Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to file a police report if my license was lost or stolen?

In order to prevent identity theft, the Iowa DOT’s Bureau of Investigation & Identity Protection suggests stolen or lost Iowa drivers license be reported to local law enforcement officials. After reporting, visit local Iowa issuance location and provide a $10.00 duplicate license fee (subject to change) and documented evidence of identity.

Upon filing a police report, notify the Bureau of Investigation & Identity Protection if a stolen identity has taken place. The Bureau may be reached via phone at 866-908-4636. They may be reached via email at invbureau@dot.iowa.gov

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated Iowa Driver’s License or ID Card

How can I obtain a copy of the driver manual?

The Iowa driver s manual is available here. The manual provides necessary information on road signs, traffic laws, and other crucial information needed for the knowledge and driving examinations in getting a drivers license. The content is divided amongst the following sections:

  • The Driver s License
  • Traffic Signs and Rules of the Road
  • Safe Driving Tips
  • Protecting Your Driving Privileges
  • Be in Shape to Drive

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in Iowa

How can I renew my drivers license?

An Iowa driver s license can be renewed online, in person at a local Iowa issuance location, or at a kiosk.

To renew drivers license online, the eligibility requirements must be met. If requirements are met, all that is needed is a credit/debit card and the current driver s license. The fees include a $1.50 online processing fee plus standard renewal fees. To renew in person, visit a local Iowa driver s license issuance site with the current, expired driver s license. If preferred, an IA drivers license renewal may be completed at a local kiosk. A vision examination may be required.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in Iowa

How do I apply for a drivers license?

To apply for an Iowa driver s license, the applicant must present certain information to a license issuance office. Provide the following:

  • Evidence of identity, legal status and Iowa residence
  • Passing status on the vision, knowledge and driving examination
  • Provide applicable fees of $4.00 per year (subject to change)

Drivers who have a suspended, revoked, or canceled driver s license in any state are not eligible for a driver s license it Iowa If the applicant holds a valid out-of-state license, the driving examination may be waived.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in Iowa

How do I get a hardship license?

A hardship license, known as a temporary restricted license, may be obtained if the Iowa drivers license suspension is eligible. To apply for a hardship license contact the Iowa DOT at 515-244-9124 for an Application for Temporary Restricted License. Upon completion and eligibility acceptance, the DOT will send a notice that must be taken to a local Iowa issuance location. The Iowa DOT may require:

  • Passing status onrequired examinations
  • Payment of civil penalties
  • Evidence of financial responsibility
  • Payment of reinstatement fee

For more information: Suspended License Information for Iowa

How do I get a replacement license if I am in the military and stationed elsewhere?

If needing an IA drivers license replacement and are out-of-state, a Temporary Driving Permit request may be filed. The request for a TDP must be hand written and include:

  • Full name
  • Driver s license number or Social Security number
  • Date of birth
  • Signature
  • Out-of-state address or fax

Fax the application to 515-239-1837 or mail at:

Iowa Department of Transportation P.O. Box 9204 Des Moines, Iowa 50306-9204 For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated Iowa Driver’s License or ID Card

How do I obtain a duplicate license?

To obtain an IA duplicate drivers license, it is required to visit a local Iowa issuance location. Iowa drivers license replacements may be issued in the case of a lost or stolen driver s license. To apply for a driver s license the following may be required:

  • $10.00 duplicate license fee (subject to change)
  • Evidence of identity

For questions regarding licensing evidence and fees, feel free to contact the Iowa Department of Transportation Monday to Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at 515-239-1101.

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated Iowa Driver’s License or ID Card

How do I reinstate after a revocation as a Habitual Traffic Offender?

A Habitual Traffic Offender is to be barred from driving for two to six years, in dependence to the point system. In most cases, a Habitual Traffic Offenders in Iowa wanting to reinstate suspended drivers license will have to wait a revocation period of no less than four years from the date of revocation.An appeal may be made to the superior court in reference to reinstatement processes.

