Photo: Mississippi Department of Transportation Executive Director Brad White presents Santa Claus with his travel clearance for Christmas travel in Mississippi (MDOT photo)
Mississippi children can rest assured that no issues should come up to prevent Santa Claus from delivering their presents over Christmas. A special clearance has been issued for travel by the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the reindeer have been cleared by the state veterinarian.
The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) officially cleared Santa Claus and his reindeer for travel in Mississippi on Christmas Eve. St. Nick passed all permitting and airspace requirements with flying colors (especially red and white).
MDOT staff thoroughly inspected Santa’s extra wide sleigh load, ensuring it met all safety requirements. Permits were issued for his sack of toys exceeding posted weight limits, and Rudolph’s nose so bright met all illumination requirements. Takeoffs and landings to and from the homes of children on the “Nice List” have been approved.
“We couldn’t have asked for a jollier partner in transportation safety,” said Brad White, MDOT Executive Director. “Santa shares our passion for seatbelts and emphatically stated that his elves always travel in car seats. St. Nick happily complies with the rules of the road and sleigh, and he asks everyone to stay on the “Nice List” by obeying traffic laws and never driving distracted or impaired.”
Additionally, MDOT awarded Santa a Certificate of Travel Clearance, officially granting The Big Guy unrestricted access to all modalities of transportation in the Magnolia State for the holiday. Conditions currently appear favorable for sleigh flight on Christmas Eve.
At the same time, the Mississippi Board of Animal Health (MBAH) issued a certificate of veterinary inspection to Santa Claus permitting Santa’s reindeer to enter and exit the state of Mississippi between the hours of 6 p.m. on December 24, 2023, and 6 a.m. on December 25, 2023.
“I have spoken with our state veterinarian and Board of Animal Health officials, and I’m glad to report everything is in order,” said Andy Gipson, Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce and MBAH Ex Officio Board Member. “The children of Mississippi can rest assured that Santa Claus and his nine reindeer will be allowed to pass through our great state this holiday season.”
Dr. James Watson, State Veterinarian with MBAH, ensured the reindeer met all entry requirements before issuing the certification. As part of the agency’s responsibilities, MBAH regulates the movement of exotic livestock, including reindeer, to protect the health of Mississippi’s livestock population.
“We are delighted to welcome Mr. Claus and his reindeer into the Magnolia State on the night of Christmas Eve,” said Dr. Watson. “Due to urgent business purposes, we have granted Mr. Claus permission to cross our borders and deliver his special packages to farms and houses around the state.”
It was noted that one of the reindeer, named Rudolph, has a unique physical abnormality during inspection. However, Dr. Watson assures the public that there is no cause for concern and encourages families to provide milk and cookies to fortify the animals, and Mr. Claus, on their long journey.