New Iowa residents obtaining a driver's license or ID

New to Iowa? - 8 frequently asked questions

If you have never been licensed, you must:

If you have a valid out-of-state license, you must:

Minors at least 16 years but less than 18 years, transferring an out-of-state driver's license must:

If you were not born in the United States or are not an American Citizen you must:

  • Present acceptable proof of identity and residence. The Iowa DOT will not issue a DL or ID if your immigration document shows your remaining status time is less than 30 days.
  • Not be canceled, suspended or revoked in any state.
  • Provide proof of Social Security.  If you are a temporary foreign national not authorized for employment, you do not have to document a SSN, but the Iowa DOT will verify your USCIS number. Make sure you are not authorized for employment. If you are eligible for employment but do not have a SSN, you are required to obtain and present one.

    The Iowa DOT will electronically verify your name, date of birth and SSN with the Social Security Administration (SSA). Make sure your document is up to date and accurate to avoid delay. If you need to correct or update information at the SSA, do so several days before you apply for a DL or ID card. For information on how to do this, visit Your SSN will not be listed on your DL or ID. The Iowa DOT will assign you a unique DL or ID number.
  • Pass a vision test.
  • Pass all applicable written and driving test(s).
  • Pay applicable fees.
  • Immigrant & refugee resources.


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