difficult.
For driving at night, you should:
You must use your headlights anytime weather conditions require the use of your windshield wipers.
In winter, clean all snow and ice off your windows, headlights, and taillights. Be sure your windshield wipers and defroster are working. No matter how far you are going to drive, never start driving until all snow and ice is off your windows.
Your vehicle should have tires that are rated for driving in snow. If you do not have tires that are rated for driving in snow, you should have chains ready to put on your tires during bad weather. But even if you have “snow” tires or chains, you cannot drive safely on snow or ice at normal speeds. If there is snow or ice on the road, slow down.
When starting on snow or ice, start slowly and smoothly. If your tires start to spin, try clearing a path by driving backwards and forwards a few times. If that does not help, spread some abrasive material like salt, sand, or cat box litter around your wheels. NEVER let anyone stand in line with your wheels. Your wheels may throw up gravel or ice and cause an injury.
Once you have started, try to get the feel of the road. Gently brake while driving to see how slippery the road is and then adjust your speed for the road conditions.
It will take longer to stop your vehicle when driving on snow or ice. So be sure to leave a safe distance, about 8 to 10 seconds, between your vehicle and any vehicle ahead of you.
When you want to slow down or stop, apply the brakes gently and smoothly. Never slam on your brakes — this may cause you to skid. On very slippery surfaces, pump the brakes by gently pushing down and letting up on them several times. If your vehicle is equipped with an anti-lock brake system, refer to your owner’s manual for proper braking techniques in special situations.
Remember that bridges and overpasses will freeze and become slippery before other parts of the road, and be aware that even on cleared roads a few ice patches may still exist.
If you have a four-wheel drive vehicle, DO NOT use the four-wheel drive on ice. Four-wheel drive vehicles can easily overturn on ice. If you hit an icy patch in four-wheel drive, take your foot off the accelerator.
Remember, Ice and Snow. . . . Take it slow!
When it starts to rain, water mixes with the dust and oil on the road to form a slick, greasy film. Fallen leaves can also become slippery. The wet pavement may make it harder for you to stay on the road on curves. It will also take longer to stop your vehicle. So be sure to slow your speed and leave a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you.
On wet pavement, your tires may ride on the water rather than the pavement. This is known as “hydroplaning” and it refers to loss of traction and control. Hydroplaning can happen at any speed over 35 mph. In a severe rainstorm, the tires can lose all contact with the road at 55 mph.
If you think your tires are hydroplaning, take your foot off the accelerator and slow down. Do not hit the brakes, this may cause you to skid.
To avoid hydroplaning:
Four-wheel ABS is a safe, effective braking system when used properly. It offers an important safety advantage by preventing the wheels from locking during emergency braking situations. If your car is equipped with ABS, you should be aware that under hard braking you may feel a pulsing in the brake pedal. DO KEEP your foot on the brake. Maintain a firm and continuous pressure on the brake while steering to enable the four-wheel ABS to work properly. Remember, if your vehicle is equipped with anti-lock brakes DON’T PUMP YOUR BRAKES, DON’T FORGET TO STEER, AND DON’T BE ALARMED BY MECHANICAL NOISES AND/OR SLIGHT PEDAL PULSATIONS. These conditions are normal and let you know the ABS is working.
Handling a skid is the same for front-wheel and rear-wheel drive vehicles. Take your foot off the accelerator, but DO NOT hit the brakes.
|Steer Into The Skid|
|1. Before skid||2. Rear wheels slide
|3. Turn front wheels
|4. Vehicle straight|
It is very dangerous to drive in fog. If you must drive in fog, you should:
The most important rule in any emergency is DO NOT PANIC. If you stay calm, you will remember what you should do. If you have power steering or a locking steering wheel, never turn off the ignition key until you have come to a full stop.
If your brake pedal suddenly sinks to the floor:
If you have a tire blowout, you may hear a loud "bang" then "thump, thump, thump." The steering wheel may jerk, and you may lose control of your vehicle.
