Driver’s license renewal deadlines set to return to normal


RADIO IOWA – The Iowa Department of Transportation wants you to take a minute and pull out you driver’s license and be sure it hasn’t expired.

The director of the DOT Motor Vehicle Division, Melissa Gillett, says some people haven’t been driving or thinking about it for a while during the pandemic. And now there is going to be another change in the renewal deadline.

“As we’ve gone through 2020 there have been several extensions of the disaster proclamation that suspended the expiration date of our driver’s licenses. And that is likely to expire on January 8th of 2021 — meaning that the normal driver’s license renewal requirement will once again take effect,” Gillett says.

The normal rules give you 60 days from the expiration date to renew the license.
“If they are expired — we are encouraging them to check and see if they are eligible to renew their license online through our website at,” Gillett says. “If they are not able to renew online then they’ll need to schedule an appointment in one of our locations — either at an Iowa DOT location or at a county treasurer’s office.”

There are some basic rules for online renewals. “For those who are 70 or younger, they would be eligible to renew online as long as they have not renewed online the most recent time they were set to expire,” she explains. “So if you did it online last time, that means you will need to make an appointment to see us this time.”

She says they have roughly 10,000 renewals each week for 30 to 40,000 renewals a month. With that many people trying to renew it is important for you to think ahead.
“We really encourage Iowans to take a look at what’s available now so they can ensure that there is enough time for them to get that completed,” Gillett says.

She has one tip if you have had a hard time finding a time slot. “Each morning our driver’s license teams are taking a look at their availability for the day. And most often, first thing in the morning they’ll open up more appointments for that day,” she says, “so if someone is having a hard time finding an appointment time that works for them — my advice would be to check first thing every morning — because there will be same day appointments opening up for each day.”

The provision of the governor’s proclamation extending the expiration time for licenses is expected to end on January 8th, 2021. If your driver’s license is expired by more than one year, you will be required to take a knowledge and drive test in order to renew.

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