Driver's license/ID

 

License descriptions

Class C - Operator

This is the license most Iowans have. With this license, you may drive cars, pickups and trucks whose gross vehicle weight is 16,000 pounds or less. To get an operator’s license, you will have to pass the vision screening. You will also have to take the knowledge test and a driving test if you have an invalid or expired (over one year) out-of-state license, or if you have not had a driver’s license before. If you have a valid out-of-state license that allows you to drive by yourself, the driving test may be waived.

Class D - Chauffeur

This license covers operation of light straight trucks and small passenger-for-hire vehicles. This also includes persons exempted from commercial licensing, such as a farmer who is driving a farm truck-tractor semitrailer combination, a paid firefighter who is driving vehicles in excess of 16,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating, and a taxi driver. The Class D license has one of three endorsements allowing a driver to operate:
  • Endorsement 1: tractor-trailer combinations if a CDL farm exemption applies. Must pass General Knowledge exam and a driving test (and vision screening)
  • Endorsement 2: single-unit vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 16,001 pounds or more up through a 26,000-pound gross vehicle weight rating. Must pass General Knowledge exam and a driving test (and vision screening)
  • Endorsement 3: passenger vehicles which carry less than 16 passengers, such as taxis. No knowledge test required; no driving test required if you’ve had a valid license and clear driving record for the previous two years.

Class C - Instruction Permit

This gives you the chance to learn how to drive with the help of an experienced driver. To get an instruction permit you must be at least 14 years old and pass the vision screening and knowledge test.

Class D - Chauffeur’s Instruction Permit

This allows you to learn to drive a vehicle for which you need a Class D license, but not commercial motor vehicles that require a CDL. When driving, you must have someone who has a Class D or commercial license valid for that type of vehicle in the seat next to you. This restriction is added to your existing license. To get your chauffeur’s permit, you must be at least 18 years old and pass the vision screening and general knowledge test.

Class C - Minor's School License

To get a school license you must have successfully completed an Iowa-approved driver education course (unless you show a hardship exists) and live 1 mile or more from school. One of your parents must sign a consent form, and your school superintendent or chairperson of the school board must furnish a statement of need on a form provided by the DOT. This form is available from any Iowa driver’s license issuance site. You must pass a vision screening, but the driving test may be waived. You will also need to take the knowledge test unless your instruction permit is still valid. Get more information on minor school licenses.

Class C - Minor’s Restricted License

A “minor restricted license” (valid only for travel to and from work, or to transport dependents to and from temporary care facilities if necessary to hold a job) may be issued to a person age 16-18 who has completed an Iowa-approved driver education course and to whom any of the following apply:
  • is not in attendance at school;
  • has not completed the requirements for graduation in an accredited school; or
  • has not obtained a high school equivalency diploma.

Motorcycle Instruction Permit

A motorcycle instruction permit allows you to operate a motorcycle while accompanied by another person that has a license valid for motorcycles. The accompanying person must stay within sight and hearing distance and be on or in a different motor vehicle. Only one learner may be supervised by any one licensed driver. To get a motorcycle instruction permit, you must pass the motorcycle knowledge exam and a vision screening.

Note: If you are under age 18, a motorcycle instruction permit allows you to operate a motorcycle with a licensed parent/guardian or immediate member of your family who is at least 21 years old, but you must have written permission from your parent/guardian to operate a motorcycle with any other adult, who must be at least 25 years old and have a license valid for motorcycles.

Motorcycle endorsement (added to an existing license)

The motorcycle endorsement allows you to operate vehicles classified as motorcycles. To obtain a motorcycle endorsement you must pass the motorcycle knowledge test and a motorcycle skills (driving) test as well as a vision screening. The department may waive the skills test if you have successfully completed an Iowa-approved course in motorcycle education

Class M - Motorcycle license only

This license is for motorcycle driving only and is not valid for the operation of any other type of motor vehicle. To obtain a motorcycle-only license, you must pass the motorcycle knowledge test as well as the operator knowledge test, pass a skills (driving) test on your motorcycle, and complete a vision screening. The department may waive the skills test if you have successfully completed an Iowa-approved course in motorcycle education.

