COVID-19

Public Response

 

DOT Facilities

Are Iowa DOT facilities closed?

Iowa DOT rest areas, garages, weigh scales, and administrative offices remain open. Iowa DOT operated driver’s license service centers are open by appointment only for essential services.

Visitors to all facilities (with the exception of rest areas) will be asked a series of questions to evaluate their risk of exposure to COVID-19 and exposure to others in that facility before they are allowed to enter.

 

What are you doing to increase the safety of your facilities?

To reduce the chance of contamination, staff have increased cleaning and sanitization procedures in all our facilities, with extra attention to facilities that serve the public and high-touch areas. Visitors to all facilities (with the exception of rest areas) will be asked a series of questions to evaluate their risk of exposure to COVID-19 and exposure to others in that facility before they are allowed to enter. In addition, we’ve been implementing actions that encourage our staff and customers to practice social distancing


Rest Areas

Are Iowa DOT rest areas closed?

All Iowa rest areas remain open at this time. To reduce the chance of contamination, staff have increased cleaning and sanitization procedures in all our facilities, with extra attention to high-touch areas.

However, welcome centers may be closed. Please visit Travel Iowa’s webpage for more information.


Driver's Licenses

Are driver’s license service centers open?

Beginning March 24, Iowa DOT operated service centers are open by appointment only. Walk-in customers will not be served. Customers with essential service needs will be given priority scheduling. All other customers will be scheduled after May 1.

 

Please note that driver’s license and ID services are also conducted at county treasurer’s offices. Many locations are closed or are not conducting business as usual. It is suggested that you contact the location you plan to visit before making the trip.


What is an essential service need?

Priority appointments (before May 1) will be given to a customer who:

  • has a commercial driver’s license or chauffeur’s license service need.
  • may need services before May 1 related to a specific event such as starting a new job or to fulfill a work-related requirement, a financial loan or other financial business, school/education-related, to obtain benefits of any kind, or for a legal-related purpose.
  • Parents of minor children needing a driver’s license are strongly encouraged to continue to provide rides during this temporary emergency period. This limits their need to come into a service center and potential exposure to COVID-19. However, if it is essential a minor needs a driver’s license, requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis and prioritized with all other essential service requests.

How do I make an appointment?

 

All customers entering a DOT service center will be asked a series of questions to evaluate their risk of exposure to COVID-19 and exposure to others being served. If it is determined that there may be a heightened risk for the customer to be served, they will be asked to delay services to a later date.


What is a non-essential service need?

If your driver’s license expired Jan. 16, 2020 or later you do NOT have to renew your license at this time. It will remain valid for driving and flying purposes.

Examples of non-essential service needs include:

 
  • Renewing without a business or personal need to have a non-expired license.
  • Renewing or getting a duplicate license in order to obtain a REAL ID gold star.
  • Changing an address without a business or personal need to do it during this time. As a reminder you can change your address online without having to come into a service center.
  • Obtaining a permit or full license.

CDL Holders

DOES THE WAIVER OF DRIVER’S LICENSE EXPIRATION APPLY TO MY COMMERCIAL DRIVER’S LICENSE OR COMMERCIAL LEARNER’S PERMIT?

Yes. Governor Reynold’s emergency proclamation provides that for ANY driver’s license expiring January 16, 2020 or later, the expiration date will not be enforced during this declared disaster. If your commercial driver’s license (CDL) or commercial learner’s permit (CLP) expired on January 16, 2020 or later, you can continue to operate validly in Iowa.

Additionally, if your CDL or CLP expired on March 1, 2020 or later, your expired license will also be considered valid if you are driving out-of-state, in accordance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) guidance.

MY CDL MEDICAL CERTIFICATE HAS EXPIRED OR WILL EXPIRE SOON – WHAT CAN I DO?

Customers who are currently required to provide the DOT with an unexpired medical examiner’s certificate will not have their CDL downgraded if their medical certificate expired on March 1, 2020 or later through the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. In other words, if you currently hold a CDL or CLP, and our medical certificate or medial variance expires during this time, you may continue to operate validly in your current license class. This in accordance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) guidance.

School bus drivers should check with their school’s administration for any school-related medical certification requirements during this time.

Find additional guidance on CDL’s from FMCSA here.

I NEED TO RENEW MY TSA HAZARDOUS MATERIALS ENDORSEMENT (HME) FOR MY CDL. HAVE ANY REQUIREMENTS CHANGED?

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and FMCSA have not changed the background check requirements for CDL holders who need to renew their HME. Due to the evolving public health situation and circumstances, some enrollment centers may close for a period of time to ensure the safety, health and wellness of staff and the public. Applicants planning to visit an enrollment center should use the “Find an Enrollment Center” feature to determine if the center is open, its hours of operation, and if appointments are required.

Find additional information here.

How do I get a restricted CDL for the movement of agricultural goods during this time?

 

Restricted CDLs issued to eligible suppliers or employees of suppliers of agricultural chemicals, fertilizer, seed or animal feeds can be obtained remotely during this emergency period. If you are in need of a restricted CDL please contact our CDL Program administrators at cdl.program@iowadot.us.

