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Driver Guide

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Driver Guide

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Introduction

    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:

    Address:
    Driver License Bureau
    P.O. Box 200
    Jefferson City, MO 65105-0200

    Telephone:
    (573) 751-2730

    Fax:
    (573) 522-8174

    E-Mail:
    dlbmail@dor.mo.gov

    Web Site:
    www.dor.mo.gov

    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.

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Driver Guide

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Chapter 1

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Chapter 2

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Table of Contents

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Chapter 3

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Table of Contents

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Chapter 4

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Table of Contents

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Chapter 5

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Table of Contents

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Chapter 6

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Table of Contents

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Chapter 7

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Table of Contents

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Chapter 8

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Table of Contents

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Chapter 9

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Table of Contents

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Chapter 10

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Table of Contents

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Chapter 11

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Table of Contents

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Chapter 12

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Table of Contents

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Chapter 13

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Table of Contents

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Chapter 14

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Table of Contents

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Chapter 15

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Table of Contents

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Chapter 1

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Chapter 1 Introduction

    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:

    • You live in Missouri, are 16 years of age or older, and plan to drive.
    • You are a new resident of Missouri and want to drive, even if you have a driver license from another state.
    • You are an out-of-state commercial driver who has moved to Missouri within the last 30 days. (Please refer to the Missouri Commercial Driver License Manual.)

    Certain persons are not required to obtain a Missouri driver license. You do not need a Missouri driver license if:

    • You are a member of the armed forces and you have a valid driver license from your home state.
    • You are a full-time student and you have a valid driver license from your home state.
    • You operate or temporarily operate/move any farm tractor or implement on a highway for agri-related purposes.

    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.

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Types of Permits

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Types of Licenses

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Requirements to Obtain Your License or Permit

    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 a driver age 15 to 21, the Graduated Driver License (GDL) program applies to you. Please see the GDL section in this chapter for more information. You will need to show verification of name, date of birth, place of birth, social security number, and Missouri residential address (detailed in this chapter) to qualify.
    • If you are a Missouri driver renewing a license, you must show verification of name, date of birth, place of birth, social security number and Missouri residential address. You will also surrender your previous license and take the vision and road sign tests.
    • If you are obtaining a new Missouri license, you must show verification of name, date of birth, place of birth, social security number and Missouri residential address . You will be required to take the four-part driver examination. The four-part exam consists of a written test, vision test, road sign test, and a driving skills test. (See Chapter 2 for more information.)
    • If you are new to Missouri and are transferring your out-of-state driver license, you will need to show verification of name, date of birth, place of birth, social security number and Missouri residential address. You will also surrender the license from your previous state of residence, and take the vision and road sign tests.
    • You must take the four-part driver examination (detailed in Chapter 2) if any of the following apply to you:
      • You are applying for a new Missouri driver license.
      • Your Missouri driver license has been expired for more than 6 months (184 days).
      • Your out-of-state license has been expired for more than 184 days.
      • Your license was revoked because you have too many points (see Chapter 11) on your driving record or because of an Administrative Alcohol action (see Chapter 10).
      • The Director of Revenue asks you to take the exam, even if you have a current driver license.

  • Required Documents
  • Social Security Number

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Types of Permits

    If you are under 21 years of age, you will be issued a permit identifying you as a minor.

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Instruction Permit - Eligible Age: 15

    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.

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Motorcycle Instruction Permit — Eligible Age: 15½ or 16

    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.

    • 15½ years of age (15 years and 182 days)
      The Motorcycle Instruction Permit will only be issued if you have successfully completed an approved motorcycle rider training course. CHAPTER 1 —THE MISSOURI DRIVER LICENSE
      You must pass the Class F and Class M written, vision, and road sign tests. You must also have the written consent of your parent or legal guardian. This permit allows daylight driving only, within a 50-mile radius of home, a motorcycle of no larger than 250 cc, and no passengers.
    • 16 years of age or older If you are 16 years old or older you may apply for a motorcycle instruction permit, but the motorcycle rider training course is not required. If you do not have a valid driver license, you must take the Class F and Class M written tests to receive a motorcycle instruction permit.

    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.

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Types of Licenses

    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.

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Intermediate License (Class F) - Eligible Age: 16

    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.

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Full Driver License (class F) - Eligible Age: 18

    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.

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For-Hire License (Class E) - Eligible Age: 18

    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:

    • If you receive pay for driving a motor vehicle transporting 14 or fewer passengers (such as a driver for a day care center).
    • If you will transport property for pay or as part of your job (such as a pizza or florist delivery driver).
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    • If you regularly operate a motor vehicle for your employment which belongs to another person and is designed to carry freight and merchandise. The vehicle must be 26,000 pounds or less gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) and not required to be placarded for hazardous materials.

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Motorcycle License (Class M) - Eligible Age: 16

    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.

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Motorcycle License (Class M) - Eligible Age: 16

    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.

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Nondriver License/Identification Card (Class ND)

    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.

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Nondriver License/Identification Card (Class ND)

    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.

  • Name, Date of Birth, Place of Birth
  • Age 65 and Older Exemption
  • Social Security Number
  • Missouri Residential Address
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Required Documents

    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:

    • Social Security card - A metal card is not acceptable.
    • Recent payroll stub containing the SSN.
    • Military Identification Card containing the SSN.
    • IRS/state tax forms - A Form W-2 is not acceptable.
    • Financial statement, on company form/letterhead, containing the 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.

  • Name Changes
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Name, Date of Birth, Place of Birth

    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.

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Age 65 and Older Exemption

    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

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Social Security Number

    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.

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Missouri Residential Address

    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.

    • Resident address is the location at which a person has been physically present, and that the person regards as home. A residential address is a person’s true, fixed, principal, and permanent home, to which a person intends to return and remain, even though currently residing elsewhere.

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Social Security Number

    If the name on your required documents does not match your current name, present one of the documents below showing your correct/current name.

    • Last Name Change - certified marriage certificate, certified divorce decree, certified court order, certified adoption papers, or amended birth certificate, U.S. passport, or social security card/medicare card.
    • First Name Change - court order or adoption papers
    • Middle Name Change - court order.

    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!

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Fees for Permits/Licenses

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Fees for Permits

    Fees and duration of permit are based on the applicant’s age at the time of the transaction. Application test fees are not included.

    NEW/RENEWAL PERMIT
    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
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Fees for Licenses

    Fees and duration of license are based on the applicant’s age at the time of the transaction. Application test fees are not included.

    NEW/RENEWAL PERMIT
    *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.
    New: $7.50
    Renewal:$2.50
    0-3 years* or 0-6 years*

    0-1 year

    Commercial Driver License (Class A, B, or C) 18 $22.50 or $45.00
    Age 70 with school bus endorsement.
    New: $10.50
    Renewal:$2.50
    0-3 years* or 0-6 years*

    0-1 year

    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
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Restrictions

    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.

  • Restriction Codes
  • Medical Referal

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Restriction Codes

    A Corrective Lenses
    B Outside Rearview Mirror
    C Daylight Driving Only
    D Auto Trans/Power Steering
    E Seat Cushion
    F Restricted to 45 MPH
    G 25 Mile Radius
    H Special Hand Devices
    I Intermediate License
    J Electrical Turn Signals
    K Intrastate CDL Only
    L Non-airbrake CDL
    M Extension on Foot Device
    N Leg Brace(s)
    O Foot Operated Emergency Brake
    P Accelerator on Steering Column
    R Back Cushion
    S School Bus
    T Right Outside Mirror
    U Uncoded Restriction*
    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.

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Medical Referral

    There are two reasons you may need a physician's statement when you renew or apply for a license:

    • You have had epileptic seizures, convulsions, or blackouts within the 6 months prior to your application for a license.
    • A driver examiner, license clerk, family member, law enforcement officer, or physician believes you may have some other medical condition that would make you an unsafe driver. This person must complete the Driver Condition Report (Form 4319) and submit it to the Department of Revenue.

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Endorsements

    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.

    • School Bus (S) endorsement — A school bus endorsement is required for anyone transporting students from school to home, home to school, and to and from school-sponsored events. A school bus endorsement may be issued to drivers age 21 or older who hold a Class E (For-Hire) license or a commercial license with a Passenger (P) endorsement. A school bus endorsement can be suspended for one year if a person fails to pass any drug, alcohol, or chemical test administered in accordance with any federal or state law, rule, or regulation regarding the operation of a school bus.
      Missouri law has special operating regulations for school buses. If you need more information on school buses, contact: Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Division of Administrative and Financial Services — School Transportation, e-mail: webreply@dmpt.dese.mo.gov; phone: (573) 751-0357; fax: (573) 526-6898.

    • Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW) Endorsement — To obtain a CCW endorsement on a driver license and/or a nondriver license, you must be at least 23 years of age and present to the license clerk a Concealed Carry Certificate of Qualification issued by the sheriff or sheriff’s designee in your Missouri county based on your residential address within seven days of issuance.
      If your driver or nondriver license with a CCW endorsement is lost, destroyed, or stolen, you must present to the license clerk a re-issued Concealed Carry Certificate of Qualification from the sheriff or sheriff’s designee in the county you reside in containing the original issue date and a new control number.
      If you hold a driver and/or nondriver license with a CCW endorsement, you must notify the sheriff or sheriff’s designee and the Department of Revenue of any change in address. If your county has changed, you must notify the sheriff or sheriff’s designee in both your previous county and your new county.
    • Additional endorsements are available if you have a Commercial Driver License. For more information, please see the Commercial Driver License Manual, available from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, license offices, or our website at www.dor.mo.gov.

