Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator (Non-Iowa resident)
OWI in Iowa brochure
- While under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or other drug or a combination of such substances.
- While having an alcohol concentration of .08 or more.
- While having any amount of a controlled substance in one’s body.
Iowa’s implied consent law means that any person who operates a motor vehicle in the state agrees to have a blood, breath and/or urine test performed to determine alcohol level or presence of drugs, whenever a peace officer has reasonable grounds to believe the person is operating under the influence.
Driver's license revocation
|Administrative - driver's license revocation due to chemical test failure|
Period of revocation
When a chemical test indicates an alcohol level of .08 or more or the presence of a controlled substance, and the person has had no OWI-related revocations in the previous 12 years, the person may apply for a temporary restricted license.
If an accident occurred or their blood alcohol content (BAC) level was greater than .15, the person must wait 30 days from the effective date of the sanction to be eligible for a temporary restricted license.
An individual must install an ignition interlock device, if the BAC level was greater than .10 or an accident occurred to be eligible for a temporary restricted license.
*Persons under age 21 are ineligible for a temporary restricted license until 60 days have passed from the effective date of the sanction.
Persons under age 18 are not eligible for a temporary license.
The person is not eligible for a temporary restricted license for 45 days.
Under age 18
If a driver is under the age of 18 and his or her driver's license or operating privileges are revoked administratively or by a court order, the revocation continues until the revocation expires or until the person reaches age 18, whichever is later. Persons under age 18 are not eligible for a temporary license.
Until the revocation expires or person reaches age 18, whichever is later.
|Upon conviction in a court of law if the license has not otherwise been revoked administratively|
Period of revocation
Upon conviction, and if he or she has no convictions or revocations in the preceding 12 years, the person may apply for a temporary restricted license.
If an accident occurred or the BAC level was greater than .15, the person must wait 30 days from the effective date of the sanction to be eligible for a temporary restricted license.
The individual must install an ignition interlock device, if their BAC level was greater than .10 or an accident occurred to be eligible for a temporary restricted license.
The person must wait 90 days from the effective date of the sanction to apply for a temporary restricted license, if he or she refused the test.
*If the individual is under age 21, he or she is ineligible for a temporary restricted license until 60 days have passed from the effective date of the sanction.
Second offense or one or more revocations in the preceding 12 years
The person is not eligible for a temporary restricted license for 45 days.
If the driver's license is not otherwise revoked and the court defers judgment on the sentencing, the person may apply for a temporary restricted license.
If an accident occurred or the BAC level was greater than .15, the individual must wait 30 days from the effective date of the sanction to be eligible for a temporary restricted license.
An individual must install an ignition interlock device, if their BAC level was greater than .10 or if an accident occurred. The individual must wait 90 days from the effective date of the sanction if he or she refused the test to be eligible for a temporary restricted license.
Court-ordered revocation, in addition to another administrative or court-ordered revocation
|Period of revocation|
The person may apply for a temporary restricted license after one year, if ignition interlock devices are installed on all vehicles.
Any level of offense involving personal injury caused by OWI
The person may apply for a temporary restricted license when otherwise permitted by the period of the other revocation. Ignition interlock devices must be installed on all vehicles.
One year, in addition to the period of any other
Any level of offense involving a death caused by OWI
The person is not eligible for a temporary restricted license for two years.
.02/"zero tolerance" - driver's license revocations for drivers under age 21
Driving while revoked
Reinstating a driver's license
- Pays a $200 civil penalty.
- Presents proof of completion of a course for drinking drivers. (Online courses not accepted.)
- Presents proof of completion of a substance abuse evaluation and treatment or rehabilitation services.
- Complies with financial responsibility law, if applicable.
- Complies with interlock requirement, if applicable.
Criminal penalties for OWI
Iowa's ignition interlock devices
The following is a list of ignition interlock devices that have been approved by the Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) for use in the State of Iowa:
Pay civil penalty(ies) required for reinstatement of my driver’s license
How to apply for a temporary restricted license
View my noncertified driving record
When will the suspension end?