If your wheels run off the paved edge of the road, the wheels may pull to the right:
If your vehicle does not turn when you turn the wheel:
If your vehicle’s headlights go out:
If you take your foot off the accelerator, but your vehicle keeps going faster:
If your hood suddenly flies open, your windshield wipers fail, or something else blocks your vision:
If a train is approaching:
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has determined that 12- and 15-passenger vans are inherently unstable when loaded to the level for which they are designed, carrying more than ten passengers. The NTSB recommends that all drivers of 12- and 15-passenger vans obtain specific training on the handling and operation of these types of vehicles. For more information regarding 12- and 15-passenger van safety, you may visit the NTSB's web site at www.ntsb.gov.
Driving a motor vehicle is a privilege. It takes skill and common sense. Alcohol or drugs or fatigue will cause your driving to suffer, and it is your responsibility to know when you are not in shape to drive. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, even medicine, or driving when you're tired can have deadly consequences — for you, your passengers, and other motorists.
Drinking and driving is not worth the risk to your life and the lives of others. Even a small amount of alcohol may affect your driving ability. If you are going to drink, let someone else drive who has not been drinking.
Missouri laws are tough if you are found guilty of drinking or using drugs while driving. You may pay a fine, lose your license, and even go to jail.
If you injure or kill someone because you were drinking or using drugs while driving, you may:
When a police officer stops you and suspects you have been drinking, the officer may ask you to take some tests like walking heel to toe or standing on one leg. These tests will help the officer decide if you should be arrested and have a chemical test of your breath, blood, or urine. The result of this test is known as your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level.
If your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level is .08% or more (or for minors .02% or more), the officer will take your license away and give you a notice. This notice tells you that your license will be suspended or revoked (and you will not be able to legally drive) after 15 days. The notice includes a 15-day driving permit that you can use if the officer indicates this on the notice. The notice also includes a form that allows you to request a hearing. If you are given a hearing, you may continue to legally drive until 15 days after a decision is mailed to you.
There are two types of actions that may be taken against you for driving when you are not fit to drive. There are administrative actions and court convicted actions, which carry different penalties.
The following chart shows the administrative actions that you can expect to face if you are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
|*IID installation required for reinstatement.|
|Administrative Action||Driver License Suspension/Revocation/Denial||To Get Your Licence Back|
|License Suspension||1st Offense --30 day
by a 60-day restricted
*2nd Offense -- 30 day suspension, followed by a 60-day restricted driving privilege, for a 2nd offense that occurred outside a 5-year period
|Please see Reinstatement Requirements|
|License Revocation||*2nd Offense --1-Year license revocation|
If you receive a ticket and a judge finds you guilty of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) or Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08% or more, you will not be able to legally drive after the ticket is sent to the department. Your license will be suspended, revoked, or denied based on your past driving record and the points added to your record. You will be notified by mail when you must stop driving. The chart on the next page shows the consequences of a court convicted action like DWI or BAC:
|*IID installation required for reinstatement.|
|Crime||Fines/Jail||Driver License Suspension, Revocation, or Denial||To Get Your Licencse Back|
BACDriving/operating a vehicle with .08% Blood Alcohol Content or more
DWIDriving while intoxicated.
1st Offense --Spend up to 6 months in jail. Pay up to a $500 fine.
2nd Offense -- Spend up to 1 year in jail. Pay up to a $1000 fine.
3rd Offense -- Spend up to 4 years in jail. Pay up to a $5,000 fine.
4th Offense -- Spend up to 7 years in jail. Pay up to a $5,000 fine.
5th Offense -- Spend between 5 and 15 years in jail.
1st Offense --30 day suspension, followed by a 60-day restricted driving privilege.
*2nd Offense -- 1-year license revocation.
*2nd Offense Within 5 Years -- 5-year license denial.
NOTE: -- Only a BAC with a conviction date of August 28, 2009 or after can be used toward a five-year denial.
*3rd Offense -- 10- year license denial.
