How to Reinstate Your Suspended Drivers License in Iowa
A drivers license suspension in Iowa will occur in case licensees misuse their driving privilege and fail to operate their vehicles according to state laws and road regulations. You will be issued a suspended or an IA revoked driving license for multiple driving- or non-driving-related reasons. The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) is authorized to monitor your driving history and take administrative actions upon certain traffic violations.
In addition, motorists may face court-ordered suspensions or revocations when deemed necessary. The Iowa drivers license reinstatement process is mandatory for motorists to restore their driving privileges, and thus continue legally driving on public streets and highways. The requirements for a driving license restoration may vary based on the type and severity of the traffic misdemeanor. To find specific details about different suspensions and reinstatement procedures in Iowa, read the listed sections.
Reinstating an Iowa Suspended License
Motorists will need to reinstate drivers licenses in IA provided their credential has been suspended or taken away. For instance, the DOT will issue an Iowa suspended driving license for reckless driving, failure to pass an examination, being diagnosed with a mental or physical condition making motorists unfit to drive or failure to pay child support, among others. The most common violations for a revoked drivers license in Iowa are the following: vehicular manslaughter, operating while intoxicated or refusal to submit to a chemical testing.
How to Reinstate an Iowa Suspended Drivers License
The Iowa drivers license reinstatement procedure will often depend on the type of violation drivers have committed. When reinstating driving licenses in IA, applicants must satisfy certain conditions, such as passing the required tests or paying the allotted fees and any existing fines.
To restore your driving privilege following a DUI offense, for example, you must pay a $200 civil penalty, present proofs of a completed course for drinking drivers or a substance abuse treatment program, and install an ignition interlock device (if required). If you have a suspended drivers license for failure to pay a court fine, you may be able to reinstate by visiting an IA driver’s license issuance site and paying the necessary fees, once all requirements have been met.
In such cases, drivers with a suspended or expired credential for more than one year will be obliged to retake the knowledge and driving tests prior to reinstating. The state DOT provides motorists with an online tool to review their reinstatement requirements.
To use the online provider and obtain the necessary details, you must visit the official DOT website and enter personal information including your full name, date of birth, the last five digits of your Social Security Number (SSN) and your Iowa license or ID number.
Note: If your license has been suspended as a result of a conviction, DUI violation or unsatisfactory judgment, you will be required to present future proof of financial responsibility (SR-22 form).
Suspension Periods in Iowa
To apply for a drivers license reinstatement in Iowa, licensees may need to first complete the required suspension period. The duration of your Iowa driving license suspension may depend on the violation committed and the presence of any previous traffic misdemeanors.
Drivers will be issued an administrative revocation for 180 days due to a chemical test failure for the first time. A second DUI offense or more than one license revocation within the previous 12 years will result in a one-year period of revocation.
Motorists younger than 18 years of age with an IA revoked drivers license will have their credential taken away until the revocation expires or until the licensee reaches 18 years of age, whichever is later. If you have caused death of another person due to operating while intoxicated, you will face a six-year license revocation.
Minors who fail the chemical testing will have their driving privileges revoked for 60 days for a first offense, and 90 days for any following violations. They will be also issued an Iowa revoked driving license for a longer period provided they refuse to submit to the testing procedure.
Iowa Point System
A drivers license suspension in Iowa is often issued to licensees who accumulate an excessive number of negative points on their driving record. The DOT has set the following point system including different traffic offenses:
- Operating while under driving license suspension, revocation or denial – 2 points.
- Driving while under a DUI revocation – 3 points.
- Operating while having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more – 4 points.
- Failure to stop and render aid at an accident site – 5 points.
- Vehicular manslaughter – 6 points.
The more points drivers accumulate on their transcript, the longer the suspension period will be. Motorists may be considered habitual offenders of state laws and road regulations if they are convicted of six or more traffic violations within two years. If you are caught operating your vehicle after being barred as a habitual offender, you may need to complete a two-year jail sentence.
Traffic School in Iowa
Motorists facing a driving license suspension in Iowa may be required to enroll into a driver improvement school. If you have been convicted of speeding 25 mph over the limit, or you have committed three countable moving violations within a 12-month period, you may be obliged to complete the driver improvement program, after which you will be put on probation for one year.
Drivers will be issued an IA suspended driving license if they commit an offense while being on probation. Failure to complete the aforementioned program will also result in a license suspension. Note that the completion of such program will not clear any violations or accidents shown on your driving report.
Types of Iowa Driver’s License Suspensions
A revoked or suspended driving license in Iowa will be issued due to a series of traffic offenses. In general, the reasons causing a drivers license suspension in IA include, but are not limited to:
- Being a habitual violator.
