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Iowa Traffic Tickets

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The state of Iowa generally punishes bad drivers and others who commit serious traffic violations that put others at danger. Most drivers who commit low level traffic violations, like exceeding the speed limit by 5 mph, just pay a nominal fine. When the violations involve excessive speed, DUI, or a combination of moving violations, a points system and potential suspension or permanent revocation of driving privileges might occur.

Traffic Violations in Iowa 101

The Iowa Department of Transportation offers motorists an excellent tutorial to protect driving privileges and outlines the ways in which Iowa motorists could lose their licenses temporarily or permanently. When traffic violations are cited, the accused must deal with them through the respective municipal court system. Options always exist to fight tickets in court or pay them. Some tickets earn demerit points that could result in a loss of driving privileges.

Iowa Points System

Iowa uses a points system to punish bad drivers but generally is very lenient with low-level offenders. Unless you exceed the speed limit by at least 15 mph or commit other serious traffic violations, you are not subject to points.

Felony violations, DUI convictions and other serious moving violations will earn at lest 5 points and could trigger a loss of driving privileges. Any combination of three or more moving violations in one year also could trigger a loss of driving privileges.

Anyone accumulating six or seven points is subject to a two-year suspension of driving privileges. The suspension goes up to three years for accumulating eight or nine points, and four years for getting 10 to 12 demerit points. Accruing between 13 and 15 points is a five-year suspension, and 16 or more points earns a six-year ban on Iowa driving privileges.

How Long do Points Stay on Your Record?

Points for moving violations in Iowa remain for one year after the conviction date for a moving violation that earns demerit points.

License Suspension and Reinstatement in Iowa

Anyone who loses their driving privileges and is found driving while barred faces up to two years in jail plus fines. It always pays to know the suspension and reinstatement of driving privileges in Iowa to avoid going to jail due to bad driving. When driving privileges are suspended or revoked, the driver must serve out the term. When seeking reinstatement, the state and any respective municipal court likely will require successful completion of a remedial driver program, substance abuse therapy, or similar actions so that a motorist could earn driving privileges once again.

Traffic Fines

Fines vary greatly for traffic offenses in Iowa, and serious traffic offenses could lead to imprisonment. For most traffic offenders, they simply need to pay their fines through respective municipal courts in Iowa through which the traffic citations were issued. The local courts usually accept personal checks, money orders, cashier’s checks, debit cards or credit cards. Many do not accept cash payments.

Last Verified:
Dec 29, 2022