Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Apr 24, 2014

Changes to Iowa law allows for 8-year driver’s license

Dec 26, 2013

AMES — Iowa drivers may have a pleasant surprise when they renew a driver’s license after Jan. 1.

New legislation allows the Iowa Department of Transportation to transition from driver’s licenses that are valid for five years to driver’s licenses that are valid for eight years, saving customers time and money.

Not everyone who steps through the doors of a driver’s license issuance site or logs on to mymvd.iowadot.gov will receive an eight-year license during this transition period.

“The transition will occur throughout the next five years, from 2014 through 2018,” said Mark Lowe, director of the IDOT’s Motor Vehicle Division. “During that time, the IDOT’s issuance system will randomly assign customers five-, six-, seven-, and eight-year licenses designed to equally spread renewal volumes over an eight-year period.”

The yearly fee for licenses will not change. The basic yearly fees remain $4 per year for a noncommercial license, $8 per year for a commercial driver’s license, and $2 per year for a motorcycle endorsement.

As required under the new legislation, a license issued to a customer younger than 72 cannot exceed the customer’s 74th birthday. At age 72, licenses shift to two-year renewal periods.

Licenses issued to minors and persons who are temporary foreign nationals are not included in the transition. They have shorter renewal periods set by other statutes.

Identification cards will not be included in the phased-transition. All identification cards issued after Jan. 1, will be valid for eight years and the fee will be $8.

For additional information or to watch an overview presentation about Iowa driver’s license types and fees, visit IDOT’s website at: www.iowadot.gov/mvd/ods/types.htm.

IDOT’s Office of Driver Services currently has significant swings in its annual renewal volumes – from as high as 530,000 renewals in some years to as low as 275,000 in others.

These swings increase wait times for customers and strain resources. When the shift to eight-year licenses is fully implemented, license renewal volumes will be roughly equal each year at 260,000 license renewals annually.

The change should increase customer service, save customers about $3.4 million dollars annually in reduced time and travel to receive services, and save the IDOT about $1.8 million annually in resources and production costs.

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