About the DOT

Divisions and Bureaus


Scott Marler, director
800 Lincoln Way
Ames, IA 50010

General Counsel

David Gorham
Special Assistant Attorney General
800 Lincoln Way
Ames, IA 50010

Motor Vehicle Division

The Motor Vehicle Division administers and enforces federal and state motor vehicle laws and regulations, including the testing, licensing, and appropriate sanctioning of all drivers; maintains driver history files for over 2.1 million Iowa citizens as well as approximately one million records for out of state and unlicensed drivers. The division’s office of driver and identification services issues identification credentials and cooperates with other jurisdictions in exchanging data concerning driver’s licensing and identity. In addition to the 17 Iowa DOT driver’s license issuance sites managed by the office, it also supports 81 county treasurer’s office locations that also issue driver’s licenses and identification cards.

The division maintains and updates crash reports and information; administers financial responsibility laws, driver improvement program, and motorcycle rider program; suspends or revokes driving privileges of drivers who have committed operating while intoxicated or other problem-driver offenses and lifts suspension or revocation when compliance is achieved.

The division titles and registers vehicles that operate interstate and routes over-dimension vehicles on Iowa’s primary and interstate highways. It administers fuel tax and unified carrier registration for Iowa-based carriers; issues intrastate authority to for-hire carriers and trip permits for temporary travel in Iowa; and enforces federal motor carrier safety standards and hazardous materials regulations and size, weight, authority, fuel, and registration laws.

The division investigates title and odometer fraud; resolves failure to transfer title complaints; performs salvage and vehicle theft examinations; investigates driver’s license and vehicle title applications; provides seminars to retail and liquor establishment personnel and local law enforcement concerning driver license fraud and related identify theft; titles and issues registrations for all official vehicles; issues all red-light certificates for all privately owned emergency vehicles; approves and processes abandoned vehicle reports for all law enforcement agencies; and processes surety bonds for vehicles missing supporting ownership documents.

The division administers county-based registration and refunds for noninterstate vehicles; oversees license plate production and inventory; issues special and personalized license plates; regulates all dealer, manufacturer, wholesaler, recycler, and leasing licensing programs, including revocations and suspensions; administers and issues persons with disabilities permits; and regulates and issues all vehicle registration fees through rate book programs so counties are aware of vehicle registration fees.

Melissa Gillett, director
P.O. Box 9204
Des Moines, IA 50306-9204
Phone: 515-237-3121
Fax: 515-237-3355


Areas of focus

Highway Administration

The Highway Administration is responsible for project design, contracts, construction, technical assistance and consultation, right of way issues, and environmental investigations and compliance. The administration ensures consistency with engineering practices and serves as liaison with the U.S. Department of Transportation, local jurisdictions, construction industry, and professional associations. The administration reviews traffic safety situations and issues, maintains safety management systems, develops transportation technology transfer, and manages the preservation and operation of the transportation system to ensure safe travel.

The administration administers and provides statewide direction for all maintenance activities completed by contract and department forces; plans and administers maintenance of highways and bridges, bridge inspection program, traffic services, and snow and ice control; oversees Adopt-A-Highway program, maintenance information management systems, bridge and highway painting, roadside management, rest area administration, road weather information systems, highway lighting, and utility, access, and drainage permits; and monitors and evaluates the performance of field operations in all maintenance functions.

The administration is responsible for planning, development, maintenance, and support of information technology within the highway division and integration of information technology into all aspects of the division’s functions and responsibilities; enhances the safety, efficiency, mobility, and convenience of the state’s transportation system through intelligent transportation systems; and provides team facilitation, training, and partnering through workplace initiatives.

Peace officers with the division's Motor Vehicle Enforcement inspect and regulate commercial motor vehicle laws related to the size, weight, and registration.

Mitchell J. Dillavou, P.E., director
800 Lincoln Way
Ames, IA 50010
Phone: 515-239-1124
Fax: 515-239-1120

District Offices

Operations Division

Dave Lorenzen, interim director
800 Lincoln Way
Ames, IA 50010
Phone: 515-239-1128
Fax: 515-239-1719

Areas of focus


Project Delivery Division

Charlie Purcell, P.E.
800 Lincoln Way
Ames, IA 50010
Phone: 515-239-1128 Fax: 515-239-1719

Areas of focus

Information Technology Division

The Information Technology Division provides internal support services, automation support, and facilities and equipment support. The division assists internal and external customers in applying technology to the business needs of the department; collects, processes, and disseminates information throughout the department; monitors the constantly changing business and information environment; maximizes current investments in technology; implements new technologies and new directions; and coordinates information sharing.

