Iowa Driver's Manual- click below

Drivers License- What You Need to Know

Decatur County Treasurer’s Office Leon, Iowa

An Iowa Driver’s License is administered by the Department of Transportation (DOT). The nearest place to get your license is in Leon, Iowa. Driver’s written exams and licenses are administered Monday through Friday at the Decatur County Treasurer’s office in the Decatur County Courthouse in Leon from 8:00 am-11:30am and 12:30pm-3:30 pm (last written tests begins at 2:45pm). Driving exams are given on Tuesday mornings by appointment only.  

If you have a valid international driver’s license, you may drive in Iowa but o nly  if your license from your home country is valid. If you have an international license, it  must be carried with your home country license at all times. It is recommended by the Iowa Department of Transportation that you should obtain an Iowa driver's license if you wish to drive in Iowa. This can be done after you have resided in the state for 30 consecutive days. Contact a AAA office to answer questions regarding international driver's licenses.

To qualify for an Iowa driver’s license, you must meet one of the resident requirements:
1) registered to vote,
2) your children are in public schools,
3) you hold a permanent job, or
4) you have resided in the state for 30 or more continuous days.
To acquire an Iowa driver’s licen se: if you already have a valid driver’s license from another US state, you may exchange it for an Iowa license.  You will need to bring your immigration/travel documents and you will take a vision test .
Students with an I-20 will only be granted a driver's license valid within dates for program of study. All Licenses issued to international students are valid for no more than two years. You may renew your driver's license. A license may be granted for up to 30 days from the end date listed on the I-20 or for the end of OPT on your work card.
If you do not hold a current driver’s license, you will need to take the written exam, vision test, and driving test on the street. Get the driver's manual on line  HERE . There is no fee for the exam. The cost of an Iowa Learner’s Permit is $6; License is $4 per year.
You will need to take your Social Security Card (if you have one), passport with visa, I-20, I-94, Graceland ID, and proof of address (letter from International Programs).  You need to know your height in feet and inches and your weight in pounds (conversion link HERE ).  You must pay CASH (no credit or debit cards). 
Make sure you know how to drive prior to taking the street driving test.  You must take the written exam first and pass, then schedule your driving test.  You will need to find someone to take you with their car.  You will use a friend's car to take the test. The car must be in good condition...lights, horn, blinkers all working and the windshield must not be cracked.   You will need to have valid proof of insurance and registration for the car with you when you check in at the Treasurer's Office for your driving test.
You may drive on your Canadian driver's license.  If  you wish to get an Iowa Driver's License without doing the written and driving exam, you will have to surrender your valid Canadian license.  You will also need to have all your other travel/immigration documents with you when you apply.  If you don't want to surrender your license, you will need to take the written, driving, and vision exam.

Men who are 18 or older and who apply for a driver's license will usually be asked if they have registered for the Selective Service (Military Service). The Selective Service registration is not required for non-immigrant students. So your answer would be "I am exempt", as well as letting them know you do not qualify as an F-1 student. If you have a different status, discuss this with the Treasurer's Office.
When buying a car, it is important to make sure you follow each state's guidelines.  You will need to get a proof of purchase receipt and title.  You will need to purchase liability insurance (minimum) before driving the car.  As well, you will need to get the car registered in the state.  For the state, you will need to pay tax and registration for the car. There are deadlines that need to be followed. 
Please see the following link for details or contact the Decatur County Treasurer's office for assistance.

It is required that all vehicles be licensed with tags. This can be done through the County Treasurer ’s Office, located on the second floor of the Decatur County Courthouse in Leon . It is required each year for you to register your vehicle. If you purchase a vehicle, you will have to pay an initial tax, which varies depending on the value of the vehicle. There is also a variable fee for the license plates each year. You will receive a registration card, which needs to be kept in the vehicle with proof of insurance. To see if you need to register your car, truck, or motorcycle, call the County Treasurer at 641. 4 46.4321.

It is mandatory that all vehicles have insurance. The purpose of insurance is to provide you with some financial security if you are in an accident. Various insurance companies offer policies, the cost of which varies from company to company. You may shop around for the best rate as the rates are based on the type of car to be insured, your age, your past driving record, and the amounts of specific coverage that you select. Proof of insurance needs to be kept in the car. If you are driving someone else’s car, it is a good idea to make sure they have their proof of insurance and registration in the vehicle.


If you wish to park on campus, you  must acquire a parking permit to avoid ticket fines. Please contact the Student Life Office with questions (#5104).

Graceland University assumes no risk or responsibility with your decision to learn to drive or to purchase a motor vehicle.