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How to Apply for a New Driver's License in Iowa
NEW DRIVERS AND FIRST TIME APPLICANTS
Following are the basic requirements for applying for an Iowa driver's license:
- Applicants must be 16 years or older.
- Any individual under 18 should provide parental consent and may have to follow the graduated licensing system. For additional details, see Beginner Drivers and/or Learner's Permits for Beginner Drivers.
- Everyone must pass the vision, written, and driving tests. See Practice Tests and Driver's Handbook for more information on the written examination. Driver education programs can help individuals prepare for their road test.
- Applicants must provide acceptable proof of identification and social security number.
- Applicants must provide proof of Iowa residency and presence.
NEW RESIDENTSIowa residents holding a driver's license from another state should visit a Driver License Issuance Office with proof of identification and residency. The written and/or driving tests may be waived at the discretion of the examiner. However, like other applicants, new residents must provide proof of identification and residency. Non-US citizens residing in Iowa may apply for a Iowa driver's license, as long as they can provide proof that they are legally authorized to be in the United States, and meet all the other requirements. Note that an Iowa driver's license issued to a temporary foreign national will expire no later than the last date on which they are authorized to be in the United States by the U.S Immigration and Naturalization Service, or in two years, whichever is earlier. Permanent residents should provide their Permanent Resident Card (I-551) and may receive a full-term driver's license.
FEESThe cost for a non-commercial (Class D) Iowa driver's license is $20 for a 5-year license, and $8 for a 2-year license.
VALIDITYAll Iowa driver's licenses are issued for either 2 years or 5 years.
GRADUATED LICENSING SYSTEMWith certain restrictions, an individual can legally drive in Iowa with a learner's license. See more information on graduated driver's licenses here.
- See also Renewing Your License.
- For information on other types of licenses, see Commercial Driver's License, Motorcycle Licenses.
- It is necessary to have active Auto Insurance in order to drive legally in Iowa.
- New drivers see our Driver Education, Driving Schools, Beginner Drivers and Learner's Permits for Beginner Drivers sections.