Iowa Car Insurance

Iowa is often referred to as America’s heartland. With acres of farmland and fields, Iowa is a beautiful state for traveling country roads and getting some fresh air. And good news for any drivers: Iowa has also been declared one of the safest places to live in the United States. Even though the danger of accident in Iowa is low, having the appropriate insurance or proof of financial responsibility is important. The Simple Dollar offers exactly what you need to know about driving in Iowa and the rules, requirements, and resources that can help you stay safe and hit the road with confidence.




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Stats in Your State

According to Iowa driving statistics, there are many positives to buying, insuring, and driving an automobile in the state. Iowa hits many of the low-to-average price ranges for repair costs, insurance premiums, and accident rates.

Auto Insurance Premiums

If you’re shopping for insurance in Iowa, you have every reason to smile. With a lower population than many states, large areas of farm country, and less dense cities and highways, the average insurance premium in Iowa has been below the national average since 1991. This trend has continued and still falls around $200 less than the national average.

Traffic Fatalities over time

Traffic fatalities in Iowa have remained at a fairly consistent level from 1994 to 2011, with a slight decrease over the years. Between 1994 to 1998, the average number of auto-related deaths was 477 per year; from 2007 to 2011 the average decreased to 395.

Auto Repair Costs

Iowa car repair costs are lower than the national average, which is another reason it's great to own a car in Iowa. Well maintained vehicles have greater longevity and can keep your insurance premiums low.

Rules in Your State

All drivers need to be aware of the rules and regulations for driving in Iowa before they get on the road. Understanding how to get a license, minimum insurance requirements, and some of the maximum legal risks involved in driving in Iowa is essential to safely navigating the roads and highways.

Iowa Auto Insurance Minimum Requirements

According to the Iowa Department of Transportation, the financial responsibility requirements include:

  • Iowa does not have a compulsory liability insurance law, but all drivers are expected to be financially responsible for any damage they cause in an accident.
  • After an accident, drivers must provide proof of liability insurance or post cash or a cashier’s check to cover the damages.
  • Obtain a legal confession of judgment that states an agreement about a payment schedule.
  • Both the owner and the driver of any vehicle must have proof of financial responsibility.

How to carry proof of financial responsibility in Iowa:

  • Carry proof of liability insurance.
  • Have bonds, cash, or securities in the amount of $55,000.
  • Proof from an employer/employee that you are insured to drive their vehicle.

The Iowa Graduated Driver License: Driving as a Teen

Instruction Permit Age: 14-years-old. Requires written consent of the parent or guardian. Permit drivers are required to drive only with supervision. Drivers must hold the permit for at least six months, complete 20 hours of supervised driving, complete a driver education course, and drive without a traffic incident for at least six consecutive months to complete their permit period.

Minor School License: Yes. Minors can qualify for a minor school license (MLS) at the age of 14 and a half. Students are allowed to drive alone, as long as it is to or from their home and designated school and work locations. Students are required to complete a driver education course unless they qualify for a hardship. To meet hardship requirements, students must hold an instruction permit, have a clean driving history, and must live over a mile away from school. Students may only drive between the hours of 5 a.m. and 10 p.m.

Intermediate License Age: 16-years-old. Must have completed the terms of the instruction permit. The intermediate license must be held for at least one year, driver must complete 10 hours of supervised driving, and they must have no accidents or violations for 12 consecutive months. Intermediate license drivers may only be on the road between 5 a.m. and 12:30 a.m.

Full License (Unrestricted) Age: 18, or 17 (with perfect driving record for 12 months). Drivers must have met all the terms of the intermediate license.

Remedial Driver Improvement: If a minor does commit an infringement of the permit or intermediate license rules, or if they are involved in an accident or incur a violation, they will be required to go through a remedial driver period. They must complete six months (for instruction permits) or 12 months (for intermediate licenses) of incident-free driving that begin after the date of the infringement before they may move on to the next driver’s license stage.


Administrative license suspension 1st offense? 180 days
Restore driving privileges during suspension? After 90 days
Are ignition interlocks mandatory for first offenders for the following offenses? No
Are ignition interlocks mandatory for repeat offenders for the following offenses? no
Fine for first offense? $625-$1,250
Jail sentence for first offense? 48 Hours Minimum - 1 year

Representatives & Resources in Your State

If you need further information about driving in Iowa, the following resources should help. These agencies provide information on getting a license, rules of the road, minimum insurance requirements, where to go with complaints against your insurer, and how to keep your license up-to-date.

Iowa Department of Transportation and Motor Vehicles
800 Lincoln Way
Ames, IA 50010
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Iowa Department of Insurance & Complaint
Iowa Insurance Division
330 Maple St.
Des Moines, IA 50319-0065
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