The Financial & Safety Responsibility Act in the state of Iowa says that your license and registration will be suspended if you are not able to provide proof of insurance or other acceptable forms of financial responsibility after an accident.

The Act also says that Iowa residents who lose their licenses after an OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) will have to provide proof of financial responsibility for two years following the reinstatement of their license.

Two-Wheeled Vehicles

In the state of Iowa the following rides are defined as two-wheeled vehicles:

  • A motor vehicle which has a seat/saddle for the rider; travels on not more than three wheels; can’t operate at a speed higher than thirty miles per hour on level ground unassisted by human power, is a moped.
  • Electric or gas-powered vehicles that look like long skateboards with handlebars, and also have a motor and a seat are scooters. These types of rides, generally, are not eligible for registration and you can drive them legally on state’s roads.

Note: Mopeds which can travel faster than 30 mph and scooters with step-through frames are generally recognized by the DOT as types of motorcycles. In case you have doubts whether your ride requires motorcycle insurance, contact the Office of Driver Services at (800) 532-1121.

Motorcycle Insurance and Helmet Requirements

In case you use liability insurance, the minimum coverage amounts are as follows:

  • $20,000 for bodily injury liability for one person.
  • $40,000 for bodily injury liability for more than one person.
  • $15,000 for property damage liability.

Many Iowa residents choose higher liability coverage, than the minimum requirements, or more extensive insurance protection by purchasing different types of motorcycle insurance such as collision, personal injury protection, comprehensive physical damage, or uninsured motorist policies. You can also get a motorcycle insurance by using the form at the top of this page.

The form will provide you with instant quotes for auto insurance and will help you save on motorcycle insurance in the future. As for helmet requirements, riders are under no obligation to wear helmets. This means that riding your motorcycle without a helmet will have no impact on your insurance coverage needs.

Establishing Financial Responsibility

Getting liability insurance is not the only way to prove that you are financially responsible following an accident. You can also do that with one of the following options:

  • Submit official releases from everyone involved in the accident.
  • Pay cash or post a cashier’s check, certified check, bank draft or postal money order payable to the Office of Driver Services for all charges relating to the accident.
  • Agree to pay the people with property damage or the injured drivers and passengers involved in the accident on an installment plan.
  • Obtain proof documenting a full settlement of all damages or injuries.
  • Submit a copy of civil damage action decision that relieves you of all responsibility for expenses relating to the accident.
  • Eliminate your right to defend against the charges by executing a warrant for confession of judgment with a damage payment schedule.

In case you have to present proof of financial responsibility to restore your motorcycle license after an OWI suspension or revocation, you can ask your insurance carrier to file Form SR-22 (Certificate of Automobile Liability Insurance) with the Office of Driver Services. If this can’t be done, the other option is to file a surety bond, cash, or securities of $55,000.

Proof of Financial Responsibility

You must always have your insurance card with you. That way you will be able to show it as a proof of financial responsibility should an accident happen. In case you don’t have liability insurance and need to provide another form of proof of financial responsibility, contact the Office of Driver Services at (800) 532-1121. You will receive all the necessary instructions on how to submit your documentation.


The only way to avoid penalties in case you failed to maintain financial responsibility is to meet one of the following criteria:

  • The accident involved no property damage or personal injuries to anyone but you.
  • Your motorcycle was legally parked, stopped, or standing at the time of the accident.
  • The accident causing injury or property damage happened after someone took your motorcycle without your permission.

In case you must show proof of financial responsibility as part of Iowa’s Financial & Safety Responsibility Act, know that you must provide proof for both your car and your motorcycle to maintain full license and registration privileges.

Last updated on Thursday, October 15 2020.