License Recovery

The Iowa DOT offers limited licenses to eligible applicants who need to drive to work while their regular licenses are suspended or revoked. After a DUI conviction, you may be eligible to drive with a restricted license if your ability to earn a livelihood will be severely impaired without being able to drive.

Steps to Obtaining a Restricted Driver’s License During Your Suspension – 1st or 2nd OWI:

  • Serve any jail time and andatory suspension time (required period before interlock may be installed).
  • Complete the DOT application for a temporary restricted license.
  • Obtain SR-22 insurance by contacting your insurance agent.
  • Call the DOT and ask if there are any other requirements you must meet to receive a Temporary Restricted License (i.e. unpaid fines). Their number is (800) 532-1121.
  • Call an authorized ignition interlock provider and make an appointment to have an ignition interlock installed.
  • Go to a DOT Driver’s License Center. You must have the following with you or already on file with the DOT to obtain a temporary restricted license:
  • Pay all fines and fees. If second or subsequent offense, take eye and written exam.
  • Take your temporary restricted license to court with you and the judge can reduce your fine by up to $625.
  • Make sure you bring in your vehicle every month to your ignition interlock service center to have your monitoring appointment.

Steps to Obtaining a Restricted Driver’s License During Your Suspension – 3rd OWI:

Because this is your third or more OWl, you are considered a “Habitual Violator” and you can only get a Temporary Restricted License (TRL) if it is “necessary to maintain your present employment.” Even if the DOT says your driving record allows you to qualify, the DOT won’t issue you a TRL until a judge orders them to. Here is the process to obtain a TRL:

  • You will need a certified copy of your driving record from the DOT.
  • You or your lawyer will need to file a request with the court to order the DOT to issue you a TRL. File them with the court where you were convicted of your latest OWI.
  • The court will then notify the prosecutor and the DOT of your request for a TRL, and give them the opportunity to object.
  • If the DOT or the prosecutor raises any objections, the judge will schedule a hearing to listen to you explain why you need a TRL. The prosecutor has the opportunity to explain why you should not
  • If the judge rules in your favor he or she will sign a court order requiring the DOT to issue you a TRL. You are not done yet, but you have finished the hardest, most time consuming part.
  • Now, it’s time to go to the DOT. If possible go to a DOT “Super Center” to get your TRL, instead of trying to do it by mail or by fax. At a “Super Center” you can get everything done in one trip, with a lot less hassle. “Super Centers” are located throughout the state. Check the DOT website or call them at (888) 476-4674 for the Super Center closest to you.
  • You must get a copy of DOT Form 430100 (Application for a Temporary Restricted License), and fill in all the requested information. If you do not have one of these forms, call their office at (888) 476-4674, and they will send you one. Easy to follow instructions are on the back of the form. Depending on the reason you need a TRL, you will need a “statement” from your employer, school, healthcare provider, substance abuse treatment provider, or community service administrator before you go to the DOT.
  • You must have a SR22 Certificate on file with the DOT or bring it with you to one of the DOT Driver’s License Super Centers. SR22 is a form of insurance, which you can get from your insurance agent.
  • You must have a certificate from an approved ignition interlock provider certifying that an ignition interlock has been installed on your vehicle.
  • You may need to bring $200 in cash, certified check, or cashier’s check to pay what the DOT calls a “civil penalty.” You may also want to call the DOT to confirm you have no other outstanding penalties, as these will also need paid. The DOT will NOT accept personal checks for this payment.
  • You must pay a $20 license reinstatement fee, $3 surcharge, and $8 if you will be renewing your license for two years and $20 if you wish to renew your license for five years. The DOT will accept personal checks for these fees.
  • You will need to take a new eye exam, so if you wear eyeglasses or contacts, be sure to bring them to the licensing center.
  • You must pass a “written” test on Iowa’s Driving rules. Regardless of how many years you have been driving, you may want to review the DOT’s pamphlet before you take the test.
  • Congratulations, with all these items in hand, the DOT should issue you a TRL under the provisions of Chapter 321J.4(9) of the Iowa Code, and you can once again drive legally in Iowa.

For complete information regarding your eligibility for a temporary restricted license, contact:

  • Office of Driver Services
    Iowa Department of Transportation
    P.O. Box 9204
    Des Moines, Iowa 50306-9204
    Telephone: 515-244-9124 or 515-244-8725
    Toll-free in Iowa: 800-532-1121
    E-mail: ods@dot.iowa.gov
800-499-0994