New rules for young drivers in Iowa
DES MOINES — The Iowa Department of Transportation is updating its rules for young drivers to reflect changes in law approved by the Iowa Legislature. Sara Siedsma with the motor vehicle division says one update involves the restriction on passengers. She says a person under 18 with an intermediate license is restricted to driving with one unrelated minor passenger when driving without supervision unless the parent waives the restriction at the time the license is issued. Drivers must have an instruction permit for one year without an accident or conviction for traffic offense before getting an intermediate license. Siedsma says drivers have to wait six months after a conviction before the clock can start again, but the year period does not have to be 12 consecutive months. “They would be able to count valid periods of hold that instruction permit prior to a conviction and then after a conviction,” she explains. They’ve also updated the process for parents seeking a waiver of driver’s education. “Currently that must be submitted on a department form. This change would allow a parent or guardian to sign a written statement at the school rather than having to do the form,” Siedsma says. There’s also a change designed to give more flexibility for school permits. “For minor children who have divorced or separated parents, they would be able to drive from the school and either parents’ residence — as long as the parent resides in the district of enrollment, or a contiguous district,” Siedsma says. She says the students often alternate staying with each parent and this allows them to still drive using their school permit as long as they meet the requirements.