Iowa DOT News

Changes to Iowa law allows for an eight-year driver’s license

AMES, Iowa – Dec. 23, 2013 – Iowa drivers may have a pleasant surprise when they renew a driver’s license after Jan. 1, 2014. New legislation allows the Iowa Department of Transportation to transition from driver’s licenses that are valid for five years to driver’s licenses that are valid for eight years, saving customers time and money. 

Not everyone who steps through the doors of a driver’s license issuance site or logs on to will receive an eight-year license during this transition period. Mark Lowe, director of the Iowa DOT’s Motor Vehicle Division, said, “The transition will occur over the next five years, from 2014 through 2018. During that time, the Iowa DOT’s issuance system will randomly assign customers five-, six-, seven-, and eight-year licenses designed to equally spread renewal volumes over an eight-year period.”  

Transition details

  • The yearly fee for licenses will not change. The basic yearly fees remain $4 per year for a noncommercial license, $8 per year for a commercial driver’s license, and $2 per year for a motorcycle endorsement.
  • As required under the new legislation, a license issued to a customer younger than 72 cannot exceed the customer’s 74th birthday. At age 72, licenses shift to two-year renewal periods.
  • Licenses issued to minors and persons who are temporary foreign nationals are not included in the transition. They have shorter renewal periods set by other statutes.
  • Identification cards will not be included in the phased-transition. All identification cards issued after Jan. 1, 2014, will be valid for eight years and the fee will be $8. 

For additional information or to watch an overview presentation about Iowa driver’s license types and fees, visit Iowa DOT’s website at: 

Five- to eight-year renewal increases customer service and cost savings

Iowa DOT’s Office of Driver Services currently has significant swings in its annual renewal volumes – from as high as 530,000 renewals in some years to as low as 275,000 in others. These swings increase wait times for customers and strain resources. When the shift to eight-year licenses is fully implemented, license renewal volumes will be roughly equal each year at 260,000 license renewals annually. The change should increase customer service, save customers about $3.4 million dollars annually in reduced time and travel to receive services, and save the Iowa DOT about $1.8 million annually in resources and production costs.  



Contact: Mark Lowe at 515-237-3121 or [email protected]




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