Iowa Driver’s License Renewal (A Complete 2023 Guide)

Iowa Driver's License Renewal (A Complete Guide)

Welcome to your complete 2023 guide on Iowa driver’s license renewal. 

Now, renewing your driver’s license can be an inconvenience, especially if you don’t know what to do. This is why it’s important to know all the steps before going through the process. 

This way, at least you can get everything right and won’t have to waste any more time. 

And here, we’ll show you all the steps to renewing your driver’s license in Iowa. 

Not only that, but we’ll also answer some of the most frequently asked questions to help you even more. 

So without further ado, let’s get started!

How to Renew Your Driver’s License in Iowa

The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) allows you to renew your driver’s license in 2 ways: 

  • Online
  • In-person

These 2 methods are very easy to follow. Let’s show you how to renew with each method in the next sections. 

How to Renew Your Iowa Driver’s License Online

If you’re looking for convenience, then online renewal is the way to go. 

When the Covid-19 pandemic started, Iowa DOT allowed residents to renew their licenses online. And because of the positive turnout of people renewing online, the DOT decided to stick with it. 

However, you have to be eligible for online renewal. 

Here are the eligibility requirements in Iowa: 

  • You are 18-69 years old.
  • You have a valid, non-commercial driver’s license OR a driver’s license that hasn’t expired for more than a year. 
  • You are a resident of Iowa. 
  • You don’t need to make any changes to your driver’s license (e.g. name change or address change).
  • Your last renewal was done in person. You cannot renew online two times in a row.  

If you meet all these requirements, you may proceed with renewing online. 

Here’s how to renew your Iowa driver’s license online: 

  • Provide all your details (first and last name, driver’s license number, Social Security number, date of birth).
  • Follow the online prompts.
  • Pay the renewal fee of $32 (or $4 per year) for an 8-year license validity using a debit card or credit card. Note that you will also be charged a minimal online processing fee. 
  • Receive your new driver’s license in 3 weeks. 

And there you have it.

As easy and convenient as that. 

How to Renew Your Iowa Driver’s License In Person

If you don’t meet all of the eligibility requirements for online renewal, then you have to renew your license at a DOT office. 

It’s important to note, however, that ever since the boom of online renewal, many DOT offices no longer allow in-person renewals. 

So if you want to make sure that you won’t waste time going to an office that doesn’t accept license renewals, always make an appointment. 

That said, here are the steps to renewing your Iowa driver’s license in person: 

  • Bring the following documents to the DOT office on your scheduled day:
    • Current driver’s license
    • Proof of identity and date of birth
    • Social Security number
    • Proof of residence in Iowa
    • Proof of name/address change (if applicable)
  • Follow the instructions given to you at the office. 
  • Pay for your license renewal – $4 for every year or $32 for 8 years. 
  • Get your temporary driver’s license. Your official one will arrive in 3 weeks. 

NOTE: if you are at least 72 years old, your driver’s license can only be renewed for a maximum of two years. 

Sure, it might not be as convenient as an online renewal. But still, the steps are very straightforward and easy to follow. 

How to Renew Your Iowa Driver’s License When You’re Out of State

What if you’re out of state when your driver’s license needs to be renewed?

Or, what if you’re part of the military and are serving outside Iowa?

This is where the DOT makes a special case to extend your driver’s license validity until you can renew it. 

NOTE: this option is only applicable for those who will miss the renewal period of 180 days before expiry OR 60 days after expiry of the driver’s license. 

If you want to extend your driver’s license, here’s what to do:

  • Submit the form online.
  • If you don’t have some of the required information (placed in red asterisks) you have to print the form and mail it to the Iowa DOT: 

Office of Driver Services

Iowa Department of Transportation

P.O. Box 9204

Des Moines, Iowa 50306-9204

Telephone: 515-244-8725

Fax: 515-239-1837

  • Receive your extension approval or denial via mail or email. 

You don’t need to pay any fees for the extension. 

Another thing. This process is only meant to give you up to six months more of driver’s license validity. The extension period will be determined by the Iowa DOT. 

Frequently Asked Questions

You still might have questions about renewing your Iowa driver’s license. In that case, let’s answer some of the most common questions about license renewal in Iowa. 

Can I renew my driver’s license by mail in Iowa?

No. Iowa doesn’t have license renewals by mail. You can only renew either online or at a DOT office. 

That said, if you are out of state, you can ask for a license extension through the mail. 

Do I need an appointment to renew my Iowa driver’s license?

You need to make an appointment at a driver’s licensing center for your license renewal. Thankfully, scheduling appointments is made easy thanks to the Iowa DOT online appointment scheduler

How long do you have to renew your Iowa driver’s license after it expires?

You are given 60 days after your license expires to renew it. Your license will still be active by then.

Can you extend your driver’s license expiration in Iowa?

Yes, you can. However, you need to write to the Iowa DOT 30 days before your license expires. Plus, you need to have a good reason for an extension, such as working out of state. 

Depending on your situation, the DOT can give you up to 6 months extension on your license. 

How much does it cost to renew an Iowa driver’s license?

The renewal fee is $4 per year. You can also just pay $32 for an 8-year validity. 


That was your complete 2023 guide on Iowa driver’s license renewal. 

As we saw, renewing your driver’s license in Iowa is super easy. It’s even easier if you can do it online. 

Plus, the DOT gives a lot of time for you to renew. 

So if you see that it’s time to renew your Iowa driver’s license, what are you waiting for?

Now that you know what to do, you should go and renew it right away!

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