Driver's license/ID

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COVID-19 – Read below to determine the best way to receive services during this time.

Driver’s license and ID services customers may have a variety of options to receive services. Use our service selector to find out your options. Please note that if you must come into an Iowa DOT-operated service center you will need to make an appointment. Walk-in customers will not be served.

Iowa driver's license renewal and extensions

Renewing your Iowa driver's license or ID card

There are three ways to renew your driver's license or ID card: online, in-person, or at a kiosk.

Online renewal checkmark

If you meet the eligibility requirements, you may renew your driver's license or identification (ID) card online and skip a trip to the driver's license issuance location. You will need your current driver's license or ID card and a credit or debit card at your fingertips to complete the process. Fees will include your driver's license or ID card renewal fee plus a $1.50 online processing fee.

In-person renewal checkmark

You can renew your driver's license or Identification card at any one of Iowa's 100 issuance sites.

At a kiosk checkmark

You can renew your driver's license or Identification card at any one of Iowa's 24 kiosks.


Expiration dates

Your license expires on the expiration date printed on the license. The license is valid for driving for an additional 60 days after the expiration date. After 60 days from the expiration date, you may be ticketed for driving with an expired license. (If you are a temporary foreign national, you are not entitled to the 60-day grace period.)

After one year following expiration, you will be required to take the knowledge test and drive test. If you plan to travel or rent a car during the 60-day grace period, you should renew your driver's license; some entities may not recognize the grace period. You may renew your driver's license 180 days before its expiration date. If you demonstrate a good cause exists to renew earlier, you may renew your driver's license up to one year before the expiration date. You must pass the vision screening each time you renew your license.

Age Expiration date
Younger than 17 years and 11 months Two years
Older than 17 years and 11 months through 66 years Eight years
67 years Seven years
68 years Six years
69 years Five years
70 years Four years
71 years Three years
72 years and older Two years

Iowa nonoperator's ID cards will be issued with an expiration date of eight years.

Licenses issued to persons under the age of 18 or persons who are temporary foreign nationals will be issued driver's licenses with shorter renewal periods set by Iowa law.

Electronic renewal notifiction sign upElectronic renewal notification

Receive an email reminder to renew your driver's license or identification card.

Real ID

If you want a REAL ID-marked card, you must complete a new application (assisted by the driver’s license issuance site representative) and present proof of identity. Regardless of whether you have held your driver’s license or ID card for a short time or many years, the same provisions apply.

To assist Iowans gather the necessary documents, there is a list of acceptable documents available on the Internet (Proof of Identity), or you can call 515-244-8725 to listen to a recorded message.

Temporary extension

If you are temporarily out of state, are unable to renew your driver's license in person and do not meet eligibility to renew online, you may apply for a temporary extension not to exceed six months. Please note: If you are eligible to renew your license online, you may not be eligible for a temporary extension. A request for extension must be made within 30 days before or 60 days after the expiration date. The request must also be in writing by mailing or faxing an Application for Temporary Extension of Motor Vehicle License to the Iowa DOT's Driver & Identification Services. You must provide an out-of-state address and/or out-of-state fax number.

Temporary extension for military personnel

An extension of operating privileges may be given to military personnel who cannot return to Iowa to renew their driver's license in person and do not meet eligibility requirements to renew online. The extension is valid until six months following separation from active duty.

Iowa law also provides for an extension to dependents of active military personnel. This extension is valid for five years from the expiration date of the license. A copy of the dependent's military identification must accompany the written request.

A request for an Extension for Military Service, along with the active duty assignment orders, may be emailed, faxed, or mailed to:

Driver & Identification Services
Iowa Department of Transportation
P.O. Box 9204
Des Moines, Iowa 50306-9204
Telephone: 515-244-8725
Fax: 515-239-1837

How to get a “veteran” designation on your driver’s license or nonoperator identification card

Honorably discharged veterans who have active duty experience are eligible to have a “veteran” designation placed on their driver’s license or nonoperator identification (ID).

The veteran designation is a completely voluntary initiative designed to assist Iowa veterans. There are thousands of businesses throughout Iowa and the United States, including restaurants, hotels and even home improvement stores that give discounts to veterans. Some of those businesses require proof of veteran status. The veteran designation on a driver's license or ID card allows you to be quickly identified as a veteran, eliminating the need to carry official military papers for these purposes.

Sample driver's license showing Veteran designation

There are two ways to receive the designation.

checkmark Take a copy of your DD 214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty from the Department of Defense) directly to a driver’s license issuance location.

To be eligible, your DD 214 must show both a character of service indicating an honorable discharge and be listed as active duty (not training active duty) prior to your discharge.

Once you have received a veteran’s designation, the Iowa DOT will notify the County Commission of Veteran’s Affairs so that the commission may initiate contact with you.

checkmark Present your DD 214 to your county Veterans Affairs office, complete the required Iowa DOT application form, and then bring it to a driver's license issuance location.

The same requirements must be met – active duty and honorable discharge.

The County Veterans Affairs office will confirm your veteran status and complete the required Iowa DOT application form. Take the completed form with you to any driver's license issuance location. The veteran designation will be added to your driver's license or ID card when it is issued. To expedite the authorization process, you can also bring a completed Find a County Veterans Office near you.

If you are applying for a new license or ID or are renewing a previous one, all usual fees apply. If you are requesting a duplicate or adding the veteran’s designation to your current DL or ID, there will be a fee of $10.