Auto Insurance in Iowa (IA)

If You Are Paying More Than $883.86 on Auto Insurance in Iowa, You Are Paying Too Much.

Insurance Calculator Inc. partners with the top-rated insurance providers in Iowa. An average consumer saves $156.14 on auto insurance quotes with us. Consumers in Iowa who are with existing auto insurance policies can also benefit from "switch-and-save" discounts of up to 15%.

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Auto Insurance Industry in Iowa

  • An average consumer pays $1,040.00 on auto insurance
  • 124 of every 100,000 vehicles are reported stolen every year
  • Accident fatality rate of 1.2%
  • Of all accidents: 63% are road-way accidents, 24% are intersection accidents, and 17% of all accidents involve at least 1 truck.

Iowa is a diverse state with farming, manufacturing and service industries. It is also one of a few states where insurance laws do not require citizens to maintain financial responsibility.

Iowa's Minimum Requirements on Auto Insurance

A compulsory insurance law does not exist in Iowa. Instead, the Financial and Safety Responsibility Act provides protection from irresponsible drivers. When involved in an accident, every Iowa driver without proof of financial responsibility will have his or her driver’s license suspended. In addition, registration for the uninsured vehicle is also suspended.

With a suspended driver’s license, residents must obtain proof of financial responsibility before the license and vehicle registration are reinstated.

There are several ways you can establish financial responsibility as an Iowa resident. The most common is to purchase an auto liability insurance policy. Proof is also acceptable after an accident if you can pay for the damages with a cashier’s check, postal money order, certified check or in cash.

Auto liability insurance in Iowa carries the following minimum coverage amounts:

  • Bodily injury for one person: $20,000
  • Bodily injury for more than one person: $40,000
  • Property damage: $15,000

These coverage amounts cover injuries and damages in an accident when you are at fault. You might consider purchasing additional amounts or other coverage types to cover expenses resulting from the fault of the other driver.

The insurance provider usually issues an insurance identification card that you can keep in your vehicle. This way, you can show the card to a law enforcement official during a traffic stop or car accident.

If, however, you are unable to show proof of financial responsibility to the appropriate authority, you can lose your privileges of a driver’s license and vehicle registration. An exception may apply if no personal injuries or property damages occurred after an accident. Additionally, you may avoid penalties if your vehicle was stolen when an accident occurs.

Consumer Car Licensing Information in Iowa

Whether you are new to the Hawkeye state, a first-time adult driver or a teenage driver, you can apply for a Class C driver’s license. With this type of license, you are authorized to drive a passenger vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of 16,000 lbs. or less.

To obtain a driver’s license, the state requires a passing score on the written test and driving test. You are required to present proof of the following items at a Department of Transportation (DOT) office before taking the written test:

  • Personal identity
  • Social security number
  • Iowa residency

In addition, you will need to pass the vision examination and pay the $20 licensing fee. Be prepared to pay with cash or check since some offices do not accept debit or credit cards.

Appointments are necessary to take the driving test if you are a young driver or first-time adult driver. You will not need to take the driving test if you have a valid out-of-state driver’s license. All you need to do is exchange the current out-of-state license for Iowa’s Class C license.

Motorcycle Licensing Information in Iowa

Iowa’s DOT issues a Class M motorcycle driver’s license. Motorcycle driving privilege is added to your current driver’s license after you pass an on-cycle evaluation and a written knowledge test. The cost to add this class is $2 per year.

Without a valid driver’s license, you can apply for a motorcycle-only license. For this type of license, you will need to pass the written test given for a noncommercial Class C driver’s license. In addition, you must pass the required motorcycle tests. The fee for a motorcycle-only license is $30 and lasts for five years. Motorcycle drivers older than 70 years of age, or younger than 18, can receive a two-year license for $12.

Iowa’s DOT also issues instruction permits for residents who need to learn how to drive a motorcycle. You are allowed to operate a motorcycle when a licensed driver is present. Valid for two years, the motorcycle instruction permit costs $2 per year if added to your current Iowa driver’s license.

Commercial Vehicle Licensing Information in Iowa

Iowa issues a Class A, B or C commercial driver’s license (CDL) to residents who meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Complete an Iowa DOT application with proof of birth, legal name and social security number
  • Pass an interstate driving record review
  • Pass a vision test
  • Pass the written knowledge test for a CDL
  • Pass all tests for CDL endorsements that may apply
  • Complete the Certification for Commercial Driver’s License form
  • Pass the road skills test in the commercial vehicle class for which you are applying

You must schedule an appointment to take the road skills test at any of Iowa’s driver’s license sites. The CDL is issued after you pass a supervised driving test.

If you hold a driver’s license in Iowa or any other state, you will need to surrender it to the DOT. Your new CDL license replaces other licenses because it is illegal to have multiple licenses.

A six month CDL learner’s permit is available for $12 if you pass the written knowledge test. The permit is added to a current noncommercial license. With the permit, you can practice driving a commercial vehicle in the presence of a CDL driver.

Basic CDLs are valid for five years and costs $40. Additional endorsements range between $5 and $10, and include:

  • School bus driver
  • Hazmat to haul hazardous materials
  • Tanker
  • Air brakes
  • Double/triple
  • Passenger

The fee for a hazmat endorsement is charged at each license renewal date along with a written exam. However, the other endorsements are a one-time fee for the initial endorsement. You will have to repay the endorsement fee if your CDL becomes invalid.

More Resources on Auto Insurance in Iowa

Department of Insurance

  • 330 Maple St. Des Moines, IA 50319-0065
  • Phone: 515-281-5705
  • Fax: 515-281-3059
  • Toll Free Consumer Line: 877-955-1212
  • Agent Licensing: 515-281-7757