An Iowa state ID fulfills many of the same functions as a drivers license. The only difference is that it does not allow you to drive. This may seem counter-intuitive, but there are many regular situations where you will be asked to provide a driver’s license as a form of identification, including at the bank, when speaking with the police, when purchasing alcohol. An Iowa ID card allows you to prove that you are who you say you are. Additionally, because all forms of ID issued by the state are compliant with REAL ID, your card may be used for the purposes of federal identification, such as when boarding a domestic flight.

If you want to apply for an ID credential in Iowa, it is important to learn everything about Iowa’s identification card, including the procedures of getting new credentials for adults and children (if necessary) and how much these IDs cost. Equally important is understanding the processes associated with renewing and/or replacing your Iowa ID.

Iowa DMV ID Requirements

Iowa DMV state ID requirements are less strict than they are for getting a license. Because the credential does not grant driving privileges, the requirements also provide no restrictions on the age of the applicant. In fact, a child ID card may be necessary in certain situations, such as if your child is going to fly without a companion.

There are two DMV ID card requirements of which you need to be mindful in Iowa. These include:

  • You can only have one form of Iowa government issued ID at a time. If you have a valid driver’s license, you will need to surrender it in order to get an ID; if your license has expired, you do not need to surrender it.
  • You do not need to be a citizen to get an ID, but you do need to be a resident of the state. You can get a card if you are a temporary resident, but the card will only be valid for as long as your residency lasts.

What do you need to get an ID in Iowa?

New applicants often ask, “What do you need to get a state ID in Iowa?” The answer will vary, based on the documents you can bring. The documents required for a state ID in Iowa need to prove:

  • Your identity. This includes your date of birth and right to be in the United States. This is commonly done with a passport or birth certificate, though noncitizens may also use a Permanent Resident card or Employment Authorization document.
  • Your Social Security Number (SSN). This is usually done with a Social Security card, but you can also use a W-2, 1099 or paystub (if you use your paystub, it must list both your name and full SSN).
  • Your address. This can be done with any official paper showing your name and address, such as your utility bill, voter registration card, an insurance policy or school enrollment papers.

The process of getting a child identification card is similar to the process of getting an adult credential. The documents needed are the same, with one additional requirement: a completed Parental Consent Form. When filling out the form for minors, you will be given the option to decide whether your child is put on Iowa’s Organ Donor List.

Acceptable payment methods for the Iowa DMV ID card fee include cash, checks and MasterCard debit or credit cards. You may use a Discover credit card, but not a Discover debit card. Visa debit cards are accepted, but only if they do not use Shazam or Interlink. (If you do not know what your Visa debit card uses, check the back to see if it mentions Shazam or Interlink. If it does not mention these services, it will be accepted at the Iowa DMV.)

How to Get an ID in Iowa

Note that you cannot get ID online in Iowa, although the state web portal offers various other licensing services to applicants. Instead, you need to go to the DMV to get ID, because this allows an employee to review the documents you bring, and to verify your identify.

When determining where to get state ID in Iowa for the first time, you may come across one of the Department’s kiosks. You cannot apply at these hubs, though they may be used if you need to renew or replace your ID.

REAL ID Cards in Iowa

Note that the REAL ID card is now the standard for applicants seeking state identity credentials. This is important, because after October 1, 2020, you will only be able to use an identity card for the purposes of federal identification if it is REAL ID-compliant. There are several situations where you may be required to show identification to federal authorities, but the most common one is when boarding a domestic flight.

To determine whether or not your ID is REAL ID-compliant, you should check for a star in the upper, right-hand corner; a REAL ID card will have this star, whereas a non-compliant one will not.

If your card is not compliant, you have two options. You can either:

  1. Get a new ID that is REAL ID-compliant.
  2. Get a passport, which may be used instead of a REAL ID. (Keep in mind that while passports may be used in place of a REAL ID, a REAL ID may not be used in place of a passport.)

The documents required for a REAL ID in Iowa only need to be shown during your initial application with the state. If you have previously shown this documentation to Iowa, you will not need to bring it again. Instead, you will only need to prove your identity. However, if you previously applied for an ID in another state, you still need to show documentation to the Iowa DMV.

How to Renew or Replace a State ID in Iowa

If you lost your ID card in Iowa, you can get a replacement ID card by going to the DMV. Alternatively, you may get a replacement at any of the self-service kiosks that can be found throughout the state. The cost is the same, regardless of which method you use.

If you lost your ID out of state, you will not be able to replace it until you get back to the state. Though Iowa allows you to request a temporary driving permit, this may only be used if you already have driving privileges. In addition, it is exclusively designed to grant you driving privileges, as opposed to identifying you.

Once every eight years, you will need to renew your ID at a DMV office or kiosk. Note that the fee is the same, no matter which method you choose.

DMV ID Costs in Iowa

A DMV ID costs $64 in Iowa and it is the same price for all types of ID cards.

Last updated on Wednesday, March 4 2020.