If caught driving while barred as a habitual offender an imprisonment period of two years may be implemented.

For more information: Suspended License Information for Iowa

How do I reinstate my suspended license?

The process dealing with an Iowa suspended drivers license reinstatement differs with each case. When attending the court hearing, the reinstatement requirements will be explained. After the fines, evidence and examinations are done accordingly, the IA revoked drivers license may be reinstated. When receiving a new driver s license visit a local Iowa issuance location and be sure to provide evidence of identification and appropriate licensing fees. Contact the Iowa DOT at 515-244-1052 or myMVD@dot.iowa.gov for questions pertaining to license reinstatement.

For more information: Suspended License Information for Iowa

How do I renew my license if I am in the military and stationed elsewhere?

Military personnel are entitled to IA drivers license renewal extensions. Current military members that are not in Iowa at the timeof the license expiration and are not eligible to renew drivers license online are qualified for a military extension. A military extension is valid for up to six months after active duty. The military member, or dependents, must complete the Request For Extension Of License For Military Service.

The completed form may be mailed or faxed to:

  • Office of Driver Services

Iowa Department of Transportation

P.O. Box 9204

Des Moines, Iowa 50306-9204

Telephone: 515-244-8725

Fax: 515-239-1837

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in Iowa

How do I replace my license if I am a non-U.S. citizen?

If eligible for a driver s license, non-U.S. citizens may also receive an Iowa duplicate driver s license. For identification purposes evidence documenting date of birth, identity and legal status or presence are required. Identification documents may include but are not limited to:

  • Foreign passport stamped “Processed for I-551”
  • Refugee Travel Document (I-571)
  • Unexpired Employment Authorization Document (I-766)
  • Unexpired foreign passport accompanied I-94 stamp
  • Unexpired Permanent Resident Card

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated Iowa Driver’s License or ID Card

How do I replace my license if I lost it out of state?

In the case that of an IA lost drivers license while out of state, an Iowa drivers license copy may be issued. The temporary driving permit is not a form of identification. The request for a TDP must be hand written. The following information must be included:

  • Full name
  • Driver s license number or Social Security number
  • Date of birth
  • Signature
  • Out-of-state address or fax

Fax the application to 515-239-1837 or mail at:

  • Iowa Department of Transportation P.O. Box 9204 Des Moines, Iowa 50306-9204

Notify the DOT whether to fax or mail the TDP. Upon returning to Iowa, a duplicate drivers license may be applied for.

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated Iowa Driver’s License or ID Card

How does the DMV check my vision?

To be eligible for an IA driving license, the Iowa department will issue a vision screening examination. If applying for a noncommercial license , the applicant may choose to do a vision screening with a doctor. As proof for the department, the doctor can write the results on a department form or a doctor s letter. The doctor must measure the vision within 30 days of application.

The vision examination requires a 140° or better field of vision and a 20/40 acuity to be eligible to not hold any restrictions.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in Iowa

How long will I have a suspended license for not taking a chemical test?

Refusing to undergo chemical examination by request of the law is a charge for a drivers license mandatory revocation. The Iowa revoked drivers license process will involve:

  • Temporary driving permit that expires within ten days
  • License revocation period depending on record
  • Drinking drivers course
  • Substance abuse evaluation and/or treatment
  • Applicable reinstatement fees

Under the Iowa Implied Consent law, law enforcement officials have the authority to enact punishment for substance test refusal.

For more information: Suspended License Information for Iowa

How soon can I renew my driver’s license?

A driver s license may be renewed up to 30 days before the expiration date valid on the license. However, if presenting a special case to the Department of Transportation then a temporary extension may be granted. Temporary license extensions are available for up to one year. An Application for Temporary Extension of Motor Vehicle License will be needed to be faxed or mailed, along with any required documentation.

