Moving Out of State in Iowa
Because your Iowa driver's license is valid as proof of your identity, you'll hang onto your license until your new home state issues you one (your new state may require you to surrender it at that time).
By law, you must contact the county treasurer in the county in which your vehicle is currently registered to update your address within 30 days of your move outside the state of Iowa.
If you don't have time to visit the nearest DOT office, mail or fax a written request to:
- Office of Driver Services
- Iowa Department of Transportation
- P.O. Box 9204
- Des Moines, IA 50306
- Fax: (515) 237-3071
After you complete the change of address paperwork, the county treasurer will forward your vehicle registration records to the correct location.
You may be able to receive a refund for the unused portion of your vehicle registration fee, if the amount of the credit is $10 or more. To receive a refund, file your claim at the county office where your vehicle records are maintained within 6 months of your moving date. For additional information regarding vehicle registration refunds, contact the Iowa DOT's Motor Vehicle Information Center at (800) 532-1121.
Your New Home
Once you've arrived at your new home, apply for a new driver's license and vehicle registration as soon as possible. This is generally done by visiting the nearest Department of Transportation, Department of Revenue, or Department of Motor Vehicles office location. Remember to bring your Social Security card, birth certificate, or other proof of identity and call ahead to see if an appointment will be necessary.
When you apply for your new driver's license, you can also update your voter registration information.
If you're temporarily leaving the state of Iowa, you generally do not need to apply for a new driver's license or vehicle registration. For example, college students and military personnel stationed outside the state are allowed to keep their Iowa driver's licenses and vehicle registrations, as long as they have provided a current mailing address.
If you're not in the military or a college student, you are generally considered a permanent resident of a state if you are registered to vote in the local district elections, have applied for public assistance in the area, have enrolled your children in a public school, or accepted a permanent job.
Surrendering License Plates?
You only have to return your Iowa license plates if you're applying for a registration refund. Otherwise, you are not required to return your Iowa plates.