1.

If your license has been recently lost or stolen, you will need to replace it as soon as possible. Without a valid license, you will not be able to drive legally in your state or present a valid form of identification when necessary. The two most common methods of replacing your lost or stolen license are visiting your local licensing location in person or applying for a replacement online. Under certain circumstances, you may also be able to replace your license or ID by mail. However, the fastest and most efficient way to replace your driving credential is online. To learn how to replace your license online, you can refer to our helpful drivers license guide. In addition to helping you through the replacement process, our guide will also teach you how to renew and change the name or address on your license.

2. By Mail

Most states offer a mail-in application option to residents who have lost their license while out of the state. In most cases, military service members stationed outside of the state will also be able to apply for a replacement by mail. To apply, you will need to mail in a primary and secondary proof of identification, such as a birth certificate, valid U.S. passport, Social Security card or W-2 form. You will also need to send proof of a residential address such as a deed, voter registration card or utility bill. Depending on your state, you will be required to provide any combination of the aforementioned documents, in addition to other documents and information. You will also need to keep in mind that it may take several weeks to obtain your replacement license, as mail can often be delayed or unreliable.

3. In Person at a DMV Office

Finally, you can replace your lost or stolen license at your local DMV or licensing office. You will be required to bring all the documents previously mentioned as proof of identification and residency. If you are uncomfortable mailing these important documents to the DMV, then an in-person visit is more secure. However, you may need to reschedule an appointment if you forget your passport, citizenship certificate, car title or any other documents that you are using as proof of identification or residency. Additionally, if you make any mistakes on your form, you will not be able to receive your replacement license or ID the same day you apply for it at the DMV.


If you have a lost drivers license in Iowa, then it is important to replace it through the Iowa Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) as soon as you notice it is gone. Most drivers will need to know how to replace drivers license documents because it is easy to lose, damage or have your license stolen during your driving career. Nothing makes you realize how often you use your driving license as a form of photo ID until you see that it is gone. Prompt acquisition of a new card helps you avoid receiving a citation if a law enforcement officer pulls you over.

While Iowa offers multiple ways to obtain a replacement drivers license card, most drivers will do so in person. Some motorist may be able to replace lost drivers license credentials by mail if the original license goes missing while they are living in another location. Review the information below to learn how to replace drivers license credentials in Iowa including what documentation you may need.

When is a replacement drivers license required in Iowa?

You must get a drivers license replacement in IA any time you lose or damage your card because it is illegal to drive in Iowa without one. If you are replacing drivers license credentials because of theft, then you should report the crime to the authorities even though doing so is not required by Iowa law. If your license fell into the hands of the wrong person, then having a police report can help protect you from fraudulent use of your license and name.

Because an illegible license is almost as useless as a missing one, you should replace drivers license cards that have been damaged enough to render any part of it unreadable. You should get a duplicate drivers license if your photo or the details of your credentials becomes damaged beyond recognition. Likewise, you should also consider updating your license if you drastically change your appearance.

You must obtain a new drivers license card if your name has changed as well as update the MVD in Iowa when you have moved. An address correction or a change of name on driver license records is required and a replacement card will be issued with the new information once the process is complete.

How to Replace Your Drivers License Online in Iowa

Although you may not order a drivers license copy online in Iowa at this time, you can use the online portal to review or complete a change of address on drivers license files with the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) before submitting your replacement drivers license request in person or by mail. You can also use the portal to look up your nearest driver’s license issuance site and view your driving record.

How to Replace Your Drivers License by Mail in Iowa

A mail-order duplicate drivers license Iowa is limited to those who are living out-of-state at the time that their license is lost, stolen or damaged. Drivers who may use this method to obtain a copy of drivers license documents include students studying in another state or abroad, military service members stationed out-of-state and other workers whose jobs temporarily relocate them to other states. Complete details on how to replace drivers license credentials from out-of-state are provided in the section below.

How to Replace Your Iowa Drivers License in Person

If you need to replace a stolen, damaged or lost drivers license in Iowa, then the main method to do so is by appearing in person at any IA MVD driver’s license issuance site or at your local county treasurer’s office. If you need help determining which documents are best for duplicate drivers license purposes, then the IA DOT provides an interactive document choice tool online to help you narrow down your choices. Most Iowa replacement drivers license applicants will need to provide one or more of the following in their original forms:

  • A U.S. birth certificate
  • A consular report of a birth abroad
  • A valid Social Security card
  • A valid U.S. passport
  • A Certificate of Naturalization or a Certificate of Citizenship

Some DMV duplicate license applicants will also be asked to provide two proofs of state residency, usually a copy of your mortgage statement or rental agreement and a utility bill or bank statement bearing their current Iowa address. After the clerk reviews your duplicate drivers license documents, he or she will accept your fee payment and issue your new driver’s license.

Out-of-State Drivers License Replacement in Iowa

You may wonder, “Where can I get a copy of my drivers license?” if you are not living in Iowa when you lose or damage your drivers license. If this happens, then you may get copy of drivers license documentation by applying for a temporary driving permit (TDP). Although a TDP is not valid for identification purposes, it will serve as driving credentials until you can return to Iowa and obtain a duplicate card in person.

Write a letter explaining the reason you need to get a copy of drivers license from your out-of-state location. Be sure to include your full name, your lost drivers license number or Social Security Number, your date of birth and your signature. Also, include your current out-of-state address or a valid fax number where you may receive your TDP document. You will need to fax or mail the request to the Iowa Department of Transportation in Des Moines.

Iowa Drivers License Replacement Fees

Iowa charges a $10 fee to replace lost drivers license documents, which pays for the cost to make a new card. If you are renewing driver license credentials at the same time as replacing a lost drivers license card, then you will also be responsible for paying the renewal fee.

On the other hand, there is no fee for a temporary driving permit issued to out-of-state drivers who have a stolen or lost drivers license outside of Iowa.

Last updated on Wednesday, December 5 2018.

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