Speed limits are probably the last thing that comes to mind when traveling to an interesting place such as the U.S. state of Iowa. But the state’s traffic authority sets out clear guidelines that must be followed in order to avoid getting a traffic ticket, points added to your license and subsequent insurance or, worse, jail time!

If you are moving to Iowa from another state, visiting or relocating from another country, or simply driving through the state, understanding the Iowa speed limit is useful knowledge to have.

Iowa Speed Limt

What is the speed limit in Iowa?

The speed limit in Iowa is split into two different categories, basic speed limits, and absolute speed limits. The way in which the absolute speed limit in Iowa works is pretty simple, if the speed limit is 25 mph and you drive faster than that, you have violated the law and will face punishment in the form of a ticket, and/or points added to your license. The Iowa State Patrol determines the speed restrictions in Iowa.



The absolute speed limits in Iowa are as follows

  • 20 mph in business districts.
  • 25 mph in residential districts.
  • 25 mph in school zones.
  • 45 mph in suburban districts.
  • 65 mph on fully controlled-access, divided, multilane highways.
  • 70 mph on interstate highways.
  • 55 mph on other roadways.

The basic speed limit requires motorists to drive at a “careful and prudent speed not greater than nor less than is reasonable and proper, having due regard to the traffic, surface, and width of the highway and of any other conditions that exist.”

The basic speed limit in Iowa also requires drivers to reduce their speed when approaching crossings, curves in the road, a hill-crest, or when the conditions on the road warrant a speed reduction.

So essentially, motorists must drive at a safe speed depending on the environment and other factors, such as weather conditions. For example, if you were in a 55 mph zone and it was an icy, windy, and rainy day, it would be extremely dangerous to drive at that speed limit and could result in a violation and a ticket. However, if you were driving on a bright, sunny, and dry day, there would generally be no issue with driving at the prescribed speed limit.

Penalties for breaching Iowa speed limits

In Iowa, if you are caught breaching the speed limits, you will be fined and could face a potential license suspension. Now, unlike most other states, Iowa doesn’t have a clear point system when it comes to speeding violations, you will receive fines for committing a misdemeanor, however, you will likely not receive any points on your license.

This does not mean that you will not face a potential license suspension for a number of months for committing a speeding offense. It is likely that you will be suspended if you continuously receive speeding tickets for violating the Iowa speed limits!

Speeding ticket fines you will likely receive for committing traffic offenses in Iowa:

  • $20 for exceeding the speed limit by not more than 5 mph.
  • $40 for exceeding the speed limit by more than 5 but not more than 10 mph.
  • $80 for exceeding the speed limit by more than 10 but not more than 15 mph.
  • $90 for exceeding the speed limit by more than 15 but not more than 20 mph.
  • $100 plus $5 for each mile per hour in excess of 20 mph over the limit.
  • Fines tend to be $100 for speeding violations in school zones. However, if a driver is caught going more than ten miles per hour over the limit in a school zone, they could face up to 30 days in jail and/or $65 to $625 in fines.

It is clear that road safety is of great importance to the people of Iowa. You can play your part by knowing and observing the specified Iowa speed limits.