How to Get a Life Insurance License in Iowa

Written by: Mary Gerardine

Last updated:

Getting your Iowa life insurance license is the first step toward becoming a life insurance agent in the state.

The Iowa Insurance Division requires you to complete a four-step process to become a life insurance agent in Iowa — from taking the life insurance exam to applying for a license.

These steps will take a few weeks to complete so we recommend you bookmark this page so you can use it as a reference throughout the process.

How to Get Your Iowa Life Insurance License

  1. Complete an Iowa Insurance Pre-license Course (Kaplan Education Company – $149+)
  2. Take the Iowa Life Insurance Licensing Exam (Pearson VUE – $49)
  3. Complete an Iowa Life Insurance License Application (National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) – $50 application fee + $5.60 transaction fee)
  4. Watch for Your Application Results

Life Insurance License Iowa

Obtaining your Iowa life insurance license isn’t difficult. Just follow these four steps to start your journey toward becoming a life insurance agent. Once you earn this license, check out our guide on how to get your Iowa property and casualty (P&C) license as well.

Step 1: Complete an Iowa Insurance Pre-license Course

Before you take the Iowa life insurance licensing exam, it’s important to make time to acquire the knowledge you’ll need to pass this exam on your first attempt. Completing a pre-license education course will equip you with the necessary information and tools you’ll need to prepare for your exam.

While Iowa doesn’t have any formal pre-license education requirements, most insurance professionals opt to take a pre-license education course online. Others purchase books or self-study materials to prepare themselves for the exam.

A pre-license education course provides very specific industry knowledge that will be tested during the exam. There is very little information on the test that could be considered “common sense.” Pre-license education courses are self-paced and include study materials like practice exams and flashcards.

Beyond helping you effectively prepare for and pass the life insurance licensing exam on your first try, taking a pre-license education course also will give you a solid understanding of your duties as a life insurance agent.


Doing a pre-licensing education course dramatically increases your chance of passing your exam on your first attempt, which can end up saving you both time and money in the long run. For pre-licensing education, StateRequirement recommends:

4.7 out of 5 starsKaplan Education Company

Step 2: Take the Iowa Life Insurance Licensing Exam

After you complete a prep course and your own independent studying, it’s time to take the Iowa life insurance exam.

Iowa uses Pearson VUE as its official testing service for delivering licensure exams.

The Iowa life insurance exam outline contains a total of 77 scored questions that cover two sections: general and state-specific knowledge. The general section deals with basic life insurance product knowledge. The state-specific section covers insurance concepts and terms, rules, regulations, and practices specific to Iowa.

You’ll have 120 minutes to complete the exam. The Iowa life insurance exam fee is $49, which you must pay at the time of reservation by credit card, debit card, or voucher. The exam is a proctored test, meaning an official proctor will closely monitor you in a controlled environment. 

If you happen to fail the Iowa life insurance exam, you can schedule an appointment to retake it as soon as 24 hours after your first attempt.


Check out our in-depth insurance exam guide for tips to help you pass on the first attempt.

The best way to understand if you are prepared for the test is to take a Life Insurance Practice Exam.

Step 3: Complete an Iowa Life Insurance License Application

Once you pass the life insurance exam, you can apply for your Iowa life insurance license. The application fee is $50 plus a $5.60 transaction fee. You must apply online via the NIPRPearson VUE will electronically submit your exam results to the NIPR, but it’ll take up to three or four business days for you to receive your exam results. 

The Iowa Insurance Division will issue a life insurance license to individuals who are at least 18 years old and have passed the proper licensing exam. You should submit your completed license application within 90 days of passing the life insurance licensing exam.

To apply for a life insurance license in Iowa, make sure you comply with the insurance licensing requirements as defined under the Iowa Administrative Code.

Send any questions or supporting documents to

Step 4: Watch for Your Application Results

After you complete the previous three steps, the Iowa Insurance Division will review your application. You won’t receive any correspondence from the state regarding your license application.

According to the Iowa Insurance Division’s Producer Licensing Department, you should wait a few days after submitting your application before looking up your license number on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) State Based Systems (SBS) Lookup Search tool.

You can print your license from the NIPR website. There’s no charge to create an account or print a license.


You’re now ready to get started as a life insurance agent in Iowa.

