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Career opportunities for a motor vehicle enforcement officer

In order to become an Iowa motor vehicle enforcement officer, persons must successfully complete the following four required tests.
  1. Fitness (Cooper Standards)
  2. P.O.S.T (Peace Officer Selection Test)
  3. M.M.P.I (Minnesota Multiphasic Psychological Evaluation)
  4. Oral Board
  5. Polygraph

Certified Iowa peace officers are not required to a fitness test, as per Iowa Admin. Code r. 501-2.3(80B).  All applicants must successfully complete motor vehicle enforcement fitness requirements.

Applicants are responsible for all personal costs (e.g., transportation, lodging, meals) incurred during the testing process.

As peace officers with statewide jurisdiction, the primary job responsibility of a motor vehicle enforcement officer is enforcement of commercial motor vehicle laws, rules and regulations.

Law Enforcement Careers with Motor Vehicle Enforcement brochure

Job duties

See Iowa motor vehicle enforcement officer duties

Minimum qualifications

Applicant must:
  • Be a United States citizen and become an Iowa resident.
  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Possess a valid Iowa driver's license.
  • Possess a high school diploma or general education development (GED) diploma.
  • Be in acceptable physical and mental condition to perform his/her duties under physically demanding conditions.
  • Have uncorrected vision no worse than 20/100 in each eye, corrected to 20/20 in each eye.
  • Have normal color vision as prescribed by Iowa Law Enforcement Academy rules: Color vision is determined by the pseudoischromatic plates tests such as, but not limited to, the American Optical Co. (Required identification of 14 out of 18 plates.)
  • Have normal hearing in each ear. (Hearing is considered normal when tested by an audiometer and hearing sensitivity thresholds are within 25 db measured at 1000 hz, 2000 hz and 3000 hz averaged together.)
  • Have no history of epilepsy.
  • Have refrained from unlawful use or experimentation of any drug. Unlawful use or experimentation of marijuana or steroids may disqualify an applicant.
  • Not have a conviction of domestic assault.
  • Be willing to relocate.
  • Pass a background examination, including fingerprint search through state and national files.

Essential functions

If hired as a motor vehicle enforcement officer and with proper training, applicants shall be required to demonstrate the ability to perform the following essential functions.
  • Travel and stay out overnight approximately three to five times per month.
  • Meet or exceed minimum Iowa Law Enforcement standards with an issued firearm.
  • Successfully operate Windows-based computer programs.
  • Load, unload, carry and use 45-pound portable scales, which includes stooping, bending and twisting of the body on a frequent basis.
  • Effectively communicate with a diverse population in varying situations.
  • When warranted, use force, up to and including deadly force.
  • Perform multiple functions while attending to detail.
  • Work a rotating schedule, which includes days, nights and weekends.
  • Respond to short-notice schedule changes.
  • Climb in, on, under and around commercial vehicles.
  • Perform emergency functions (including, but not limited to, traffic control at floods, tornadoes, hazardous material incidents, traffic accidents, etc.) for extended periods of time in less than ideal conditions.


Pay scale under current contract (July 2013):
  • $1,569.60 to $2,348.00 (biweekly)
  • $40,809.60 to $61,048.00 (annual)


  • Paid vacation
  • Paid sick leave
  • $20,000 paid life insurance
  • Medical and dental insurance
  • Pretax conversion program
  • Iowa Public Employees Retirement System (IPERS) with retirement available at 55 after 22 years of service.
  • Deferred compensation


If you believe you meet the minimum qualifications and with proper training can perform the essential functions of a motor vehicle enforcement officer with the Iowa DOT, you are encouraged to request an employment application packet during open application periods.