Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Iowa | YourMechanic Advice

Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Iowa

The state of Iowa offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the past, or are current active military members.

Disabled veteran registration fee waiver and reduced registration fees

Disabled veterans are eligible for one Disabled Veteran license plate free of charge for a vehicle which is provided by the Veterans Administration. You must provide certification from the VA to the county treasurer’s office in order to qualify for a free DV plate.

Military veterans in Iowa are eligible for a reduced vehicle registration fee of $60 for a vehicle under 10,000 that is equipped with permanently installed assistive equipment intended to assist a disabled person in operating or entering or exiting the vehicle. The owner or lessee of the vehicle (or a household member of the owner) must be permanently disabled according to Iowa Code 321L.

Driver’s license veteran designation

Iowa veterans are eligible for a veteran designation on a driver license or state ID card. In order to qualify, you must submit a completed Iowa DOT application form certified by the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs or a County Veterans Affairs Office. You can then bring this form to your local driver license office to have the military designation added to your license or ID. When adding the designation during a normal renewal, the regular fees will apply. If you’d like to update a current license or ID with veteran status prior to the renewal due date, there will be a fee of $10.

Military honor plates

Iowa offers a wide variety of distinguished military honor license plates commemorating the different military branches, service medals, specific campaigns, and individual battles. Eligibility for each of these plates requires certain criteria be met, including proof of current or past military service (honorable discharge), proof of having participated in a specific battle, or discharge papers or U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs documentation of the award received.

Plates are available for the following:

  • Armed Forces branches (Army, Navy, Air Force)
  • Retired Military (Air Force, Army, Marine, Navy, Coast Guard)
  • Iowa National Guard
  • Ex-Prisoner of War
  • Gold Star
  • Pearl Harbor
  • Legion of Merit
  • Air Force Cross Medal
  • Airmen’s Medal
  • Service Cross Medal
  • Navy/Marine Corps Medal
  • Navy Cross Medal
  • Soldier’s Medal
  • Silver Star
  • Veteran
  • Disabled Veteran
  • Purple Heart

Aside from the Disabled Veteran plate, most Iowa military plates require regular registration fees, and most also come with an additional $5 annual renewal fee. You can see the full list here. You can access the application for special license plates here.

Military skills test waiver

As of 2011 you can take advantage of the heavy vehicle operation experience you’ve accumulated in the course of military service in order to avoid taking the skills test for your CDL. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has made this possible through their Commercial Learner’s Permit rule, and Iowa as well as every other U.S. state now honors the waiver created by this rule. You do have to meet some requirements – two years of experience driving commercial military vehicles, and the experience has to have been within 12 months prior to application (if still active in the military) or within 12 months prior to discharge. There are also requirements with regard to prior motor vehicle offenses, detailed on the waiver form.

The government has provided a standardized waiver here. Applicants must still take the written CDL examination.

Military Commercial Driver’s License Act of 2012

This law was enacted in an effort to make it easier for active military personnel to become CDL holders even if they are stationed outside of their home state. The legislation gives states power to issue a CDL to active military members who are serving in any of the branches, even the Coast Guard, Reserves, and National Guard.

Driver license renewal while deployed

Military personnel who cannot renew their driver license online may apply for an extension that lasts until six months after active duty concludes. You must submit the form Extension for Military Service either by mail or fax, to:

Office of Driver Services
Iowa Department of Transportation
P.O. Box 9204
Des Moines, Iowa 50306-9204
Telephone: 515-244-8725
Fax: 515-239-1837

This extension is also available to dependents of military personnel stationed away from home.

Military personnel need to abide by normal vehicle registration procedures. You can check to see if you’re eligible for online renewal here.

Non-resident military personnel driver license and vehicle registration

Iowa honors out-of-state driver’s licenses and vehicle registration for non-resident military stationed within the state.

Active or veteran military personnel can read more at the state’s motor vehicle division website here.


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Mazyar

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Mitsubishi Galant - Oil Change - Snellville, Georgia
Marvelous job done by Mazyar on my car. He was friendly and does not mind if you watch him perform the job. He will even show you what he is doing and how. He too will show you if he finds a problem with the vehicle so you can see for yourself. I say this because he was only supposed to change the oil and filter but I told him about a noise I keep hearing in the suspension. He inspected the suspension while he was underneath the car and came to find out it was the stabilizer bar links. He was patient at finding the issue and never rushed through it just because it was not part of the service. This shows me that he indeed cares about the customer and its vehicle and does not mind doing extra, as long as the customer is satisfied with his work and and all questions are answered. I will sure be using him for future services.
Porsche 911 - Oil Change - Douglasville, Georgia
Mazyars what can I say the consummate professional. He has worked on my 2001 911 turbo several times. He is awesome and you can tell he enjoys what he does. Very very satisfied. Will call on him anytime to work on my vehicles.

Nazareth

26 years of experience
181 reviews
Nazareth
26 years of experience
Nissan Altima - Oil Change - Tujunga, California
Nazareth was prompt, friendly and efficient. He had an earlier cancellation and called to offer an earlier appointment. He is very knowledgeable and wiling to take the time to explain things in detail with no jargon. He offered a detailed explanation of my car's condition and additional repair items required. I'm a former auto mechanic from the 1970's and I can say that I'm very pleased with the service Nazareth provided.

Chuck

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Chuck
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Chevrolet Impala - Oil Change - Dallas, Texas
Chuck did a good job! He showed up about 20 minutes earlier than scheduled on a Thanksgiving and completed the full service oil change within one hour. Great communication skills as well .

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BMW 740i - Oil Change - Houston, Texas
Eduardo is always very professional and prompt! He does an awesome job with every service request to my vehicle. I will trust him with all my required repairs and services.

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