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How to get an Iowa Learners Permit

Iowa Learner's Permit
  • Iowa Learner's Permit Guidelines
  • How to Prepare for the Written Exam
  • Required ID and Paperwork

IA Learners Permit Rules and Requirements

Find out the steps to get your IA driving permit, pass your DMV written test and the required paperwork to bring to the DMV office to get your driver's license.

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All applicants need to be familiar with the Iowa Driver's Manual. Think you know the material? Take our DMV practice test now and test your driving knowledge.

First Time Drivers

Under Iowa driver's license guidelines, you must wait until your 14th birthday before you can apply for a learners permit (instruction permit). The instruction permit must be held for a period of 6 months. During this period, the licensee must complete 20 hours of supervised driving (2 of which should be for nighttime driving).

All applicants are required pass a written exam and a vision test in order to obtain the permit. You then must hold the learners permit for 6 months and log 20 hours of supervised driving time prior to applying for a driver license.

Prepare for the Written Test

The Iowa DMV requires that all applicants must pass a written exam on traffic signs, motor vehicle laws and safe driving techniques.

All new drivers are encouraged to study for this driver education exam so you don't miss the opportunity to get your learners permit as soon as you reach the approved age. Online practice tests are available that provide real sample questions from the DMV Exam - Take the Iowa practice permit test now and test your driving knowledge.

Required Paperwork for your Instruction Permit

Before you head to the Iowa MVD Office, make sure you have all of the following required documents to get your instruction permit:

  • Identification and Proof of Age
  • Verification of Social Security Number
  • Written approval of parent/guardian
  • Proof of completion of a driver education course
  • Payment for application fee

On the Road

The minimum age for an intermediate license is 16 years old. The intermediate license must be held for a period of 12 months. The nighttime restriction for this age is not being allowed to drive unsupervised between the hours of 12:30 AM to 5 AM. The minimum age for a full license in Iowa is 17 years old. This removes all the restrictions from the intermediate license.

For drivers under the age of 18 and 21, the words "under eighteen" or "under twenty-one," respectively, will be printed on the license.

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