For many young teenagers getting their driving permit is a really big deal. It's one more step towards gaining more independence, more responsibility, and becoming a young adult. When you can legally operate a vehicle, you're not only responsible for yourself and the passengers in the car, you're responsible for keeping everyone else on the roadways safe. It's a pretty big accomplishment and something teenagers should be excited about.

The first thing I told my mom I wanted to do when I got to high school was take driver's ed and get my permit. I was lucky enough to get my permit on my 15th birthday, which is the age requirement in Minnesota. Looking back, I'm glad I had 1 full year of driving a car with my parents because it gave me a LOT of practice before turning 16.

I'll never forget driving all of those hours behind the wheel and learning how to safely operate a vehicle. In Iowa, teenagers are allowed to get their instruction permit at 14 years old. To make this even better, they don't have to wait in line at the DMV to take the permit test like I did.

Unsplash - Jan Baborak
Unsplash - Jan Baborak

Iowa's Skip The Trip At Home

According to Iowa DOT,

Students can take the web-based knowledge test that is required to obtain a driver’s instruction permit in the comfort of their own homes.

The days of mom or dad waiting with their Iowa teenager at the DMV to get their learner permit are over if you choose. If your teen attends a school that does not participate in the Skip the Trip program, it's not a big deal. They still will be allowed to take the test online.

Requirements To Take The Test At Home

  • Students must be within 30 days of their 14th birthday and younger than 18
  • Students will need an electronic device (not a phone or tablet) connected to the internet
  • The parent or guardian administering the test must have a valid Iowa driver's license.

If you and your teenager are ready to take the test, the parent or guardian must complete and submit the Application to Proctor Knowledge Exam form, which will take 7-14 days to process the application.

Once this process has been completed, the parent/guardian, and student will receive an email with instructions for taking the test. The link sent to the email provided will expire after 72 hours. If it does expire, you will have to fill out the application and apply again. Once the test is completed, the student will receive the results in an email with further instructions.

If your teenager passes the test and is ready to hit the road, you will need to make an appointment with the DMV or a county treasurer to be issued the instruction permit.

According to the Iowa DOT

Skip the Trip allows students to take the test in a familiar and comfortable environment and saves parents and students time away from work or school by potentially reducing the number of trips to the DMV or local county treasurer’s office.

Anything we can do to create fewer trips to the DMV sounds perfectly fine to me! Good luck on your test and remember to use your blinkers.

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