Iowa Driving Record

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Your driving record is a complete record of your public driving history including personal information and details of any accidents, infractions, license points, and suspensions. You can obtain a copy of your Iowa driving record online or by mailing the Iowa DOT.
Your record is more than a piece of paper—it can impact your car insurance rate, among other things. That’s why it’s in your best interest to keep your record as clean as possible and report any discrepancies to the state as soon as you notice them.
The car insurance super app Jerry is here to break down everything you need to know about your driving record in Iowa, from what it is to how you can get a copy.

What is a driving record?

Your driving record is a complete history of public documents about you as a driver from when you got your license to the present. 
Sometimes called a motor vehicle report, your driving record contains personal information as well as details of car accidents, moving violations, license points, and suspensions.

How do I access my driving record in Iowa?

You can obtain a copy of your driving record online on the official myMVD website
Online, you can select a version certified by the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT), which can be used for official and legal purposes, for $5.50 plus a $3.00 surcharge. Otherwise, you can view or print a non-certified copy for free.
You can also obtain a certified driving record by mail
Just fill out the Privacy Act Agreement For Request of Motor Vehicle Records form, ensuring you clearly state the type of record that you’re requesting (driving). If you’re asking for this information yourself, you only need to complete Section A and Section D.
You’ll then need to mail the following to the Driver & Identification Services office at the DOT:
  • The completed Privacy Act form
  • A copy of your driver’s license or non-driver ID card
  • A check for the appropriate amount made payable to “Treasurer, State of Iowa”—there is a 50-cent charge per document

Requesting a driving record for someone else

If you want a copy of another person’s driving record, you’ll need to submit a completed Privacy Act Agreement For Request of Motor Vehicle Records form with the appropriate sections filled out.

Where else can I find my driving record in Iowa?

Car insurance agents

You can most likely get a free, unofficial copy of your driving record from your insurance agent. Most insurance companies examine your driving record to calculate your rates, so if you request a copy, they will most likely oblige.

Online third-party vendors

You can also use an internet vendor to get a copy instantly—though it will usually cost you extra money. A third-party report may be less accurate than a DMV record, so check with the vendor first to see whether they pull official reports.
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What is on my record?

Your driving record consists of details about you and your driving history. This typically includes:
  • Personal information (i.e. name, address)
  • Driver’s license information
  • Infraction points
  • Accidents, citations, violations, and convictions
  • Fines paid or owed
  • License suspensions
  • Driving courses completed

DMV points in Iowa

Points in Iowa work on a sliding scale, with serious violations resulting in more points. 
You'll be awarded the following points for the following violations:
  • Driving with a suspended, revoked, or denied license: 2 points
  • License revoked for alcohol- or drug-related offenses: 3 points
  • Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher: 4 points
  • Leaving the scene of an accident: 5 points
  • Vehicular manslaughter: 6 points
If you don't see your citation above, check your traffic ticket or contact your local Office of Driver Services (ODS) for more information.
Iowa is very strict when it comes to points on your driving record. Points will stay on your record for at least five years—those accumulated for driving while intoxicated will remain on your record for 12 years.
The Iowa ODS also does not clear your record or reduce your point total for completing a defensive driving course.

Consequences of points accumulation

Each time you pay for a traffic ticket or are convicted of an offense in court, the corresponding number of points on your ticket will be added to your Iowa driving record. 
The Iowa ODS will suspend your license for one year if you commit the following:
  • Three or more moving violations within 12 months
  • Six or more moving violations in 2 years
The length of your suspension depends on the number of points you accumulate. Possible suspension lengths include:
  • Two years for 6-7 points
  • Three years for 8-9 points
  • Four years for 10-12 points
  • Five years for 13-15 points
  • Six years for 16 or more points
If you use a commercial driver’s license in Iowa, you may be subject to even harsher penalties.
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How can my driving record affect me?

Whether your record is stellar or needs work, it can have a significant influence on your life. Here are some of the things it can affect.

Your insurance premium

Your driving record significantly impacts your insurance rate.
If you have multiple infractions on your record, insurance companies will consider you a high-risk driver, and your premiums will go up. On the other hand, if you have a solid driving record, you'll likely enjoy lower rates.

Your ability to drive

Your driver's license will almost definitely be suspended if you have a reckless driving or DUI conviction on your record. Your license may also be suspended if you acquire too many points.
A license suspension is a big deal—you’ll need to find alternate transportation for commuting, running errands, and seeing friends and family.

Your credit rating

Failure to pay tickets will have an impact on your credit score, even if your record is otherwise pretty clean. 
Most cities and states charge you a late fee if you don't pay your fine by the due date. They'll send it to a collection agency if you don't pay, which can cause your credit score to dip.

Your job prospects

Several jobs require a clean driving record as a prerequisite of employment. You’ll have a hard time working as a fireman, police officer, delivery driver, or any other driving-heavy profession with a bad record. 
Key Takeaway Your driving record is more than just a piece of paper. Keep it as clean as possible, as it can have a tremendous impact on other elements of your life.

What is the difference between driving records in each state?

The state in which you reside maintains your driving record—you only have one, just like you have one driver’s license. 
However, this doesn’t mean that you’re off the hook for moving violations you commit outside your home state.
The Driver’s License Compact (DLC) is an agreement between states to exchange information about traffic violations and license suspensions. This means that if you disobey the law while driving in another state, you can be penalized in Iowa. 

Which states don’t share driving records?

There are only five states that are not part of the DLC. They are:
  • Georgia
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Tennessee
  • Wisconsin
Alternate agreements may allow these states to share information with other states.
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