Moped (motorized bicycle) license only

This license allows you to operate moped (motorized bicycle). You will need to pass the vision screening and the operator knowledge test. The knowledge test may be waived if you already have a valid operator instruction permit or operator driver’s license. If you are under age 16 you must also have successfully completed an Iowa-approved course in moped education. A driving test may be required.

Identification card only

An identification card may be issued to any person regardless of their age. Learn about proof of identity documents required to obtain an Iowa identification card.

Class A commercial

A Class A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) is valid for the operation of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds if the towed vehicle or vehicles have a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) or GCWR of 10,001 or more pounds. The license is also valid for the operation of vehicles with lower GCWRs and other vehicles, except motorcycles (which requires a motorcycle endorsement). To obtain a Class A CDL, you must pass the CDL General Knowledge test, CDL Combination Vehicles knowledge test, and any tests required to obtain any additional CDL endorsements. A skills (driving) test and an on-the-road driving test are also required, as well as a pre-trip inspection.

Federal regulations require all CDL holders and applicants to certify how they operate their commercial motor vehicle whenever they renew, upgrade, or obtain a CDL for the first time. A CDL holder must certify to one of four categories that apply to the type of driving they do. Learn more about CDL medical certification requirements.

Class B commercial

A Class B License is valid for the operation of a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 or more pounds. It is also valid for a combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds if the towing vehicle has a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds and the towed vehicle or vehicles have a GVWR or GCWR of less than 10,001 pounds. A Class B CDL is also valid for the operation of vehicles with lower GVWR or GCWR, with the exception motorcycles (which requires a motorcycle endorsement). To obtain a Class B CDL, you must pass the CDL General Knowledge test and any tests required to obtain any additional CDL endorsements. A skills (driving) test and an on-the-road driving test are also required, as well as a pre-trip inspection.

Federal regulations require all CDL holders and applicants to certify how they operate their commercial motor vehicle whenever they renew, upgrade, or obtain a CDL for the first time. A CDL holder must certify to one of four categories that apply to the type of driving they do. Learn more about CDL medical certification requirements.

Class C commercial

This class of commercial license applies only to vehicles that are required to be placarded for hazardous materials or vehicles that are designed to transport 16 or more persons including the driver, or any redesigned or modified vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,001 or more pounds that has been redesigned or modified to transport less than 16 persons with disabilities.

A Class C Commercial Driver's License is valid for any vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of less than 26,001 pounds, or any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 pounds GVWR. To obtain a Class C CDL, you must pass the CDL General Knowledge test, either the hazardous materials examination or the passenger knowledge test (whichever applies to the type of license you seek), and any other knowledge tests required to obtain any additional CDL endorsements.

If you are operating a passenger vehicle or a hazardous material vehicle under 16,001 GVWR, you will be required to pass a CDL skills (driving) test. If you are operating a yellow school bus with a GVWR of 16,000 pounds or less, you will be required to pass a pre-trip inspection, skills (driving) test, and an on-the-road driving test.

Federal regulations require all CDL holders and applicants to certify how they operate their commercial motor vehicle whenever they renew, upgrade, or obtain a CDL for the first time. A CDL holder must certify to one of four categories that apply to the type of driving they do. Learn more about CDL medical certification requirements.

Commercial instruction permit

A commercial instruction permit allows for the operation of a commercial motor vehicle when accompanied by a person licensed for the vehicle being operated. It is valid for six months with no grace period and may be renewed once within two years from the date of issuance of the first instruction permit. This can be determined by reading the record. A commercial driver’s instruction permit is invalid upon the expiration date of the permit. No grace period is allowed.

A provision in the federal Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999 (MCSIA) prohibits a person from driving a vehicle with a Commercial Instruction Permit if the vehicle is transporting hazmat.