*3rd and Subsequent Offenses -- 10-year license denial.
|Please see Reinstatement Requirements|
If you are younger than 21 years of age, your driver license may be taken away for 90 days for any of the following:
If you are 21 years of age or older, you may have your driver license taken away for one year if you possess or use drugs while driving. To get your license back, you must:
If you are older than 15 years of age and under 21 years of age, a state
court may suspend or revoke your driver license for any of the following:
The following chart shows the consequences a young person faces for MIP and other alcohol offenses:
|Crime||Driver License Suspension/Revocation||To Get Your Licence Back|
|MIPMinor in Possission||
1st Offense --30 day suspension
2nd Offense -- 90 day suspension
3rd Offense -- 1 year revocation
|Pay a $45 fee, and attend a Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program (SATOP) or comparable program.|
If a police officer stops you and you refuse to take a chemical test to determine your BAC, your driver license will be taken away for one year. Your driver license may be reinstated if you submit the requirements listed below.
Reinstatement Requirements for Alcohol-Related Offenses
Your license will be reinstated if you:
An ignition interlock device (IID) is a mechanical unit that is connected to the vehicle’s ignition, horn, and headlights and measures the concentration of alcohol in a person’s breath. The IID requires vehicle operators to provide a breath sample before starting the vehicle and periodically during the operation of the vehicle.
Effective July 1, 2009, if you have more than one alcohol-related contact showing on your driver record, you must have an IID installed on any vehicle you operate before your driving privilege can be reinstated. The IID must be installed for a minimum of six months from your reinstatement date. You must pay for having the device installed and for having it serviced every month. If you fail to maintain the IID during the six-month period, your driving privilege will be resuspended. You will be required to have the device serviced/installed, send proof to the driver license bureau, and pay a $20 reinstatement fee before having your driving privilege reinstated.
In addition to driver licensing requirements, a court may impose other requirements such as: IID use for the first DWI conviction; or use of a device for longer than six months.
If you receive a ticket for failing to have an IID installed as required by law and you are convicted in court, your driving privilege will be revoked for one-year. A second offense requires your driving privilege to be taken away for five years.
To locate a list of approved ignition interlock devices and installers, visit www.modot.mo.gov/safety/ImpairedDriving.htm or contact the Missouri Department of Transportation at 800-800-2358.
disobey the traffic laws. When you are convicted of a traffic violation, while your vehicle was in motion, the department receives notice and adds points to your driving record. This isn't like a football or basketball game — you don't want these points. You can lose your driving privilege when you accumulate too many points.
The number of points you receive depends on the conviction. For example, you may receive 2 or 3 points if you are convicted of speeding (depending on if the court was municipal, county, or state level). By contrast, you may receive 12 points and the revocation of your driving privilege if you are convicted of leaving the scene of an accident.
The following are examples of some state law violations and the point values associated with them:
|Careless & Imprudent Driving||4 points|
|Knowingly Allowing an Unlicensed Driver to Operate a Vehicle||4 points|
|A Felony Involving a Motor Vehicle||12 points|
|Obtaining a Driver License by Misrepresentation||12 points|
|Operating a Vehicle with a Suspended or Revoked Driver License||12 points|
If you accumulate a total of 4 points in 12 months, the department will send you a point accumulation advisory.
If you accumulate a total of 8 or more points in 18 months, your driving privilege will be suspended. Below are the consequences for accumulating 8 points in 18 months:
Your driving privilege will be revoked for one year if you accumulate:
Depending on whether your suspension or revocation was related to alcohol, there are different reinstatement requirements. For a non-alcohol related point suspension/revocation, you will need to:
For an alcohol-related point suspension/revocation, you will need to submit the reinstatement requirements on page 80. Details about submitting proof of insurance (SR-22) can be found in Chapter 13, Mandatory Insurance.
When your driving privilege is reinstated, the department reduces your total points to 4. Every year you drive without getting new points on your record, the points will be reduced.
Although your points may be reduced to zero, certain convictions must remain listed permanently on your driving record.
If you drive while your license is suspended, your driving privilege may be revoked for one year after you are convicted. If you continue to drive while your license is revoked, you may be convicted of a felony and have your license revoked again for one year.