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Renewing A License Or Permit

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Renewal Reminders

    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 dlbmail@dor.mo.gov.

    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.

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Lost, Stolen, Or Destroyed License

    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.

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Renewing When Your License is Suspended or Revoked

    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.

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Other Information About Your Driver License

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Organ, Eye and Tissue Donor Information

    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.

    1. "Do you authorize a symbol to be placed on your license indicating your consent to be listed as an organ, eye and tissue donor in the donor registry?"
      If you say "yes", a red heart with a green banner will appear on the front of your instruction permit, driver, or nondriver license.Your name will automatically be added to the Missouri Organ and Tissue Donor Registry managed by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services or their agent. The registry is on a secure, confidential database. Joining the registry means you have legally documented your decision to save lives by becoming an organ and tissue donor at the time of your death - no further consent is needed - relieving your family of making that decision on your behalf. There is no fee to place the symbol on your instruction permit, driver or nondriver license, or place your name in the registry. You may obtain more information regarding the donor registry or register your decision and enroll on-line at www.missouriorgandonor.com

    2. "Would you like to contribute a dollar to the Missouri Organ Donor Fund?"

      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.

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Type and Allergic Reactions

    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.

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Blind Awareness Fund

    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.

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"J88" Notation for Deaf or Hard of Hearing Applicants

    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:

    • A medical statement from a licensed medical professional, which verifies your level of hearing loss.
    • A certified affidavit — The affidavit form (DOR-4942) can be obtained from any license office.
    • A statement from an approved or authorized agency listed below, which verifies your level of hearing loss.

    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:

    • he Missouri Commission for the Deaf
    • Social Security Administration
    • A vocational rehabilitation program
    • A federal, state, or county department of health
    • An Independent Living Center

    The Director of Revenue shall have authorization to review and determine acceptability of any documentation from an agency or program not listed.

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Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA)

    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).

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Voter Registration

    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.

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Selective Service Registration

    Male applicants, age 18 to 26, may register with the Selective Service at the time of their license or permit application.

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Suspension/Revocation of Your License

    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:

    • Parent/Guardian Request to Deny a Driver License — If you are under age 18, your parent or guardian may request that the Director of Revenue deny you a license. If you already have a driver license, the request (Form 4811) will cancel your license. When the department receives the request, a denial will be placed on your driving record. The denial expires when you turn 18 or when your parent/guardian requests your driving status be cleared. Form 4811 may be found on the department's web site at www.dor.mo.gov or at any license office.
    • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (see Chapter 10)
    • Refusing to let a police officer test you for alcohol or drugs
    • Leaving the scene of an accident
    • Failing to file an accident report (see Chapter 13)
    • Giving false information when you apply for a license
    • Failing to settle a court judgment made against you for damages resulting from a motor vehicle accident
    • Failing to keep insurance (financial responsibility) (see Chapter 13)
    • Changing the information on your license or using someone else’s license when you attempt to buy alcohol
    • Failing to appear for an exam when requested by the Driver License Bureau
    • Using a motor vehicle to commit a felony or causing the death of someone in a motor vehicle accident
    • Having too many points on your driving record (see Chapter 11)
    • Letting someone else use your driver license
    • Failing to appear in court or pay traffic tickets in Missouri or other states
    • Failing to pay child support
    • Failing to use an ignition interlock device when required
    • Stealing fuel from a gas station
    • Possessing any intoxicating liquor if you are a minor
    • Submitting false proof of insurance
    • Failing to yield the right-of-way and causing injury or death

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The Graduated Driver License (GDL) Law

    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

  • STEP ONE: Instruction Permit
  • STEP TWO: Intermediate License
  • STEP THREE: Full Driver License (Under 21)

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STEP ONE: Instruction Permit

    Eligible Age: 15
    Cost: $3.50
    Valid: 0-12 months, based on document verification status

    To Obtain an Instruction Permit:

    • Pass the vision, road sign, and written tests.
    • A parent, stepparent, legal guardian, or certified trainer (with a federal residential job training program) must accompany you to the license office to sign a permission statement.

    Permit Notes:

    • Under age 16, you may drive only when accompanied in the front seat by a parent, stepparent, grandparent, legal guardian, or qualified driving instructor. If your parent, stepparent, grandparent, or legal guardian is physically disabled, he or she may designate up to two persons to accompany you in the vehicle to provide behind-the-wheel instruction.
    • At age 16 or older, you may drive when accompanied in the front seat by a person who is at least 21 years old and has a valid driver license.
    • Seat belts must be worn by the driver and all passengers.
    • Your test paper alone is not legal for driving. Be sure to carry your permit with you.
    • You may renew your instruction permit as many times as needed without taking additional written tests.
    • Free "PERMIT DRIVER" window signs are available at all license offices.

    To Graduate to an Intermediate License:

    • You must have an instruction permit for a minimum of 6 months (182 days) beginning the day after issuance.
    • You must have received 40 hours of driving instruction with a parent, stepparent, legal guardian, or certified trainer (with a federal residential job training program). The required 40 hours must include at least 10 hours of nighttime driving.

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STEP TWO: Intermediate License

    Eligible Age: 16 to 18
    Cost: $7.50
    Valid: 0-2 years, bases on document verification status

    To Obtain an Intermediate License:

    • You must satisfy the requirements (listed in Step One) to graduate from the instruction permit, and hold the instruction permit for at least 6 months (182 days) beginning the day after issuance. This includes having no alcohol-related convictions in the last 12 months and no traffic convictions in the last 6 months.
    • A parent, stepparent, legal guardian, or certified trainer (with a federal residential job training program) must accompany you to the license office to verify you have received 40 hours of driving instruction with your instruction permit.
    • Pass the vision, road sign, and written tests if previous results are more than one year old.
    • Pass the driving test.

    License Notes:

    • Your test paper alone is not legal for driving. Be sure to carry your intermediate license with you.
    • Seat belts must be worn by the driver and all passengers.
    • Passenger restrictions outlined below may not be applicable to an intermediate license holder who is operating in agricultural work-related activities.

    Driving Restrictions:

    • During the first 6 months, you may not operate a motor vehicle with more than one passenger who is under the age of 19 and who is not a member of your immediate family*.
    • After the first 6 months, you may not operate a motor vehicle with more than three passengers who are under 19 years of age and who are not members of your immediate family*.
    • You may not drive alone between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. except to and from a school activity, job, or an emergency, unless accompanied by a licensed driver 21 years of age or older.

    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:

    • Your driving privilege cannot be suspended, revoked, or denied at the time of application.
    • You may not have any alcohol-related offenses or traffic convictions within the last 12 months.

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STEP THREE: Full Driver License (Under 21)

    Eligible Age: 18
    Cost: $10.00
    Valid: 0-3 years, based on document verification status

    To Obtain the Under-21 Full Driver License:

    • You must satisfy the requirements for an intermediate license. This includes having no alcohol-related convictions or traffic convictions in the last 12 months.
    • Have a valid intermediate license. Your driving privilege cannot be suspended, revoked, or denied when you apply for a full driver license.
    • Pass the vision and road sign recognition tests. (You are not required to pass the written and driving tests if already completed.)

    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.

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Checklist

    A Checklist for You

    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.

    NEW MISSOURI RESIDENT TRANSFERRING AN OUT-OF-STATE DRIVER LICENSE (valid or expired no more than 184 days)
    Out-of-State driver license (valid or expired no more than 184 days)
    Verification of name, date of birth, place of birth, social security number, and Missouri residential address*
    NOTE: If you are upgrading your driver license, take the above documents with you to a Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) examination location when you take the written, vision, and road sign tests and/or driving test.

    FIRST-TIME APPLICANT
    Verification of name, date of birth, place of birth, social security number, and Missouri residential address*
    Driver Examination Record (DOR-100) indicating successful completion of tests (not required for nondriver license)
    RENEWAL LICENSE
    All drivers renewing will have to show verification of name, date of birth, place of birth, social security number, and Missouri residential address*
    Exemption: 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.

    *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.

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Chapter 2 Introduction

    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.

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Chapter 2 - The Driver Exam

    The driver examination consists of a four-part test:

    • A written test on traffic laws and rules for safe driving
    • A vision test
    • A road sign test
    • A driving test (skills)

    You should be prepared to take the driver exam if:

    • Note: If you have a driver license from another state that is valid or has been expired for less than 184 days, and you are applying for the same type of license in Missouri, you only have to take the vision and road sign tests.
    • Your Missouri driver license is expired for more than 6 months (184 days).
    • The Director of Revenue asks you to take the exam, even if you have a current driver license.
    • Your license was revoked:
      • because you have too many points on your driving record.
      • because of an Administrative Alcohol action (see Chapter 10).

