For a Printable TVDL Brochure click here 

See a list of Frequently Asked Questions

Temporary Visitors Driver’s Licenses

Temporary Visitors Driver's Licenses (TVDLs) promote driving with a license and carrying liability insurance.

  • Enabling all of Iowa’s immigrants’ access to driver’s licenses improves roadway safety for all by ensuring that all drivers get tested on their driving skills, know the rules of the road, and have access to mandatory insurance.

TVDLs making Iowa streets and highways safer.

  • Iowa needs practical, workable policies. Denying thousands of drivers access to licenses doesn’t make any sense and is dangerous. There are more than 40,000 traffic fatalities in the U.S. each year, and over 6.3 million motor-vehicle crashes, disproportionately caused by unlicensed drivers. In 2011 in Iowa, 360 people died in traffic fatalities. An AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety report found that unlicensed drivers are almost five times more likely to be in a fatal crash than are validly licensed drivers.  

  • There are legitimate and sound avenues—like Passports and Consular Documents—for individuals to prove identity. That would allow the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) to fulfill its mission of ensuring safe roads and enable thousands of aspiring citizens to get the motorist liability insurance coverage they should have.

Limiting access to a license jeopardizes the ability of police to keep us safe.

  • Studies find that people are more likely to flee from the scene of traffic accidents if they are driving without a license.

  • Categorically defining tens of thousands of people as ineligible for a license weakens the strength of the Iowa DOT database as a crime-fighting tool.

  • Police will have a much more difficult time finding people to serve warrants and court summonses.

  • Iowa can remain REAL ID compliant while expanding access to driver’s licenses for aspiring citizens. The federal REAL ID Act of 2005 allows states to create a separate identification and driver’s license for persons who cannot prove lawful status.

TVDLs provide insurance benefits for all drivers.

  • Unlicensed drivers make our roads more dangerous.

  • All drivers pay the price for uninsured drivers.  

  • In Iowa, between 10-13 % of all accidents are caused by uninsured drivers.

TVDLs are gaining nationwide attention and support. 

  • Nationwide, states are looking to make are street safer. All these states also use strong procedures to verify documents regarding identity and residency and guard against fraud and abuse. We here in Iowa can follow suit with a law that will work for us.

    • Illinois: Illinois, in early 2013 expanded Temporary Visitor Driver’s Licenses (TVDL). TVDLs are visually distinct from other licenses, and are marked on their face as not valid for identification. Given these differences, no one can use a TVDL to register to vote or vote, apply for a firearm id card, board an airplane, or enter a federal building.

    • Utah: Utah enacted similar legislation in 1999. In 2005, this legislation was amended to provide for the issuance of a new ‘driving privilege cards (DPCs)” to non-REAL ID-qualified motorists.

    • Washington: Washington also allows undocumented immigrants to get licenses. 

    • New Mexico: After New Mexico made all immigrants eligible for driver’s licenses, rates of uninsured vehicles decreased from 33 percent in December 2002, prior to the enacting of the license law in 2003, to less than 9.1 percent in 2011. Because individuals are more likely to buy and maintain car insurance with a valid license, New Mexico has a very high mandatory car insurance compliance rate of above 90 percent.

Copyright 2016 All Rights Reserved