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Iowa driver's education instructor's information

Iowa Driver Education Course Requirements

Iowa Code section 321.178 mandates thirty clock hours of classroom instruction and six or more clock hours of laboratory instruction. This Code section also mandates that the classroom instruction include all of the following:
  • A minimum of four hours of instruction concerning substance abuse
  • A minimum of twenty minutes of instruction concerning railroad crossing safety
  • Instruction relating to becoming an organ donor under the revised uniform anatomical gift Act as provided in chapter 142C
  • Instruction providing awareness about sharing the road with bicycles and motorcycles. The instruction course shall be first approved by the state department of transportation. Instructional materials creating awareness about sharing the road with bicycles and motorcycles shall also be distributed during the course of instruction.

Instructional materials for sharing the road with bicycles and motorcycles may be obtained by contacting Toni.Kerkove@dot.iowa.gov.

Most Iowa Driver Education providers use their textbook and related tests and materials to establish their curriculum.  There are many professional curriculums, such as the American Driver & Traffic Safety Education Association (ADTSEA), available to assist providers in the development of their curriculum.        

Each Iowa driver education provider is encouraged to contact the Office of Driver Services to schedule a DOT sponsored presentation designed specifically for young drivers.  This presentation provides valuable information concerning highway safety and Iowa’s Graduated Drivers License (GDL) program.

Chapters and sections of particular interest to Driver Education teachers and classes may be:

  • 321.174 Operators licensed
  • 321.178 Driver education – Iowa Code
  • 761-634 Driver Education – Iowa Administrative Code
  • 321.180B Graduated driver's licenses
  • 321.194 Special minor's licenses
  • 321.276 Use of electronic communication device while driving  - text messaging
    • States in part….A person shall not use a hand-held electronic communication device to write, send, or read a text message while driving a motor vehicle unless the motor vehicle is at a complete stop off the traveled portion of the roadway. Refer to the Code section for the complete version of this law.
  • 321.446 – Child restraint devices. 
    • States in part….A child at least six years of age but under eighteen years of age who is being transported in a motor vehicle subject to registration, except a school bus or motorcycle, shall be secured during transit by a child restraint system that is used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions or by a safety belt or safety harness of a type approved under section 321.445.   Refer to the Code section for the complete version of this law.
  • 321A Financial Responsibility
  • 321J Operating While Intoxicated

Use of electronic devices or equipment

A person issued an instruction permit, intermediate driver’s license, minor school license or special restricted license shall not use an electronic communication device or an electronic entertainment device while driving a motor vehicle unless the motor vehicle is at a complete stop off the traveled portion of the roadway.