Requirements
  • The customer must be at least 18 years of age.
  • The customer must meet visual standards for licensing.
  • The customer must have a valid Class A, B, C, or D License, other than a Noncommercial Instruction Permit or motorized bicycle (moped).
  • The customer must pass CDL General Knowledge examination. If a customer possesses a valid CDL, they would not need to take the knowledge examination.
  • Must complete a CDL Certification form before issuance.
  • The customer may not transport any type of hazardous material that requires placarding.

CDL endorsements

Hazardous Material

Any driver who transports hazardous materials in amounts requiring placarding must have a hazardous material endorsement added to his CDL. To obtain this endorsement you must pass the CDL Hazardous Material examination. This examination is required each time you renew your license. Additionally, federal regulations require that you must make application with Integrated Biometric Technology (IBT) for verification and fingerprinting. The fingerprint-based threat assessment is also required each time you renew your license and is also required if you are transferring an out-of-state license. Learn more about the fingerprint-based background checks.

Passenger Endorsement

Any driver who wishes to drive a motor vehicle having a design capacity to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver, must have a passenger endorsement on their CDL. This also includes a redesigned or modified vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,001 or more pounds used to transport less than 16 handicapped persons. To obtain this endorsement you must pass the CDL Passenger knowledge examination, as well as a pre-trip, skills, and a driving test in a passenger vehicle representative of the class of vehicle you wish to operate with the license. If you test in a vehicle less than 16,001 GVWR, you will only be required to pass the CDL road test.
Note: The Passenger endorsement alone is not valid for the operation of school buses. School bus operation requires both the passenger endorsement as well as the school bus endorsement.

School Bus Endorsement

Any driver who wishes to drive a school bus having a design capacity to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver, must have both a school bus endorsement as well as a passenger endorsements on their CDL. This includes a redesigned or modified school bus with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,001 or more pounds used to transport less than 16 handicapped persons. To obtain the school bus and passenger endorsements you must pass the CDL School Bus knowledge examination, Passenger knowledge examination, and a pre-trip, skills, and a driving test in a school bus representative of the class of vehicle you wish to operate with the license.

Tank Endorsement

Liquids in bulk can cause driving control problems because the cargo is heavy, prone to shifting, and has a high center of gravity. Drivers of any commercial motor vehicle designed to transport any liquid or gaseous materials within a tank or tanks that have an individual rated capacity of more than 119 gallons and an aggregate rated capacity of 1,000 gallons or more that is either permanently or temporarily attached to the vehicle or the chassis must obtain a tank endorsement on their CDL. To obtain the tank endorsement, you must pass the CDL Tanker knowledge examination.

Double/Triple Endorsement

Drivers who pull double or triple trailers must have an endorsement on their CDL. To obtain this endorsement you must pass a CDL Double and Triple Trailers knowledge examination. A double/triple endorsement is not required to operate a commercial motor vehicle with two or more towed vehicles that are not trailers. For example, a semi tractor pulling other tractors “piggy back”.
Note: Current Iowa law does not permit the operation of triple trailers; however, a driver whose home state is Iowa must be able to obtain the endorsement in order to haul a triple trailer in those jurisdictions where they are legal.

Removing the airbrake restriction

If you complete a driving test in a commercial vehicle that is not equipped with air brakes, you must have a restriction on your CDL indicating you cannot operate commercial motor vehicles that are equipped with air brakes. To remove this restriction, you must pass the CDL Air Brake knowledge examination, as well as a partial pre-trip (airbrakes only).

 


 

 

 

Obtaining a copy of an Iowa driving record, traffic ticket or other document

Get it online

Obtain a certified copy of your own driving record on our myMVD website. A certified driving record is your official driving record certified by the Iowa DOT and can be used for official or legal purposes. The fee is $5.50 plus a $1.50 service charge.

If you simply want to view your Iowa driving history or print a noncertified copy, you can do that for free through the myMVD website.

The myMVD online service is for individual use by persons conducting their own transactions. If you are a business or organization seeking driving record information, please go to www.iowaccess.net/iowadlr.


Get it by mail

Obtain a copy of your certified driving history through the mail. The fee is $5.50.

You can also obtain a traffic ticket(s), previously issued driver's license applications showing license history in Iowa, or any other document, for a cost of 50 cents per copy.

