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  • Drivers in the Military in Iowa

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    If you've chosen to serve your country in the U.S. military, you might have the opportunity to see the world while making a difference. However, it's important to know that Iowa law has a few specific provisions that apply to members of the Marine Corps, Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force, and National Guard with regard to renewing your driver's license.

    Determining Iowa Residency

    According to Iowa law, out-of-state military who are stationed in Iowa are not considered Iowa residents if their vehicles are properly registered in another state. They may legally operate their vehicles on any Iowa highway or road.

    If you're an Iowa resident who is leaving the state to serve in the military, you'll need to check with your new state's department of motor vehicles regarding registration and driver's licensing requirements. However, most states will accept your valid Iowa driver's license and vehicle registration.

    Driver's License Renewal Extension

    Generally, your Iowa driver's license expires on the expiration date on your license, which is 5 to 8 years after the date of issue. However, Iowa allows a resident on active military duty to wait until 6 months following their release from duty to renew their driver's license.

    Drivers who wish to claim this extension must file an Extension for Military Service with the Iowa Department of Transportation's Department of Driver Services.

    The military service renewal extension also applies to drivers living with a parent or spouse who is on active duty. However, the extension of the license may not exceed 5 years. Contact your nearest driver's license office for additional information.

    Keeping in Touch When You Relocate

    It is very important to have the correct contact information on your Iowa driver's license and vehicle registration records. When you move, you must instruct the County Treasurer of your former residence to forward your information to your new mailing address.

    If you need to update your driver's license address, you may mail or fax a written request with your driver's license number, full name, signature, and new mailing address to:

    • Office of Driver Services
    • P.O. Box 9204
    • Des Moines, IA 50306-9204
    • Fax: (515) 239-1837

    Conducting DMV Business Online

    For your convenience, many Iowa DOT forms are available online. Some can be submitted electronically, while others will need to be printed out and mailed to the correct address.

    In most cases, printable forms require Adobe Reader. This free software comes standard on many computers, but you can also download it from the Adobe website.

    Finally, you may be eligible to renew your vehicle registration online, which is useful when you're stationed out of state.

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