- The suspension will end after the Iowa DOT receives proof that the fine has been paid in full. You can provide a receipt or confirmation of online payment to the Iowa DOT’s Office of Driver Services to show that the court fine has been paid in full.
- The suspension will end after the clerk of court asks the Iowa DOT to withdraw the suspension for that court fine because the fine has been paid in full or is being paid through a payment plan.
- OR -
Paying the fine
How can I find out how much I owe for my court fines that are suspending my license?You may find the balance for your fines by looking them up using Iowa Courts Online. You can pay your fines online using the Iowa Courts Online payment service. Otherwise, you can call or visit the clerk of court in the county where the fine is owed to determine the current balance. Their contact information is on the official notice of suspension.
How can I pay my fines?Court fines can be paid in full directly to the clerk of court either online or in person. Please provide your receipt or confirmation of online payment to the Iowa DOT to end your suspension.
I am not able to pay the fine in full, is there a payment plan available?A payment plan referred to as either the License Reinstatement Program or County Attorney Payment Plan (CAPP) may be available. You can apply for this program by contacting the county attorney’s office* in the county where the fine is due. If that county does not offer the program, contact the county attorney’s office in the county where you live or the county nearest you that offers the program.
Find your county attorney’s office contact information.
*Note: The License Reinstatement Program in Linn County is administered through the Linn County Sheriff’s Office.
If the fine is less than 60 days past due, the Iowa Department of Revenue’s central collection unit (CCU) may also offer a payment plan. You may contact them by calling 515-725-0229 and asking for the “License Reinstatement Program.”
How does a payment plan with the county attorney’s office work?Staff with the county attorney’s office will work with you to set up the details of your payments. Once the plan is finalized, your first payment will be sent to the clerk of court. The clerk of court will then ask the Iowa Department of Transportation to withdraw the suspension(s) for failure to pay the fine(s).
If I start a payment plan will I automatically get my license back?A payment plan with the county attorney only ends suspensions for non-payment of fines. If your license is suspended, revoked, or barred for another reason, you can check with the DOT to see if you are eligible for a Temporary Restricted License (TRL/work permit) and to see if you have other reinstatement requirements to meet. You can view your reinstatement requirements by logging into https://mymvd.iowadot.gov.
I also owe civil penalties to the Iowa DOT. Can I include these on my payment plan?If you enter into a payment plan with a county attorney’s office or with the Iowa Department of Revenue, you may be able to include your civil penalties owed to the Iowa Department of Transportation on that plan. Be sure to ask whether the payment plan will include your civil penalties.
I owe court fines out of state. What can I do to end the suspension for failure to pay the fine?If you owe court fines to another state, you must contact that state to determine a way to pay the fine or make a payment arrangement. The contact information for the court in the other state is included on your official notice of suspension from the Iowa Department of Transportation.
How do I get my license back?
If your license is still suspended, revoked, or barred for another reason you may be able to apply for a temporary restricted license (TRL/work permit).
If it has been more than one year since you have had a valid driver’s license (or expired more than one year and 60 days), you will be required to pass a knowledge test and a driving test before you can reinstate your license.
How long does it take to update my driving record once I enter into a payment plan with a county attorney’s office or with the Iowa Department of Revenue’s central collection unit?The length of time it will take to clear the suspension(s) for failure to pay the fine(s) may vary depending on whether you owe fines in more than one county, the age of the cases (older cases may take longer to process), and whether civil penalties were included in your installment agreement. You can monitor your driving record and reinstatement requirements by visiting mymvd.iowa.gov.
Why is my license still suspended?
I am already making payments on my fines, why is my license still suspended?The clerk of court will notify the Iowa Department of Transportation to suspend someone’s driving privileges when court fines are not paid in full and are more than 60 days past due. You may want to contact the party receiving your payments to check the status of your payments and to see which fines are included. You may also want to look into a payment plan offered by a county attorney’s office.