For all requests that are sent by mail, you will need to complete the Privacy Act Agreement For Request of Motor Vehicle Records form.  Please clearly state the type of record you are requesting.  If you are requesting this information for yourself, you only need to complete Section A and Section D. Send the completed form, a copy of your driver's license or non-driver identification card, a check for the appropriate amount made payable to "Treasurer, State of Iowa" and mail your request to the address below.

Mail your request to:
Office of Driver Services
Iowa Department of Transportation
P.O. Box 9204
Des Moines, Iowa 50306-9204

 


 

 

 

Iowa's driving test

Drive test
In some cases, once you have passed the vision screening and knowledge test, you will be required to demonstrate your ability to drive safely.

The vehicle you drive for the test must be registered, the license plates must be properly displayed, and you must present the proof of financial liability (insurance) coverage card issued for the vehicle. The examiner will inspect the vehicle’s safety equipment: lights, signals, horn, tires, brakes and windshield wipers. If the registration, plates or insurance is not in order, or if any of the equipment does not work, you will not be able to take the driving test in that vehicle until the deficiencies are remedied.

During the driving test, you will not be asked to do anything unlawful. The examiner will sit in the front seat, give directions and score your driving ability.

Study manuals and practice tests are also available on this website.

 


 

 

 

Driver's license practice tests - just like the real test

Test your knowledge of the rules of the road for the State of Iowa. These practice tests have been created by the Iowa DOT to provide new drivers with the foundation to safely meet their responsibilities on the road and to remind all drivers of safe driving habits.

App icon

  IA Driver Test - mobile apps
  Driver license practice test

Take the test as practice for the real thing, as a refresher or just for fun to see if you are as smart as a 14 year old – the youngest age in which someone in Iowa can get an instruction permit to drive.

Features

  • Randomly generates questions from the real DL knowledge test
  • Available for free on iPad, Android and Kindle Fire
Download Iowa Driver's Test app from iTunes Download Iowa Driver's Test app from Google Play Download Iowa Driver's Test app from Amazon

Support

We would like to hear your thoughts on the app and what information or features you would like to see in the future.

You can reach us directly to send along your comments, bugs, suggestions or questions. We’ll respond as quickly as we can.

App name: IA Driver Test
Created by:
Iowa Interactive in partnership with the Iowa Department of Transportation
App icon

  IA Driver Test - desktop version
  Driver license practice test

Take the test as practice for the real thing, as a refresher or just for fun to see if you are as smart as a 14 year old – the youngest age in which someone in Iowa can get an instruction permit to drive.

Features

  • Randomly generates questions from the real DL knowledge test
  • Free

 


 

 

 


Iowa DOT Logo

Licencia de prueba de la práctica
de conducir de Iowa


Practique sus conocimientos de conducción!

Este examen de práctica genera un grupo 25 preguntas. Estas preguntas han sido seleccionadas al azar de un grupo más amplio de preguntas de conocimiento general ofrecidas en cualquier estación de licencia de conductor de Iowa o en la oficina del tesorero del condado. Usted puede repetir el examen de práctica con la frecuencia que desee. Cada examen de práctica generará otro grupo de 25 preguntas. Cuando usted haya terminado, una pantalla aparecerá mostrando los resultados de su examen.

Usted necesita una puntuación de 80% o superior para tener una calificación aprobatoria.



 


 

 

 


Iowa DOT Logo

IA Driver's License Practice Test


Practice your driving knowledge!

This practice test generates 25 questions, randomly chosen from a larger group of sample questions that includes questions from the real knowledge test given at any Iowa driver’s license station or county treasurer’s office. You can repeat the practice test as often as you want. Each new test will generate another set of 25 questions. Once you have finished, a screen will appear showing your test results.

A score of 80% or higher is needed for a passing score.



