In Iowa, it is necessary to go through the process of CDL renewal if your CDL is set to expire. Commercial drivers must go through this process every 2 to 8 years depending on their age and the length of time they were given to carry the card. Only motorists 69 years of age and older are limited to 2-year renewal periods. However, Iowa residents have a short CDL expiration grace period to renew before they incur penalties. Furthermore, applicants must renew a commercial driver license in person at an Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) facility.

Drivers must carry several important documents with them to their CDL license renewal appointment. Some of these documents include a CDL medical examiner’s certificate, proof of identity, proof of citizenship and current CDL license. Commercial motorists are typically not required to retake any knowledge or skills tests when going through a CDL renewal, though some drivers are. Read further to gain deeper understanding about the commercial driver’s license renewal process in Iowa and how it can effectively be completed.

When to Renew Your CDL License in Iowa

An IA CDL renewal must be completed every few years to continue operating commercial vehicles legally. However, licenses may be renewed 30 days prior to the listed expiration date.

With an appropriate reason, the Iowa Department of Transportation may grant even earlier CDL license renewal. Licenses in Iowa are valid for 5 to 8 years for drivers between the ages of 18 and 68 years old. The length of validity is chosen at random when motorists apply for a license.

However, the expiration date is printed on the card. Commercial drivers who are 69 years of age can have their license for exactly 5 years before having to renew their CDL. Staring at 71 years old, they must reapply for a new CDL every 2 years. These limits apply for all classes of commercial vehicles.

The CDL expiration grace period is 60 days. CDL motorist who are out of the state when their license expires may be eligible to receive a temporary renewal period extension. The request can be made 30 days prior to expiration or within the 60 days after. This extension cannot exceed 6 months in length. CDL holders who are in the military may be permitted to extend their licenses until 6 months after their separation from active duty.

CDL Renewal Testing Requirements in Iowa

To complete an IA CDL renewal, commercial drivers must pass a vision screening. Besides this screening, most applicants do not need to fulfill any other CDL renewal requirements. However, certain motorists may be required to pass knowledge and driving exams.

For instance, those with CDLs that are more than one year expired must retake both the knowledge and driving exams for their vehicle class.

Also, applicants seeking a renewal with new endorsements must pass the appropriate CDL endorsement tests. These tests examine both the driver’s knowledge and road skills. Exams are also a necessity for motorists who want to remove a restriction from their CDL.

What do you need to renew your CDL license in Iowa?

Oftentimes, commercial vehicle operators ask, “What do you need to renew your CDL license?” Motorists must provide the Iowa DOT with several documents and pieces of information. All drivers are requested to provide the following information when renewing a commercial driver’s license:

  • Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Proof of age
  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of Iowa residency
  • Current CDL license

Applicants must provide both a primary and secondary document for their identification when undergoing a CDL renewal. An example of a primary document is a certified birth certificate.

A secondary document can be a previous license. Driver who have not verified their lawful presence in the U.S. must also bring proof in the form of a birth certificate, valid U.S. Passport or certificate of naturalization to their CDL license renewal appointment.

Commercial motorists are all required to have an updated DOT medical certification upon renewal if it is applicable to them. While applicants can submit a CDL medical examiner’s certificate when they renew their license, they can fax, mail or email it prior to renewal as well.

CDL Renewal Process in Iowa

To process a CDL renewal in IA, applicants must go to driver’s license issuance site. There are more than 100 of these offices in Iowa. Many locations allow walk-ins, but others prefer applicants to make appointments. Commercial motorists who need to take any CDL endorsement tests are advised to call ahead since exams can be lengthy.

They should arrive with their necessary renewal documents (mentioned above) along with a method of payment for their application, card and any mandatory tests.

Iowa CDL Permit Renewal Requirements

A CDL permit renewal is not allowed in Iowa. Applicants wonder, “How long is a CDL permit good for?” Prospective CDL holders can carry their commercial learners permit (CLP) for 1 year before it becomes invalid. During this period, drivers should study the CDL manual extensively in order to pass their exams and earn a CDL license.

Hazardous Material Endorsement CDL Renewal Requirements in Iowa

Commercial drivers with hazardous materials endorsements are required to meet a few CDL renewal requirements that other drivers are exempt from. For instance, they are mandated to complete a written knowledge test with each renewal.

In addition, to process a CDL license renewal HAZMAT carriers must be screened by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) prior to license renewal. This screening is a security threat assessment that analyses applicants’ background check and finger prints. It also verifies that the driver is a lawful citizen or resident of the United States.

CDL Renewal Fees in Iowa

CDL renewal fees apply to all commercial drivers. The CDL license itself costs $8 per year for all vehicle classes. The final cost of the license depends on when the expiration date of the license.

On the other hand, CDL endorsements, besides HAZMAT endorsements, only need to be paid for once. The endorsement for a school bus and passenger vehicle is $10. The CDL renewal cost for other endorsements is $5. The CDL renewal price to remove restrictions is $10.

Last updated on Friday, March 6 2020.