  • Where to Take the Exam
  • Proof of Name and Age
  • Written Test
  • Vision Test
  • Road Sign Test
  • Driving Test
  • Your Grade
  • Failing the Driving Test
  • Fraud

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Where to Take the Exam

    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.

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Proof of Name and Age

    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.)

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Written Test

    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.

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Vision 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.

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Road Sign Test

    The road sign test will check your ability to recognize and understand traffic signs.

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Driving Test

    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:

    • Current license plate(s) and a valid inspection sticker.
    • Seat belts in proper working order.
    • Doors in proper working order for the driver and examiner.
    • A clean, safe seat for the examiner.
    • Two sets of brakes (parking and a foot brake) in good working order.
    • A horn in good working order.
      You will drive, and the examiner will sit beside you. No one else may ride in the vehicle during the test. Avoid unnecessary conversation with the examiner, and focus on your driving. Remember the examiner's job is to test, not to teach. You must obey all Missouri traffic laws at all times.

    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:

    • Finding the control without searching.
    • Using the control correctly

    THE EXAMINER WILL ASK YOU TO START DRIVING.
    You will be tested for:

    • Starting the vehicle.
    • Releasing the parking brake.
    • Looking to see if the way is clear.
    • Giving the proper signal.
    • Driving smoothly and at the correct speed.

    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:

    1. Start and stop the vehicle. You will be tested for:
      • he smoothness and safety of your starts and stops.
      • Your reaction time.
      • Your control of the vehicle when stopping.

    2. Park parallel to the curb, in a space 25 feet long and 7 feet wide. You will be tested for:
      • The position of your vehicle before backing.
      • Whether or not you bump into the space markers.
      • Moving into the space smoothly and at the right speed.
      • Parking no more than 18" from the curb.
      • Parking near the center of the space.
      • Ability to park the vehicle within two minutes.
      • Turning the wheels in the correct direction for parking.
      • Checking traffic and signaling before you leave the parking space.

    3. BackingYou will be tested for:
      • Looking over your right shoulder to see through the rear glass.
      • Whether your vehicle backs in a straight line or weaves.
      • Staying in the proper lane of traffic.
      • Backing at the right speed.

    4. Make at least two right and two left turns. You will be tested for:
      • Driving in the correct lane for turning.
      • Giving the proper turn signal at the proper time.
      • Turning into the proper lane.
      • Making proper traffic checks.
      • Turning at the right speed.
      • Your control of the vehicle.

    5. Park on a hill. You will be tested for:
      • Your control of the vehicle.
      • Parking no more than 18" from the curb.
      • Leaving your vehicle in park or the correct gear.
      • Turning the front wheels in the correct direction for parking.
      • Setting the parking brake.
      • Checking traffic and signaling.

    6. Enter and leave intersections. You will be tested for:
      • Understanding and obeying the traffic signs and lights.
      • Your speed when approaching an intersection.
      • Your awareness of the traffic around you.
      • Driving in the correct lane.
      • Yielding the right-of-way without blocking traffic.
      • Making a full stop at the proper place at stop signs.

    7. Understand and obey traffic signs and signals. You will be tested for:
    8. Noticing and obeying traffic signs and signals.

THE EXAMINER WILL WATCH FOR YOUR USE OF GOOD DRIVING RULES.
You will be tested for:

  • The distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you.
  • Your speed while driving.
  • Driving in the proper lane and obeying lane markings.
  • Your awareness of the traffic around you.
  • Yielding the right-of-way when necessary.

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Your Grade

    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:

    • Are in a traffic accident with another vehicle and it is your fault
    • Hit a pedestrian
    • Drive so dangerously you might have caused an accident
    • Violate a traffic law
    • Refuse to drive as the examiner asks

    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.

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Failing the Driving Test

    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.

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Fraud

    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.

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Pavement Markings on the Road

    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.

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Meanings of Pavement Markings

    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.

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Direction of 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.

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No Passing Zones

    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.

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Left-Turn Lanes

    Some roads have marked left-turn lanes. Notice the solid yellow lines and the thick yellow stripes in the illustration below.

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Crosswalks and Stop Lines

    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.

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Dual Use Lanes<

    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.

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Reversible Express Lanes<

    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.

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Shared Center Lanes<

    Vehicles moving in both directions may use these center lanes for making left turns (or U-turns when they are permitted). On the pavement, left-turn arrows for traffic in one direction alternate with left-turn arrows for traffic coming from the other direction. These lanes are marked on each side by a solid yellow and dashed yellow lines. Turn from this lane as soon as your path is clear.

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No Lane Markings<

    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.

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General Driving<

    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.

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Passing<

    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.

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Traffic Officers<

    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.

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Traffic Signals<

    Traffic signals are lights that tell you when or where to stop and go.

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Flashing Light Signal<

    Flashing traffic signals may occur during emergencies, night time/low traffic volume periods and special events. Flashing traffic signals have the following meanings:

    • A flashing red light means the same thing as a stop sign.
    • A flashing yellow light tells you to slow down and proceed with caution.

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Traffic Control Signals

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Red Light<

    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.

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Steady Yellow Light<

    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.

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Green Light<

    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.

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Left Turn Signals<

    LEFT TURN SIGNALS: When turning left at a green light, there are three types of left-turn signal phases:

    1. Permissive — Vehicles are given a circular green or a flashing yellow arrow and required to wait for an adequate gap in the opposing traffic prior to making their turn.
    2. Protected — Vehicles may turn only when they receive a green arrow while opposing vehicles are stopped by a red light. This type of control is commonly signed "left turn signal."
    3. Protected/Permissive — Vehicles are given a protected phase (green arrow), or a permissive (circular green or flashing yellow arrow) phase, when drivers must choose an adequate gap in opposing traffic. This type of control, when used with a circular green, is commonly signed "left turn yield on green".

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Steady Yellow Arrow<

    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.

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Flashing Yellow Arrow<

    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.

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Green Arrow<

    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.

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Lane Use Control Signals<

    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.

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Traffic Signs<

    Traffic signs tell you about traffic rules, hazards, where you are, how to get where you are going and where services are located. The shape and color of these signs give clues to the type of information they provide.

  • Sign Colors

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Sign Colors

    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

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Sign Shapes

    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

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Warning Signs

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Traffic Control

    Bicycle Crossing
    Yield to bicycle riders on any bike trail which crosses a road.
    Signal Ahead
    There is a traffic light signal ahead on the road you are on. Be prepared to stop.
    Pedestrian Crossing
    Yield to pedestrians walking in the crosswalk. Slow Down.
    School Crossing
    Slow down. Watch for children crossing the road.

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Traffic Flow

    Speed Advisory-Highway Ramp
    The highway entry/exit ramp has a speed advisory
    Added Lane
    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.
    Merge
    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.

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Turns and Curves in the Road

    Curve Sign
    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.
    Reverse Turn
    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.
    Speed Advisory
    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.
    Large Arrow
    May be seen on the outside of a turn. Slow down for sharp change of direction of travel.
    Chevron
    May be used instead of the large arrow sign to outline the edge of a curving road or to supplement the large arrow sign.

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Special Road/Traffic Conditions

    Object Marker
    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.
    Soft Shoulder
    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.

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Road Intersections

    Side Road Railroad Crossing
    A warning of a railway crossing very close to the intersection. Use caution when crossing tracks.
    Intersection
    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.
    Roundabout Ahead
    A roundabout intersection is ahead. Slow down as required by the speed restriction sign and follow the road rules for roundabouts.

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Regulatory Signs

    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.

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Stop Sign

    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

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Yield Sign

    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.

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Wrong Way sign

    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.

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Do Not Enter Sign

    When you see this sign at roadway openings, do not enter this road.

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Lane Control Signs

    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.

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Speed Limit Signs

    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.

    ROADWAYMAXIMUM SPEED
    Rural interstates and freeways70
    Rural expressways65
    Interstate highways, freeways or expressways within urbanized areas60
    All other roads and highways not located in an urbanized area60
    Lettered roads55

    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.

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Railroad Crossing Sign

    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.

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Work Zone Signs

    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.

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Guide Signs

    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.

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Service Signs

    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.

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Route Signs

    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.

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Emergency Reference Markers

    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.

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Chapter 4 Introduction

    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.

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Right-Of-Way

    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.

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Passing

    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

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Passing on the Right

    The driver of a motor vehicle may overtake and pass to the right of another vehicle only under the following conditions:

    • When the vehicle overtaken is making or about to make a left turn;
    • Upon a city street with unobstructed pavement of sufficient width for two or more lines of vehicles in each direction;
    • Upon a one-way street;
    • Upon any highway outside of a city with unobstructed pavement of sufficient width and clearly marked for four or more lanes of traffic.

    In no event shall such movement be made by driving off the paved or main traveled portion of the roadway (shoulder).

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Passing on the Left

    No vehicle shall at any time be driven to the left side of the roadway under the following conditions:

    • When approaching the crest of a grade or upon a curve of the highway where the driver’s view is obstructed within such distance as to create a hazard in the event another vehicle might approach from the opposite direction;
    • When the view is obstructed upon approaching within one hundred feet of any bridge, viaduct, or tunnel;
    • When approaching within one hundred feet of or at any intersection or railroad grade crossing; or
    • When there is a solid yellow line.