Find more information on restricted CDLs here


Motor Carriers

Is there a place to get information about how I can receive motor carrier services during this time?

Yes, please go to https://iowadot.gov/mvd/vmcs-services for information about your options for receiving motor carrier related services.

How are weight limits changing for those responding to the disaster?

On non‐interstate roads only, motor carriers hauling vaccines, antivirals, prescription drugs, protective equipment, other necessary medical assets, food, medical supplies, cleaning products, other household goods, agricultural supplies and commodities (including, but not limited to, livestock, raw milk, and crop supplies), or any other goods and supplies necessary to respond to this public health disaster and its economic effects may exceed the weights listed in Iowa Code 321.463 by 12.5% without a permit, so long as they don’t exceed 20,000 pounds on an individual axle, and their total weight does not exceed 90,000 pounds. Trucks are still required to obey posted bridge restrictions.

On interstate roads only, trucks hauling divisible loads of the same materials listed above may operate on the interstate with a gross weight over 80,000 pounds when operating under a special permit issued by Iowa DOT. Permits will be issued for free and only for loads related to the public health disaster. Permits can be obtained by visiting our website at: https://iowadot.gov/mvd/motorcarriers/Oversize-Overweight-Trip-permits. Please be sure to comment on your application that this permit is for the COVID-19 emergency

How are hours of service requirements changing for those responding to the disaster?

Motor carriers transportinvaccines, antivirals, prescription drugs, protective equipment, other necessary medical assets, food, medical supplies, cleaning products, other household goods, agricultural supplies and commodities (including, but not limited to, livestock, raw milk, and crop supplies), or any other goods and supplies necessary to respond to this public health disaster and its economic effects or passengers responding to or affected by Covid-19 are temporarily waived from following hours of service requirements both in Iowa and the United States by declaration from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Am I required to register my vehicle under the International Registration Plan (IRP) if I am providing disaster relief?

For commercial vehicles traveling in and through the state of Iowa the requirement to register your vehicle under IRP, providing the vehicle is not already registered under IRP, as long as the vehicle is registered in one of the 48 contiguous states, the District of Columbia, or a province of Canada has been waived until the declared disaster has ended. You will not be assessed late penalties during the disaster period.

If my IRP credentials expired during this time what should I do?

Your previous IRP credentials, even if expired will remain valid and you will not be assessed any late fees until the declared disaster has ended.

Am I required to obtain a trip permit for reasons of International Registration Plan (IRP) if I am providing disaster relief?

For commercial vehicles traveling in and through the state of Iowa for the purpose of providing direct COVID-19 assistance to all counties of the state, you are not required to obtain a trip permit for IRP reasons until the declared disaster has ended.

 

Am I required to obtain International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) licensing if I am providing disaster relief?

For commercial vehicles traveling in and through the state of Iowa for the purpose of providing direct COVID-19 assistance to all counties of the state, the requirement to obtain IFTA licensing has been waived until the declared disaster has ended, to the extent the vehicle is not already licensed under IFTA.

Am I required to obtain a temporary fuel permit for purposes of the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) if I am providing disaster relief?

For commercial vehicles traveling in and through the state of Iowa for the purpose of providing direct COVID-19 assistance to all counties of the state, you do not need to obtain a temporary fuel permit until the declared disaster has ended.


MEDICAL CANNABIDIOL (CBD) CARD HOLDERS

I NEED A NEW MEDICAL CBD CARD. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Customers who need a new patient or caregiver CBD card should call an Iowa DOT service center. If possible, we will issue the medical CBD card to you through the mail. If this is not possible, we will work with you to schedule a visit to the service center at a time when your risk of exposure is minimized.


Vehicle Registration, License Plates, and Titles

Is there a place to get information about how I can receive motor vehicle services during this time?

Yes, please go to https://iowadot.gov/mvd/vmcs-services for information about your options for receiving motor vehicle related services.

What do I do if my vehicle titles, registration and license plates are expired?

If your registration was due on Jan. 31, 2020, or later, you are not required to renew at this time and will not be assessed any penalty for failing to renew during the disaster emergency, which currently extends to April 30 in Iowa.

However, you can renew your vehicle registration on-line by following the instructions on your renewal notice. While most county treasurer’s offices are not open for in-person business, many are accepting and processing renewals sent by mail and in some cases delivered through drop boxes. Certain offices may also accept payment by phone. Your registration sticker will be mailed to you. Please contact your local county treasurer’s office to ask about options.

What do I do about a title and registration if I recently purchased a vehicle or transferred to a new owner?

If you purchased, transferred, or brought a vehicle into the state, including CMVs subject to apportioned registration, on or after Feb. 17, 2020, you do not need to apply for a title and registration within 30 days and you will not be assessed a penalty for late filing during the disaster emergency in Iowa, which currently extends to April 30. We also recognize that you or the dealer may be waiting for title documents from other states that have suspended operations.

Title and registration transactions are done through your local county treasurer’s office. Most county treasurer’s offices are closed for in-person visits. However, if you have all of your necessary transfer documents, most county treasurer’s offices are accepting and processing applications sent by mail and in some cases delivered through drop boxes. Your title, standard license plates, and registration sticker will be mailed to you. Please contact your local county treasurer’s office to ask for options. 

