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Temporary Restricted Licenses

After an OWI arrest and/or conviction, one of the penalties an individual may face is the loss of their driver’s license. The term of suspension or revocation will vary depending on the nature of the offense. For example, if it’s an individual’s first OWI violation and they submitted to a breathalyzer test, they will face a 180-day suspension. However, this suspension term may increase to 12 months if the individual instead chose to refuse the breathalyzer test altogether.

Being unable to drive for any length of time can create serious hardship for both individuals and families. Many individuals convicted or charged with OWI struggle with essential daily tasks like commuting to work or getting their kids to school without a reliable means of transportation. Fearing what may happen if these responsibilities aren’t attended, individuals may choose to operate their vehicles knowing their licenses have been suspended/revoked.

However, intentionally driving on a suspended or revoked driver’s license is illegal. Individuals who violate this law could face a serious misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in prison. Thankfully, you do have options to restore some of your driving privileges if you’ve been convicted of OWI with the help of a Temporary Restricted License.

Temporary Restricted License Attorney | Des Moines, Iowa

It’s understandable you may feel frustrated after losing your driving privileges from an OWI-related matter. The good news is you do have options if you wish to lawfully operate a vehicle during your suspension period. A Temporary Restricted License will allow you to operate your motor vehicle as long as you abide by the regulations set forth under the Iowa Code.

The attorneys at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. are here to help you through any driver’s license-related matter following a chemical test refusal/failure or an OWI conviction. Our legal team can provide a valuable perspective as our lawyers have decades of combined experience on their side. Set up your first consultation today by calling our office at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. or simply submitting an online contact form.

McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. has offices in West Des Moines, but we accept clients throughout every part of Polk County and Dallas County, Iowa including Des Moines, Perry, Miniburn, Waukee, Altoona, Adel, and Ankeny.

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What is a Temporary Restricted License in Iowa?

The State of Iowa allows certain qualifying individuals to apply and obtain a Temporary Restricted License (TRL) if their license has been revoked, suspended, or barred. That includes suspension or revocation due to an OWI conviction or test refusal. In most cases, an individual’s TRL will restrict certain activities and times when they can drive. However, if the TRL is for an OWI-related matter, then it will not be restricted in that manner. Instead, the individual will need to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicles to be eligible for a TRL. Individuals convicted of OWI involving death will not be eligible for any temporary restricted license for at least two years after the revocation.

Under Iowa Code Section 321J, the individual can operate their motor vehicle in any manner allowed for a person issued a noncommercial driver’s license with a TRL. It’s important to note that individuals under the age of 21 are ineligible for a Temporary Restricted License if it’s for an OWI-related matter. In addition, any person under the age of 18 is not eligible for a TRL.

Individuals are still eligible for a Temporary Restricted License if it’s their second OWI conviction or test refusal. However, they must install an ignition interlock device on all vehicles owned and operated by the defendant. Please note, an ignition interlock device is designed to prevent a person from operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance. The device accomplishes this by requiring the driver to submit a breath sample if they wish to turn the motor vehicle’s engine on.


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What Do I Need to Get a TRL in Iowa?

To obtain a Temporary Restricted License, you will first need to apply. You will need to complete Form 430400, Request for Temporary Restricted License—OWI Revocation. The form can be submitted via mail, fax machine, or by personal delivery to any Driver & Identification service center. However, before you can apply you complete the following first:

  • Provide a Certificate of Installation for an approved ignition interlock device on vehicles you operate for a first offense. If it’s a second offense, then you must provide Certificates of Installation for all vehicles you own and operate.
  • Provide proof of financial responsibility insurance (SR-22). This certificate essentially proves you have the required coverage to drive lawfully after an OWI conviction/refusal.
  • Pay any civil penalties you may owe including a $200 penalty you must pay to reinstate your driving privileges.

Once you’ve applied the Iowa DOT will send a notice your application has been approved. From there, you must take the notice to a DOT driver’s license station. At the station you may be required to do the following:

  • Pass any and all required examinations including a written, vision or driving test
  • Pay a $20 reinstatement fee and license fee

Iowa DOT will provide you with a Temporary Restricted License once all the requirements have been met.

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Can a Temporary Restricted License Be Revoked in Iowa?

Individuals who are granted a TRL must provide proof they’ve installed an ignition interlock device on any vehicle they operate. If the individual is found to drive a motor vehicle (whether they own it or not) without an ignition interlock device installed, then the Iowa DOT may revoke their Temporary Restricted License. In addition, if the individual is found tampering with the IID, then the Iowa DOT will be obligated to revoke the person’s TRL immediately.

In addition, tampering with or circumventing an IID is considered a criminal offense under the Iowa Code Section 321J.4(8)(f). Any person found to be tampering or circumventing an IID installed under a court order will face a serious misdemeanor. The maximum penalty a person may face with a serious misdemeanor includes a term of imprisonment not to exceed one year as well as a minimum fine of $430, but not to exceed $2,560.

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Additional Resources

Temporary Restricted Licenses | Iowa DOT – Visit the official website of the Iowa Department of Transportation to learn more about Temporary Restricted Licenses (TRL). Access the site to learn more about TRLs about non-OWI offenses, restrictions for TRL licenses, how to file for proof of financial responsibility, and the contact information for the Iowa DOT.

Getting a Temporary Restricted License | Iowa Legal Aid – Visit the official website for Iowa Legal Aid, one of the biggest online sources for Iowa law. Access the site to learn the purpose of Temporary Restricted Licenses, steps on how to apply for a TRL, and other important information an individual looking for a TRL may need.

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Des Moines OWI Defense Lawyers, IA | Restricted Licenses after DUI

If you or someone you know has been arrested for OWI, then contact McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C.. The skilled and knowledgeable defense lawyers at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. can assess the facts of the case and begin developing a defense right away. Our lawyers understand the drastic changes an OWI arrest can bring to your life, which is why we want to extend our services to you to help you secure the best possible result for the case.

Schedule your first consultation by calling us at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. or simply submitting an online contact form. McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. has offices in Des Moines, but we accept clients throughout the greater Polk County and Dallas County, Iowa area.

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