Bill George, director
800 Lincoln Way
Ames, IA 50010
Phone: 515-239-1284
Fax: 515-239-1120

Areas of focus

  • Enterprise Services

Administrative Services Division

The Administrative Services Division provides internal support services for the department. The division is responsible for facilities’ management, including facility design and construction, building and grounds maintenance, lease management, and worksite remodeling and relocation; procurement and distribution activities, including specification development, purchasing, equipment assignment, inventory management, and surplus disposal; and administration of central motor pool, fueling site, warehouse and distribution center, printing and assembly; and mail services.

The division is responsible for human resource management, which includes labor relations; affirmative action; employee training coordination; oversight of classification and pay systems; recruitment coordination; administration of drug screening, employee relocation assistance, educational assistance, employee recognition programs, employee benefits administration, and workers’ compensation. The division also administers the internal and external Civil Rights Program and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program.

The division provides financial management, including budget development, monitoring and presentation of the budget to the Iowa Transportation Commission; administers the agency’s accounting and payroll systems; conducts external and motor carrier audits; and handles tort claims.

Lee Wilkinson, director
800 Lincoln Way
Ames, IA 50010
Phone: 515-239-1340
Fax: 515-239-1120

Areas of focus

  • Budget & Business Systems
  • Employee Services
  • Finance
  • Support Services

Strategic Performance Division

The Strategic Performance Division provides services focused on management of transportation assets, including the identification of key performance indicators, analysis of performance measures, development of an asset management plan, process improvement, and measuring the effectiveness of this plan. The division provides and maintains significant resources for the agency to track, analyze, and manage its key assets, including the management of transportation data, coordination of activities, system integration, and asset data analysis and dissemination.

The division facilitates the coordination and management of departmental research activities in collaboration with others; and facilitates research needs identification, research program development, implementation, and related funding.

The division provides media and marketing services, which includes media relations; development of marketing and communications plans; issuance of news releases; intranet and internet site management; social media monitoring and engagement, technical editing, graphic design, publications, and photography and video services. In addition, the division develops and evaluates federal and state policy, including identification and analysis of major transportation issues, administrative rules, department’s policies and procedures, contested case appeals, and state legislative programs.

The division is responsible for guiding the process improvement and strategic planning initiatives.

Director (vacant)

Areas of focus

  • Strategic Communications and Policy
  • Research and Analytics
  • Organizational Improvement

Planning, Programming and Modal Division

The Planning, Programming and Modal Division develops both long- and short-range transportation system plans, coordinates planning activities with metropolitan planning organizations and regional planning affiliations, and conducts public involvement sessions.

The division administers the Revitalize Iowa’s Sound Economy (RISE) program; the Transportation Alternatives program; the state’s Recreational Trails Program, as well as the national Recreational Trails Program; Iowa’s Clean Air Attainment Program (ICAAP); funding programs for airport improvement projects; programs to improve the safety of the rail network and highway-railroad crossings; and a program to assist rail infrastructure costs that encourages economic development and rail network development.

The division develops city, county, and state transportation maps; the Iowa Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP); the department’s Five-Year Transportation Improvement Program; and traffic forecasts for highway projects. The division manages the traffic count program, and special legislative and congressionally mandated studies.

The division serves as an aviation advocate and as liaison to the Federal Aviation Administration; provides services that promote and enhance a safe and healthy aviation transportation system in Iowa; builds partnerships and economic development related to aviation; and registers aircraft and aircraft dealers.

The division delivers programs and services to promote a safe and efficient rail transportation system in Iowa; leads the Freight Advisory Council and freight initiatives; and explores opportunities and leads studies to enhance passenger rail services.

The division promotes transportation on Iowa’s navigable rivers and represents Iowa navigation interests with other state and federal agencies.

The division promotes a public transportation system that meets the transportation needs of Iowans through advocacy, technical assistance, and administration of state and federal funds; promotes coordination of all public transportation through the designated public transit agencies while providing technical assistance to agencies receiving federal funds; and serves as a liaison with the Federal Transit Administration in distributing funds to transit agencies in Iowa.

Stuart Anderson, P.E., director
800 Lincoln Way
Ames, IA 50010
Phone: 515-239-1661
Fax: 515-239-1120

Areas of focus