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Iowa Senate approves online driver’s license renewal

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After the Iowa Senate unanimously approved the measure, it’s up to the state’s House of Representatives to consider a measure allowing online renewal for driver’s licenses.

The senate approved a bill that would allow drivers between 18 and 72 years of age to use the online service at every other renewal.  That keeps the vision testing requirement in place for alternating renewals, and drivers must pass vision testing on their previous renewal to be eligible to renew online.

Drivers with vision or health issues would not be allowed to renew online, being required instead to continue to renew at a Department of Transportation or county office.

If passed, online driver’s license renewals are expected to save the state more than $1 million every year.    The Department of Transportation estimates about one-third of Iowans would use the service.

Maquoketa senator Tod Bowman added an amendment to the bill which would also extend the time between renewals from five to eight years.   The transition to the longer renewal period could gradually increase at the discretion of the Department of Transportation.

This is the second time the legislature has considered a measure allowing online driver’s license renewals.  Similar legislation was part of a larger bill last year that was vetoed by Gov. Terry Branstad because he objected to an unrelated part of that bill.

If passed by house and signed by the governor, the law would take effect immediately.