Money from my income tax return is supposed to be applied toward my fines, why is my license still suspended for failure to pay these fines?If the Iowa Department of Revenue held your income tax return in order to apply it to unpaid court fines, you may wish to contact the Iowa Department of Revenue to see if they have forwarded payment to the clerk of court in the county where the fine is owed. Once the clerk of court receives full payment for that fine, the Iowa Department of Transportation will be notified and the suspension for the failure to pay the fine(s) will end.
My ticket was dismissed in court, why is this case still causing my license to be suspended?If your ticket was dismissed in court, you may still owe court costs. Contact the clerk of court or visit Iowa Courts Online to determine if you owe court costs.
Am I eligible for a temporary restricted license (TRL) while my license is suspended for failure to pay court fines?
If your privileges to operate and/or register motor vehicles in Iowa are being sanctioned (denied, cancelled, suspended, revoked, disqualified or barred), you may be entitled to an appeal of this action.
How do I know if I have a right to appeal?
Example statement #1
Example statement #2
If you received notice of your sanction in a Request and Notice Under Iowa Code Chapter 321J/Section 321.208, form number 432013 (also known as OWI Implied Consent form) from a law enforcement officer, your right to appeal is explained in that notice.
Is there a deadline for submitting an appeal?
If a law enforcement officer gave you a Request and Notice under Iowa Code Chapter 321J/Section 321.208 (an OWI Implied Consent form), the deadline for appealing is 10 days from the date the officer gave you the form.
Your request for an appeal must be received by the Iowa DOT’s Office of Driver Services on or before the date indicated in the notice the DOT or law enforcement officer issued to you, which may be different from the date the sanction will begin. Please read your notice carefully.
Failure to request an appeal by the date specified in your notice will result in a denial of your request for an appeal.
If your appeal deadline falls on a weekend or state holiday, your appeal deadline will be extended to the next regular business day.
Submitting a request for an appeal
Office of Driver Services
Iowa Department of Transportation
P.O. Box 9204
Des Moines, IA 50306-9204
The completed form may also be hand delivered to any Iowa DOT driver’s license issuance site.
To provide quality customer service to you, please include a copy of the Official Notice, form number 431010 you received from the Iowa DOT's Office of Driver Services or a copy of the Request and Notice Under Iowa Code Chapter 321J/Section 321.208, form number 432013 (also known as OWI Implied Consent form) you received from the law enforcement officer who stopped you.
If you have retained the services of an attorney, include your attorney’s name, address and phone number. If you have not yet secured an attorney but plan to, you may still submit your request for an appeal and notify the Iowa DOT of your attorney’s information once you have it.
A list of all of the information you may need in order to expedite your request is provided here for your convenience.
- Your full name (last, first and middle)
- Your date of birth
- Your driver's license number, Social Security number or customer number (customer number is printed on the Official Notice issued by the DOT)
- Your current mailing address (if different from your driver's license or identification (ID) card)
- Attorney information (attorney's name, address and telephone number)
- If notice of your sanction came from the DOT, a copy of the Official Notice, form number 431010, you received from the Iowa DOT. If you have received multiple sanction notices, provide a copy of each notice that you wish to appeal)
- If notice of your sanction came from a law enforcement officer, the OWI Implied Consent, form number 432013, you received from the law enforcement officer who stopped you
- Miscellaneous documents: any other information/documents that you would like to have considered by the reviewing officer
- Request for subpoena (if you are requesting production of any documents held by the DOT or a law enforcement agency for use at the hearing)
Can I continue driving?
- If you are already sanctioned for another violation, the Iowa DOT may be able to temporarily stop the new sanction against your driving and/or registration privileges while your case is being reviewed, but you will NOT have valid driving and/or registration privileges because you are currently sanctioned for other violations.