When you fail to appear in court for a traffic violation, the court will notify you within 10 days of your failure to comply. The court will give you 30 days to pay the fines before the court notifies the Driver License Bureau. If you do not comply within 30 days, the court will notify the Driver License Bureau of your failure to comply, and your driving privilege will be suspended immediately.
If this happens to you, your driving privilege will be suspended until the Bureau receives:
If your license is suspended for FACT, you may get your driving privilege reinstated in one of three ways.
Whether you are a Missouri resident buying a new vehicle or a new resident who recently moved to Missouri, you have 30 days to visit your local license office and take care of your legal responsibilities to title your vehicle.
A title is proof that you own your vehicle. When you buy a vehicle, you must apply for a title within 30 days. If you do not apply within 30 days, you will have to pay a penalty fee.
You may apply for a title at any license office. The title will cost $8.50, and you will be required to pay a $2.50 processing fee. You will have to pay all state and local sales taxes due. For information on the amount of sales tax you will have to pay, contact any license office, call (573) 526-3669, or visit our web site at www.dor.mo.gov and enter “sales tax calculator” into the search box.
When you apply for a title, you will receive a receipt. You will receive your title in the mail from the Department of Revenue (department).
A title is a very important personal document. Do NOT keep your title in your vehicle.
The requirements are different for new and used vehicles and for vehicles bought in Missouri and outside Missouri. Following is a description of the requirements for these situations.
A properly assigned title has the following information completed in the assignment area:
For information on titling a vehicle bought for salvage, dismantling, or rebuilding, call (573) 526-3669, or write to:
When you buy or sell a vehicle that is less than 10 years old, the seller must write the mileage reading on the title assignment. If the vehicle is new, the odometer reading must be on the Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin. Both the buyer and the seller must print and sign their names verifying the mileage. In some instances, a separate odometer statement may be required.
If you are a Missouri resident, you are required to register your vehicle in Missouri. If you are a new Missouri resident, you must register your vehicle within 30 days of becoming a Missouri resident.
If you are a new Missouri resident, you must surrender your out-of-state title and apply for a Missouri title. If a financial institution has your title, you must provide your out-of-state registration, lienholder's name, and lienholder’s address. The license office will request the title from your lienholder. After you surrender your out-of-state title, a Missouri title will be issued and mailed to you.
When you register your vehicle in Missouri, you will receive Missouri license plates and a year tab located on the license.
You may register your vehicle at any license office. If you are registering a passenger vehicle, your registration fee will be based on your vehicle's taxable horsepower. If you are registering a commercial vehicle, your registration fee will be based on its zone and gross weight. An additional processing fee will apply.
You may be eligible to obtain a two-year registration for your vehicle. During an even-numbered year (like 2008) you may register for two years if your vehicle has an even-numbered model year. Likewise, during an oddnumbered year (like 2009) you may register for two years if your vehicle has an odd-numbered model year. Otherwise, only a one-year registration is available.
About two months before your vehicle registration expires, you should receive a renewal notice in the mail. If you do not receive the notice, you are still required by law to renew your license plates before they expire.
To ensure you receive a renewal notice, remember to update your address if you move. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org and include your full name, old and new address, your driver license number or last four digits of your Social Security Number, and your vehicle’s license plate number(s).
The renewal notice will list your requirements to renew your vehicle registration. Make sure to read the list and bring the required documents to the license office with you. The requirements are listed below but all of them may not apply to you.
TIP! You may also be able to renew your plates online at www.plates.mo.gov. If you are eligible for this convenient option, a Personal Identification Number (PIN) will be printed on your renewal notice.
State law requires you to report the sale of your motor vehicle or all-terrain vehicle by completing a Notice of Sale (DOR-5049) and submitting it to any license office or to the address on the form within 30 days.
State law allows you to replace stolen license plates/tabs up to two times per year at NO COST (a $3.50 processing fee is applicable) if you sign a notarized affidavit certifying the plates or tabs were stolen.
