With so much open space, drivers could be forgiven for speeding on occasion while crisscrossing the state of Iowa. The land of corn fields and pig farms is one of America’s more sparsely populated states, but that doesn’t mean the rules of the road don’t apply on local highways and byways. Do you know what is on your Iowa driving record? Are you confident that the next time a law enforcement official pulls you over they won’t have cause to arrest you?
Checking your driving record on occasion is a great way of preventing life’s little surprises from sneaking up on you and turning a good day into a bad one. Your Iowa driving record, like your credit report, contains valuable information about your status as a legal driver in the state of Iowa. Below you’ll find helpful tips for accessing your driving record so you know your status before you’re pulled over.
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What’s On My Iowa Driving Record?
Your Iowa driving record is a complete synopsis of your life behind the wheel over the last five years. Information regarding traffic accidents, violations, convictions, and license suspensions is included on your driving record, along with demographic information such as your name, address, and date of birth.
Those who have had a license revoked for a conviction of operating while intoxicated can expect to see that blemish on their record for 12 years in the state of Iowa. Additionally, the completion of any driver improvement courses will be noted on your Iowa driving record. However, the completion of these courses does not clear violations or accidents from your record.
How Does the Iowa Point System Work?
Similar to the point system implemented in other US states, the state of Iowa issues points on a driver’s license for every moving violation they commit. Every time you receive a violation, points go on your driving record. Less severe citations equal a smaller number of points, but these will increase depending on the number of infractions committed.
Some of the examples of offenses and their corresponding number of points issued in Iowa are:
- Two (2) points for driving with a suspended, revoked, or denied license
- Three (3) points for driving while license is revoked for alcohol or drug-related offenses
- Four (4) for driving with a barred license and with a BAC of 0.08% or higher
- Five (5) points for leaving the scene of an accident, eluding a police officer; or causing serious injury in a car accident
- Six (6) points for vehicular manslaughter
These are just a few. For a complete list of traffic points given in Iowa, check this Legislative Guide to Driver’s License Sanctions.
The number of points you’ve accumulated over time is closely monitored by the Iowa DOT. Upon collecting a certain amount of points, you may face a possible license suspension if you reached:
- Three (3) or more moving violations in a year
- Six (6) or more moving violations within 2 years
Meanwhile, the length of your license’s suspension depends on how many points you received at a specific time:
- 6 to 7 points will result in 2 years license suspension
- 8 to 9 points will result in 3 years license suspension
- 10 to 12 points will result in 4 years license suspension
- 10 to 15 points will result in 5 years license suspension
- 16 or more points will result in 6 years license suspension
Take note as well that in Iowa, the DOT will not remove points from your driving records even if you complete a defensive driving course or drug or alcohol course.
Who Can Access My Iowa Driving Record?
Various entities within the state of Iowa can access your driving record. In addition to officials from the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Office of Driver Services, law enforcement officials, insurance providers, and potential employers can view your driving record. Employers are permitted to check your driving record as part of background checks conducted during pre-employment screening. Insurance providers need to assess the risk involved in providing drivers with coverage. The best way for them to do so is by viewing your record to look at your history of moving violations and accidents.
It is also important to realize that, in some cases, attorneys could access your Iowa driving record. If you are involved in a lawsuit directly, or indirectly, related to a traffic accident, attorneys from either side may access your driving record as part of the proceedings.
How Can I Access My Iowa Driving Record?
Accessing your record is as easy as visiting an Office of Driver Services location, mailing in a request form, or viewing a digital copy of your record online. There are different steps to take for each of these that you’ll need to know in order to obtain a copy of your record. If you can tolerate the world-famous patience of your local DMV staff, you’ll need to bring a completed request form into the nearest DMV office.
Before heading into the DMV, you’ll need to print out and complete a Privacy Act Agreement for Request of Motor Vehicle Records. Since you are applying for a copy of your own Iowa driving record as an individual (rather than a business), simply fill out sections A and D, and bring the form to your nearest Iowa DMV location.
If you are comfortable waiting for a copy of your record to arrive via snail mail, simply fill out the form mentioned above and mail it in to the Iowa Office of Driver Services. The mailing address is:
Office of Driver Services
Iowa Department of Transportation
P.O. Box 9204
Des Moines, IA 50306
You will need to pay a fee of $5.50 to receive a copy of your Iowa driving record in person or through the mail. All mail requests require a check for the amount above. All checks should be addressed to “Treasurer, State of Iowa.”
Lastly, if you are in a hurry to see a copy of your Iowa driving record, you can view a digital copy online. You’ll need to visit the Iowa Department of Transportation’s myMVD website and enter identifying information in order to view your records. When you visit the site, provide your name, date of birth, last five digits in your Social Security number, and Iowa driver’s license number. There is a $1.50 service fee charged in addition to the $5.50 processing fee to view your record online.
Obtaining a copy of your driving record helps avoid unpleasant surprises in the event you have an encounter with law enforcement officials. More importantly, inaccurate information on your driving record can result in higher insurance premiums and even legal troubles if it is discovered you have been driving on a suspended or revoked license.