- If your driving/registration privileges were valid at the time the sanction was issued, the Iowa DOT may be able to temporarily stop the action against your driving/registration privileges while your case is being reviewed and you will have valid driving/registration privileges until a decision has been made on the appeal.
You will receive a stay order explaining whether you have been granted a stay and the status of your driving and/or registration privileges during this period. You are not authorized to operate and/or register motor vehicles until you have received a stay order that indicates you are authorized to do so. The following sanctions cannot be stayed during an appeal to the DOT:
- A suspension for incapability.
- A disqualification from operating a commercial motor vehicle.
- A suspension issued to a minor holding a graduated driver's license under Iowa Code section 321.180B.
- A suspension or revocation for driving while denied, canceled, suspended, or revoked under Iowa Code section 321.218 or for driving while suspended, denied, revoked, or barred under Iowa Code section 321J.21.
The administrative appeal process
- At the first level, an Iowa DOT compliance officer will review your driving record, review any written statements and documentation you or your attorney submit on your behalf, and then mail the decision to you. If the sanction is upheld, you may be able to request another appeal at the second level. Your new official notice form will indicate whether or not you may continue through the appeal process.
- At the second level, the Iowa DOT will forward any documents submitted by you or your attorney, to the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals to be used in a telephone hearing with an administrative law judge and you or your attorney. If you withdraw your request for this appeal, the sanction will be upheld, and you will not be entitled to any further appeal of this sanction. If the telephone hearing is held and the sanction is upheld, you may be able to request another appeal at the third and final level. Your new official notice form will indicate whether or not you may continue through the appeal process. Appeal of an OWI revocation, a habitual offender bar, or a CDL disqualification will start at the second level of appeal.
- At the third and final level is a "Director's Review." The administrative law judge’s decision and all supporting documents are reviewed by a designee of the Iowa DOT’s director, who will issue a decision that will be mailed to you and your attorney. If the sanction is upheld, you will not be entitled to any further appeal of this sanction.
If you have further questions regarding the appeal processes, please refer to Iowa Administrative Rules available on the Internet at https://www.legis.iowa.gov/DOCS/ACO/IAC/LINC/Rule.761.615.38.pdf
Iowa does not have a compulsory insurance law. Instead, the Financial and Safety Responsibility Act protects you from the financially unsound and reckless driver. It does this by:
- Suspending the operating and registration privileges of a driver or owner who has not been able to show immediate financial responsibility following an accident; and
- By requiring anyone whose driver's license has been suspended or revoked because of a conviction, unsatisfied judgment or violation of the OWI law to prove financial responsibility for any future damages or injuries that driver may cause.
Financial responsibility after an accident
If you cause personal injury or damage exceeding $1,500 to the other party, you must next prove your financial responsibility. Otherwise, your license will be suspended.
You can prove financial responsibility in one of these ways:
- Show that you are covered by automobile liability insurance at the time of the accident.
- Post cash, cashier's check, certified check, bank draft or postal money order payable to the Office of Driver Services.
- Get releases from all other damaged or injured parties.
- Obtain a decision resulting from a civil damage action relieving you of all liability.
- File an agreement to pay the other damaged or injured parties on an installment plan.
- Execute a warrant for confession of judgment which includes an agreement upon payment schedule.
- File evidence of a complete settlement of all damages or injuries.
Owner and driver liability
- Your vehicle was legally stopped, standing or parked.
- Your vehicle was driven without your permission.
- No damage occurred to any person or property other than yourself.
After suspension or revocation
Methods of proof
Have your Iowa-authorized insurance company file Form SR-22 (Certificate of Automobile Liability Insurance) with the Iowa DOT's Office of Driver Services.
File a surety bond, cash or securities equal to $55,000.
Proof can be given for you by your employer's insurance company if you operate a vehicle owned by your employer, or by the insurance company for the owner of the vehicle you drive, if you are part of the owner's immediate family. The insurance company must file Form SR-22 for the person required to show proof.