If your license plate(s), tab(s), or title is lost or destroyed, you must apply for a replacement. The charge for a replacement title is $8.50; the charge for replacement plates is $8.50 per plate; and the charge for a set of replacement tabs is $8.50. An additional processing fee of $3.50 will also apply.
The words "SHOW ME STATE" appear across the bottom of the standard license plate. A year tab is located on the license plate. Each year tab is a different color.
When you register your vehicle, you may apply for personalized license plates. In addition to the normal registration fee, the charge for personalized plates is $15 for a one-year registration and $30 for a two-year registration. More information regarding personalized/specialty plates may be obtained online at www.dor.mo.gov/mvdl/motorv/plates.
State law requires all motor vehicle operators and owners to have a form of liability insurance. Liability insurance covers the policyholder’s legal liability resulting from injuries to other persons or damage to their property. This is called Financial Responsibility.
Motor vehicle owners are required to show proof of insurance when registering a vehicle or renewing their license plates. There are several ways you can provide proof of insurance. They are listed below:
Most drivers obtain liability insurance through an insurance company or agent, but there are other forms of liability insurance:
Liability insurance covers your legal liability when injuries or property damage happen to others as a result of your actions. The minimum level of coverage required by state law is shown below:
The law also requires you to have uninsured motorist coverage of $25,000 for bodily injury per person and $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
When you register a vehicle with the department, you must sign a form stating that you have insurance and will keep insurance on your vehicle.
You must keep proof of insurance in your vehicle. If a law enforcement officer asks you for proof and you cannot show it, you will receive a ticket.
At any time, the department may require you to show proof of insurance. If you are in an accident and did not show proof of insurance at the time, the department will require you to prove you have insurance.
Insurance is important. There are a number of consequences if you fail to keep your insurance — not only can it cost you a lot of money if you are in an accident, but you may lose your driver license and license plates.
If the department learns you have not kept your insurance, you will receive a notice of suspension in the mail. Your driver license and license plates may be taken away or suspended for not having insurance. In order to get your license and license plates back, there are certain requirements you must meet.
|Number of Suspensions||What Happens to You|
|1 suspension||Your driver license and/or license plates will be
suspended until you:
– Pay a $20 fee.
– File proof of insurance. You are required to do this for 3 years.
|2 suspensions (within 2 years of each other)||Your driver license and/or license plates will be suspended for 90 days. You must also:
– Pay a $200 fee.
– File proof of insurance for 3 years.
|3 (or more) suspensions||Your driver license and/or license plates will be
suspended for one year. You must also:
– Pay a $400 fee.
– File proof of insurance for 3 years.
The most common way to file proof of insurance is through an SR-22 insurance filing. Contact your insurance company or agent to file the SR-22 form. If you fail to keep insurance for three years, your driver license and/or vehicle license plates will be suspended again.
If you are at fault in an accident and do not pay for the damages you caused, your driver license and/or vehicle license plates will be suspended for one year.You may be reinstated during that one-year period if you do the following:
An accident is when you injure yourself, injure someone else, or cause damage to property while driving your vehicle. Driving responsibly and defensively can reduce your chances of being in an accident, but nothing can totally prevent it. Even if you have an accident with a parked vehicle, do not leave. Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime. If you are in an accident, you should:
If you’re involved in a minor traffic crash, one of the first thoughts you might have is whether or not you should move your vehicle. The answer is yes.
A state law that took effect 10 years ago requires vehicles involved in minor, non-injury crashes to move off the road. The Missouri Department of Transportation is using the 10-year anniversary to remind motorists to "steer it and clear it" to ensure minor traffic crashes don't turn into major pileups. The agency is also putting up signs in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas with the "steer it and clear it" message.
"If you’re involved in a minor traffic crash and there aren’t any injuries, you need to move your vehicle onto the shoulder or other nearby location off of the roadway. Every minute a vehicle stops on the freeway and blocks one lane of traffic, it backs up approaching traffic for four minutes."
