How To Reinstate a Suspended Iowa License

Do you need to reinstate your suspended Iowa drivers license? The reinstatement process doesn't have to be complicated, but make sure you do it in a timely manner.

Driving with a suspended Iowa drivers license is a serious offense with serious consequences. A suspended license can even result in jail time if not reinstated. We've collected helpful information to assist you with everything you need to reinstate your Iowa license. Select from 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: 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 ODS in person, or via available online services. Service by mail is available with limitations. Read below for additional details or visit your local ODS.

3: Via a local MVD office

If your prefer to access ODS 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 ODS office location. Varying ODS offices sometimes supply different types of services so you will need to check before your visit to make sure the ODS closest to you provides the service you require. In addition, you can call to see if your local ODS allows you to make a personal appointment. Read more below to see if an in person visit is either preferred or required.



Reasons for a Suspended Iowa Drivers License

Operating While Intoxicated  OWI

Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol will result in suspension of your driving privileges for a period determined by the number of similar violations and the time between violations. A suspension due to a OWI may result in as little as 180 days with your first conviction. You will also be required to complete a OWI program before your license is reinstated.

Depending on the degree of your violation, you may be able to apply for a Temporary Restricted License (TRL) allowing you to drive between school and work. Additional OWIs may result in further suspension.

For full step-by-step instructions on how to reinstate your suspended Iowa license, visit

Not Completing Traffic School

As penalty for a traffic violation, Iowa drivers may be asked to complete a court-ordered traffic school course. Failure to complete a traffic course will result in a suspension of your driving privileges.

Failure to Appear on a Traffic Summons or Pay Fine

Also, if you have been issued a traffic summons or a fine, and have not appeared in court or paid the full amount, you may be issued an indefinite suspension of your Iowa driver license.

Lack of Auto Insurance

The state of Iowa requires that owners of motor vehicles maintain at least a minimum level of car insurance. Failure to have adequate insurance on your vehicle may result in an indefinite suspension of your driver license.

Inadequate Vision

If your vision is poor and you do not seek some form of vision correction, your license may be suspended indefinitely. You might be able to reinstate your suspended Iowa license if you are later able to prove that minimum vision standards are met.

Habitual Traffic Offender - HTO

If you are consistently involved in traffic violations, you will be listed as a Habitual Traffic Offender. Your license will be revoked for an unspecified time. Driving while your license is revoked may result in imprisonment in the county jail and further fines.

Helpful Links

Reinstate Suspended Iowa License Easy Guide

Iowa MVD

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