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Iowa Public Driving Records

The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) is the agency responsible for motor vehicle records and driver abstracts. It is their version of a department of motor vehicles (Iowa DMV office) in other states. This agency supplies motor vehicle reports upon request.

The state has set up the myMVD website where individual users can request reports as well as perform other functions. They also allow requestors to get copies through the mail. The state has also set up a website for companies and other entities to obtain driver reports for other people. When requesting copies, the users must comply with the federal Driver's Privacy Protection Act of 1994 (18 USC §§ 2721-2725) and Iowa Code section 321.11.

These records will contain moving violations, traffic accidents, traffic offenses like DUI/DWI, reckless driving, and even minor infractions like running a red light or parking in no parking zone. They will also have the user's license status, any revocations or suspensions, the driver's name, driver's license number, birth date, age, height, weight, hair and eye color, social security number, and sometimes medical information. The reports sometimes contain the license class, endorsements, and any restrictions.

How to Request an Iowa Driving History Report

The Iowa Department of Transportation is the agency to contact for driver records. They have a web portal for individuals can use to get a copy online. When requesting, the user must have their own driver's license number, date of birth, social security number, and vehicle information. Those requesting records for someone else must provide a lot more information, such as their own personal details and compliance proof of DPPA. A copy of their identification card will be necessary.

Employers and other agencies performing background checks can get copies using the online system set up for them.

Either can also request a copy by downloading the online form and sending it in by mail to:

Driver & Identification Services
Iowa Department of Transportation
PO Box 9204
Des Moines, Iowa 50306-9204

When ordering a certified copy by mail, the requestor must have a copy of the driver's license and pay the fee by check or money order.

Iowa Driver Record Cost

All records from the Iowa Department of Transportation are certified, and the cost is the same for all records. The fee is $5.50 plus another $3, which covers a $1.50 online service fee and a $1.50 credit card processing fee.

Driving Laws in the State

According to the Iowa Department of Transportation, driving is a privilege in the state, and "There are six ways your driving privileges may be withdrawn: cancellation, suspension, revocation, barred, denial and disqualification (commercial license only - see Iowa's, CDL Manual)."

Iowa uses a graduated process for driver's licenses for persons under the age of 18. Drivers can apply for an instruction permit at age 14. They must hold this permit for 12 months, and they must have parental or guardian permission. They can only drive during the day and must have someone 21 or older in the car. The person must log 20 hours of supervised driving along with pass a written test and take a vision test. If they have had no accidents, they can then apply for an intermediate permit. Anyone with an intermediate permit must be 16 years or older and follow the same rules as with the instruction permit. They must remain accident and violation-free for at least 12 months before applying for their full license, which they can apply for at age 17.

Iowa uses a point system for violations, and each violation may earn between 1-4 points. Anyone who earns 3 points in a 12-month period will lose their license.

In Iowa, a person's license may be suspended with any of these violations:

  • Habitual recklessness or negligence - having a combination of three or more moving violations and accidents or contributing to three or more accidents in a 12-month period
  • Habitual violator - three or more convictions for moving traffic violations within any 12-month period, or contributing to three or more accidents in a 12-month period
  • Failure to pass an examination, or a mental or physical condition making you unable to drive safely
  • Violation of license restriction
  • Being a juvenile who a court has ruled delinquent for violating drug or alcohol laws
  • Failure to pay a fine, penalty, surcharge, or court costs resulting from a traffic ticket
  • Conviction for excessive speeding, unlawful passing of a school bus, traffic violation(s) contributing to a fatality, or an arresting officer or court stating an unusually serious violation occurred
  • Failure to attend an approved school if you are under age 18
  • Falsifying information on an application

Below are some unlawful uses of a driver's license in the state:

  • Showing or having a canceled or fraudulent license or permit
  • Lending your license or permit to anyone else
  • Using anyone else's license or permit
  • Keeping any license or permit if it is suspended, revoked, or canceled, if the DOT has requested it be turned in
  • Using a false or fictitious name
  • Permitting any unlawful use of your license or permit
  • Altering your license or permit in any way

The following are crimes that the state will immediately revoke your license for:

  • Manslaughter resulting from driving a motor vehicle
  • Using a motor vehicle when committing a felony
  • Failure to stop and give aid at the scene of a personal injury or fatal accident in which you were involved
  • Lying about the registration or operation of a motor vehicle
  • Eluding or trying to elude a marked law enforcement vehicle driven by a uniformed peace officer after being signaled with lights or a siren to stop, and while doing that, going over the speed limit by 25 mph or more
  • Driving a motor vehicle under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or other drug or a combination of such substances (see pages 46 and 47 for penalties)
  • Refusing to take a chemical test when requested by a peace officer
  • Having an alcohol concentration of .08 or more (.02 or more if under age 21) in a chemical test
  • A second conviction for reckless driving
  • Drag racing
  • Conviction of an Iowa resident in a court in Iowa, or in another state or federal court, of certain drug- related offenses
  • Conviction, or juvenile court action, for drug/drug- related violations

Different Types of Driving Reports in the State

Iowa offers only one type of driving record called a Certified Driving Record.