Contact the DOT via phone at 515-239-1101 for questions regarding documentation and license extensions when renewing drivers licenses.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in Iowa

If I file a police report, will my replacement fee be waived?

The Iowa Department of Transportation does not reimburse an individual for filing a police report. An Iowa duplicate driver s license may be given by providing evidence of identity and the $10.00 fee required to replace licenses in Iowa.

A police report should be filed in an attempt to prevent identity theft. If a victim of identity theft, contact the Bureau of Investigation & Identity Protection via phone at 866-908-4636.

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated Iowa Driver’s License or ID Card

Is there an age limit to renew your license?

There is no official age limit regarding IA drivers license renewals. However, after age 66 the expiration period ranges from five to seven years, not five to eight. At age 72,renewals have to be made every 2 years.Each year, regardless of age, a vision examination must be undertaken. Changes in health conditions or driving restrictions may lead to a driver license examiner requesting a driving examination if believing that driving may be impaired.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in Iowa

What address will my replacement license be mailed to?

The Iowa drivers license replacement will be filed to the address the Iowa Department of Transportation has on file. The address may be the address on the Iowa driver s license or the address of any address change filed. Please allow seven to 21 days for the driver s license to arrive in the mail.

If the duplicate drivers license has not arrived contact the Iowa Department of Transportation Monday to Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at 515-239-1101.

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated Iowa Driver’s License or ID Card

What are requirements for seniors to renew a driving license?

Starting at the age of 72, license renewals/issuances will be on a two-year period requiring a vision-screening retake. It is important to make the Iowa Department of Transportation knowledgeable of any medical conditions that may or may not impair driving. Changes in health conditions or driving restrictions may lead to a driver license examiner requesting a driving examination. The Iowa DOT provides a specific manual for senior citizen license renewal available here

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in Iowa

What are some violations that may constitute in a suspended license?

An Iowa driver s license suspension may result from a series of traffic violations or negligence. Reasons that may lead to an IA suspended driving license may include but are not limited to:

  • Three or more moving violations and accidents in 12 months
  • Violating a license restriction
  • Failure to pay fines, penalty, surcharge, or court costs of a traffic ticket
  • Violating drug or alcohol-related regulations as a minor

For a full list of violations resulting in an Iowa suspended drivers list refer to the Iowa Driver’s Manual.

For more information: Suspended License Information for Iowa

What are the consequences of driving with a suspended license?

Driving with an Iowa suspended driving license may result in tickets and fines. Additionally, two points will be added to the license.The driver may be charged for committing a misdemeanor and may have to be fees and an additional fine of $1,000.00 or more to be determined by jurisdiction.

In some cases, the vehicle may be towed. To release the vehicle evidence may need to be presented. A valid driver s license, evidence of auto insurance, and vehicle registration may be required. A license reinstatement fee will also need to be provided to the Iowa DOT to qualify for a new license.

For more information: Suspended License Information for Iowa

What are the fees for a duplicate drivers license?

Iowa drivers license replacements can be obtained by presenting oneself at a local Iowa issuance location. After providing documentation and all needed information, the application process is completed.

Upon completing the application process for a lost or stolen Iowa drivers license, a $10.00 duplicate license fee (subject to change) will be charged. If applying for a TDP, while out of state additional mailing fees may apply.

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated Iowa Driver’s License or ID Card

What are the reinstatement fees I will have to pay for a suspended license?

Reinstatement fees and requirement are available at the Iowa DOT online services. In most cases, fees and procedures differ depending on the IA drivers license suspension. To access the online services, make sure to provide:

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Date of birth
  • Iowa s driver s license
  • Last 5 digits of Social Security number

Keep in mind that when reinstating suspended drivers licenses in Iowa, a civil penalty payment must be made before reinstatement. The fine is specific to financial responsibility cases. For help, contact the Iowa DOT at 515-244-1052 or myMVD@dot.iowa.gov.

For more information: Suspended License Information for Iowa

What are the suspensions eligible for a hardship license?

