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Iowa Drivers License

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The Ultimate Guide on How to Get a Drivers License in Iowa?

The Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) provides a variety of licensing services for residents. Whether you need to obtain one for the first time, are due for a renewal or need to replace a lost or stolen driver’s license in Iowa, the following information should help to streamline your search.

Find a Licensing Center

IDOT provides driver’s license services in three primary ways. You can go to an IDOT driver’s license station or a county driver’s license office for most licensing services. The IA DOT provides a convenient online licensing center location tool to help Iowa drivers locate the services they need that are closest to them.

Getting a License for the First Time

Anyone who is getting a driver’s license for the first time in Iowa must successfully complete a state-approved driver’s education program. Most teens looking to obtain their first driver’s license can sign up for a driver’s education course through their respective public school districts. Other teens and adults looking to obtain their driver’s license for the first time must successfully complete other state-approved driver education programs offered by approved third-party providers.

Renewing Your License

Iowa driver’s licenses expire on the dates indicated on the front of the respective driver’s license. Anyone can renew a driver’s license in person at a licensing center located in every county. Some renewals also could be done online if the DOT is not requiring a knowledge or vision test.

Do You Need a REAL ID?

Iowans do not need a REAL ID on their Iowa driver’s license until May 3, 2023. On that date, either a REAL ID or a federally issued ID, such as a U.S. passport, is required to fly on commercial aircraft and to enter federal courthouses, military bases and other federal facilities. A REAL ID-compliant Iowa driver’s license or state-issued ID has a gold star inside a circle located in the upper right corner.

Upgrade Your Probationary License

If you have completed a probationary status and earned full driving privileges, you can obtain an unrestricted license at an IDOT licensing center. You can locate a driver’s license service center using the online tool provided by IDOT.

Replace a Lost or Stolen License

If you lose your Iowa driver’s license or it is stolen, you can obtain a replacement by going to a licensing center and paying a $10 fee. You must schedule an appointment and bring at least one piece of required identification to use as proof of who you say you are. Acceptable forms of proof include a birth certificate, valid U.S. passport, or your most recent U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services-issued immigration or refugee documentation.

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Last Verified:
Sep 7, 2023