Certified Driver Record

The report will contain a lot of personal information, including the driver's full name, address, social security number, driver's license number, medical information, CDL or other class distinctions, civil and criminal violations, parking tickets, DUIs, points on their license and the license status.

Criminal Driving Offenses

Criminal driving offenses are much more serious and usually carry steep fines and jail or prison time along with other court-ordered punishments. Some criminal driving offenses in the state include:

  • Reckless driving - a misdemeanor earning the offender $25-$625 fine and 30 days in jail. If a second offense, they may also lose their license for 30 days. If someone is killed by reckless driving, the offense jumps to a Class C Felony "homicide by vehicle." The driver may face $1,000-$10,000 fines and up to ten years in jail
  • Wet reckless is basically a DWI/DUI/OWI, which faces the same punishments as above but maybe plea-bargained down
  • Driving without a license
  • Evading an officer
  • Excessive speeding
  • Habitual offender
  • Hit and run

Anyone earning a criminal driving offense will face legal issues and have their car insurance rates increase.

Civil Driving Offenses

Civil driving offenses are far less serious and may include non and moving violations. These offenses are usually handled with a warning or a ticket/fine.

Some moving violations include:

  • Running a red light
  • Failure to yield
  • Failure to stop at a sign
  • Illegal U-turn or lane change
  • Following too close
  • Speeding but not excessively

Some non-moving violations include:

  • Equipment (except brakes)
  • City parking regulations
  • Expired licenses or permits
  • Failure to appear
  • Weights and measures
  • Disturbing the peace with a motor vehicle
  • Failure to display flag on moped
  • Seat belt violations
  • Child restraint violations

State Driving Records Statistics

For 2019 Iowa saw 336 fatal car crashes. Twenty-five percent of those involved alcohol, and 17% involved drug use. Some other driving statistics include:

  • December and June saw the highest number of fatal crashes
  • 2020 saw three more fatal accidents than the previous year
  • The average number of fatal car accidents each year is 339
  • 44.14% were not using their seatbelts
  • 116 are pedestrians who are struck by motor vehicles and killed

Driving Records Search Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions about state driving records.

Who Can Get a Copy of My Motor Vehicle Record?

According to the state's application form, anyone requesting driving records must follow all DPPA laws. Only legal representation, law enforcement, insurance companies, a towing company, toll facility, private investigator, or an employer with your permission can get a copy of your Iowa driving record. They will however need a copy of your driver's license information.

Can I Order a state MVR Online?

Yes. The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) has set up an online service so that individuals can easily get a copy of their own driving report. They also set up another portal just for people who need to get a copy of someone else's driver's record, like an auto insurance company or employer.

How to Get Your License Reinstated

According to the Iowa Department of Transportation, after losing your driver's license due to a revocation or suspension, you must follow a strict process to get it back. The process may include "passing required tests and paying appropriate fees. If your driving privilege is taken away, you may have to show future proof of financial responsibility."

What if I Need a Report for Someone Other Than Myself?

The state offers employers and other agencies like insurance providers a portal where they can fill out an online form and print and mail it in or order a copy of someone's driving record online.

Does Iowa Use a Points System for Traffic Violations?

Yes. The state does have a point system for traffic violations. Each civil and criminal offense will earn the driver points on their license. Too many points in a short amount of time (12 months), and the driver will lose their license.

What are Some Serious Offenses in Iowa

Habitual offenders and OWI are two very serious offenses in the state of Iowa. A first offense OWI will earn you:

  • 48-hour jail sentence, first offense
  • Seven-day jail sentence, second offense
  • Course for drinking drivers
  • Substance abuse evaluation and/or treatment
  • Other penalty

Helpful State Driving Record Links

Below are some helpful state driving record links.

Disclaimer: The materials presented here are for informational purposes only. The information is taken from state and local resources, and is current as of the most recent site update. Changes made by state and local departments and agencies after our latest update may render some information and fees outdated, and may cause links to break and forms to be unavailable. Infotracer strongly encourages you to visit the relevant state and local resources to ensure you have the most recent information.