Iowa Parking Laws: Understanding the Basics

In Iowa, there are a number of parking laws regarding different types of parking and standing, as well as those laws specific to certain locations. Local towns and cities will often adopt the ordinances of the state, although there may also be specific local laws to which you will need to adhere when parking your vehicle. In many cases, there will be signage to indicate where you can and cannot park. There are also a number of laws that are persistent throughout the state, and it is a good idea for every Iowa driver to know and understand these regulations. Failure to follow them could result in fines and possibly having your vehicle towed.

Parking in Iowa

Parking is prohibited in a number of areas. Drivers are not allowed to stop, stand, or park in many different locations. For example, the only vehicle that can stop, stand, or park on a sidewalk is a bicycle.

Vehicles are not allowed to park in front of public or private driveways. Doing so would not allow traffic to go into or out of the driveway, and in many cases, you will have your car towed for parking in one of these areas. It’s an inconvenience for those who need to use the driveway.

Naturally, drivers are not allowed to park in intersections or on crosswalks. You should never park your vehicle alongside or opposite of any street that has excavation or any type of obstruction, as this would hamper the flow of traffic. Iowa drivers should also make sure to stay at least five feet away from a fire hydrant when they are parking. They need to be at least 10 feet away from either end of a safety zone when parking.

You will need to park at least 50 feet away from a railroad crossing. When parking near a fire station, you need to be at least 25 feet away when parking. However, if there are signs posted by the station, you need to be at least 75 feet away. Local ordinances will take precedence, so pay attention to any signs that dictate where you can park in regards to the fire station.

In Iowa, the winters often produce heavy snow. Vehicles are not allowed to park on streets that have snow that has been specified for removal. If there is a cure or ramp alongside a curb, vehicles are not allowed to park in front of those areas either. They are needed for access to the curb.

In addition, vehicles are not allowed to double park. Even if you plan to stop only long enough to let out passengers, it is against the law. Double parking is when you pull up and stop to park on the roadway side of a vehicle that has already parked.

In some instances, police officers are allowed to remove your vehicle from some locations. According to parking law 321.357, they can remove vehicles that are unattended on the bridge, tunnel, or causeway if it is blocking or slowing traffic, even if the car is otherwise legally parked.


The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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