 


 

 

 

Identity fraud

Iowa older driver's information


CarFit

CarFit was developed by the American Society on Aging in collaboration with AARP, American Occupational Therapy Association, and AAA. Program events are designed to provide a quick but comprehensive check of how well you and your vehicle work together. A trained professional will ask you simple questions and complete a 12-point CarFit checklist. After visiting the trained volunteer professional, the driver will consult with an occupational therapist who, if needed, will discuss ways drivers can maintain and improve aspects related to their driving health. The entire process takes about 20 minutes. You leave with recommended car adjustments and adaptations, a list of resources in your area and a greater peace of mind.

Some of the discussion points during a CarFit event include:

  • Mirror adjustments. Properly adjusting the vehicle's mirrors can greatly minimize blind spots for drivers when changing lanes.
  • Good foot positioning on the gas and brake pedals. Drivers who reach with their toes to press on the pedals can experience reduced reaction times and fatigue in their legs.
  • Position of the driver in relationship to the steering wheel. Drivers run a risk of serious injury if they are sitting closer than 10 inches to the steering wheel.

As we age, changes in our vision, flexibility, strength, range of motion, and even size and height may make us less comfortable and reduce our control behind the wheel. CarFit provides older adults with the tools to understand and apply the safety features of their vehicles. Having a car that “fits” the older driver is key. While older drivers are often considered safer drivers because they're more likely to wear seatbelts and less likely to speed or drink and drive, they are more likely to be seriously injured in a crash because their bodies are more fragile. Older drivers can improve their safety by ensuring their cars are properly adjusted for them. A proper fit in one's car can greatly increase not only the driver's safety but also the safety of others.

The Office of Driver Services supports CarFit by providing trained technicians and assistance in hosting CarFit checkups throughout the state.  Check the CarFit website at www.car-fit.org for an event in your community, or contact the Office of Driver Services at 800-532-1121 or email
ods@dot.iowa.gov to schedule an event. 

 


 

 

 

Important information for the parents of teens applying for an intermediate license

Iowa law restricts the number of passengers a teen driver can carry while driving with an intermediate license, unless the parent waives the passenger restriction when the license is issued. This means you decide – you can accept or waive the passenger restriction when we issue the license. Please read this before you make your decision.

What is the passenger restriction?

If you accept the passenger restriction, your child cannot drive with more than one unrelated minor (under 18) child when driving without adult supervision during the first six months of the intermediate license. The restriction does NOT apply to brothers and sisters, step brothers and sisters, and unrelated minor children that live in the same household as your child.

Why is the passenger restriction important?

It protects your child and your child’s passengers. Car crashes are the number one cause of teen deaths, and the first six months of unsupervised driving are the most dangerous. Young passengers distract teen drivers and increase the risk of crashes, injuries, and deaths -- by almost 50% for even one passenger, by more than 250% for two passengers, and by more than 300% for three or more passengers.

Limiting passengers during the first six months reduces the risk of crashes, injuries, and deaths while your child gains critical driving experience.

What happens if I accept the passenger restriction?

If you accept the passenger restriction, we will add the restriction to the back of your child's license. If your child violates the restriction, law enforcement can cite your child for violating the restriction, which may result in additional restrictions, or a suspension of your child's driving privilege. The twelve month violation free period will also re-start.

Can I waive the passenger restriction?

Yes, but only when the license is issued. If you do not waive the restriction when the license is issued and it is issued with the restriction, your child must obey the restriction until the end of the six month period. There is no legal penalty for waiving the restriction. 

When do I make the decision?

The driver's license clerk that helps you will ask you whether you accept or waive the passenger restriction. At the time, tell the clerk what your decision is:
  • Accept: Yes, I want the passenger restriction for the first six months.
  • Waive: No, I do not want the passenger restriction for the first six months.

 


 

 

 

Online renewal requirements

To renew your driver’s license or nonoperators ID card online click on one of the boxes below for requirements and to begin the renewal process.

 


 

 

 


You indicated that you did not meet the requirements to renew your driver's license or ID card online.

Please visit a driver's license issuance site or view the online renewal requirements.

