Who needs a driver's license in Iowa?

Anyone who operates a motor vehicle/motorcycle/moped on public streets and roads in Iowa.

What do I need to do to obtain an Iowa driver's license?

  • Provide proof of name and age;
  • Provide a Social Security Number;
  • Provide certification of Iowa Residency and Residential Address;
  • Pass vision screening, knowledge and driving tests.
If you are under age 18, you must also provide:
  • Proof of completion of an approved driver education course;
  • Consent of a parent/legal guardian.

Who is exempt from owning an Iowa driver's license?

  • Anyone driving a military motor vehicle of the US Armed Forces;
  • Anyone driving farm equipment for no more than 2 miles;
  • A student/visitor who owns a current license from another state or country.

When can I apply for an Iowa driver's license?

When you are at least 16 years of age. Drivers under the age of 18 are included in the Graduated Driver's License system.

How can I renew my license in Iowa?

The IA driver's license is valid for driving for 60 days after the expiration date. Prior to the expiration date or during the grace period, you can renew your license by passing a vision screening. After the grace period, you must pass the vision screening, knowledge and driving tests to renew your license.

I changed my address and my old address is reported on my license. What do I have to do?

You must report the change to the IA Department of Transport within 30 days.


What is the Iowa Graduated Driver's License system?

The GDL consists of 3 steps that allow young drivers to accumulate more driving skills and to increase their driving privilege:
  1. instruction permit;
  2. intermediate license;
  3. full license.

When can I apply for an instruction permit in Iowa?

When you are 14 years of age.

How can I obtain my IA instruction permit?

  • Provide the written approval of your parent/legal guardian;
  • Pass the vision screening and the knowledge tests.
Once you hold your instruction permit, you must complete an approved driver education course.

How can I practice driving with my instruction permit in Iowa?

All driving must be supervised by a licensed driver, who can be:
  • a parent/legal guardian;
  • a family member over 21 years of age;
  • a driver education teacher;
  • a driver over 25 with permission with written permission of your parent/legal guardian.
You must complete at least 20 hours of supervised driving (including at least 2 hours at night).

How can I apply for an intermediate license?

  • Be at least 16 years of age;
  • Hold you instruction permit for at least 12 months;
  • Drive accident- and violation-free for 6 consecutive months before applying for an intermediate license;
  • Have the written approval of a parent/legal guardian.

Any restriction when driving with my intermediate license?

  • You may drive without supervision only from 5 am to 12:30 am. You must complete at least 10 hours of supervised driving (including at least two hours at nighttime);
  • For the first 6 months, passengers are limited to only 1 unrelated minor passenger;
  • Passengers are limited to the number of seatbelts in the vehicle.

How can I apply for an Iowa full license?

  • Hold your intermediate license for at least 12 months;
  • Drive accident- and violation-free for 12 months before applying for a full license;
  • Be at least 17 years old;
  • Have the written approval of a parent/legal guardian.

Do I have any restriction with my full license?

No. Depending on your age your license shall have the words "under eighteen" or "under 21".


What is on the Iowa knowledge test?

The written exam tests your knowledge of road signs, Iowa traffic laws and safe driving practices.

How many questions are there in the Iowa knowledge exam?

The test consists of 35 multiple choice questions. You must correctly answer at least 28 questions to pass the test.

What do I need to do to pass my driving test?

  • The vehicle you provide for the test must have a complete safety equipment;
  • You must provide the vehicle registration receipt and evidence of liability insurance;
  • There must be a current registration sticker on the license plate.
  • What can I do if I fail my driving test?

    The examiner will explain when and how you can take the test again. Practice before retaking the test.