---- — DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa drivers can now head to the state Department of Transportation website and renew their licenses online, Gov. Terry Branstad announced Monday.
The online renewal system is designed to give residents more flexibility and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Branstad said. Drivers previously could only renew their license at a county treasurer or Department of Transportation office.
"The lives of Iowans are busy and their time is valuable, so we think this is a tremendous service for the people of Iowa," he said.
Nearly 284,000 Iowa drivers will be eligible to renew a license or identification card on the new system. The system is available to people who are at least 18, but younger than 70, whose licenses have not been expired for more than a year and who don't need to change their name or address on the card.
Iowa drivers must renew their licenses every eight years. That renewal period was extended from five to eight years by the state legislature this year.
Department of Transportation Director Paul Trombino said the online option will simplify renewal for customers.
"Soon you'll see a lot more services online," Trombino said. He also noted that the experience at license centers and county offices should be improved if less people need to go to those locations renew their licenses.
This online system does not apply to commercial drivers. And drivers can only renew online every other time they need a new license. Officials said they thought it was important for safety reasons to have that limitation.