- Failure to pass an examination, or being physically or mentally unfit to drive safely.
- Failing to pay a fine or penalty resulting from a traffic ticket.
- Failure to pay child support.
- Failure to attend an authorized school (for drivers younger than 18).
Motorists will have a revoked drivers license in Iowa for more serious violations, such as vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, refusal to submit to a chemical test or a second conviction for reckless driving among others.
Iowa DUI Suspensions
The Iowa DOT and local courts impose strict penalties for DUI-related violations. It is illegal to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol/drugs or a combination of both substances. Per Iowa’s implied consent law, if you are pulled over by a law enforcement agent on suspicion of operating while intoxicated, you must submit to a chemical testing. An Iowa revoked driving license will be issued to drivers who fail or refuse to have a blood, breath or urine test performed.
Drivers Older Than 21
If you are older than 21 years of age, you will have a revoked drivers license for a period of 180 days to six years, depending on prior record. Administrative DUI convictions will result in the following revocation periods and reinstatement requirements:
- An Iowa revoked driving license for a period of 180 days will be issued to motorists that have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or more when tested. To reinstate their driving license in Iowa, drivers may need to complete an alcohol/substance treatment program and show proof of financial responsibility. In case your record does not show any DUI offenses in the past 12 years, you may be able to apply for a temporary restricted license. Also, if the BAC level was greater than .10, you will be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) prior to applying.
- For a second DUI offense or several violations within the previous 12 years, drivers will have their credential revoked for one year. In such case, you are eligible to request a restricted license 45 days after the day of revocation. The IID will be required for one year beginning from the date of reinstatement.
The reinstatement requirements after a court-ordered revocation will be similar to the aforementioned conditions. Additionally, you may face other penalties for a DUI violation, including serving a jail sentence.
Drivers Younger Than 21
Minors will have an IA revoked driving license if the chemical testing indicates an alcohol level of .02 or more. Under the .02/”zero tolerance” law, motorists younger than 21 years of age with a BAC level of .02, but less than .08 will face a 60-day license revocation for a first offense, and a 90-day revocation for any subsequent violation.
Minors who refuse alcohol testing will have their license revoked for one or two years, depending on the number of DUI offenses in the past. Motorists will not be eligible to apply for an Iowa provisional driving license.
Car Insurance Suspensions
Iowa law does not require you to purchase auto insurance. However, motorists will face a driving license suspension in Iowa unless they show proof of liability coverage following an accident.
In case your vehicle was legally stopped/parked or driven without your permission, or no damage occurred to another person/property at the time of the accident, you will be exempt from this rule. To reinstate their driving license in Iowa, motorists must present future proof of financial responsibility for two years, beginning the first day of their suspension.
The SR-22 form must be submitted to the DOT by an authorized insurance company and it must include the following coverage amounts: $15,000 for property damage, $20,000 for death or injury of one person and $40,000 for death or injury of more than one person.
Traffic Summons or Failure to Pay
Licensees may face a driving license suspension in IA if they fail to pay a court fine at the specified time. In case you have an outstanding fine (60 days past due), you will receive a notice of suspension by the Iowa DOT.
To be eligible for an Iowa drivers license reinstatement, you must prove that payment has been arranged. Court fines are paid either by visiting the clerk of court in the county where the fine was issued or via the Iowa Courts online provider. Should they choose the online method, drivers must present their receipt of payment confirmation to end the suspension period.
Iowa Hardship Drivers License
Residents older than 18 years of age with a revoked or suspended drivers license in Iowa may be eligible to apply for a temporary restricted license, which allows them to drive under specific circumstances. The temporary license can be issued for the following purposes:
- Employment (work permit).
- Health/child care.
- Substance abuse treatment.
- Community service ordered by the court.
- Probation or parole officer appointments.
Applying for an Iowa Hardship License
When completing the Iowa driving license suspension period, motorists may obtain the temporary driving credential. To complete the application procedure, they will need to submit an application form.
The DOT will send you a notice confirming that your application has been approved. You will be then required to present the notice at a nearby DOT branch in IA, and you may be required to pass the driving examinations, provide proof of financial responsibility and pay a $20 reinstatement fee, as well as any additional penalties.
Drivers License Reinstatement Fees
The fee to reinstate your license in Iowa is $200. This is in addition to any ticket fines that have been imposed. Keep in mind that if you are required to have an interlock device, you will have to pay for that, too.
- Suspensions / Revocations from IowaDOT.gov
- View Reinstatement Requirements from IowaDOT.gov