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Intersections

    The following right-of-way rules apply at intersections:

    • Drivers must yield where necessary to avoid striking pedestrians who are legally crossing the road.
    • Drivers crossing a sidewalk entering or exiting a driveway, alley, or parking lot must yield to pedestrians. It is illegal to drive on a sidewalk except to cross.
    • Drivers turning left must yield to oncoming vehicles going straight.
    • At a four-way stop, the driver reaching the intersection first may proceed before the other drivers (after coming to a complete stop).
    • Drivers entering a road from a driveway, alley, or roadside must yield to vehicles already on the main road.
    • t an intersection where there is no stop sign or traffic signal (with the exception of roundabouts), drivers must yield to vehicles coming from the right.
    • When approaching a roundabout intersection, always yield to traffic in the circle and pedestrians in the crosswalks. Wait for a gap in traffic before entering.

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Emergency Vehicles

    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:

    • Proceed with caution, if it is safe to do so, make a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the stationary vehicle (if on a roadway having at least four lanes with not less than two lanes proceeding in the same direction as the approaching vehicle); or
    • Proceed with due caution and reduce the speed of the vehicle, maintaining a safe speed for road conditions, if changing lanes would be unsafe or impossible.

    For more information regarding the “Move Over Law” see page 117 (back cover).

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School Buses

    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:

    1. On a 2-lane road where the vehicles travel in either direction.
    2. On a 2-lane road that is a one-way street.

    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:

    1. When you are traveling the opposite direction of a school bus on a highway divided by a median where the vehicles traveling one direction are on a totally separate road from the vehicles traveling the opposite direction;
    2. When you are traveling the opposite direction of a school bus on a highway containing four or more lanes of traffic; or
    3. When a school bus is stopped in a loading zone (at a school) where students are not permitted to cross the roadway.

    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.

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Hand and Vehicle Signals

    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.

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Turns

    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.

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U-Turns

    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.

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Right Turns

    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.

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Left Turns

    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.

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One-Way Street Onto a Two-Way Street

    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.

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Two-Way Street Onto a One-Way Street

    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.

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Two-Way Street Onto a Two-Way Street

    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.

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Multiple Left Turn Lanes

    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.

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Two-Way Left Turn Lanes

    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.

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Roundabout Intersections

    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.

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City/County Ordinances

    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:

    • Set speed limits
    • Set one-way streets
    • Set stop signs at intersections
    • Prohibit commercial vehicles from using certain streets
    • Control parking by installing meters or by some other reasonable method
    • Control turns
    • Require the use of turn signals, brake lights, and horns on all motor vehicles
    • Prohibit the use of sound-producing warning devices

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Introduction

    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.

    • Always park in a designated area if possible.
    • On one-way streets, you may normally park on either the right or left side of the street.
    • Always set your parking brake when you park. Leave the vehicle in gear if it has a manual transmission, or in park if it has an automatic transmission.
    • Check traffic before you open the door. Get out of the vehicle on the curb side if you can. If you have to use the street side, check traffic before you get out. Always have passengers, especially children, exit the vehicle on the curb side. Check for bicyclists, who often travel on the right-hand side of the travel lanes, near parked cars. Shut the door as soon as you can after getting out.
    • Never leave the keys in a parked vehicle. Lock the doors whenever you leave your vehicle if it will be out of your sight at any time.
    • If you must park on a roadway, park your vehicle as far away from traffic as possible. If there is a curb, park as close to it as you can.
    • When you park on a hill, turn your wheels sharply towards the side of the road. This way, if your vehicle starts to roll downhill, it will roll away from traffic (refer to Parking On Hills).

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No-Parking Zones

    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:

    • In an intersection.
    • On a crosswalk or sidewalk.
    • Across a driveway entrance.
    • On the left side of a two-way street.
    • Alongside a curb that is painted yellow.
    • On a bridge.
    • Blocking a fire hydrant.
    • Blocking the normal traffic flow or creating a hazard to other drivers.
    • With your vehicle facing against traffic.

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When Can You Park In Handicapped Parking Spaces?

    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.

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International Symbol of Access

    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:

    • It is illegal to park in handicapped parking access aisles.
    • It is illegal to use a handicapped person’s placard or license plates to park in designated handicapped parking spaces if the handicapped person is not being transported at the time.

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Parking On Hills

    Before leaving your parked vehicle:

    • Turn your wheels in the proper direction (see graphic below);
    • Turn off the motor, leaving the vehicle in proper gear;
    • Set the emergency/parking brake;
    • Remove the keys from the ignition;
    • Check your rearview mirror for traffic before stepping out; and
    • Lock it and pocket the keys.
    • Before you drive away from any parking space, be sure to check for traffic

    and signal.

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Parallel Parking

    1. Stop even with the vehicle ahead of the parking space about 1½ feet to the left of that vehicle.
    2. Turn wheels sharply to the right, and back slowly into the parking space. Be sure the front of your vehicle does not block passing or oncoming traffic.
    3. When clear of the front vehicle, turn wheels sharply to the left and continue backing.
    4. Turn wheels sharply to the right and pull forward toward the curb. Park in the center of the parking space.

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Introduction

    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.

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Types of Permits

    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.

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Controlling Speed

    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.

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Passing On Highways

    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.

    • Try to avoid driving on either side and slightly to the rear of another vehicle. Either speed up or drop back so the other driver can see your vehicle more easily.
    • When passing another vehicle, get through the other driver’s blind spot as quickly as you can without exceeding the speed limit. The longer you stay there, the longer you are in danger of having the vehicle collide with your vehicle.
    • Never stay alongside, or immediately behind, a large vehicle such as a truck or bus. These vehicles have large blind spots and it is hard for their drivers to see you. If you cannot see the truck driver’s face in the truck’s side mirror, the truck driver cannot see you. It takes longer to pass a truck. After you pass, make sure you can see the cab of the truck in your rearview mirror before reentering the lane. Maintain your speed. Do not slow down once you are in front of the truck.

    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.

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Being Passed

    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.

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Adjusting to Traffic

    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.

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Be Aware of Traffic Around You

    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.

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Slow Moving Traffic

    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.

    • Watch for large trucks and small, underpowered vehicles on steep grades or when they are entering traffic. They can lose speed on long or steep hills and it may take longer for these vehicles to get up to speed when they enter traffic.

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Stopping

    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.

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Controlled Access Highways

    Many highways have controlled access. This means you can enter or leave the highway only where there are entrance or exit ramps.

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Entering The Highway

    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.

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Leaving The Highway

    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.

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Interchanges

    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.

  • Some Common Interchange Designs

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Interchanges

    Cloverleaf Diamond
    Directional Trumpet

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Watch out for "Highway Hypnosis"

    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.

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Stop Driving When You Feel Sleepy

    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.

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Emergencies

    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:

    • If at all possible, get your vehicle off the road and away from traffic.
    • Turn on your emergency flashers to show you are having trouble.
    • If you cannot get your vehicle off the roadway, try to stop where other drivers have a clear view of your vehicle. Do not stop just over a hill or just around a curve.
    • Try to warn other drivers that your vehicle is there. Place emergency flares behind the vehicle. This alerts other drivers to change lanes if necessary.
    • Never stand in the roadway. Do not try to change a tire if it means you have to be in a traffic lane. Lift the hood or tie a white cloth to the antenna, side mirror, or door handle to signal an emergency.

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Sharing the Road with Motorcycles

    Some things you should know when sharing the road with motorcycles:

    • Motorcycles are often overlooked by motorists.
    • It is not always easy to judge the speed or distance of a motorcycle.
    • On residential streets, especially those with parked cars, travel at or below the speed limit, depending on sight distance.
    • Motorcyclists change speed and lane position when encountering bad road conditions, such as manhole covers, diagonal railroad tracks, road debris, or in strong winds. Be ready to react.
    • You should not share a lane with a motorcycle. The motorcyclist needs the entire lane for safety reasons.
    • When you are passing, give motorcycles a full lane width. Do not squeeze past these road users. Wait for a clear stretch of road before passing a cyclist in a lane too narrow to share.

  • Safety Tips for Motorcycle Riders
  • Motorcycle Drivers Need a Driver License

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Safety Tips for Motorcycle Riders

    1. The law requires you to wear a helmet. Wearing a safety-certified helmet can prevent serious head injuries or death.
    2. Be sure your motorcycle is in safe condition and has all the equipment required by law.
    3. Make sure motorists see you. Wear bright colored clothes and stay out of a vehicle’s blind spots. Use proper lights and reflectors when riding after dark.
    4. Make sure you signal before you slow down, change lanes or turn. Before merging, changing lanes, or turning, scan behind and in front to ensure that it is safe to make this maneuver. Do so in plenty of time and in cooperation with other drivers who will be affected by your move.
      If it is not safe, continue on a straight course and scan repeatedly. Only move once it is safe.
    5. Be careful when passing to the left of a parked or moving vehicle. You should leave 3 to 4 feet of clearance to avoid suddenly opened car doors or to allow for a vehicle to swerve.
    6. Be extra careful at intersections. Do not assume your right-of-way when there is a vehicle approaching. Be aware that motor vehicle drivers may not see you approaching the intersection, or may believe that you are moving at a slower speed than you are.
    7. Keep a steady line and be predictable as a courtesy to other traffic and to increase your personal safety.