The law, known as the "Move It" law also helps reduct the chance of motorists being involved in secondary crashes, which cause 18 percent of fatalities in Missouri.
Under certain circumstances, you are required to file an accident report with the department. State law requires the accident report to be filed within 30 days. Even if the accident happened in a parking lot, or a settlement is made, you must report an accident to the Driver License Bureau if:
In other circumstances, you may not be required to report the accident, but you may want to report it anyway. If the accident did not cause more than $500 in property damage, personal injury, or death, you may still file an accident report if there was an uninsured motorist involved. The department will only be able to take action against the uninsured motorist for not maintaining insurance.
You may obtain an accident report from the department's web site at www.dor.mo.gov/mvdl, from your insurance company or agent, or from any license office.
After you fill out the accident report, you may mail or fax it to the department:
Safety inspections are required to register or renew the registration on many motor vehicles. There are some exceptions, which are discussed in the next section.
Chapter 10 discussed that you need to be in shape to drive. Just the same, your vehicle needs to be in shape to be driven.
Your vehicle safety inspection is good for two registration years unless you sell the vehicle. "Even" model year vehicles (like 2008) must be inspected when their registration expires during "even" calendar years. "Odd" model year vehicles (like 2007) must be inspected when their registration expires during "odd" calendar years. Your motor vehicle renewal notice will tell you if your vehicle needs to have a safety inspection. Each official inspection station may charge an inspection fee not to exceed $12 (or up to $10 for a motorcycle inspection).
If your vehicle passes the safety inspection, the inspection station will give you a certificate of inspection to show as proof. The certificate is good for 60 days.
Your vehicle registration renewal notice will indicate whether an inspection is required for your next renewal.
The following types of vehicles are exempt from the safety inspection requirement:
If your vehicle does not fit into the exceptions listed above, it will be required to pass a safety inspection. Any licensed inspection station may inspect your vehicle for safety. Authorized stations will display the sign shown to the right. Read your motor vehicle renewal notice to find out whether your vehicle needs a safety inspection.
BRAKES — Brakes must be in good working order.
HEADLIGHTS —Your vehicle must have at least two white headlights.
TAILLIGHTS —Your vehicle must have at least two red taillights and reflectors that other drivers can see from 500 feet.
SIGNALING DEVICES —Your vehicle must have turn signals and brake lights as originally installed by the manufacturer.
STEERING MECHANISM —Your vehicle's steering mechanism must not have too much play or binding.
TIRES AND WHEELS —You must not have bald or mismatched tires on your vehicle.
SAFETY GLASS — If your vehicle was made after January 1, 1936, it must have safety glass in all windows.
WINDSHIELD — The viewing area of your windshield may not be badly broken.
VISION REDUCING MATERIAL —Your vehicle must not have anything on the windshield that will reduce your visibility, except labels and stickers required by law or ordinance, and informational signs on the upper portion of the windshield normally tinted by manufacturers.
WINDSHIELD WIPERS —Your vehicle's windshield wipers must work.
SEAT BELTS — If your passenger car was made after June 30, 1964, it must have two sets of seat belts in the front seat.
HORN —Your vehicle must have a horn that other drivers and pedestrians can hear.
EXHAUST SYSTEM —Your vehicle must have an attached exhaust pipe, muffler, and tailpipe.
MIRRORS — If your vehicle was made after 1967, it must have an inside and an outside rearview mirror.
AIR POLLUTION CONTROL DEVICES — If your vehicle was made after 1967 and does not have a diesel motor, it must have air pollution control devices. These pollution control devices must be as originally installed by the manufacturer.
FUEL SYSTEM — The fuel system, including all lines, hoses, connections, and tank(s), must be firmly attached and must not leak.
MUD FLAPS — Trucks without rear fenders, registered for over 24,000 pounds, must have mud flaps.
BUMPERS — Bumpers on passenger vehicles may not exceed 22 inches above the ground when measured at the highest point. Commercial vehicle bumper heights are determined by gross vehicle weight rating.