 


 

 

 

 

CarFit

CarFit
CarFit was developed by the American Society on Aging in collaboration with AARP, American Occupational Therapy Association, and AAA. Program events are designed to provide a quick but comprehensive check of how well you and your vehicle work together. A trained professional will ask you simple questions and complete a 12-point CarFit checklist. After visiting the trained volunteer professional, the driver will consult with an occupational therapist who, if needed, will discuss ways drivers can maintain and improve aspects related to their driving health. The entire process takes about 20 minutes. You leave with recommended car adjustments and adaptations, a list of resources in your area and a greater peace of mind.

Some of the discussion points during a CarFit event include:

  • Mirror adjustments. Properly adjusting the vehicle’s mirrors can greatly minimize blind spots for drivers when changing lanes.
  • Good foot positioning on the gas and brake pedals. Drivers who reach with their toes to press on the pedals can experience reduced reaction times and fatigue in their legs.
  • Position of the driver in relationship to the steering wheel. Drivers run a risk of serious injury if they are sitting closer than 10 inches to the steering wheel.

As we age, changes in our vision, flexibility, strength, range of motion, and even size and height may make us less comfortable and reduce our control behind the wheel. CarFit provides older adults with the tools to understand and apply the safety features of their vehicles. Having a car that “fits” the older driver is key. While older drivers are often considered safer drivers because they're more likely to wear seatbelts and less likely to speed or drink and drive, they are more likely to be seriously injured in a crash because their bodies are more fragile. Older drivers can improve their safety by ensuring their cars are properly adjusted for them. A proper fit in one's car can greatly increase not only the driver's safety but also the safety of others.

The Office of Driver Services supports CarFit by providing trained technicians and assistance in hosting CarFit checkups throughout the state.  Check the CarFit website at www.car-fit.org for an event in your community, or contact the Office of Driver Services at 800-532-1121 or email
ods@dot.iowa.gov to schedule an event. 

 

Commercial Learner's Permit (CLP)

You will need a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) if you are:
  • Applying for a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) for the first time.
  • Upgrading your existing CDL and the upgrade requires a skills (driving) test.
You must hold a CLP for at least 14 days before you can complete the required skills (driving) test.

You are required to provide the following documents to obtain your CLP unless you already have a license marked as REAL-ID compliant (which means we already have this information verified). A REAL-ID has a gold star in the top right corner of your license. CLP Process
 

 

 

 

Identity fraud

Medical exemptions from safety belt use

Exemptions to Iowa's safety belt law are allowed for certain medical reasons. The medical conditions which may warrant an exemption from safety belt use, recommendations for the issuance of such medical exemptions, and requirements of the law or regulations concerning medical exemptions are discussed in the following guidelines issued by the Iowa DOT.
 

Guidelines for exemption

Iowa Code § 321.445, which went into effect July 1, 1986, requires drivers and front seat occupants of motor vehicles to wear properly fastened safety belts. However, exemptions can be granted to a person possessing a written form signed by a physician/chiropractor stating that the person is unable to wear a safety belt or harness due to physical or medical reasons.

The physicians/chiropractors of Iowa have strongly supported the use of safety belts for many years, recognizing the fact that the mortality and morbidity incurred by unrestrained drivers and passengers in motor vehicle crashes are greater than by those properly restrained. Two decades of realworld experience have proven belts prevent or mitigate serious or fatal injuries by about 50 percent.  In Iowa, the use of safety belts could prevent an estimated 100 to 150 deaths each year.

Experience in countries where belt use is required has shown that less than 1 percent of all motor vehicle related injuries are caused by the belt per se. Such injuries predominantly occur under conditions where an unrestrained occupant would be much more seriously injured.

The safety belt law provides no categorical, specific or routine medical grounds for granting a medical exemption. Each case should be decided on its own merit. If a medical exemption is granted, it should be issued for a valid medical reason.

Because of the benefits of using a safety belt, physicians/chiropractors should weigh very carefully the advantages of reducing the risk of injury or death to the patient who drives against any medical reason the patient may give for seeking an exemption from using a safety belt.  If a person is fit to be in control of a vehicle, the evidence indicates he or she is fit to wear a safety belt. Furthermore, physicians/chiropractors should be extremely reticent in granting medical exemptions to patients who are primarily passengers. If such patients are genuinely unable to use a safety belt, or decline to use it, they should be advised, and strongly urged, to ride in the back seat of the motor vehicle where it may be relatively safer to ride without a belt.