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Motorcycle Drivers Need a Driver License

    To drive any motorcycle on the public streets, you must have a valid driver license with a motorcycle endorsement or a motorcycle license.

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Sharing the Road with Trucks

    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.

    1. Do not enter a roadway in front of a large vehicle. Avoid changing lanes in front of a large vehicle if you are turning off the roadway.
    2. If you are driving behind a truck or a bus and cannot see the driver in his or her rearview mirrors, the driver of that vehicle cannot see you.
    3. A truck or bus has blind spots on each side, in the rear and in the front where an automobile cannot be seen. These blind spots are referred to as the "No-Zone." Do not drive in the No-Zone except when absolutely necessary. You should not drive alongside large vehicles for prolonged periods at any time. Tailgating a truck is also dangerous. Leave any large vehicle a cushion of safety.

    4. It takes longer to pass a truck. After you pass, make sure you can see the cab of the truck in your rearview mirror before reentering the lane. Maintain your speed and signal when reentering the lane. Do not slow down once you are in front of the truck.
    5. When traveling up or down steep grades, large vehicles must drive slowly in the right lane. Avoid driving your car in the right lane going up or down hills on divided or multi-lane roadways when interacting with large trucks. When you are near truck weigh stations, avoid driving in the right lane so slow-moving trucks can easily merge back onto the roadway.
    6. Vehicles carrying hazardous materials must stop at all railroad crossings. Be prepared.
    7. Because of their size, large trucks may swing out to the left as the first step in making a right turn. When following a tractor-trailer, observe its turn signals before trying to pass.
    8. Tractor-trailers take longer to stop than cars traveling at the same speed. The average passenger car traveling at 55 mph can stop in about 130–140 feet, almost half the length of a football field. A fully loaded tractor-trailer may take almost 400 feet to come to a complete stop.
    9. Cutting off a truck in traffic or on the highway is particularly dangerous. If you need to make a turn or lane-change, take a moment to slow down and turn behind the truck—it will only take you a few extra seconds.
    10. Never underestimate the size and speed of an approaching tractortrailer. Because of its large size, a tractor-trailer often appears to be traveling more slowly than its actual speed. Car-truck collisions can occur at intersections when the driver of the car does not realize how close the truck is or how quickly it is approaching.

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Sharing the Road with Pedestrians

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As A Pedestrian, You Should Know...

    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:

    • You are in a business district.
    • You are between two closely spaced intersections with traffic lights.

    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.

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As A Driver, You Should Know...

    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.

    • Drivers must always yield the right-of-way to persons who are blind. When a pedestrian is crossing a street or highway guided by a dog or carrying a white cane (or a white cane with a red tip), vehicles must come to a complete stop.
    • Drivers must yield when a pedestrian is in a marked or unmarked crosswalk on or approaching their side of the road.
    • As you prepare for a right turn, especially on a red traffic signal, be cautious of pedestrians (or bicyclists) approaching on your right.
    • Drivers should not block the crosswalk when stopped at a red traffic signal. Drivers should not cross a sidewalk or crosswalk without first yielding to pedestrians.

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Sharing the Road with Mopeds and Bicycles

    Some things you should know when sharing the road with mopeds or bicycles:

    • Most collisions with bicycles and mopeds happen at intersections, where smaller, slower bicycles and mopeds are especially easy to overlook. Scan carefully for bicycles and mopeds before proceeding through an intersection, giving them the same consideration you would any other vehicle.
    • Bicycles are often overlooked by motorists.
    • It is not always easy to judge the speed or distance of a bicycle.
    • Accidents with wrong-way bicyclists frequently occur when a motorist wants to turn right onto a main road and is only looking left for approaching traffic. Be sure to look right and check for wrong-way bicyclists on the road or sidewalk before proceeding.
    • On residential streets, especially those with parked cars, travel at or below the speed limit.
    • If you are following a bicyclist and need to make a right turn, slow down and remain behind the cyclist until you are able to turn.
    • Cyclists often travel at surprisingly fast speeds. If you need to make a left turn, yield to oncoming bicyclists unless you are absolutely sure you can make the turn before the cyclist reaches the intersection.
    • Bicyclists change speed and lane position when encountering bad road conditions, such as manhole covers, diagonal railroad tracks, drain grates, road debris, or in strong winds. Be ready to react.
    • When you are passing, give bicycles and mopeds a full lane width. Do not squeeze past these road users. The bicycle is generally a slower moving vehicle and this may require you to slow down. Wait for a clear stretch of road before passing a cyclist in a lane too narrow to share.
    • Check for passing bicyclists before opening your car door into a traffic lane or bicycle lane.
    • A bicycle lane is a portion of a roadway designated by striping to be used by bicycles. You may cross a bicycle lane when turning or when entering or leaving the roadway. You must yield to bicyclists in a bicycle lane.

  • Where To Ride Mopeds and Bicycles
  • Safety Tips for Moped and Bicycle Riders
  • Moped Drivers Need a Driver License
  • Equipment Required On Mopeds and Bicycles

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Where To Ride Mopeds and 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:

    • when making a left turn;
    • when avoiding hazards;
    • when the lane is too narrow to share with another vehicle; and
    • when there is a right-turn-only lane and you are going straight.

    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.

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Safety Tips for Moped and Bicycle Riders

    1. State law does not require you to wear a helmet. However, wearing a safety-certified helmet can prevent serious head injuries or death.
    2. Be sure your bike is in safe condition and has all the equipment required by law.
    3. Make sure motorists see you. Wear bright colored clothes and stay out of a vehicle’s blind spots. Use proper lights and reflectors when riding after dark.
    4. Make sure you signal before you slow down, change lanes, or turn. Before merging, changing lanes, or turning, scan behind and in front to ensure that it is safe to make this maneuver. Do so in plenty of time and in cooperation with other drivers who will be affected by your move. If it is not safe, continue on a straight course and scan repeatedly and only move once it is safe. In conditions of heavy traffic, less proficient bicyclists may find it easier to wait near the curb for a safe gap to appear.
    5. Be careful when passing to the left of a parked or moving vehicle. You should leave 3 to 4 feet of clearance to avoid suddenly opened car doors or to allow for a vehicle to swerve.
    6. Be extra careful at intersections. Do not assume your right-of-way when there is a vehicle approaching. Be aware that motor vehicle drivers may not see you approaching the intersection, or may believe that you are moving at a slower speed than you are.
    7. Keep a steady line and be predictable as a courtesy to other traffic and to increase your personal safety.
    8. For teen and adult bicyclists, studies show that riding on the street with traffic, not against it (following the same traffic rules that other vehicles do), is far safer than riding on the sidewalk.

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Moped Drivers Need a Driver License

    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.

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Equipment Required on Mopeds and Bicycles

    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:

    1. A WHITE LIGHT on the front of your bicycle or carried by you that other drivers can see from 500 feet.
    2. A REAR RED REFLECTOR, at least two square inches, or a REAR RED LIGHT that drivers can see when reflected by their vehicles’ low beam headlights at 600 feet.
    3. REFLECTIVE MATERIAL OR LIGHTS on the pedals, crank arms, shoes, or lower legs that drivers can see when reflected by their vehicles" low beam headlights at 200 feet.
    4. REFLECTIVE MATERIAL AND/OR LIGHTS ON EACH SIDE OF THE BICYCLE or bicyclist that drivers can see when reflected by their vehicles’ low beam headlights at 300 feet. This does not apply to mopeds that comply with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Regulations.

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Funeral Processions

    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.

    1. Do not drive between the vehicles that are part of the procession when they are in motion.
    2. Do not join a funeral procession for the purpose of obtaining the rightof- way.
    3. Do not attempt to pass any vehicle in the procession except where a passing lane has been specifically provided.
    4. Do not enter an intersection in which a procession is going through a red signal light, unless you may do so without crossing the path of the funeral procession.

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Road Rage

    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 . . .

    • Remain calm and do not react with similar behavior.
    • Identify the location (for example: intersection, mile marker, direction the vehicle was traveling, etc.).
    • Get a physical description of the driver.
    • Get a description of the vehicle (approximate year, make, model, color, license plate number, etc.).
    • Report the incident to the nearest local authorities as soon as possible.
    • If you have a cellular phone, exit the roadway to a safe area and dial *55 (or 911 if you are in a metropolitan area).

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Drunk Drivers

    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.

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About Littering

    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.

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Use Seat Belts and Child Restraints

    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.

  • Seat belts should be worn eaven if your vehicle is equipped with air bags.

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Seat belts should be worn even if your vehicle is equipped with air bags.

    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.

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Seat Belts -- It's the Law

    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.

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Child Passenger Restraint Law

    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.

