On-line drivers license renewal, coming soon for Iowans

Many Iowa drivers soon will be able to go on-line to renew their license — for eight years rather than just five under a bill Governor Terry Branstad signed into law Wednesday.

Drivers with vision problems or physical deficiencies may only get their license renewed every two years — that’s the current practice, but most Iowa drivers between the ages of 18 and 70 would be eligible for the longer license renewal. Plus, they’ll be able to go online to complete the transaction. Governor Terry Branstad says that will save $1.2 million in the DOT’s budget.

“Demonstrating ways that government can be more efficient and certainly reduce some of the wasted time of many people waiting in line to get their licenses renewed,” Branstad says.

State officials suggest Iowans will personally save about $3 million in gas money they’ll no longer have to spend driving to a DOT driver’s license station and in lost wages from the time they have to take off from work to stand in line for a license.

“I think the system will work very well,” Branstad says. “I have a lot of confidence in the DOT and we’re not the first to do this, but I think it’s going to be of great convenience for the citizens.”

Iowa Department of Transportation director Paul Trombino says the online registration option has “really taken off” in other states.

“This was really one of our main priorities,” Trombino says.

The new law does NOT propose changing the four-dollars-per-year charge for a driver’s license.