If you drive for an employer who owns a fleet of motor vehicles, your employer's insurance carrier can certify proof by completing Form SR-23 (AAMVA Uniform Financial Responsibility Form). This covers you while driving your employer's vehicles only.
Proof can be given for you to operate a vehicle owned by a person who is issued a certificate of self-insurance by the Iowa DOT's Office of Driver Services. The self-insured must give the Office of Driver Services a letter authorizing you to drive the certificate holder's vehicle.
To operate a vehicle owned by someone who has truck operator, motor carrier, liquid transport carrier, or interstate commerce carrier authority issued by the Iowa DOT's Office of Vehicle & Motor Carrier Services, the permit owner must send an authorization to the Office of Driver Services granting you permission to drive the vehicle(s) covered by the permit.
For example, your operator's license that is also valid for motorcycles is reinstated following suspension. Even though your license shows the motorcycle validation, you cannot legally drive your motorcycle until your future proof of financial responsibility covers it.
Former or non-Iowa resident
A former Iowa resident who applies for an non-Iowa driver's license and must meet Iowa's SR-22 requirements should fill out a Residency Statement form. The form must also be completed by a driver's license official of the new state of residence. This form should be mailed to:Iowa Department of Transportation
Office of Driver Services
P.O. Box 9204
Des Moines, Iowa 50306-9204.
You can apply for a temporary restricted license for the following.
- Employment (work permit)
- Health care - for you or a dependent
- Child care
- Continuing education
- Substance abuse treatment
- Court-ordered community service
- Probation or parole officer appointments
To apply for a temporary restricted license, you will need to complete an Application for Temporary Restricted License. If you meet all requirements, you will be sent a notice that your application has been approved. You must then take the notice to a DOT driver's license station where you may be required to:
- Pass all required examinations (vision, written and/or driving test)
- Pay any civil penalties
- File proof of financial responsibility
- Pay a $20 reinstatement fee
- If your Iowa driving privileges have been revoked for operating while intoxicated (OWI), you will have to complete all requirements of Iowa's OWI law, including possible installation of an ignition interlock device.
For complete information regarding your eligibility for a temporary restricted license, contact:
Office of Driver Services
Iowa Department of Transportation
P.O. Box 9204
Des Moines, Iowa 50306-9204
Telephone: 515-244-9124 or 515-244-8725
Toll-free in Iowa: 800-532-1121
- Habitual violator: If you have been convicted of, or pled guilty to, three or more countable moving violations (including out-of-state violations) that were committed within a 12-month period.
- Serious violation: If you are convicted of, or pled guilty to, speeding 25 miles or more over the legal speed limit.
- Countable moving violations: Includes all moving violations except the first two speed convictions within a 12-month period which occur in speed zones between 34 mph and 56 mph and you were convicted of speed 10 mph or less over the posted speed limit. A moving violation is defined to include all violations not specifically excluded by Iowa Code § 321.210. (Examples of excluded violations include parking violations, failure to appear, equipment violations, registration violations, or disturbing the peace with a motor vehicle).
When your record shows convictions of three countable moving violations that were committed within a 12-month period, or you have been convicted of a speeding violation of 25 mph to 29 mph over the limit, you may be required to complete a driver improvement school at your local community college. After you have successfully completed the program, you will be on probation for one year. If you are convicted of a moving violation while on probation, the Iowa DOT's Office of Driver Services will start action to suspend your license. Also, a suspension notice will be mailed to you if you fail to complete the driver improvement program.
Driving while suspended
- manslaughter with a motor vehicle;
- conviction of operating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (Iowa Code Chapter 321J);
- conviction for driving while your license is suspended, revoked or barred; eluding or attempting to elude pursuing law enforcement vehicles; or serious injury by vehicle;
- failure to stop and leave information or render aid at the scene of an accident in which you were involved as required by Iowa Code 321.263
Conviction for driving while barred under either Paragraph 1 or 2 of Section 321.555 listed above can result in a prison term.