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Age/Weight/Height Classifications

    • LESS THAN 4 YEARS OLD — Children less than four years old, regardless of weight, shall be secured in a child passenger restraint system appropriate for that child.
    • LESS THAN 40 POUNDS — Children weighing less than 40 pounds, regardless of age, shall be secured in a child passenger restraint system appropriate for that child.
    • LESS THAN 8 YEARS OLD/80 POUNDS OR UNDER 4’9” — Children at least four years of age but less than eight years of age, who also weigh at least 40 pounds but less than 80 pounds, and are also less than 4’9” tall shall be secured in a child passenger restraint system or booster seat appropriate for that child.
    • CHILDREN AT LEAST 8 YEARS OLD, GREATER THAN 80 POUNDS OR TALLER THAN 4’9” — Children at least 8 years old, at least 80 pounds or children more than 4’9” tall shall be secured by a vehicle safety belt or booster seat appropriate for that child.

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Defensive Driving

    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:

    • Keep your eyes moving. Notice what is happening ahead of you and on the sides of the road, and check behind you through your mirrors every few seconds. Pay special attention to oncoming vehicles. Many head-on collisions occur by distracted drivers crossing the centerline.
    • Expect other drivers to make mistakes, and think what you would do if a mistake does happen. For example, do not assume that a vehicle coming to a stop sign is going to stop. Be ready to react if it does not stop. Never cause an accident on purpose, even if a pedestrian or another vehicle fails to give you the right-of-way.
    • Do not rely on traffic signals or signs to keep others from crossing in front of you. Some drivers may not obey traffic signals or signs. At an intersection, look to the left and right, even if other traffic has a red light or a stop sign.

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Proper Posture While Driving

    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.

    • Sit with your back straight, upright, and relaxed against the seat.
    • Move your seat close enough so you can easily reach the pedals but far enough away that your elbows are in front of you when you hold the steering wheel.
    • Keep both feet within reach of the floor controls.
    • Keep both hands on the steering wheel.

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Steering

    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.

  • Steering Wheel Locking Device

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Steering Wheel Locking Device

    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.

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Following Other Vehicles

    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.

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Three Second Rule

    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.

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Space Behind

    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:

    • Try to find a safe place out of traffic to stop and pick up or let off passengers.
    • If you want to parallel park and there is traffic coming behind you, put on your turn signal, pull next to the space, and allow vehicles to pass before you park.
    • When you have to drive so slowly that you slow down other vehicles, pull to the side of the road when it is safe to do so, and let them pass. There are turnout areas on some two-lane roads you could use. Other twolane roads sometimes have passing lanes.
    • If you are followed too closely or “tailgated” by another driver, and there is a right lane, move over to the right. If there is no right lane, wait until the road ahead is clear and then reduce speed slowly. This will encourage the tailgater to drive around you. Never slow down quickly to discourage a tailgater. This will only increase your risk of being hit from behind.

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Space to the side

    You need space on both sides of your vehicle to have room to turn or change lanes.

    • Avoid driving next to other vehicles on multi-lane roads. Someone may crowd your lane or try to change lanes and pull into you. Move ahead or drop behind the other vehicle.
    • Keep as much space as you can between yourself and oncoming vehicles. On a two-lane road, this means not crowding the center line. In general, it is safest to drive in the center of your lane.
    • Make room for vehicles entering on a multi-lane roadway. If there is not a vehicle in the lane next to you, move over a lane.
    • Keep extra space between your vehicle and parked vehicles. Someone could step out from a parked vehicle, from between vehicles, or a parked vehicle could pull out.
    • Give extra space to pedestrians or bicyclists, especially children. They may move into your path quickly and without warning. Wait until it is safe to pass.
    • When possible, take potential hazards one at a time. For example, if you are overtaking a bicycle and an oncoming vehicle is approaching, slow down and let the vehicle pass first so you can give extra room to the bicycle.

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Stopping Distance

    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.

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Average Stopping distance of Cars on Dry Level Pavement

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Letting Others Know What You are Doing

    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.

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Signal When You Change Direction

    You should use your turn signals before you change lanes, turn right or left, merge into traffic, or park.

    • Get into the habit of signaling every time you change direction. Signal even when you do not see anyone else around. It is easy to miss someone who needs to know what you are doing.
    • Signal as early as you can. Try to signal at least 100 feet before you make your move. If there are other streets, driveways, or entrances between you and where you want to turn, wait until you have passed them to signal.
    • If another vehicle is about to enter the street between you and where you plan to turn, wait until you have passed it to signal your turn.
    • After you have made a turn or lane change, make sure your turn signal is off. After small turns, the signal may not turn off by itself. Turn it off if it has not clicked off by itself. If you do not, other drivers might think you plan to turn again.

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Using Your Horn

    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.

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Slow Poke Driving

    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.

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Carbon Monoxide

    Beware of carbon monoxide poisoning. Vehicle motors give off carbon monoxide which is a deadly gas. To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning:

    • Do not leave the motor running in a garage.
    • Do not leave the motor running and windows closed when you park your vehicle.
    • Do not use the heater or air conditioner in a parked vehicle with the windows closed.
    • Do not leave the vents open when following closely behind another vehicle.
    • Do not drive with a defective muffler or exhaust system.

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Night Driving

    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:

    • Make sure your windows are clean.
    • Turn your headlights on from ½ hour after sunset until ½ hour before sunrise.
    • Make sure your headlights are clean and working well. Have them checked from time to time for correct aim.Use your high beams when there are no oncoming vehicles.Do not overdrive your headlights. Your headlights only let you see about 350 feet ahead. Be sure you are driving slow enough to stop or turn if needed.Use your low beams when you come within 500 feet (about one block) of an oncoming vehicle. Also use your low beams when following another vehicle within 300 feet.Slow down when nearing a curve if you are driving the maximum posted speed limit.Use the edgeline as a guide. If there is no edgeline, use the center line to guide you.Stay awake and alert. Do not drive if you feel tired.Watch carefully for highway signs, they are harder to see at night.Watch carefully for people and vehicles stopped on the side of the road.

    • Headlight Use

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Night Driving

    You must use your headlights anytime weather conditions require the use of your windshield wipers.

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Winter Driving

    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!

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Wet Pavement

    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.

  • Hydroplaning

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Hydroplaning

    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:

    • Have good tires with deep treads on your vehicle.
    • Keep tires properly inflated.
    • Slow down during rainstorms or when the pavement is wet.

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Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS)

    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.

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Skidding

    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.

    • Gently turn your steering wheel in the direction that your rear wheels are sliding.
    • Be careful not to brake or turn sharply. Hitting the brakes or jerking the steering wheel will only make the skid worse.

    Steer Into The Skid
    1. Before skid 2. Rear wheels slide
    to right
    3. Turn front wheels
    to right
    4. Vehicle straight
    again

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Fog

    It is very dangerous to drive in fog. If you must drive in fog, you should:

    • Reduce your speed.
    • Be alert and ready to stop.
    • Keep your headlights on low beam. In fog, you will see less if your lights are on high beam.
    • If the fog becomes so thick you cannot see, pull off the road and stop. Leave your lights and emergency flashers ON.

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Handling Vehicle Emergencies

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Brake Failure:

    If your brake pedal suddenly sinks to the floor:

    1. Pump the brake pedal fast and hard several times. If that does not work...
    2. Use your emergency or parking brake, but use it gradually.
    3. Shift to a low gear and look for a place to slow to a stop.
    4. Make sure your vehicle is off the road.
    5. After the vehicle has stopped, call for help. Do not try to drive to a garage.

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Tire Blowout:

    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.

    1. Hold the steering wheel tightly.
    2. Take your foot off the accelerator, but do not hit the brakes.
    3. Let your vehicle slow to a stop completely off the road.
    4. Apply the brakes when the vehicle is almost stopped.
    5. Turn on your emergency flashers.
    6. Change the tire only if you can do so without placing yourself in danger

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Running Off The Pavement:

    If your wheels run off the paved edge of the road, the wheels may pull to the right:

    1. Hold the steering wheel tightly.
    2. Take your foot off the accelerator, but do not hit the brakes. Only apply gentle brake pressure if necessary.
    3. When the vehicle has slowed and you have control of your vehicle, turn back onto the pavement if the lane is free of traffic.

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Steering Failure:

    If your vehicle does not turn when you turn the wheel:

    1. Take your foot off the accelerator.
    2. Let your vehicle slow down by itself. Do not hit the brakes until your vehicle has almost stopped or unless you have to.
    3. Turn on your emergency flashers.

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Headlight Failure:

    If your vehicle’s headlights go out:

    1. Try the dimmer switch or headlight switch, that might turn them on again. If that does not work...
    2. Put on the parking lights, emergency flashers, or turn signals.
    3. Pull off the road, but leave the emergency flashers on.

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Stuck Accelerator:

    If you take your foot off the accelerator, but your vehicle keeps going faster:

    1. Hook your toe under the accelerator and see if you can free it. If that does not work...
    2. Shift into neutral and apply your brakes to slow down.
    3. Pull off the road as soon as you can.

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Blocked Vision:

    If your hood suddenly flies open, your windshield wipers fail, or something else blocks your vision:

    1. Roll down the window so you can look around whatever is blocking your view.
    2. Turn on your emergency flashers.
    3. Pull your vehicle off the road.

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Vehicle Approaching Head-On In Your Lane:

    1. Slow down.
    2. Pull over to the right and sound your horn.
    3. DO NOT swing over into the left lane. The other driver may pull back over into that lane too.

