Obtaining an Iowa Driver’s License

State of Iowa Driver's License

You must wait thirty days after the start date of your I-20 or DS-2019 before applying for an Iowa driver's license.

Iowa Department of Transportation/Iowa Motor Vehicle Division

Toll-free in Iowa: 1-800/532-1121                          

Email: ods@dot.iowa.gov

Iowa City

Iowa City Drivers' License Station - Iowa Dept of Transportation

Eastdale Mall
1700 South 1st Avenue
Iowa City
(319) 338-5294


In order to get an Iowa driver's license you must:

  1. Pass a knowledge test;
  2. Pass a vision test;
  3. Pass a road test.

Identification Requirements

Every individual applying for an original driver license, temporary instruction permit, or personal identification card must present acceptable identification documents for proof of name and date of birth. Any identification document presented is subject to approval by Department of State personnel.

Students and scholars in F-1 and J-1 status will be required to take proof of identification to apply for the a driver's license. Students and scholars must take the following: I-20/DS-2019, passport, U.S. visa, and I-94. The law does not require an applicant to have a Social Security Number in order to obtain a State of Iowa Driver's License.

Students on OPT

Students on OPT must take their Employment Authorization Document (EAD) as well as their other immigration documents to apply for a renewal of their driver's license. If you have difficulty renewing your driver's license, please contact ISSS for assistance.


All spouses and children in valid F-2 or J-2 status are also eligible to apply for a driver's license. Dependents must be at least 16 years of age to apply for a driver's license. A dependent aged 14 can apply for a driver's permit to drive with a licensed driver.