Iowa Commercial Drivers License

A commercial drivers license (CDL) opens the door to many new career opportunities. If you want to get a commercial drivers license in Iowa, then you've come to the right place. We've collected information on this site to help save you time if you need to get a new CDL, renew or replace a CDL and more! Select one of the options below to get started: 

1: Get Started with Online Application Services

Online application assistance can simplify the process for many MVD related services for a fee, including: renewing your license, applying for a license, registering a vehicle, replacing your license, changing your address and more. In addition to the free forms and general instructions available from the MVD offices or websites, you will receive value added products such as a comprehensive Easy Guide™ containing information relevant to your service needs. Where possible, we will prepare your MVD forms and/or provide links to MVD online services. You will also receive 30 days of both emergency Roadside Assistance and the Repair Assist consultation service from Road America. In addition, you will be able to take advantage of a free membership to BMV Advisors, a state-specific help desk prepared to answer any driver-related questions or concerns you may have. Other benefits include an ongoing monthly newsletter and a quarterly magazine covering important updates that affect drivers, important safety tips, trends, legislative updates and ways to save money on vehicle-related services.

2: Take the CDL Practice Test

3: By mail, if eligible (read below for instructions)

Some drivers prefer to handle the renewal process by mail, rather than taking advantage of assistance services, visiting the MVD in person, or via available online services. Service by mail is available with limitations. Read below for additional details or visit your local MVD.

4: Via a local MVD office

If you prefer to access MVD services in person or your specific needs require an in-person visit, most, if not all, driver license services can be handled at a physical MVD office location. Varying MVD offices sometimes supply different types of services so you will need to check before your visit to make sure the MVD closest to you provides the service you require. In addition, you can call to see if your local MVD allows you to make a personal appointment. Read more below to see if an in-person visit is either preferred or required.

 


 

A commercial drivers license typically applies to those interested in obtaining a truck license, a semi license or a bus license to operate vehichles over certain weights and passenger capacities. You must be at least 18 years of age to apply for a new Iowa commercial drivers license. In addition, you must hold a valid driver's license, and have passed a state-approved vision test. When you arrive at the Iowa motor vehicle office make sure to bring:

Depending upon the class (classes A, B, or C) of Iowa CDL license you are applying for you will need to bring payment for applicable fees for your written and skills test. A list of these fees and requirements necessary to obtain your new Iowa CDL drivers license can be found in our Iowa CDL License Easy Guide.

According to the FMCSA there are three CDL Classes:

Class A -- Any combination of vehicles with a GCWR of 26,001 or more pounds provided the GVWR of the vehicle(s) being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.

Class B -- Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 pounds GVWR.

Class C -- Any single vehicle, or combination of vehicles, that does not meet the definition of Class A or Class B, but is either designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver, or is transporting material that has been designated as hazardous under 49 U.S.C. 5103 and is required to be placarded under subpart F of 49 CFR Part 172 or is transporting any quantity of a material listed as a select agent or toxin in 42 CFR Part 73.

You may need to add an endorsement to your new Iowa CDL drivers license. Endorsements include special classes of CMV's such as:

  • H - Vehicles transporting hazardous materials
  • N - Tank vehicle
  • P - Passenger
  • S - School Bus
  • T - Double/Triple Trailers
  • X - Combination of tank vehicle and hazardous materials endorsements

If you operate a CMV that transports hazardous material you must first submit to a background check and fingerprinting. You could be disqualified from transporting hazardous materials and would not be able to obtain the endorsement necessary to obtain a new Iowa CDL license if you are found guilty of a serious crime.

All the requirements, along with the forms you will need to acquire your new Iowa CDL license, can be found right here.

Renew Iowa CDL License

Is your CDL license about to expire? Whether you are going to renew your Iowa CDL license online, by mail or in person, you'll want to make sure you know exactly what to bring with you and what is required.

For a checklist of everything you need to renew your Iowa CDL license, click here.

In Iowa you only have the option of renewing your CDL license in person at your local motor vehicle office and will need to bring the necessary documents to your local office for a Iowa CDL license renewal. Browse more information on the Iowa MVD site. 

Before you renew your Iowa CDL license, it will be checked against the National Driver Register and the Commercial Drivers License Information System to make sure you are not disqualified and do not hold a CDL license in more than one jurisdiction.

Replace Iowa CDL License

Has your CDL license been lost, severely damaged or stolen? You will need to replace your Iowa CDL license as soon as possible as you are required to have your CDL license with you at all times while operating a CMV.

You can replace your Iowa CDL license by visiting your local MVD office.

If you are unsure about what you will need to replace your Iowa commercial drivers license, here is some information on CDLs that might be helpful. 

Change of Address on an Iowa CDL license

If you have moved you are required to change your address on your Iowa CDL license right away.

You will need to visit your local MVD and bring your current CDL license and proof of residency

For a detailed list of what you will need to bring to change your address on your Iowa CDL license, be sure to browse some important information here. 

Iowa CDL License Name Change

If you are recently married, divorced or have changed your legal name for any reason, you will need to update your CDL license to reflect that change.

You will need to visit your local MVD and bring an official court document reflecting this change along with the required fees for your Iowa CDL license name change.

Find out exactly what you need to change your name on your Iowa CDL license before visiting your local MVD office. Here's how. 

New Federal Requirements

Beginning January 30, 2012 and no later than January 2014, the federal government has stipulated that all commercial vehicle driver's must self certify his or her vehicle type.

The categories are as follows:

  • Non-Excepted Interstate (If this is the option you choose you will need to submit to the Department of Public Safety a federal medical certificate).
  • Excepted Interstate
  • Non-Excepted Intrastate
  • Excepted Intrastate

Find your local motor vehicle office here.

 


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