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Welcome to Iowa! As a new driver to this state you will need to be aware of our unique traffic laws and regulations. Here's what you need to keep in mind while driving in Iowa. Some of these rules may be the same as what you're already used to, but others will be drastically different!
Your driving record will show all convictions, accidents, or suspensions during at least the last five years. A license revocation for OWI will remain on your record for 12 years.
Iowa uses points to determine whether a driver is a "habitual offender" and to determine how long driving privileges may be barred for.
You may also be considered a habitual offender if you are convicted of six or more moving violations within two years. If the six moving violations include speeding, the speeds must be at least 15 mph over the legal speed limit. This may result in you being barred from operating a vehicle for one year.
You must dim your headlights from high to low beam when you are within 1,000 feet of an oncoming vehicle or within 400 feet of a vehicle traveling ahead of you.
You must use your headlights:
There is no specific law allowing or prohibiting headlight flashing.
The Open Container Law prohibits possession of an open alcoholic beverage container in the passenger area of any motor vehicle, by any occupant of the vehicle, on any public highway or right of way, whether or not the vehicle is in motion.
Speeding violations are subject to an enhanced fine up to $1,000. All other moving vehicle violations are subject to two times the original fine. Enhancements apply whether or not workers are present.
If the speed limit is 45 MPH or less, signal your intention to turn or change lanes at least 100 feet in advance. If the speed limit is above 45 MPH, signal at least 300 feet in advance.
Hazard light use is permitted for the purpose of indicating a mechanical failure, or an emergency stop.
There is no specific law regarding minimum safe passing distance.
You may not drive off the roadway to pass on the right.