How to Renew a Motorcycle License in Iowa
Part of being a responsible motorcycle operator is ensuring that you complete a motorcycle license renewal in Iowa before your license expires. There are two different types of motorcycle credentials in Iowa: a motorcycle endorsement that is added to an existing driver’s license, or a Class M motorcycle license only. Regardless of the type of licensing you have, it is pertinent that you ensure you renew your motorcycle license or endorsement through the Iowa Department of Transportation before the expiration so that you do not face any penalties.
Understand what the steps are for renewing a motorcycle license before you start the process so that you are prepared ahead of time. You have the option of choosing between an online or an in-person renewal, and each requires certain information to be provided. Once you complete the steps for the renewal, a renewed motorcycle license or endorsement will be provided to you. To learn more about how much a renewal costs and what the process includes, read the sections below.
When to Renew a Motorcycle License in Iowa
You must complete your renewal before the motorcycle license expiration date that is printed on your license arrives. Full Class M motorcycle licenses have a random expiration date assigned between five to eight years after the license is issued. Motorcycle endorsements expire at the same time as your regular driver’s license because the endorsement is combined with your license.
You can renew your motorcycle endorsement or license as early as 30 days before the expiration date. If you are able to demonstrate a good reason for renewing even earlier, you can renew your license up to one full year before the expiration date.
Your license is valid for driving for an additional 60 days after the expiration date. If you drive with a license that has been expired for longer than 60 days, you may be ticketed by law enforcement. You can still renew your expired license as long as it has not been expired for more than a year. Once the license has been expired for over a year, you must take the knowledge and driving exams in order to get a new license.
Eligibility for Motorcycle License Renewal in Iowa
You must meet Iowa motorcycle renewal requirements in order to renew your license or endorsement. These requirements include that you must have a valid license issued by the State of Iowa, you must be able to pass a vision exam and you must be within the appropriate time period allowed for renewal.
In addition, there are documents required to renew a motorcycle license if you wish to obtain a REAL ID license. The REAL ID license meets federal regulations and allows you to use that credential to board commercial flights and/or enter government facilities. To obtain this license, provide your full name, date of birth, Social Security number and current residential address to the Iowa DOT.
Instances When You Cannot Renew Your Motorcycle License in Iowa
It is crucial that you understand when a bike license renewal is not possible. Certain situations prevent you from completing a renewal, including the following:
- If it is more than one year before your license expiration date.
- If it is more than one year after your license expiration date.
- If your license is suspended or was revoked.
- If your license has been damaged, lost or stolen. You must complete a license replacement instead.
How to Renew an Iowa Motorcycle License Online
“Can I renew my motorcycle license online?” is a question many drivers ask before renewing their license. The answer is yes, you can renew online as long as you are eligible. To be eligible for online renewal, you must meet all of the following requirements:
- Be between 18 to 70 years of age.
- Be an Iowa resident and a United States citizen.
- Have a valid motorcycle license or endorsement.
- Have a license that expires within 180 days or that has not been expired for more than a year and 60 days.
- Have renewed your motorcycle endorsement or license in-person last time. Licenses may only be renewed online every other renewal.
- Have no changes to your name, gender, date of birth, endorsements, class type or restrictions.
- Not have the restrictions E, G, J, T, Q or R on your license.
- Not need to submit a vision or medical report.
- Not have to complete any exams.
- Not have a license that is marked “Valid Without Photo.”
If you discover that you are eligible to renew your Class M license online, you can complete that renewal by following a few simple steps. Visit the appropriate Iowa DOT website and do the following:
- Answer all questions.
- Provide information including your license number.
- Pay the license or endorsement renewal fee.
After you complete those steps, you will be issued a new motorcycle license or new driver’s license with a renewed endorsement. Your new card will arrive in the mail in approximately 21 days. If it does not arrive within 21 days, call the Iowa Department of Transportation at 515-244-8725.
How to Renew an Iowa Motorcycle License in Person
Knowing where to renew a motorcycle license or endorsement is also important so that you are adequately prepared beforehand. If you are not eligible to renew online, or if you would prefer to renew in-person, you can renew at any one of Iowa’s 100 issuance sites or at a kiosk location. To do so, you must do the following:
- Visit your local driver’s license office or a kiosk location.
- Pass the vision exam.
- Pay the license or endorsement renewal fee.
After you complete those steps, you will be issued a new motorcycle license or new driver’s license with a renewed endorsement.
Iowa Motorcycle License Renewal Costs
If you are questioning, “How much does it cost to renew a motorcycle license?” understand that there are certain fees that must be paid for a renewal to be processed. The fees are $6.00 per year that the license is valid, regardless of the type of license. A breakdown of these fees is as follows:
- Class M – Motorcycle license only: $6.00 per year.
- Class C – Driver’s license only: $4.00 per year.
- Motorcycle endorsement: $2.00, plus $4.00 fee for renewing regular license = $6.00 per year.