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Stalling On Railroad Tracks:

    If a train is approaching:

    1. Unfasten your seat belt, get out of your vehicle, and off the tracks.
    2. Run in the direction the train is coming from. (If you run in the direction the train is heading, you may be hit with debris when the train hits your vehicle.)
    If there is no train in sight:
    1. Roll down your windows and listen for the train.
    2. Try to start the engine. If that fails...
    3. Put your vehicle in neutral and push it off the tracks.

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12- And 15-Passenger Van Safety:

    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.

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Alcohol, Drugs, and Driving

    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:

    • Spend 2 to 7 years in jail,
    • Pay a $5,000 fine, and/or
    • Lose your driver license for 5 years.

    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.

  • Administrative Actions
  • Court Convicted Actions
  • Missouri's Abuse and Lose Law
  • Minor in Possession (MIP) and Other Alcohol Offenses
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Administrative Actions

    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 suspension, followed by a 60-day restricted driving privilege
    *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

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Court Convicted Actions

    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

    and/or

    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

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Missouri's Abuse and Lose Law

    If you are younger than 21 years of age, your driver license may be taken away for 90 days for any of the following:

    • Any alcohol-related traffic offense
    • If you possess or use alcohol or drugs while driving a vehicle
    • If you alter, modify, or misrepresent a driver license
    • If you are under 18 years of age and possess or use alcohol and are
    • charged with a second offense.

    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:

    • Pay a $45 fee
    • Submit a form showing you completed a Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program (SATOP) or comparable program

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Minor in Possission (MIP) and Other Alcohol Offenses

    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:

    • Purchasing or attempting to purchase any intoxicating liquor
    • Possessing any intoxicating liquor (consumption constitutes possession).
    • Being visibly intoxicated as defined in Section 577.001, RSMo.
    • Having a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level of more than .02%

    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.

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Refusal to Submit to a Chemical Test

    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.

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Ignition Interlock and Reinstatement Requirements

    Reinstatement Requirements for Alcohol-Related Offenses
    Your license will be reinstated if you:

    • Pay a $45 fee;
    • Submit a form showing you completed a Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program (SATOP) or comparable program;
    • Provide proof of insurance for two years (SR-22 filing);and
    • Have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed on any vehicle you operate for at least six months from date of reinstatement (This requirement becomes effective July 1, 2009 and applies only if you had a prior alcohol-related contact).

    Ignition Interlock
    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.

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Introduction

    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:

    Violation Point Value
    Speeding 3 points
    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

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Racking Up Points: The Consequences

    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:

    • 1st suspension — 30 days
    • 2nd suspension — 60 days
    • 3rd (or subsequent) suspension — 90 days

    Your driving privilege will be revoked for one year if you accumulate:

    • 12 or more points in 12 months
    • 18 or more points in 24 months
    • 24 or more points in 36 months

    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:

    • Submit proof of insurance (SR-22) and
    • A $20 reinstatement fee.

    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.

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How Points Come Off Your Driving Record

    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.

    • After 1 year — Remaining points will be reduced by one-third
    • After 2 years — Remaining points will be reduced by one-half
    • After 3 years — Points reduced to zero

    Although your points may be reduced to zero, certain convictions must remain listed permanently on your driving record.

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Driving While Your License is Suspended or Revoked

    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.

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Failure to Appear in Court for Traffic Violations (FACT)

    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:

    • Proof that the ticket is paid and
    • A $20 reinstatement fee.

    If your license is suspended for FACT, you may get your driving privilege reinstated in one of three ways.

    1. Take the reinstatement requirements to a license office. The information will be faxed to the Driver License Bureau in Jefferson City for review. A reinstatement letter will be prepared and faxed to the license office to be given to you. If your driver license was previously surrendered, a temporary driving receipt will also be faxed. Your driver license will be mailed to you from the Driver License Bureau in Jefferson City.
    2. Mail the reinstatement requirements to the Driver License Bureau, P.O. Box 3950, Jefferson City, Missouri 65105-3950.
    3. Bring the reinstatement requirements to the Driver License Bureau in the Harry S Truman State Office Building at 301 West High Street, Jefferson City, Missouri, in Room 470. Office hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday (except holidays).

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Titling Your Vehicle

    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.

  • What You Need to Get a Title
  • Vehicles Bought in Missouri
  • Vehicles Bought Out-of-State (not in Missouri)
  • Properly Assigned titles
  • Salvage Vehicles
  • Odometer Readings

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What You Need to Get a Title

    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.

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Vehicles Bought in Missouri

    • New Vehicle Bought in Missouri — The dealer will give you a title application and an assigned Manufacturer's Statement of Origin. The Manufacturer's Statement of Origin indicates the vehicle is new and has never been registered.You (the purchaser) and the dealer must complete the odometer disclosure portion on the back of the Manufacturer's Statement of Origin.
    • Used Vehicle Bought in Missouri —You must receive a properly assigned title (see below for an explanation) from the seller that proves you have bought the vehicle. If you bought the used vehicle from a dealer, you should also receive a completed title application. A proper odometer disclosure on the back of the title is required on vehicles that are less than 10 years old. If the title assigned to you is an out-of-state title, you must get an identification number and odometer (ID/OD) verification form completed by a licensed inspection station.

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Vehicles Bought Out-of-State (not in Missouri)

    • New Vehicle Bought Out-of-State —You must receive the dealer's invoice or a bill of sale and assigned Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin from theout-of-state dealer. You (the purchaser) and the dealer must complete the odometer disclosure portion on the back of the Manufacturer's Statement of Origin.
    • Used Vehicle Bought Out-of-State —You must receive either a properly assigned title (see below for an explanation) from the seller or a reassigned title from the dealer. If the state does not require a title, you must get a bill of sale and the vehicle's last certificate of registration in that state. A proper odometer disclosure is required on vehicles less than 10 years old. If the title assigned to you is an out-of-state title, you must get an identification number and odometer (ID/OD) verification form completed by a licensed inspection station.

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Properly Assigned Titles

    A properly assigned title has the following information completed in the assignment area:

    • Buyer’s name and address
    • Odometer reading, if applicable
    • Sale price of vehicle
    • Date of the sale
    • Name of any lienholder, if applicable
    • Signature and printed name of all sellers, and
    • Buyer's printed name and signature, if applicable.

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Salvage Vehicles

    For information on titling a vehicle bought for salvage, dismantling, or rebuilding, call (573) 526-3669, or write to:

    Missouri Department of Revenue
    Motor Vehicle Bureau
    301 West High Street, Room 370
    P.O. Box 100
    Jefferson City, Missouri 65105-0100

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Odometer Readings

    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.

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Registering Your Vehicle

    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.

  • What You Need to Register Your Vehicle

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What You Need to Register Your Vehicle

    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 dormail@dor.mo.gov 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.

    • Renewal notice from the department, a registration receipt from the previous year, or a copy of your title.
    • Paid personal property tax receipt or a statement of non-assessment from the county in which you reside (or city of St. Louis) for the period of your previous registration. (If you had a one-year registration, show the previous year's receipt. If you had a two-year registration, show receipts from the previous two years.)
    • Current insurance identification card or other proof of financial responsibility (refer to Chapter 13 for detailed information).
    • Current certificate of safety and/or emissions inspection done within the last 60 days, if applicable (refer to Chapter 14 for more information).
    • The correct registration/processing fee.
    • 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.

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Selling a Vehicle

    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.

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Stolen License Plates and Tabs

    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.

    • Effective January 1, 2009, a corresponding police report is required in addition to the notarized affidavit, or the $8.50 replacement fee is due.

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Lost or Destroyed Title, Plates, or Tabs

    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.

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Missouri License Plate Information

    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.

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Personalized Plates

    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.

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The Basics

    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:

    • A copy of your original, current insurance identification card given to you by your insurance company
    • A copy of your motor vehicle liability insurance policy or insurance binder (a temporary policy)
    • A paid insurance receipt showing the policy information
    • A certificate of self-insurance issued by the department
    • An ID card issued by the department when a surety bond, real estate bond, or security is filed with the department

    Most drivers obtain liability insurance through an insurance company or agent, but there are other forms of liability insurance:

    • Self-insurance: To be self-insured, you must have more than 25 vehicles and be able to show you can and will pay for damage caused by your vehicles. A certificate of self-insurance will be issued to you by the Department of Revenue.
    • Surety bond, Real Estate bond, Certificate of Deposit, Other Negotiable Securities: To insure through a bond, deposit, or security, you must file the bond, certificate, or security in the amount of $60,000 (or $120,000 if a real estate bond) with the Department of Revenue. The department will issue you a certificate of self-insurance as proof of insurance.
    • Cash: A deposit of $60,000 cash may be deposited with the State Treasurer. A certificate of self-insurance will be issued to you by the department.

  • Minimum coverage Requirements
  • Maintaining Your Insurance
  • Failure to Keep Insurance
  • Failure to Pay for Damages

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Minimum coverage Requirements

    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:

    • $25,000 per person for bodily injury
    • $50,000 per accident for bodily injury
    • $10,000 per accident for property damage

    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

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Maintaining Your Insurance

    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.

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Failure to Keep 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.