Safety belt use or nonuse may become evidence in court. Physicians/chiropractors are encouraged to keep a record of any medical exemption granted, the reason for it, the date it was granted and its expiration date.

Medical reasons for exemption

Some of the medical reasons that may be presented by patients for obtaining a medical exemption include certain musculoskeletal conditions and deformities, pregnancy, scars, pacemakers, ileostomies or colostomies, conditions of the breast, disabling conditions, unusual body size or shape, or psychological conditions. Many of the reasons presented result from lack of knowledge of the purpose and correct adjustment of the safety belt itself.

Musculoskeletal conditions and deformities

A correctly applied safety belt should not restrict the motion of patients with arthritis of the neck and shoulders while driving. If the rotation of the neck is limited and the trunk cannot be rotated while backing up the motor vehicle because of the safety belt, the patient may be informed that is legal to remove the safety belt when backing up.

Certain severe abdominal skeletal conditions, such as rheumatoid spondylitis, ankylosed major joints, deformity or fusion of the spine or major joints, other gross musculoskeletal deformities, or orthopedic devices such as body casts, may make it impossible for the patient to fasten a safety belt properly. In such conditions, a medical exemption may be considered.

Ileostomies and colostomies

Ileostomies and colostomies in persons of average size and build do not interfere with the use of a correctly applied safety belt. Persons with ileostomies and colostomies who have been involved in major vehicle crashes while wearing a safety belt have occasionally suffered irritation of the exposed mucosa, with some bleeding and even tearing of the mucosa from the stoma wall caused by sudden constriction by the safety belt. Such injuries are relatively minor in comparison to what could be expected from not wearing a safety belt.

Pregnancy

Based on research to date and experience from countries with compulsory safety belt use law, pregnancy — no matter at what stage — is not a valid reason for exempting safety belt use. In studies of belted pregnant women involved in motor vehicle crashes, it has been shown that there has been no increase in injuries to the fetus, or in fetal loss or abortion as a result of proper use of a safety belt.

Pregnant women should be instructed to position the belts correctly; the lap part should lie comfortably below the anterior superior iliac spines and the diagonal part across the costal margin, the sternum and clavicle. Thus, no part of the harness is allowed to compress the uterus.

Pacemakers

Pacemakers are commonly implanted in the upper right part if the anterior chest just below the clavicle in about 85 percent of the patients, and on the left side in about 15 percent. In general, safety belts do not cause discomfort to the pacemaker wearer or damage to the pacemaker itself.

If the pacemaker has been recently implanted and the surgical wound is still painful, a foam pad may be taped to the skin overlying the pacemaker to prevent any irritation while the safety belt is being used.

Should the wearer of a pacemaker be involved in a motor vehicle crash and the pacemaker receive a direct blow by the safety belt, the wearer should, as a precaution, have the pacemaker checked by his or her physician/chiropractor for any malfunction. Such malfunctions, however, have not been observed clinically or experimentally.

Scars

Well-healed scars present on the chest or abdominal wall are not harmed by a correctly positioned safety belt. Occasional irritation and pain have resulted from prolonged wearing of a safety belt, often too loosely positioned which allows a certain amount of friction and movement over parts of a scar.

Recent tender or painful scars may require a foam pad taped to the skin to prevent irritation and pain to the area over which the safety belt lies.

Disabling conditions

Physically disabled persons permitted to drive with a restricted driver's license will benefit from the use of safety belts because of the stabilization provided by the restraints. The guidelines for musculoskeletal conditions and deformities also apply to physically disabled persons.

Conditions of the breast

Breast irritation (mastitis) is rarely caused by belt use. When the safety belt is repositioned or the tension of the safety belt is reduced by use of a comfort clip or the "window shade" feature, the condition usually is resolved within a short time.

