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Iowa Driver’s License: Requirements and How to Get One!

  • Auto Insurance
  • Gerard Stevens
  • 6 minutes

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Are you planning to get your driver’s license in Iowa? Did you know that in Iowa, you can start driving at 14? But anyone under 18 must complete the Graduated Driver’s License (GDL) program. It helps teenage drivers get used to driving on state roads. 


Is it hard to get an Iowa driver’s license? No, not if you know how to navigate through the different phases of the process. After all, you don’t want to drive without a valid driver’s license in the state. If caught without a license in Iowa, expect to pay a penalty of between $250 and $1,500. And you may also earn jail time and license suspension.  

So, how can you get an Iowa driver’s license? What steps must you go through to earn a full driver’s license? How much does it cost? Our blog will give an in-depth view of how to get a driver’s license in Hawkeye State.  

Save well on your Iowa auto insurance

What do you need to get a driver’s license in Iowa? 

Although you must be at least 17 years old to get an Iowa driver’s license, you can obtain a permit to drive as young as 14. First, however, you should gather proof of the following before visiting your neighborhood driver’s license station. 

  • Age and identification: It can be your birth certificate, passport, and citizenship certificate. 
  • Iowa residency: Mortgage documents, a W-2 or 1099 form, and an auto insurance statement can provide proof of residency. 
  • Social Security Number (SSN): Social Security card, W-2, 1099 document, or entire SSN on a paycheck can prove your SSN. 

How to get an Iowa driver’s license 

Getting a driver’s license in Iowa includes three stages. 

  • Get an Instruction Permit (Ages 14-17) 
  • Apply for an Intermediate Driver License (Ages 16 and 17) 
  • Get an Adult Driver’s License (age 18+) 

How to get an Instruction Permit 

Follow these steps to get Instruction Permit in Iowa.  

  • Visit your nearby DMV office to apply for the permit.  
  • All new drivers must attend a vision exam when requesting a license or permit. You should also attend a written driving test to assess your familiarity with traffic laws, road signs, and driving regulations. The test consists of 35 multiple-choice questions. You must correctly answer 28 questions (80 percent) to pass the test. 
  • Written parental approval is required if you are under the age of 18. 
  • Produce the appropriate documents proving your identity, residency, and SSN. 
  • Pay the required fee.  

Restrictions: As long as you are under adult supervision, you are free to drive anytime you want. This adult must have a driver’s license and be at least 21 years old. 

How to get an Intermediate Driver License 

The Graduated Drivers License Program’s second stage is the Iowa intermediate license. 

What to know 

  • Before you apply for an intermediate driver’s license in Iowa, you must be at least 16 years old.  
  • You must complete the state-approved driver’s ed course to obtain your intermediate license. However, you wouldn’t need to do this step again if you completed driver’s ed to obtain your minor school license. 
  • Before requesting an intermediate license, you must have held an instruction permit for a full year and maintained a spotless driving record for at least six months. 
  • You must submit a driving log at the time of application showing 20 hours of supervised driving, at least two of which must have occurred at night. 
  • Produce the appropriate documents proving your identity, birthdate, residency, and SSN. 
  • Then surrender the Intermediate Permit and pay the required fees.  


  • You can drive from 5 am to 12.30 am without an adult’s supervision if you have an intermediate license. Additionally, you must complete 10 hours of supervised driving. 

Once you have fulfilled these requirements, you can make an appointment with your local Iowa DMV to receive your full driver’s license.  

How to get an Adult (Full) Driver’s License 

driver's license in Iowa
Image courtesy: https://www.transportationmatters.iowadot.gov/

Follow these steps to get a full Iowa driver’s license.  

  • To apply for a license on a walk-in basis, go to a nearby Iowa DMV. 
  • Produce the appropriate documents proving your identity, birthdate, residency, and SSN. 
  • You must pass the vision test before you may apply for an Iowa driver’s license. At least one eye must have a vision that is at least 20/40. 
  • Then pass the knowledge test. The test will evaluate your understanding of traffic laws, road signs, and other safe driving practices. 
  • They will evaluate your driving skills. The test includes turning, lane changes, maintaining a safe following distance, and more. 
  • Finally, pay the license fees.  

How much does an Iowa driver’s license cost? 

It costs around $10 to get a driver’s license in Iowa.  

How long does it take to get an Iowa driver’s license? 

You will get the driver’s license within 21 days of applying.  

How many numbers are in a driver’s license in Iowa? 

The Iowa driver’s license consists of nine numbers.  

What do I need to get the gold star on my driver’s license in Iowa? 

Suppose the name on their identity paper differs from their real name. In that case, Iowans must visit any Iowa driver’s license or ID issuing facility. Then they must present documents proving their identity, SSN, residency, and proof of legal name change to obtain a REAL-ID marked card. 

How long do you have to live in Iowa to get a driver’s license? 

You can apply for a driver’s license if you have lived in the state continuously for 30 days.  

Can I renew my driver’s license online in Iowa?

Yes. You can renew it online if you are eligible. Know more about renewing your driver’s license in Iowa.

Getting auto insurance in Iowa 

Are you looking for low-cost car insurance in Iowa? Unfortunately, finding one can be challenging. But don’t worry! Way.com can help you find the best car insurance quotes in the state. 

Visit our website or app, get quotes from multiple insurers, and buy the insurance with the cheapest quote. It will help you find a reasonable auto insurance quote. So, why wait for more? Visit Way today to find an affordable Iowa insurance quote! 

Save up to $971 on your auto insurance

Here’s more info on top-rated airport parkingthe best parking spots in your city, affordable auto insurance, easy auto refinance, and high-quality car washes near you.


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