Iowa Driver License

Iowa Driver License

Do you look for ways to obtain or renew your Iowa driver license? Here are the steps you need to take for getting or renewing your license. This guide summarizes the process which will help you to save time.

Types of driver licenses in Iowa

There are four types of licenses you may need to get in order to legally drive in Iowa.

  1. Instruction permits are for drivers under the age of 18. Apply for this if you are between 14-18. The permit allows you to practice driving under adult supervision. The responsible adult must have a valid driver license. The permit is valid for up to 4 years. Instruction permit fee is $6.
  2. Minor school license (optional) is for persons between 14 ½ and 16. Consider obtaining this license if you want to drive yourself to school without adult supervision from 5.00a.m. to 10p.m. To be eligible for this license you should live within 1 mile of your school, have an instruction permit, and a clean driving record. To obtain this license, you should complete an Iowa-approved driver Education course, get required signatures from your parents or guardians and school representatives, make an appointment and get the license. It is valid for 2 years.
    The fee is $8.
  3. The intermediate license gives you an opportunity to drive without supervision but with some restrictions. This is for people between 16 and 18. All you need is to complete an Iowa-approved driver Education course, have an instruction permit, and a clean record of driving. Passing a driving test may also be a prerequisite for getting this license as it is with the minor school license.
    The license fee is $8.
  4. A full (adult) driver license that allows you to drive without supervision or restrictions.

Steps to obtain an Iowa driver license

A full driver license is issued to a person who is at least 17. If you are under 18, you should have an intermediate license and a clean driving record for 1 year. Besides, you are required to log a certain amount of supervised driving. Meanwhile, if you are 18 or more these requirements are not applicable for you.

To get a driver’s license in Iowa you should follow these steps:

  1. Firstly, apply in person to a Department of Transportation office near you.
  2. Then pass the vision test. Your minimum vision should be 20/40 in at least one eye.
  3. After that, pass a driving test. For this test, you should call and make an appointment with the DOT office.
  4. Afterward, present the required documentation which includes age and identity verification documents, Iowa residency, and social security number.
  5. And most importantly, pass the driving license practice test which is administered by automated testing equipment. The test contains 35 multiple choice questions which check your knowledge of traffic laws, road signs, and driving techniques. To pass the test, you will need to get a minimum of 28 correct answers which would be 80%. To prepare for the test just study the Iowa Driver’s manual. You can practice online through free tests before taking the real test.
  6. Finally, pay the fee of $4 per year.
  7. If under 18, provide parental consent and complete an Iowa-approved driver Education course. The Ed course includes certain amount of classroom instruction and behind-the-wheel practice.

Class C driver license in Iowa

Class C license (non-commercial) is the most common license type in Iowa. Having this type of license allows one to drive cars, trucks, and pickups weighing up to 16,000 pounds. Likewise, class C commercial license is for single-unit vehicles weighing less than 26,001 pounds. It can tow a vehicle of fewer than 10,000 pounds. Also, this license is for vehicles placarded for hazardous materials. It can transport less than 16 people with disabilities or 16 or more persons without disabilities including the driver.

Class B driver license

Class B is a commercial license and is for driving vehicles weighing more than 26,001 pounds. To get a class B license you need to pass the followings tests:

  • Knowledge test
  • Driving test and an on-the-road driving test
  • Pre-trip inspection
  • Any other additional tests required.

Restriction J on Iowa driver license

Restriction J is placed on the driver’s license of a person who has certain restrictions on their driving privileges because of limited driving abilities. Look on the back side of your card to see the restrictions. Usually, Iowa driver’s license restrictions include Mechanical aid etc.

Iowa driver’s license renewal requirements

Each driving license has an expiration date which is mentioned on the card. However, there is a 60-day grace period. During this time the license is valid for an additional 60 days. Nevertheless, this two-month period does not apply to licenses issued to foreign nationals.

Here are the three ways to renew the driver’s license: online, in-person, and at a kiosk. The procedures for the renewal process are as follows:

For in-person renewal

Schedule an appointment in person in one of the 100 issuance sites.

Gather the required documentation.

  • Current license
  • Age and identity verification documents
  • Iowa residence verification document
  • Social Security Number.

Pass the vision test.

Pay the fee ($4 per year).

Finally, after surrendering your current driver license the new license will arrive within 21 days.

For online renewal

To be eligible for license renewal online you need to be 21 or more and have a valid license.

For kiosk self-service renewal

You should be a US citizen between 18-70 and no changes are allowed in the name, sex, class type, or restrictions.

Iowa driver license validity period

The driver license is valid for 5-8 years which is subject to random selection. For persons having more than 78 years, the license will be valid for 2 years. For people under 18 and temporary foreign nationals, the licenses issued will be with shorter renewal periods.

Iowa driver license for new residents

Normally, you should apply for an Iowa driver license if you move and become an Iowa resident. If you hold either an out-of-state license or a foreign license the procedure is the same.

Most importantly, bring your documents verifying your date of birth and identity, social security number, and Iowa residency. Then take the driving and knowledge test (if applicable), and pass the vision test. Finally, pay the $4 fee, have your photo taken, and surrender your previous driver license.

You will not have to take a knowledge or driving test again if your driver license issued by another state is still valid. After applying the new license will arrive within 21 days.

Finally, those who reside in Iowa temporarily such as students, visitors or military servants, etc. are not obliged to have an Iowa driver license.

Marine K

Marine K

Marine is an IT project manager and content writer. She has a degree in Management from YSEU. Currently she writes user friendly content for various business websites.