Replacing a Lost License in Iowa
Replacing an Iowa Driver's License
Since you need your Iowa driver's license to legally operate a motor vehicle, it's important to replace a lost or stolen driver's license as soon as possible. Fortunately, the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) Office of Driver Services (ODS) has made it easy to obtain a duplicate license.
On this page, you'll find instructions on how to obtain a duplicate driver's license if yours was recently lost or stolen. If you need information about how to replace a lost CDL, please read our page about Replacing a Lost CDL.
NOTE: If you're currently outside of Iowa or the United States, read the section below entitled "License Replacement While Out of State."
You can submit your request for a duplicate copy of your lost or stolen IA driver's license in person at your local Iowa ODS office.
- Provide several forms of identification from a list of acceptable documents.
- Only original documentation is allowed; the ODS will not accept photocopies or faxes.
- In some cases, the digital photograph the DOT has on file from your previous license may be used as partial proof of your identity.
- Submit payment for the $10 duplicate driver's license fee.
Your duplicate license will be valid only until the expiration date of the driver's license that was lost or stolen.
If you recently lost your driver's license while traveling outside of Iowa, you'll need to apply for a temporary driving permit (TDP).
You can apply by submitting the following information in writing:
- Your full name.
- Your signature.
- Your driver's license or Social Security number.
- Your date of birth.
- Either an out-of-state address or fax number with any pertinent instructions.
Mail or fax the above information to:
Department of Transportation
P.O. Box 9204
Des Moines, IA 50306
Fax: (515) 237-3071
The TDP will allow you to legally drive until you are able to visit your nearest driver's license office in person to obtain a duplicate license.
Unfortunately, temporary paper licenses are generally not valid as proof of your identity. If you are required to show photo identification while your driver's license is missing, you'll need to make alternate arrangements. In many cases, a passport or identification card will suffice.
If you need further assistance, you can call (515) 244-8725 or (800) 532-1121.
Identity theft is on the rise in Iowa. Victims of identity theft have had their driving privileges suspended and credit ratings destroyed. In worse cases, they've been been held criminally liable for acts committed by someone misusing their identity.
For this reason, it is important that you promptly report a missing IA driver's license and any other lost or stolen documents to the proper local law enforcement officials. The Iowa DOT has a special investigative unit within the Office of Motor Vehicle Enforcement that assists drivers who have been victims of identity theft relating to a stolen driver's license, identification card, or vehicle title.
Here are some simple steps you can take to prevent identity theft when your license has been lost or stolen:
- Do NOT carry your birth certificate, Social Security card, or vehicle title in your purse or wallet.
- Consider placing a "fraud alert" on your credit file to prevent new accounts from being opened without your consent.
- Review your credit report and driving record on a yearly basis to look for suspicious or inaccurate data.