In the case of less serious suspensions, a temporary restricted license may be issued. The temporary restricted license is a work permit that only applies if the driver s job depends on being able to drive. The restriction is available to those who have had driving privileges suspended.

If a victim of an Iowa suspended driving license, contact the Iowa DOT via telephone at 515-244-9124 or 515-244-8725. The department, in reference to the driver s license suspension conditions, will check eligibility for the temporary restricted license.

For more information: Suspended License Information for Iowa

What do I need to do to get my driver’s license if I fail the driving test?

Upon completion of the Iowa driving examination, the driving examiner will release examination results. The driving examiner will explain mistakes and possible improvements. Upon giving directions and a full explanation of results, the examiner will explain examination retake procedures in attempts of applying for drivers licenses again. The examiner will clearly state how and when the applicant may take the examination. Vision and knowledge examinations are not required to be retaken.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in Iowa

What documents do I need to get my drivers license?

To obtain an IA driving license, the applicant must provide evidence of identification, residency, and Social Security number (or legal status) to an Iowa a license issuance office.

Evidence of identification documenting birth, identity, and lawful status may include:

  • Certified copy of a U.S. birth certificate
  • Naturalization certificate
  • Unexpired Permanent Resident Card
  • Valid foreign passport stamped “Processed for I-551”

Evidence of social security/legal status and name may include:

  • Pay stub or statement
  • Social Security card
  • W-2 form
  • USCIS number

Evidence of residency may include:

  • Iowa voter registration card
  • Utility hookup or bill
  • Credit, debit, or charge card statement

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in Iowa

What documents do I need to present to renew my drivers license?

If choosing to renew an expired drivers license in person, visit a local Iowa issuance location, or a kiosk. Upon arrival to renew licenses, applicants are asked to provide the expired driver s license and the payment fees.

Failure to renew a driver s license may result in additional examination and requests from the Department of Transportation. If in possession of an Iowa expired drivers license for more than one year, the driver may have to retake knowledge and skills examinations with the DOT.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in Iowa

What documents will I need to present to replace my drivers license?

For identification purposes, a document is required when trying to replace drivers licenses. An IA drivers license replacement requires one document, documenting date of birth, identity and legal status or presence. Identification documents may include:

  • Certified copy of birth certificate issued by the United States
  • Citizenship Certificate
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad issued by the U.S. Department of State
  • Naturalization Certificate
  • Valid, unexpired United States passport

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated Iowa Driver’s License or ID Card

What languages is the written test available in?

The Iowa Driver’s Manual serves as a study guide for the written examination. The Iowa Department of Transportation provides supplemental study guides in a variety of languages. The general knowledge test for an operator’s license is available in:

  • Arabic
  • Albanian
  • Bosnian
  • Burmese
  • Cambodian
  • Chinese
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Greek
  • Hebrew
  • Hmong
  • Italian
  • Korean
  • Laotian
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Somalian
  • Vietnamese

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in Iowa

What penalties will I face if I do not renew my expired drivers license?

After the expiration date on the driver s license, the license is valid for up to 60 days. If found operating a vehicle with an Iowa expired driver licenses, a law enforcement official may issue a ticket. If a driver s license is expired for one year or more, the Department of Transportation may issue the knowledge and driving skills examinations.

If not in Iowa, unable to renew licenses in person and ineligible to renew online, a licensee may apply for a temporary extension. Simply fill out the Application for Temporary Extension of Motor Vehicle License and fax or mail to:

  • Iowa Department of Transportation

Office of Driver Services

P.O. Box 9204

Des Moines, IA 50306-9204

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in Iowa

What should I do if I have not received my renewed license?

A new license will be sent to arrive in the mail after the renewal is complete. Allow the license between 7 to twenty days to arrive. If after twenty days of renewing a drivers license, contact the Iowa Department of Transportation.