In addition to the equipment needed to pass the safety inspection, Missouri law requires the following equipment:
LICENSE (REGISTRATION) PLATES — Missouri law requires that license plates be securely fastened to a vehicle, and that all parts of the plates are visible and clean for view or inspection by any law enforcement entity. If you have frames around your license plates, the Missouri State Highway Patrol reminds you that the frames must not cover any part of the plates.
If you receive two plates, you must place one on the front and one on the back of your vehicle.
If you have a trailer or a motorcycle, you will only receive one plate, which must be on the back of your vehicle.
If you have a truck licensed in excess of 12,000 pounds, you will only receive one plate, which must be placed on the front of the truck. If you want a second plate, it must be specifically requested. You must place the original plate on the front of your truck and if a second plate is issued, it must be placed on the rear of the truck.
LICENSE PLATE LIGHT —Your vehicle must have a white light shining on the rear license plate so the plate can be seen from 50 feet.
PROJECTIONS —You need special equipment if something in your vehicle overhangs the rear by more than 5 feet. During the day, the end of the projection must have a red flag or cloth that is at least 16" square. The end of the projection must have a red light from 1/2 hour after sunset until ½ hour before sunrise.
TOWLINES — When you are towing another vehicle, your towline must keep the vehicles within 15 feet of each other. From 1/2 hour after sunset until 1/2 hour before sunrise, both vehicles must have lights on.
SLOW MOVING VEHICLE SIGN — From sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise, any vehicle moving 25 mph or slower must have a "slow moving vehicle" sign (refer to Chapter 3). The sign must be on the rear of the vehicle, near the middle, and 4 feet or more above the road. The sign must be clean and reflective.
STUDDED SNOWTIRES —Your vehicle may have studded snow tires only from November 1 to April 1.
WINDOWTINTING — Tinting or sun-screening material is permitted on the side and rear windows (front door windows at no more than 65% light blockage).
Motorists residing in St. Louis City and the counties of St. Louis, St. Charles, Franklin, and Jefferson are also required to have emissions inspections, if applicable. There are some exceptions, which are listed below.
For information on emissions inspections not covered in this Guide, please call 1-866-623-8378, or visit the Department of Natural Resources web site at www.dnr.mo.gov and look for the Gateway Vehicle Inspection Program (GVIP).
The emissions inspection is a two-year inspection. Just like the safety inspection, "even" model year vehicles with registrations expiring in "even" years must be inspected during “even” calendar years. "Odd" model year vehicles with registrations expiring in “odd” years must be inspected during "odd" calendar years.
All vehicles must be emissions inspected at the time of sale regardless of the model year (refer to the list of exceptions below). New motor vehicles, and the first retail sale of titled motor vehicles during the model year of the vehicle and the following year are exempt from the inspection requirement provided the odometer reading is less than 6,000 miles at the time of sale.
The following motor vehicles are exempt from the emissions inspection requirement:
You will need to know the following information if you are applying for a Class E license. As a driver of a commercial vehicle, you must obey all Missouri traffic laws including the laws on commercial vehicles.
|1||Maximum height of any vehicle outside of a commercial zone* on designated highways plus 10 miles therefrom||14'|
|2||Maximum height of any vehicle in a commercial zone||15'|
|3||Maximum height on all other highways||13 1/2'|
*COMMERCIAL ZONE — Commercial zones exist only in cities with a population of 75,000 or more. The commercial zone is one mile beyond the city limits plus one mile for every 50,000 residents or portion thereof, except:
|1.||Maximum length of any single vehicle||45'|
|2.||Maximum length of any bus or trackless trolley coach not including one foot in front and back for safety bumper||45'|
|3.||Maximum length of truck-tractor and semi-trailer||53'||60'|
|4.||Maximum length of truck-tractor, semi-trailer, and trailer combinations (double bottoms)||28'||65'|
|5.||Maximum length of truck and trailer(s) and all other combinations of vehicles||65'||55'|
|6.||Maximum length of Automobile Transporters and Boat Transporters||75' for combination unit plus||75' 3’ front to 4’ rear overhang.|
|7.||Maximum length of Driveaway Saddle Mount Combinations (Double or Triple on interstate and designated highways)||97'|
Motor vehicle carriers may carry loads that extend beyond their legal length limits. Loads must not extend more than 3 feet beyond the front or 4 feet beyond the rear of the vehicle.
