Iowa DOT temporarily waives need to renew drivers licenses and vehicle registration

Interstate 380 — Zak Neumann/Little Village

The Iowa Department of Transportation announced it is temporarily waiving the need to renew drivers licenses and vehicle registration, after Gov. Kim Reynolds declared a “State of Public Health Disaster Emergency” on Tuesday.

Drivers with a license that expired on Jan. 17 or later do not have to renew their licenses at this time. Similarly, vehicle registration that expired on Jan. 17 or later will also remain valid.

People who are purchasing or transferring ownership of a vehicle are temporarily exempt from the requirement to obtain a title and registration within 30 days. If the person purchased a vehicle from a dealer, they do not have to obtain license plates within the 45-day period.

These exemptions will “remain in effect until the declared disaster is over,” according to the news release published on Wednesday.

IDOT spokesperson Andrea Henry said the department is “strongly encouraging” people to wait if they can regarding licenses and title, even if they need to upgrade their licenses or IDs to a Real ID.

Real ID looks nearly identical to the other driver’s license or ID card, but requires the applicant to provide certain documentation of his or her identity, such as a certified birth certificate or passport

The Real ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, was recommended by the 9/11 Commission. The new standards created by the act are intended to help combat fraud and generally improve security.

Starting on Oct. 1, a Real ID will be needed to fly domestically, unless the person has an alternative, such as a valid U.S. passport. A Real ID will also be required to enter a federal building with security screening or certain other secure facilities.

The spread of COVID-19 had led some states to ask the Department of Homeland Security to extend the October deadline. Pennsylvania and New Jersey have both asked for an extension. Henry said that Iowa intends to do the same.

As of now, however, the October deadline remains.

For Iowans who do need to access the DOT’s services, the facilities are still open. It’s recommended that those who do need to come in schedule an appointment online or call 515-244-8725.

Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV »

The Future is Unwritten

You look to Little Village for today’s stories. Your sustaining support will help us write tomorrow’s.


$10/mo or $120/year
The cost of doing this work really adds up! Your contribution at this level will cover telephone and internet expenses for one month at the LV editorial offices.


$20/mo or $240/year
$240 is enough to cover one month’s costs for sending out our weekly entertainment newsletter, The Weekender. Make a contribution at this level to put a little more oomph on your support and your weekend.


$30/mo or $360/year
(AUTO-RENEW) connects eastern Iowa culture with the world. Your contribution at this level will cover the site’s hosting costs for three months. A bold move for our boldest supporters!

All monthly and annual contributors receive:

  • Recognition on our Supporters page (aliases welcome)
  • Exclusive early access when we release new half-price gift cards
  • Access to a secret Facebook group where you can connect with other supporters and discuss the latest news and upcoming events (and maybe swap pet pics?) with the LV staff
  • Invitations to periodic publisher chats (held virtually for now) to meet with Matt and give him a piece of your mind, ask your burning questions and hear more about the future plans for Little Village, Bread & Butter Magazine, Witching Hour Festival and our other endeavors.