The Iowa DOT is available Monday to Friday betweenthe hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. The department is available during business hours via phone and can be contacted at 515-239-1101.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in Iowa

What tests will I need to take for my drivers license?

To obtain an Iowa license to drive, the applicant must obtain a passing status on the vision, knowledge and driving examination. The vision examination requires a 140° or better field of vision and a 20/40 acuity to be eligible to not hold any restrictions (unless using glasses or contacts). The Knowledge examination requires the applicant to demonstrate understanding of road signs, traffic laws, and safe driving. During the driving examination, the instructor will not ask the driver to do anything illegal and will test the driving skills. The Iowa Driver’s Manual provides helpful information on all the examinations required.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in Iowa

What type of noncommercial license will I need?

Most Iowa residents hold a Class C Operator license. The license entitles a licensee to conduce cars, pickups, and trucks weighing 16,000 lbs. or less. To apply for drivers licenses, an applicant must provide:

  • Evidence of identity, legal status and Iowa residence
  • Passing status on the vision, knowledge and driving examination
  • Provide applicable fees of $4.00 per year (subject to change)

This noncommercial license may include certain restrictions depending on vision and/or physical incapacities.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in Iowa

When can I reinstate my license after it has been suspended?

After the reinstatement process has been completed, driving privileges may be returned. To reinstate revoked drivers license in Iowa, the suspension period must be served.Casesinvolved inreinstating suspended drivers licenses in Iowamay require additional testing and fine payments. Information outlining Iowa drivers license suspension requirements may be explained during the hearing or may be requested.

For more information: Suspended License Information for Iowa

When will I need to renew my license?

An Iowa driver s license is usually valid between five to eight years. It is advisable to renew the driver s license before the date of expiration or before thirty days after the date of expiration. The date of expiration is printed on the driver s license. The license may be used for driving up to 60 days after the printed expiration date. It is possible to apply for an Iowadrivers license renewal 30 days before it expires.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in Iowa

When will I receive a replacement license after applying?

Iowa duplicate drivers license require time for processing and mailing. Usually, a temporary driving permit may be issued for 30 days. The temporary paper permit is useful for driving until the new IA drivers license replacement arrives. The plastic Iowa driver s license card will arrive via mail in seven to 21 days.

If the duplicate drivers license has not yet arrived contact the Iowa Department of Transportation Monday to Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at 515-239-1101.

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated Iowa Driver’s License or ID Card

Where can I check to see if my license is suspended?

To check if a driver is in possession of an Iowa suspended drivers license, visit the online Iowa myMVD website. The online database offers a driving record along with reinstatement requirements. To access the online services, make sure to provide:

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Date of birth
  • Iowa s driver s license
  • Last 5 digits of Social Security number

For more information: Suspended License Information for Iowa

Where can I get a new drivers license?

There are a variety of driver license issuance offices available in Iowa. The Office of Driver Services looks over these offices and handles licensing, records, driver safety and identification. To obtain an Iowa drivers license visit any of the following offices:

  • Iowa DOT driver’s license issuance site
  • County treasurer s office

There are 19 Iowa DOT sites and 81 County treasurer s offices. Contact a local license issuance office to schedule adriver license application.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in Iowa

Will I be required to take a vision test for a drivers license renewal?

Each IA driver s license renewal requires a vision screening examination to be administered. Vision screening may be completed at a local doctor or at a local Iowa issuance location. In order to be given a renewed license, the applicant must receive a passing status on the vision examination. The screening will test at least 20/40 in one eye, distance and speed judgment and night vision.With certain impairments, the DOT may place restrictions on the license.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in Iowa

Will I get a drivers license renewal notice in the mail?

If preferred, the Iowa Department of Transportation allows licensees to apply for a renewal notice electronically to notify when a licensee should renew their Iowa expired drivers license. The electronic mail renewal is available online at the myMVD Iowa DOT webpage. The electronic renewal will send a notification via email with a renewal notice. The method is applicable to renew licenses or identification cards.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in Iowa