Special Licenses in Iowa
To drive a school bus that transports 16 or more people, you'll need to obtain a commercial driver's license (CDL) with passenger and school bus endorsements. This means you must complete all of the standard CDL licensing requirements, and take additional knowledge tests covering how to safely transport passengers on a school bus. An air brake endorsement is also needed if you plan to drive a bus equipped with air brakes.
The CDL section of the our website provides additional information about license application procedures for commercial drivers.
If you wish to drive a shuttle or taxi in the state of Iowa, you will need to have a class D driver's license. This is also known as the non-commercial chauffeur's license. With endorsement 3, you are legally allowed to drive any passenger vehicle that carries fewer than 16 passengers.
- A class D driver's license is valid for five years, if you are between the ages of 18 and 69.
- A class D is valid for two years if you are over 70 years old, or have a diagnosed medical condition that may affect your ability to drive safely.
- Your license expires on your birthday, but you have up to 60 days after this date to renew, without retaking the knowledge test.
The fee for a class D license is $40, or $16 for those who must obtain a two-year license.
Chauffeur's Instruction Permit
If you are studying for your class D license, you may apply for a chauffeur's instruction permit. This permit allows you to practice driving any vehicle that requires a class D license, as long as you are accompanied by someone who has a class D license or CDL valid for that type of vehicle. You must be at least 18 years old to receive a chauffeur's instruction permit, and pay a $12 administrative fee. The permit is valid for two years and will be added to your existing license after you pass a knowledge test and vision screening.
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