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Iowa driver's education instructor's information

Proprietary driver education schools application instructions

There are specific, legal steps that must be taken by individuals seeking approval to conduct proprietary schools of instruction, including driver’s education courses in Iowa. The process involves four separate state agencies (1) the Iowa Secretary of State's Office, (2) the Iowa Department of Transportation, (3) the Iowa Department of Education, and (4) the Iowa College Student Aid Commission. It is the responsibility of the private driving school applicant to contact each of these agencies to obtain the necessary documents and approvals before any instruction may begin.

You must first contact the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office to obtain a certificate of organization to do business in Iowa. This is the certificate that all businesses need to operate in the state. This must be completed before going farther with this process. You can obtain information on the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office website or by calling its customer service section at 515-242-6303. 

After obtaining the necessary documents from the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office, you will need to complete the “Proprietary Driver Education Program Approval” and “Proprietary Driver Education Teacher Approval” forms and return them to the Iowa Department of Transportation for review with a copy of the Certificate of Organization. At the same time, you must register with the Iowa Colleges Student Aid Commission. This registration requires you to show evidence of financial responsibility, including either a letter of credit or a bond. The Iowa College Student Aid Commission forms are available by calling 877-272-4456. When all steps are completed, the Commission will issue a letter of registration to you.

You must obtain the appropriate Iowa teaching credentials to conduct classroom or behind-the-wheel driver’s education instruction. If you need assistance in obtaining the required driver’s education teaching credentials for Iowa, call 515-281-3605 at the Practitioner Preparation and Licensure Bureau of the Iowa Department of Education.

Upon approval of your program, as per Iowa Code and Iowa Administrative Rules, and verification that each instructor listed has obtained the required teacher certification and endorsement, the forms will be signed and returned with a letter that serves as your license to offer driver education courses and will include a course identification number. A copy will be sent to the Iowa College Student Aid Commission.  These forms are available for printing from this website.

alertThis entire process must be completed before conducting driver education courses in Iowa.

For new proprietary driver education schools

For renewal proprietary driver education schools


If you are unable to get these forms from this website or for more information regarding proprietary driver education schools, contact:

Iowa Dept. of Transportation
ATTN:  Toni Kerkove
Office of Driver Services
1622 S. Federal Ave.
Mason City, Iowa 50401

Telephone: 641-423-1675
E-mail: Toni.Kerkove@dot.iowa.gov


Related websites:

Minor restricted license (MSL) questions and answers

Public school district driver education program application instructions