Iowa Driving and Traffic Laws


Like most of the states in the United States, Iowa driving and traffic laws are quite strict about traffic violations and accidents. In Iowa, the Office of Driver Services situated at Des Moines tracks the driving record of all the drivers in the state. The Office of Driver Services tries to ensure that the drivers in the state are responsible and safe drivers on the roads. According to the state driving law, the license could be revoked under the following circumstances. 

  • Death of a person resulting from an accident caused by you
  • Using a vehicle for committing a felony
  • Failure in stopping at the accident scene when you are involved in an accident
  • Failure in assisting an injured person or reporting fatality when you had been involved in the accident
  • Providing false information about the vehicle registration
  • Eluding a police vehicle after a signal to stop your vehicle had been given by the police vehicle either by lights or a siren
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both
  • Refusal to undergo chemical test when a police officer requests such a test
  • Having more than 0.08 alcohol concentration while driving in a chemical test (For persons under the age of 21, the alcohol concentration should not exceed 0.02)
  • Second conviction for reckless or negligent driving
  • Racing on Iowa roads
  • Conviction in Iowa or any other state or federal court for drug-related offenses 

If the driving license is revoked, you should undergo a reinstatement process that would include passing certain tests, paying stipulated fees, and showing proof of financial responsibility such as adequate auto insurance. The civil penalty for reinstatement of the driving license is $200 for persons above the age of 19 and $50 for persons below 19. 

Like many other states in US, Iowa also follows points systems for traffic violations. If you exceed the maximum speed limit by 16 to 25 mph, you would get 5 penalty points in your driving record. If you exceed the speed limit by more than 25 mph, then your license would be immediately revoked. Other penalty points are listed hereunder for each offense. 

  • Perjury or false statement to the Department of Public Safety                2
  • Driving while facing license revocation, denial, or suspension               2
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs                                            3
  • Driving when barred by the Department of Transport                               4
  • Driving with alcohol concentration of more than 0.08                             4
  • Committing a felony using a motor vehicle                                                    5
  • Failure to stop in an accident site or leave information                            5
  • Failure to render assistance in an accident site                                            5
  • Eluding law enforcement officers or attempt to elude                               5
  • Causing serious injury to others by driving a vehicle                                5
  • Manslaughter and death caused by operating a vehicle                           6

 The accumulation of 6 to 7 points would last for 2 years, while 8-9 points would be on the driving record for 3 years. Points between 10 and 12 would remain for 4 years, 13 to 15 would be on the record for 5 years and points above 16 years would be on your Iowa driving history for 6 years. If you had been declared as a habitual offender and still drive, you could be imprisoned for a period up to 2 years.