Understanding Iowa’s Graduated Drivers Licensing Program

Understanding Iowa’s Graduated Drivers Licensing Program

To allow young driver’s more time to gain experience and skill before driving on their own, the state has implemented a three-step program that begins at age 14 and ends with a full driver’s license at age 17. The program takes more than two years to complete and requires that all new drivers under the age of 18 complete driver’s education.

You can get your learner’s permit at age 14 in Iowa, but you will have to wait until you are 16 to get your intermediate (restricted) license. You will hold your permit and your license for one year each barring any moving violations or crashes.

While you are driving on a learner’s permit, you must always be supervised by a parent or guardian, and you must acquire at least 20 hours of driving experience and two of those hours must be driven at night. If you are involved in a car accident or commit a moving violation, you may have to wait an additional six months before obtaining your intermediate license.

After turning 16 and completing a driver’s ed class and having your permit for at least 12 months, you can get your restricted intermediate license. This license allows you to drive unsupervised, however, you –

  • May only drive between the hours of 12:30 a.m. and 5 a.m. if you have supervision
  • May only having one passenger under the age of 18 for the first six months (unless they are immediate family members)
  • Must get another 10 hours of supervised driving, with 2 hours being at night

You are eligible for full driving privileges at age 17 provided you-

  • Had your intermediate license for at least one year
  • Have not been in any accidents or received any violations for at least 12 months
  • Have not at any time had your license revoked or suspended
  • Have the required hours of supervised driving experience

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