Steps After Securing Your Iowa Life Insurance License

Once you complete the above steps and have your Iowa life insurance license, there are a few steps you’ll need to take in order to a) excel as an insurance agent, and b) maintain your life insurance license.

Let’s take a brief look at these below.

Obtain All Relevant Securities Licenses

If you’re planning on selling advanced life insurance products, you’ll likely need to pass the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam and obtain the relevant securities licenses (e.g., Series 6, 7, and 63).

For more information on this step, you can have a look at our in-depth Securities Licensing overview.

Choose a Means of Selling

You’ll have to decide whether you’d prefer working as a captive agent employed by one company, or running your own business as an independent agent.

If you’re just starting out, you’ll likely benefit from working as a captive agent, but this will ultimately depend on your personal aspirations and opportunities.

Develop Your Marketing Approach

To succeed as an insurance agent, you’ll need to adopt a marketing approach that’s effective for you.

We recommend finding and sticking to a niche, as well organizing all client appointments for the start of your week. This is because this can improve your overall client conversions.

Keep Your License Valid

In Iowa, you must complete 36 hours of continuing education (CE) every two years to renew your license.

Three of those 36 hours must focus on ethics, and you must complete at least 18 of your required credit hours in a classroom setting.

Keep in mind that you won’t be able to renew your license until you complete your continuing education hours and pay any outstanding fines. The Iowa Insurance Division also requires training for life insurance agents selling annuity products

For more information about CE requirements, visit the Summary – Resident Iowa Continuing Education page.

To avoid delays in renewing your license, you must complete your CE hours at least 90 days before your license expires. The Iowa Insurance Division will send you a courtesy renewal reminder via email approximately 60 days before your license expiration date. The renewal fee is $50.

For a more in-depth look at each one of these steps, check out our Steps After Getting Your Insurance License guide.

Iowa Insurance Division Contact Information

Mailing Address:

Iowa Insurance Division
1963 Bell Ave., Suite 100
Des Moines, IA 50315

Phone: (515) 654-6565



License Search: Iowa Insurance License Lookup

Iowa Life Insurance License FAQ

How much does it cost to get a life insurance license in Iowa?

Obtaining a life insurance license in Iowa requires these fees: 
Insurance Pre-license Education Course Fee: $149+ via Kaplan Education Company
Exam Fee: $49 via Pearson VUE 
Application Fee: $50 application fee + $5.60 transaction fee via the NIPR

How long does it take to process a life insurance license application in Iowa?

According to the Iowa Insurance Division’s Producer Licensing Department, you need to wait a few days before looking up your license number on the NAIC SBS Lookup Search tool and selecting Iowa as your jurisdiction.

Can I get a temporary life insurance agent license in Iowa?

Yes. Iowa provides a 180-day, temporary life insurance license. You can direct questions regarding this process to the Iowa Insurance Division’s Producer Licensing Department at or 515-725-0690.

Can I get an emergency life insurance agent license in Iowa?

No. An emergency license isn’t available for life insurance agents in Iowa.

Do I need to get my securities license on top of a life insurance license in Iowa?

Probably. While you can sell certain basic life insurance products with just a life insurance license, a securities license removes the limits on what you can sell and puts you in a much better career position. As a securities license holder, you can provide your clients with products tied to the securities market as part of their retirement and life insurance plans. But, you’ll need FINRA accreditation to obtain your securities license.

What can I sell with a life insurance license in Iowa?

With an Iowa life insurance license, you can sell life insurance policies that pay a designated beneficiary when the insured person dies. You also can sell annuities that pay a set income at retirement.

How much can you make with a life insurance license in Iowa?

According to ZipRecruiter, life insurance agents earn an average of $79,730 per year.

What are the limitations of an Iowa life insurance license?

Unless you have multiple licenses to sell various types of insurance products (e.g., the combined life and health insurance license), having an Iowa life insurance license only qualifies you to sell life insurance policies as well as retirement plans and annuities. You can’t sell other types of insurance. A securities license on top of your life insurance license removes that limitation and enables you to offer securities, including stocks and bonds.

Can I cancel my life insurance license in Iowa?

Yes. To cancel your license, download and fill out the Individual Producer Voluntary Surrender Request Form. Email your completed form to or fax it to 515-281-3059, Attn: Producer Licensing.

How hard is it to get a life insurance license in Iowa?

The process is quite simple! Follow the steps above and get started today!

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