Proud to be selected a Main Street Iowa Community in 2008
Career, family, home . . . Belle Plaine offers a great place to come home to. Quiet street with a friendly wave . . . a place where the neighbors know your name.
Payday Loan UKpayday loans usa

Graduated Driver Licenses (GDL)

Information on Iowa’s System for Drivers Under the Age of 18

INSTRUCTION PERMIT

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

CONDITIONS

  • Must be held for a minimum of six months.
  • All driving must be supervised by a licensed driver. May drive only with parent/guardian, immediate family member over 21, driver education teacher, driver over 25 with written permission of parent/guardian.
  • Number of passengers limited to number of safety belts available in vehicle.
  • Must complete 20 hours of supervised driving; minimum of two hours must be between sunset and sunrise.
  • Must drive accident-free and violation-free for six consecutive months immediately preceding application for intermediate license (see box at right). The permit must not be expired or withdrawn during this six-month period.
  • Must complete Iowa approved or comparable driver education course
    • 30 hours of classroom instruction which must include four hours of substance abuse education, minimum of 20 minutes on railroad crossing safety, and information on organ donation.
    • six hours laboratory, three hours of which must be behind the wheel; may use simulators for the remaining time.
    • no parental waiver of any behind-the-wheel drive time.
  • Instruction permit will have the words “under eighteen” printed on it.

INTERMEDIATE LICENSE

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

  • Available at age 16.
  • Must meet all conditions of instruction permit.
  • Written consent of parent/guardian is required. This consent may be given using one of two options: (1) the parent/guardian accompanies the teenager to the driver’s license station to sign the consent form in the presence of the examiner, or (2) the parent/guardian downloads the form
  • Parent’s Written Consent to Issue Privilege to Drive or Affidavit to Obtain Duplicate License Form #430018 and signs the form in the presence of a notary public. The teenager may then present the completed and notarized form to the examiner and the parent/guardian would not have to accompany the teenager to the driver’s license station.

CONDITIONS

  • Must be held for a minimum of 12 months.
  • May drive:
    • without supervision from 5 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.
    • between 12:30 a.m. and 5 a.m. only with a licensed driver who is a parent/guardian, immediate family member over 21, or designated adult over 25.
    • with a waiver, may drive between 12:30 a.m. and 5 a.m. to and from work or school-related extracurricular activities.
  • Must complete 10 hours of supervised driving; minimum of two hours must be between sunset and sunrise. The supervision must be by a licensed driver who is a parent/guardian, immediate family member over 21, or designated adult over 25.
  • Number of passengers limited to number of safety belts available in vehicle.
  • Must drive accident-free and violation-free for 12 consecutive months immediately preceding application for full license (see box at right). The intermediate license must not be expired or withdrawn during this twelve-month period.
  • Intermediate license will have the words “under eighteen” printed on it.

Up to age 18, all conditions of the intermediate license shall remain in effect until the holder of the intermediate license has been issued a full license.
FULL LICENSE

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

  • Available at age 17.
  • Must meet all conditions of intermediate license.
  • Written consent of parent/guardian is required. This consent may be given using one of two options: (1) the parent/guardian accompanies the teenager to the driver’s license station to sign the consent form in the presence of the examiner, or (2) the parent/guardian downloads the form
  • Parent’s Written Consent to Issue Privilege to Drive or Affidavit to Obtain Duplicate License Form #430018 and signs the form in the presence of a notary public. The teenager may then present the completed and notarized form to the examiner and the parent/guardian would not have to accompany the teenager to the driver’s license station.

CONDITIONS

  • Full driving privileges with no restrictions.
  • For drivers under age 18 or age 21, the license shall have the words “under eighteen” or “under twenty-one,” respectively, printed on it.

REMEDIAL DRIVER IMPROVEMENT

  • Applies to drivers either holding an instruction permit or an intermediate license.
  • Driver will be referred to the remedial driver improvement process if involved of one moving violation, or if involved in an accident to which the driver contributed.
  • Both the driver and a parent/guardian must participate in an interview with a Department of Transportation (DOT) official.
  • DOT official may impose additional driving restrictions and/or recommend license suspension.
  • From the date the traffic violation occurred — not the date of the conviction — or the date of the contributive accident, the license holder must begin a six-month (instruction permit holder) or 12-month (intermediate license holder) accident-free and violation-free driving period again to qualify for the next licensing level.

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

Q. When did the new law go into effect

A. The law went into effect January 1, 1999.

Q. At what age does the “graduated” licensing process begin, and how many licensing steps or phases are there in the system?

A. The process begins with an instruction permit as early as age 14. The intermediate license is available at age 16, and the full license is available at age 17. Each of these licenses requires the written consent of a parent/guardian. The law does not apply to anyone who is age 18 or older.

Q. Is there a change in the driver education course?

A. No. The Iowa-approved driver education course remains the same — 30 hours classroom and six hours laboratory, three hours of which must be behind the wheel — and must still be offered or made available by the local school district.

Q. Is the parent/guardian required to provide for additional behind-the-wheel driving experience?

A. Yes. During the instruction permit phase, a licensed parent or guardian, licensed immediate family member over 21, or a designated licensed adult over 25 must provide a minimum of 20 hours (including two hours between sunset and sunrise) behind-the-wheel driving experience before the person holding the instruction permit can apply for an intermediate license. A minimum additional 10 hours (including two hours between sunset and sunrise) of behind-the-wheel instruction must take place during the intermediate license phase.

Q. Does this new law change the eligibility requirements for the special minor’s license called the school license?

A. Yes. The young driver must drive accident-free and violation-free for the six consecutive months immediately prior to applying for the school license.

Q. Is there a nighttime driving restriction on the intermediate license, and if so, what about work or late-night school activities?

A. Yes. Driving must be supervised between 12:30 a.m. and 5 a.m. However, with a DOT waiver, the young driver may drive between home and work or school-related extracurricular activities unaccompanied during those hours. Waiver forms are available from schools, DOT driver license stations or county treasurer driver license issuance sites.

Q. Is there a nighttime driving waiver available for the holder of the school license?

A. No. The nighttime driving restriction on the school license — 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. — remains the same. There is no exception to this restriction.

Q. Must the young driver maintain a clean driving record?

A. Yes. The instruction permit holder must drive accident-free and moving violation-free for six consecutive months immediately prior to applying for an intermediate license. Before applying for the full license, the intermediate license holder must drive for 12 consecutive months without an accident or moving violation. During these periods, the instruction permit or intermediate license must not be expired or withdrawn.

Q. What happens if the young driver is involved in a moving violation or contributes to an accident while on the instruction permit or intermediate license?

A. The young driver and a parent/guardian will be required to participate in a remedial driver improvement interview with a DOT official who may impose additional driving restrictions or recommend suspension. The applicable accident-free and violation-free period begins again with the date the traffic violation or the contributive accident took place.

For questions about the GDL System, call 515-244-9124 or 1-800-532-1121.

© Iowa Department of Transportation, Motor Vehicle Division
Updated: December 29, 2006

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.