State Driving Laws Database

Driver Information By State

Every state regulates driver's license eligibility of persons with certain medical conditions. The most common requirement for people with epilepsy is that they be seizure free for a specific period of time and submit a physician's evaluation of their ability to drive safely. Another common requirement is the periodic submission of medical reports, in some states for a specified period of time and in others for as long as the person remains licensed.

Select the state you want to find information about, or if you are moving and would like to compare two states' driving laws side by side? Choose the two states below to compare.

DMV Appeal of License DenialYes
Doctors to Report EpilepsyNo
Periodic Medical Updates Required After Licensing After first 6 months, then at renewal
Seizure-Free Period6 months, with doctor's statement

Iowa Driver Licensing Laws

Iowa's application asks questions relating to physical and mental disabilities. Iowa's regulations for drivers who experience any loss of consciousness or loss of voluntary control require a six month seizure-free period and a physician's report and recommendation. IOWA ADMIN. CODE r. 761-605.4(4)(252J,321). The department may license without a six-month episode-free period in the following cases: (a) if a medical report indicates a pattern of only syncope, after favorable recommendation by the medical advisory board; (b) if a medical report indicates a pattern of seizures only when the person is asleep; and (c) if episodes occur when medications are withdrawn by a physician, but the person is episode-free when placed back on medications, with a favorable recommendation from a neurologist. Physicians are granted immunity from liability, civil or criminal, for information provided to the DMV. IOWA CODE § 321.186 (2020). Any report provided by a physician under this section shall be kept confidential. IOWA CODE § 321.186 (2020).

A license may be suspended based on a personal statement or medical report of a seizure within the prior six months. The record of an individual whose license is suspended for medical reasons is coded differently than the records of individuals whose license is suspended due to driving violations. A licensee must be notified thirty days before their license can be suspended. IOWA CODE § 321.210 (2020). If the individual requests a hearing, the Department must grant it within thirty days. IOWA CODE § 321.211 (2020). An individual whose noncommercial license has been revoked or suspended may petition the district court for a restricted license. IOWA CODE § 321.215 (2020).

Commercial Driving

Iowa has adopted the federal Department of Transportation's medical standards for licensing individuals to drive commercial motor vehicles intrastate for vehicles exceeding 26,000 lbs GVWR, vehicles with a passenger design of sixteen or more including the driver, and vehicles used to transport hazardous materials requiring a placard. IOWA ADMIN. CODE r. 761-607.10(321) (2020). Persons with epilepsy are not eligible to drive school buses. IOWA ADMIN. CODE r. 281-43.15(285) (2020).

Iowa Identification Card

An identification card for non-drivers is available through the Department of Transportation upon proof of identity, shown by a birth certificate, school record, passport, insurance policy, or an affidavit from an Iowa adult licensed driver. The fee for an identification card is $5.00. Identification cards are valid for five years. IOWA CODE § 321.190(1)(d) (2020).

Iowa Reporting

Iowa has no statutory requirement that physicians report people they treat for or diagnose as having epilepsy. A physician may report to the department of motor vehicles "the identity of a person who has been diagnosed as having a physical or mental condition which would render the person physically or mentally incompetent to operate a motor vehicle in a safe manner." A physician making such a report is immune from liability, civil or criminal, as a result of the report. IOWA CODE § 321.186 (2020).


© 2020 Epilepsy Foundation. All rights reserved. This summary was developed for informational purposes by the Epilepsy Foundation and reflects a review of data available as of August 2020. Information is subject to change. This summary is not a substitute for legal advice. For further information, please consult your state Department of Motor Vehicles.

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The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives.

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