The coronavirus pandemic has led the Iowa Department of Transportation to make a series of concessions for the state’s motorists which have never been made before.
For starters, DOT spokeswoman Andrea Henry says extensions are being granted for anyone whose driver’s license should have been renewed in the past two months.
“If your driver’s license has been expired from any time between January 16th to the end of this disaster period, you will not be docked for an expired license,” Henry says. “If you get pulled over, even if your license is expired, they’re going to consider it valid for driving purposes.”
The DOT is also forgiving motorists whose vehicle title, registration or license plates have expired since mid-January. “Until the end of the disaster, you’re still okay,” Henry says. “If you’ve purchased a new vehicle or are transferring a vehicle, you’re not required to obtain a title or registration within that 30-day period that you normally would, or if you purchased it from a dealership, normally it’s 45 days, that’s all waived until this disaster is over.”
If you want to renew or get a new license or ID, all business at Iowa DOT service centers is now being done through an appointment only. Henry says it’s an effort to limit the number of people waiting in any one location at a time. “We’re really trying to practice strong social distancing so we’re trying to reduce the number of people in our service centers,” Henry says. “If someone does show up and they don’t have an appointment, we’ll do our best to serve them, but if there are a lot of people in the facility, we may ask them to come back later or we may ask them to wait in their cars until we can serve them.”
DOT staff members have been advised on how close they should get to customers, even when doing a vision screening. “They’ll do their best to keep a distance from the customer and we are sanitizing those machines between every customer,” Henry says, “as well as high-touch areas like counters, doorknobs and other locations like that are being sanitized on a much more frequent basis.”
All customers who visit a DOT service center will be asked a series of questions to evaluate their risk of exposure to COVID-19. For now, the DOT is halting and rescheduling all non-commercial driving tests.
For appointments, visit: https://iowadot.gov/mvd/other-appointments