Obtaining A New Iowa Drivers License

Applying for a new drivers license in Iowa? The Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) has a process in place for getting a driverse license, which requires exams and documentation. We've collected up-to-date information, and links to useful resources, to help save you time when going through the process. Select from the options below to get started. 

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1: Get Started with Online Application Assistance

Application assistance services 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 assistance in preparing official forms, the value added services and products you will receive include a comprehensive Easy Guide™ containing information relevant to your service needs; 30 days of both emergency Roadside Assistance and the Repair Assist consultation service from Road America. 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: By mail

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.

3: Via a MVD office

If your specific needs require an in-person visit, most, if not all, driver license services can be handled at your local MVD office. 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 MVD allows you to make a personal appointment.


In order to get a drivers license in Iowa, you will need to visit an MVD location. Prepare youself by reading the Iowa Drivers Manualand familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations of the road. 

Obtaining a New Iowa License

If you have never had a license in Iowa, you must follow these procedures to obtain one:

  • Provide proof of identity, residence and social security
  • Pass vision test
  • Pass the written test
  • Pass the driving test
  • Pay $20 fee

Examples of required documents are available here.

If you have a valid out-of-state license, you must:

  • Present acceptable proof of identity, residence and social security
  • Pass a vision test
  • Pay $20 fee

Anyone between the age of 16-18 who is transferring an out-of-state drivers license must:

  • Present acceptable proof of identity, residence and social security
  • Not have any suspensions
  • Pass a vision test
  • Pass written tests
  • Pay driving test
  • Pay $20 fee

Are You Moving to a Different State?

If you are relocating to another state, you might also want to consider acquiring a new drivers license. For more information on that process, click here.

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