Becoming a Licensed Driver in Iowa

Step 1: Students must have a Social Security Card, and either a Birth Certificate or Resident Card to obtain their instructional permit. In addition to those two documents they must either have a letter from the school stating their residence or their parent must have an Iowa I.D.

Step 2: The first step once a student turns 14 is to go to the Sioux Center Driver’s License Station (in Centre Mall) and obtain their instructional permit. This will require them to pass a written test. (They will also need all the documentation listed in step 1 above)

Practice Tests can be found online or using the DMV Genie app.

Instructional Permit: Note that an instructional permit only allows the student to drive with another licensed adult. An instructional permit DOES NOT allow them to drive to and from school.

Step 3: Once the student has obtained their instructional permit it is recommended that they begin practicing with parents/or another adult. Becoming a successful driver requires time and practice.

Step 4: Students may sign up to take driver’s education after they have obtained their instructional permit. All students must successfully complete driver’s education in order to get their school permit and/or intermediate license.


School Permit: A school permit allows students to drive independently to and from home school events after they’ve held an instructional permit for a minimum of 6 months and successfully completed driver’s education.

An additional form must be completed, signed by the school administrator, and taken to the driver’s license station in order to obtain a school permit.

Certificate of Completion: After successfully completing both the classroom and the driving, we submit their certificate of completion to the Iowa DOT website. Certificates are all on the computer now so there is no paper copy. Those will be at the driver’s license station and ready when you get there. We will send out an email confirmation as soon as those are submitted.

Intermediate License: An intermediate license allows student to drive independently anywhere after the turn 16 years old, after they’ve held their instructional permit for a minimum of 1 year and after they’ve successfully completed driver’s education.