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Iowa's Driver Improvement Program (DIP)

Suspension of driving privileges

Your driving privileges may be suspended for:
  • 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).

Driver improvement school

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.

For more information about driver improvement for drivers under age 17, see Iowa's Graduated Driver Licensing System, Remedial Driver Improvement

Driving while suspended

Driving while your license is suspended is a misdemeanor. A conviction may result in a $1,500 fine and up to one year in jail if you are convicted of a serious misdemeanor. The length of your suspension or revocation for some convictions may also be doubled if you are convicted of driving while your license is suspended. A work permit cannot be issued when you have been convicted of driving while your license was suspended. You could also be barred from driving (under the provisions of Iowa Code § 321.555) if you are convicted for driving while under suspension (Iowa Code § 321.218 and 321A.32 [1]).

Habitual offender

You will be barred for two to six years (Iowa Code Section 321.555 Paragraph 1) if you receive three or more of any combination of the following convictions in a six-year period:
  • 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 of six moving violations committed within a two-year period may cause you to be barred for one year from the date of judgment (Iowa Code Section 321.555 Paragraph 2).   Speeding convictions will count here if they are for 15 miles per hour or more over the speed limit.

Conviction for driving while barred under either Paragraph 1 or 2 of Section 321.555 listed above can result in a prison term.

Financial responsibility

Any suspension as a result of moving convictions or revocation for OWI and implied consent (Chapter 321J) requires compliance with Iowa's financial responsibility law.   This requirement is normally met by filing proof of at least $55,000 insurance coverage.  Otherwise, you must post security of $55,000 by certified check, cashier's check, money order, or surety bond.  This filing must be maintained for two years.

Driver improvement and your driving record

The completion of a driver improvement course, probation period, or a suspension does not clear your driving record of any entries showing violations or accidents.  Your driving record will show all convictions, accidents, or suspensions during at least the last five years.  A license revocation for OWI will remain on your record for 12 years.

Out-of-state moving traffic violations

Convictions for moving traffic violations in other states count against your driving record in determining what action the Iowa DOT will take concerning your driving privileges.

Calculating dates of traffic violations

The dates of the offenses occurred, not the dates you are convicted of traffic violations, are considered when determining how many violations have taken place in a specified time period.

Driver improvement and commercial driver licenses

Operators of commercial motor vehicles may be subject to additional penalties.