Transportation Matters in Iowa | Blog

Print Friendly and PDF

Iowa DOT's easy-to-obtain ID card protects your identity and is valid nationwide


ID composit_older driverYou may have recently heard of community identification card programs being implemented to assist individuals in obtaining cards specific to a geographic area.  But did you know that every Iowan already has access to a low-cost, universally accepted, and easy-to-obtain ID card issued by the Iowa Department of Transportation?

Most Iowans already know that their state issued driver’s license can be used as an ID. But what about those who can’t or don’t want to obtain driver’s license?


The Iowa DOT offers ID cards at any of the 100 driver’s license issuance locations across the state.

Obtaining a state-issued ID card is simple and the process for obtaining a community ID card mimics the same process the Iowa DOT uses. All you need to do is bring a few documents with you. State issued IDs offer card holders the convenience of being honored not only locally, but on a national and international level.

Your identity is safe with an Iowa DOT-issued ID card. The security of every citizen’s identity is a priority for the Iowa DOT. Before we issue an ID card, the Iowa DOT checks several national databases that verify the person’s identity to make sure that person is who they say they are. All issuance staff members are trained to authenticate identity documents and to identify fraudulent documents. The Iowa DOT also uses technology to check the photo of the person applying for an ID card against photos we have on file, as another step to verify the identity of the person applying for a new ID. The plastic ID card is sent to the applicant once the identity has been verified and proven to be genuine. The plastic card produced by the Iowa DOT contains multiple, sophisticated layers of security that help to prevent effective counterfeiting, and that are lacking in community ID cards.

Iowa DOT identification cards are valid for eight years and are available for $1 per year. 

Easy access for audiences with special needs and considerations

_1126622The Iowa DOT understands that the decision to stop driving is a difficult one for many older Iowans. The need to maintain proof of identity continues even when driving ends. The Iowa DOT strives to make the transition as easy as possible by allowing Iowa seniors who already have an Iowa driver’s license to seamlessly switch to a state-issued ID card. 

Once you have had a driver’s license, your identity has already been established and is on record. To get an ID, simply surrender your license and replace it with a state-issued ID at any driver’s license issuance location. There is no testing or additional proof of identity or residency required.  If you voluntarily surrender your license and driving privilege or if your license is suspend because you have been determined to be an unsafe driver there is no cost to switch from a driver’s license to an ID.

At the Iowa DOT, we strive to serve the homeless, people in poverty or transition, and new immigrants.  We work with homeless individuals to establish a shelter or other community service center that can serve as a residential address until permanent accommodations are made. A new immigrant that has lawfully entered the United States typically has all of the immigration documents needed to obtain either a driver’s license or state-issued ID.  The only additional step is to simply present two documents which show the residential address. This is the same process as any other applicant.

Our online resource helps applicants assure they are presenting the correct documents.  The Iowa DOT also works with local immigrant support groups to provide education and information on how to obtain state-issued driver’s licenses and ID cards. 

Enhancing access to state-issued driver’s license or ID cards is extremely important to the Iowa DOT. It is our vision to be smarter, simpler, and customer driven. What does that mean to you? We’re here to provide you with the identification card you need to live and work in Iowa, and verify your identity in the U.S. and beyond.  


What is the order of ones name on a I.D card

Hi Charlene - Your request was sent to our driver service group. Someone will be reaching out to you by email. Thanks!

How to I obtain ID for someone whose drivers license expired during the Covid closure, and is now unable to leave a nursing home to go to the DOT office?

Here’s the link that will help you find out more about getting an ID card –

How can I get to the website

I'm recently moved into iowa and my Nebraska ID is gonna expire this may how do I go about getting Iowa ID now

I don't know how I'm gonna make my state id

I have all the documents I need to get iowa id. My license is expired and I don't have the certified marriage license but I do have a marriage license and a death certificate from my husband's death would that work for I'd?

How to I obtain ID for someone whose drivers license expired during the Covid closure, and is now unable to leave a nursing home to go to the DOT office?

I crossed back to iowa from Nebraska after a last name change. Now I need all my vital records of which I've obtained my marriage certificate certified and my birth certificate certified with the help of my family. I can't get a social security card without a photo I'd which I do not have. Are there any other documents or ideas i could prove who i am? Bc this has literally cost me over 5 years in the struggle and i really want to get a real job. Please

At what age can you get an Iowa ID card ?

WHERE do i go to obtain card

I recently moved from Illinois to Cedar Rapids. I do have an Illinois ID card, but require an Iowa one. Please advise next steps to receive a card.

My fiancee just moved to Iowa he lost his birth certificate and old id in a tornado with everything being closes in mississippi. Its hard for him to get his things. Is there some help out there that can help him get his birth certificate.

I need an Iowa ID.
My Illinois expired ln Oct. when Iost my ability to drive.

We moved to Iowa in Aug 31. I have not driven since Aug
31 due to lack of desire and physical disability. I do need
The lD card for identification.

Thank you
James A. Sunny

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Have a comment?

Add your comment

Iowa highway in the evening