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Failure to Pay for Damages Caused in an Accident

    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:

    • Pay a $20 fee.
    • Send proof to the Department of Revenue Driver License Bureau that you have settled the damages.

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Accidents and Crashes

    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:

    • STOP! Move your vehicle off the road if possible, especially if it may cause other accidents.
    • Help anyone who is hurt. Try to make the injured person comfortable, but do not move him or her. Call an ambulance.
    • Call the police.
    • Use flares, reflectors, or flashlights to warn other traffic if the accident has happened at night or in bad weather.
    • Exchange the following information with everyone involved:
      • Name
      • Address
      • Driver license number, vehicle identification number (VIN), and license plate number
      • Name of your insurance company and policy number
    • Stay until a law enforcement officer says you may leave the accident scene.
    • Contact your insurance company as soon as possible, even if the accident wasn't your fault.

  • Steer It and Clear It
  • Filling an Accident Report

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"Steer It and Clear It"

    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.

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Filing an Accident Report

    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:

    1. The accident happened in Missouri;
    2. The accident happened less than one year ago;
    3. Someone involved in the accident did not have liability insurance coverage; AND
    4. There is damage to one or more person's property in excess of $500, or there was personal injury or death.

    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:

    Missouri Driver License Bureau
    301 West High Street — Room 470
    Post Office Box 200
    Jefferson City, Missouri 65105-0200
    FAX: (573) 526-7365

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Safety Inspections

    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.

  • Exceptions to the Requirement
  • Equipment Needed
  • Other Equipment Required by Law

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Exceptions to the Requirement

    The following types of vehicles are exempt from the safety inspection requirement:

    • New motor vehicles, not previously titled, during the model year of the vehicle and the following year, provided there is no change in ownership
    • All trailers
    • Motor vehicles engaged in intrastate commerce and registered with the Missouri Department of Transportation
    • Motor vehicles that display historic license plates
    • Motor vehicles sold for junk, salvage, or rebuilding
    • Motor vehicles sold from dealer to dealer
    • Low speed vehicles as defined in Section 304.029, RSMo

    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.

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Equipment Needed

    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.

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Other Equipment Required by Law

    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).

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Emissions Inspections

    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.

  • Exceptions to the Requirment

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Exceptions to the Requirement

    The following motor vehicles are exempt from the emissions inspection requirement:

    • New motor vehicles, not previously titled, during the model year of the vehicle and the following year, provided there is no change in ownership.
    • 1995 and older gasoline-powered vehicles
    • 1996 and older diesel-powered vehicles
    • Motor vehicles with a manufacturer’s gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) over 8,500 pounds
    • New motor vehicles not previously titled and registered for the four-year period following their model year of manufacture, with fewer than 40,000 miles at the first required biennial inspection
    • Motor vehicles that are driven fewer than 12,000 miles between biennial safety inspections
    • Vehicles powered by fuels other than gasoline, ethanol or diesel
    • Motor vehicles that display "historic plates," school bus, shuttle bus, motorcycle, motortricycle, or street rod plates
    • Gasoline-powered low speed vehicles in Franklin County only
    • Motor vehicles registered in one of the affected areas (St. Louis City and the counties of St. Louis, St. Charles, Franklin, and Jefferson) but based and operated outside the area for 24 consecutive months

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Introduction

    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.

    Note:

    1. All size and weight limits listed below include the load of the vehicle.
    2. All limits that refer to interstates or certain designated highways include roads up to 10 miles from the interstate or highway.
    3. The size and weight and exceptions listed in this chapter are for Missouri highways only.

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Size Limitations (Without Special Permit)

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Height

    Maximum height of any vehicle outside of a commercial zone* on designated highways plus 10 miles therefrom 14'
    Maximum height of any vehicle in a commercial zone 15'
    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:

    • The commercial zone for St. Louis City extends 18 miles beyond the city limits.
    • The commercial zone for Kansas City extends 12 miles beyond the city limits and includes the city of Harrisonville.
    • The commercial zones for Springfield, St. Joseph, and Columbia extends only 2 miles beyond the city limits.
    • The commercial zone on interstate highways extends only 2 miles beyond the city limits.

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Width

    Maximum width of any vehicle 18 1/2'

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Length

    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
    • upon interstates and certain designated highways the length of the semi-trailer (no overall maximum length, includes load)
     53'
    • upon all other roads
     60'
    4. Maximum length of truck-tractor, semi-trailer, and trailer combinations (double bottoms)
    • upon interstates and certain designated highways the length of the semi-trailer or trailer (no overall maximum length)
     28'
    • upon all other roads
     65'
    5. Maximum length of truck and trailer(s) and all other combinations of vehicles
    • upon interstates and certain primary highways
     65'
    • the overall maximum length upon all other roads
     55'
    6. Maximum length of Automobile Transporters and Boat Transporters
    • Conventional 5th Wheel
     75' for combination unit plus
    • Stingersteered
     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.

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Exemptions From Size Limits

    1. Farm machinery driven occasionally for short distances
    2. Vehicles temporarily transporting farm machinery
    3. Implement dealers delivering or moving farm machinery for repair
    4. Vehicles temporarily transporting road-making machines or road materials
    5. Vehicles towing disabled vehicles for repair on highways
    6. These exemptions do not include interstate highways.

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Weight Limitations (Without Special Permit)

    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.

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Maximum Weight on Any Single Axle - Pounds

    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

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Maximum Weight on Any Tandem Axle - Pounds

    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

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Maximum Gross Weight - Pounds

    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

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Overdimension and Overweight Permits

    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 load on your vehicle must be non-reducible,
    • you must have property damage and bodily injury liability insurance, and
    • you must pay a permit fee.

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Vehicle Route Map

    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
    contactus@modot.mo.gov

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Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations

    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:

    • Commercial vehicles with a GVWR or GCWR of 26,000 lbs. or less than 26,001 GVWR unless transporting hazardous materials or passengers.
    • Commercial vehicles licensed for gross weight of 60,000 pounds or less when used only for the transportation of solid waste
    • Commercial vehicles licensed for 42,000 pounds or less for farm use and indicated by the letter “F” on the license plate as authorized by Missouri Revised Statutes, Section 301.030 unless transporting hazardous materials except fertilizer.

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Transporting Hazardous Material

    If you are transporting hazardous material, your vehicle must comply with the equipment and operating regulations of the United States Department of Transportation.

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Emergency Equipment and Signals

    When operating wholly within the state, Missouri law does not require emergency equipment for:

    • Vehicles licensed for 42,000 pounds or less with an “F” plate,
    • Solid waste haulers licensed for 60,000 pounds or less, and
    • Commercial vehicles licensed for 12,000 pounds or less.

    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:

    • One fire extinguisher. The extinguisher must be rated at 5 B:C or more by Underwriter’s Laboratories Incorporated.
    • One spare fuse or other overload protective device for each kind and size used, if the devices are not of a reset type.
    • One of the following combination of warning devices:
      1. Three flares (liquid-burning pot torches) and three fuses and two red flags. This combination must not be carried by vehicles transporting explosive or flammable material or using flammable compressed gas as a motor fuel.
      2. Three red electric lanterns and two red flags.
      3. Three bi-directional emergency red reflective triangles.

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Information on Commercial Motor Vehicles

    The following information must be clearly visible on commercial motor vehicles:

    • The name of the owner
    • The address the vehicle is operated from and the number issued to a motor carrier by the Motor Carrier Services. (USDOT 123456 MO)
    • Every local commercial vehicle must also show the word "Local". For-hire carriers must display their USDOT number followed by the letters "MO".

    Your vehicle does not need to show the above information if:

    • It is licensed for 36,000 pounds or less, and
    • It is not regularly used for commercial purposes.

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Following Distance

    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

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Railroad Crossing

    If you are driving a:

    • motor vehicle carrying passengers for hire,
    • school bus,
    • motor vehicle carrying material that is corrosive, flammable, explosive, or poisonous, or
    • motor vehicle used for the transportation of flammable or corrosive liquids in bulk, whether loaded or empty,

    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.

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Load Security

    If you are driving a:

    • motor vehicle carrying passengers for hire,
    • school bus,
    • motor vehicle carrying material that is corrosive, flammable, explosive, or poisonous, or
    • motor vehicle used for the transportation of flammable or corrosive liquids in bulk, whether loaded or empty,

    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.

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Off-Tracking

    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.

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Weigh Stations

    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.

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Tailgaters

    To avoid an accident with a tailgater, you should:

    1. Slow down. It is better to be tailgated at a low speed than a high speed.
    2. Avoid any sudden turns or stops and signal well in advance.
    3. Increase the distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. This will help you to avoid any sudden stops.
    4. Do not flash your taillights or brake lights at the tailgater. The tailgater may not believe your brake lights when you do slow down or stop.

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Space Overhead

    Make sure you have enough space over your vehicle at all times.

    • Do not assume that posted heights at bridges or underpasses are correct.
    • Check all wires, signs, trees, and air conditioning units.

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Soft Surfaces

    Make sure the surface will hold the weight of your vehicle. Be wary of:

    • Parking lots
    • Unpaved roads or parking areas, especially when wet
    • Construction areas

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Space to Cross or Enter Traffic

    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.

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