Special height or weight conditions

Persons five feet tall or less may complain that the shoulder harness safety belt crosses their neck, causing them discomfort. These persons should be referred to their car dealers for possible adjustment of the height of the seat, installation of a power seat, or the repositioning of the upper seat belt mounting point using a drop link. Adjustment of the position or tension of the safety belt with a comfort clip or the "window shade" feature may also help to alleviate the problem. Persons who are extremely obese and complain the safety belt does not reach across their abdomen should be referred to their automobile dealers for medication of the existing belt, a safety belt extender, or for the belt's replacement with a more appropriate one. If none of these alternatives are feasible, an exemption may be considered.

Psychological conditions

Patients manifesting severe claustrophobia can often be helped to accept safety belts by an explanation of the need and reasons for their use. A demonstration of the use of safety belts as part of the operation of a motor vehicle could serve to overcome such phobias.

Recommendations for exemption

  • A medical exemption should only be granted for a sound medical reason.
  • A request for medical exemption must be carefully reviewed and the patient should be given all possible encouragement to adapt the restraint system to the patient's conditions (i.e., adjusting the position and height of the car seat, and adjusting and positioning the safety belt) before making a decision.
  • If a medical exemption is granted, a record should be kept by the physician/chiropractor of the medical reason given by the patient for the exemption, the documentation of the basis for which the medical exemption was granted, the date it was granted, and the expiration date.
  • For temporary conditions, a medical exemption should be granted for periods of no more than six months, and renewed as necessary.
  • A patient who is primarily a passenger and who is unable or who categorically refuses to use a safety belt should be advised to ride in the back seat of motor vehicles.

How to obtain an exemption

  • A medical exemption may be granted only by a licensed physician/chiropractor.
  • An Iowa Medical Safety Belt Exemption form, provided by the Iowa DOT, must be completed by a physician or chiropractor. The exemption shall not exceed 12 months, but may be renewed if necessary.
  • The patient's name, date of birth and address, the date of issuance of the exemption, a clear statement of medical exemption from belt use, and the physician/chiropractor's signature must appear on the certification.

 

Commercial Learner's Permit (CLP)

You will need a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) if you are:
  • Applying for a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) for the first time.
  • Upgrading your existing CDL and the upgrade requires a skills (driving) test.
You must hold a CLP for at least 14 days before you can complete the required skills (driving) test.

You are required to provide the following documents to obtain your CLP unless you already have a license marked as REAL-ID compliant (which means we already have this information verified). A REAL-ID has a gold star in the top right corner of your license. CLP Process
 

 

 

 

Bureau of Investigation & Identity Protection training and education

To arrange for a training session, please contact the Iowa DOT's:

Bureau of Investigation & Identity Protection
Investigations
Telephone:  866-908-4636
E-mail:  invbureau@dot.iowa.gov

Salvage theft examiner certification course

The Iowa DOT's Bureau of Investigation & Identity Protection provides hands-on training, as well as classroom training, that enables officers from local and county law enforcement agencies to become certified/recertified in conducting salvage theft examinations.

To arrange a training session for an individual officer or an entire law enforcement agency, please contact the Bureau of Investigation & Identity Protection by calling 866-908-4636 or email invbureau@dot.iowa.gov

Fraud detection training

The Iowa DOT's Bureau of Investigation & Identity Protection staff provides detailed training in the areas of fraudulent title documents, odometer tampering, use tax, salvage fraud and driver license fraud and related identity theft.

These presentations are available to law enforcement agencies and employees of governmental agencies such as county treasurer and county attorney personnel. Presentations have also been formulated for civic groups, as well as individuals involved in the motor vehicle industry.

 

Commercial Learner's Permit (CLP)

You will need a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) if you are:
  • Applying for a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) for the first time.
  • Upgrading your existing CDL and the upgrade requires a skills (driving) test.
You must hold a CLP for at least 14 days before you can complete the required skills (driving) test.

You are required to provide the following documents to obtain your CLP unless you already have a license marked as REAL-ID compliant (which means we already have this information verified). A REAL-ID has a gold star in the top right corner of your license. CLP Process