Renewing Your CDL in Iowa

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How to Renew

While applying for a new CDL can be a complicated endeavor, renewing your license is much simpler. In many cases, the entire process can be completed in a just a few minutes.

Your Iowa CDL is valid for 2 to 8 years and costs $8 per year. It expires on your birthday. However, you have until 60 days after this date to renew your license without penalty.

There may be extra fees for the removal of an air brake restriction or the addition of additional driving endorsements.

To renew your commercial driver's license, you must visit your nearest Iowa Department of Transportation driver's license station.

Proof to Bring

  • Proof of your age, identity, and Social Security number.

Several different forms of identification are acceptable, but only if you can produce the original documents. Iowa DMV staff can't approve license renewals on the basis of photocopies or faxes. You may also be required to undergo a new medical exam.


If you renew your license within 60 days of the expiration date, no driving test will be required. However, you will need to take a written knowledge test if you wish to maintain a hazardous materials endorsement. You also need to undergo another background check every time you renew this endorsement.

Renewal Tips

It is very important to renew your CDL promptly. According to Iowa law, driving a commercial motor vehicle without a valid CDL can result in a fine.

If your CDL is ever lost or stolen, it should be replaced immediately. Remember, your driving privileges may be suspended if you are found operating a commercial motor vehicle without your CDL in your possession. You may also want to file a police report to guard against identity theft.

What is Against the Law?

It is against the law to have more than one valid CDL license. Your Iowa license is good throughout the United States. You do not need to apply for a new license to drive a commercial vehicle across state lines. All states have a computerized system that checks driver records to make sure each driver only has one valid commercial license.

If you have ever had your CDL driving privileges suspended or revoked, you will need to retake the written exam and driving test to be issued a new license. Supervised driving tests are available by appointment only.

New Federal Requirements

You must self-certify your type of vehicle operation with the Iowa MVD. This means you must self-certify one of the following driving categories:

  • Non-Excepted Interstate
  • Excepted Interstate
  • Non-Excepted Intrastate
  • Excepted Intrastate

If you choose Non-Excepted Interstate, you must provide the MVD with a federal medical certificate.

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