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So you've taken your first step towards becoming a new driver in Iowa? Congratulations!
As you probably already know, driving is a valuable skill, but can also be extremely dangerous. Therefore, to help new teen drivers develop safe driving habits during their first few years behind the wheel, the State of Iowa has implemented a graduated driver license program for Iowa drivers who are under the age of 18.
We’ve summarized a few things you’ll need to know as you go begin your process of becoming a licensed driver in Iowa.
You need to be 14 years old to be eligible for an instruction permit in Iowa. When you're ready to take your written driver's test, be sure to take the following items with you to your local driver's license office:
At the driver’s license office, you will be given both a vision test and a written (knowledge) test. If you pass both of these, you will be issued an Iowa instruction permit which is valid for two (2) years.
You may never drive alone with an instruction permit. Whenever you drive, you must be accompanied by a licensed driver to supervise you. This person may be any one of the following:
After you turn 16 and have had your instruction permit for six (6) months, you will be ready to apply for your Iowa intermediate license.
To be eligible for an intermediate license, you must meet the following prerequisites:
When you go down to the driver's license office, you will need to bring your instruction permit along with the same required documents you took when you went to get your instructional permit.
You will need to pass a road test to get your intermediate license.
During the first 12 months after receiving your intermediate license...
If you do all of the above during the first year of having your intermediate license, you will be eligible for upgrading to a full license when the 12-month period is up.
You must have auto insurance liability coverage for any vehicle you drive in Iowa. Violation of this law can result in your license being suspended plus a hefty fine. For information on the minimum coverage you are required to have, please contact the Iowa DMV.
Driving while under the influence of alcohol is a serious offense which carries severe consequences: Upon your first conviction of a Iowa DUI (0.08), you will face the following penalties:
And of course, further Iowa DUI convictions will result in increased jail time, community service, fines, and Iowa license suspension or even Iowa license revocation.
Currently, Iowa has no laws restricting the use of cell-phones or text-messaging devices while driving.
For a list of state-approved drivers education courses in Iowa, please contact the Iowa DMV.
Different states require different documents from learner's permit applicants, although you most likely will be asked to show your completion certificate from a Iowa driver education online or classroom course. Many states require applicants to present additional paperwork including, but not limited to, a birth certificate, parental consent forms, or proof school enrollment forms. To find out exactly what documents you should have with you when you go to take your Iowa learner's permit test, CyberEdDriverEd.com recommends that you visit the Iowa DMV website or call one of their local offices in your area.
Generally, you’re allowed to take the Iowa learners permit test as soon as you have the following documents: the Iowa driver education certificate of completion and the Iowa driver training certificate of enrollment. Once you have these documents, you’re eligible to begin learning to drive and can go to the Iowa licensing office in your area to take the Iowa learners permit test. Again, this is a general rule and may not apply in Iowa.