Do I still need to obtain a salvage certificate of title for a wrecked or salvage vehicle within 30 days?

Vehicle rebuilders; persons engaged in the business of buying, selling, or exchanging vehicles of a type required to be registered in the state; or insurers are not required to obtain a salvage certificate of title within 30 days, during the disaster emergency in Iowa, which currently extends to April 30.

Title and registration transactions are done through your local county treasurer’s office. Most county treasurer’s offices are closed for in-person visits. However, if you have all of your necessary transfer documents, most county treasurer’s offices are accepting and processing applications sent by mail and in some cases delivered through drop boxes. Your title, standard license plates, and registration sticker will be mailed to you. Please contact your local county treasurer’s office to ask for options. 

Do I need to obtain license plates if I purchase a vehicle from a dealer?

If you purchased a vehicle from a dealer on or after Feb. 2, 2020, you may continue to use the temporary plates past the 45-day issuance period, during the disaster emergency in Iowa, which currently extends to April 30. We also recognize that you or the dealer may be waiting for title documents from other states that have suspended operations.

Most county treasurer’s offices are closed for in-person visits. However, if you or the dealer have all of your necessary transfer documents, most county treasurer’s offices are accepting and processing applications sent by mail and in some cases delivered through drop boxes. Your title, permanent license plates and registration sticker will be mailed to you. Please contact your local county treasurer’s office to ask about options.

 

May I still purchase specialty or personal license plates?

The Iowa DOT is still accepting applications for personalized and specialty plates submitted on-line, as well as by mail and in our drop box at 6310 SE Convenience Blvd in Ankeny.  If your chosen personalization is available and approved, your plates will be manufactured and delivered to the county treasurer's office in the county where you live. You will be notified when the plates are ready to be picked up. Please reach out to your local county treasurer’s office to check availability and when pick up will be available.  


Persons with disabilities parking products

How do I get a persons with disabilities parking permit?

There are three different parking products offered to persons with disabilities:

  • Designated license plates
  • Removable windshield placards
  • License plate stickers
  •  
 

Persons with disabilities license plates can be ordered online and will be available at your local county treasurer’s office. While most county treasurer’s offices are not open for in-person business, they are accepting and processing requests. Please contact your local county treasurer’s office to ask about options for receiving the license plates.

Removable windshield placards or license plate stickers are typically available from our service center at 6310 SE Convenience Blvd. in Ankeny. For the protection of the health and safety of our staff and customers we will only be accepting requests for persons with disabilities placards or license plate stickers via mail or email. Please complete the Persons with Disabilities Parking Permit Application and mail it the to the Iowa DOT 6310 SE Convenience Blvd, Ankeny, IA 50021 or email to vscusto@iowadot.us.

 

Vehicle Inspections

Are you currently conducting vehicle inspections?

For the protection of the health and safety of our staff and customers we are not conducting general vehicle inspections including Iowa Assigned VIN’s, Bond Title Inspections, Salvage Vehicle Theft Exams, VIN Verifications, and OOS Registration only / State of Washington Salvage vehicles.


Traffic Volumes

 

How has the public’s response to COVID-19 changed traffic volumes?

A report on how traffic volumes in Iowa have changed due to COVID-19 is available here. New reports will be posted daily around mid-day.

 

Auto dealers

Do licensed auto dealers need to maintain certain business hours during the COVID-19 emergency?

No, dealers in Iowa are exempt from filling required business hours during the declared disaster.


Road Construction

How has the COVID-19 situation impacted road construction projects?

Many people are heeding the advice to stay home to reduce the spread of COVID-19. That means fewer drivers on the road. For construction and maintenance activities, less traffic allows us to close more lanes than we normally would or shift what we would normally do overnight to daytime work without causing major impacts. Tasks can be completed in daylight, rather than artificial lights which allows for better visibility. This shift may also allow us to complete some construction projects quicker than originally anticipated.

We do know that the reduction in traffic volumes also means a reduction in gas tax revenues which fund construction projects. At this point, it is too early to tell how that reduction in funding will impact future traffic projects. For now work will continue on the projects in process. We are constantly monitoring the situation and will make adjustments to planned projects if changes become necessary due to funding considerations.

What are you doing to keep road workers safe during this emergency?

Road construction and maintenance are considered essential occupations, therefore workers in these areas are continuing to work during this time to keep people moving through Iowa. However, we are working with DOT staff and our construction partners to assure that they are following state and federal guidelines regarding the reduction in the spread of COVID-19. In addition, if we do have a report of a worker that has tested positive for COVID-19 we are collaborating to make sure we are taking measures to reduce additional exposure to the virus for those on that jobsite.


State of Iowa COVID-19 website

How to DISCOVER THE LATEST RESOURCES, MAPS, AND INFORMATION ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) OUTBREAK IN YOUR COMMUNITY?

Visit the Iowa COVID-19 website, which provides information, maps, and resources about the coronavirus response in your local area. View the current status of confirmed cases here.