These exemptions do not include interstate highways.
A bridge's weight limit may differ from the road's weight limit. If a bridge has a different weight limit, the limit will be posted.
|MAXIMUM WEIGHT ON ANY SINGLE AXLE||POUNDS|
|1.||Maximum weight allowed on interstates||20,000|
|2.||Maximum weight allowed in a commercial zone||22,400|
|3.||Maximum weight allowed on all other routes||22,000|
|MAXIMUM WEIGHT ON ANY TANDEM AXLE||POUNDS|
|1.||Maximum weight allowed on interstates||34,000|
|2.||Maximum weight allowed on all other routes||36,000|
|MAXIMUM GROSS WEIGHT||POUNDS|
|The actual gross weight allowed depends on the distance from the first to last axle. To determine the maximum gross weight allowed in a commercial zone, multiply the number of axles by 22,400 pounds. 80,000 pounds maximum gross weight is allowed on all highways in Missouri, except where bridge structures are posted with lesser weight limits.|
|1.||Maximum gross weight allowed on interstates, primary and other designated highways.||80,000|
You may apply for an overdimension or overweight permit by calling 1-800- 877-8499, or (573) 751-2871 for local calls only, or by contacting:
Missouri Department of Transportation, Motor Carrier Services Unit
P. O. Box 893
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Fax: (573) 751-7408
To receive an oversize or overweight permit:
The Missouri Vehicle Route Map is available from the Missouri Department of Transportation. This map shows the routes on which the larger and heavier trucks are allowed to travel as specified by state statute. You may obtain a map by calling 1-866-831-6277 or by contacting:
Missouri Department of Transportation, Motor Carrier Services
P. O. Box 893
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Fax: (573) 751-7408
Missouri has adopted as state law Parts 390 through 397 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. Therefore, drivers and vehicles operating solely intrastate must obey those regulations except for the following exemptions:
If you are transporting hazardous material, your vehicle must comply with the equipment and operating regulations of the United States Department of Transportation.
When operating wholly within the state, Missouri law does not require emergency equipment for:
Any other commercial motor vehicle used for intra or interstate commerce that is licensed for more than 12,000 pounds must carry the following emergency equipment:
The following information must be clearly visible on commercial motor vehicles:
Your vehicle does not need to show the above information if:
If you are driving a bus or truck, you must not follow another bus or truck any closer than 300 feet. However, you may follow closer than 300 feet when you are in a business or residential district or when passing. Always stay a safe distance behind the vehicle in front of you. For each 10 feet of length in your vehicle, keep at least one second between you and the vehicle in front of you. For example, if you are driving a 40-foot vehicle, keep four seconds between you and the vehicle in front of you. 99
If you are driving a:
You must stop within 15 to 50 feet before the railroad tracks. If there is no sign of a train, you may cross the tracks.
If you are driving a:
You must stop within 15 to 50 feet before the railroad tracks. If there is no sign of a train, you may cross the tracks.
When a vehicle turns, the rear wheels take a shorter path than the front wheels. The greater the distance between the front and rear wheels, the greater the difference in their paths. To compensate for the off-tracking, begin a left turn as far to the right as possible. Begin a right turn as far to the left as possible.
All commercial motor vehicles, except those licensed for 18,000 pounds or less or otherwise exempted by law, must stop at weigh stations unless so directed by a peace officer.
To avoid an accident with a tailgater, you should:
Make sure you have enough space over your vehicle at all times.
Make sure the surface will hold the weight of your vehicle. Be wary of:
Your acceleration rate varies with the weight of your vehicle. And your time to cross the road is also affected by the length of your vehicle. In a long or heavily weighted vehicle, you will need a larger gap to cross the road than you would in a car.