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Admission on Motion

Iowa offers admission without examination (referred to as “admission on motion”) for attorneys licensed in another state or the District of Columbia who can demonstrate a prolonged period of the regular practice of law without significant character or fitness problems. 

To be admitted applicants applicants must:

  • Have been admitted to another state of the United States or the District of Columbia,

  • Have practiced law five full years while licensed within the seven years immediately preceding the date of the application and still holds a law license, and

  • Be of good moral character.
     

An applicant is not eligible for admission on motion if:

  • The applicant is currently subject to lawyer discipline in another jurisdiction,

  • The applicant failed the Iowa bar examination within five years of the date of the application, or

  • The applicant has failed five or more bar examinations.

 

There are two fees for admission on motion.  The fee required by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) is paid to them at the time the electronic application is filed.    An administrative filing fee of $900 is paid to the Office of Professional Regulation at the time the electronic application is filed with NCBE.

In order to start the filing process to be admitted on motion to the State of Iowa, you should:

  1. Check to see that you meet all eligibility requirements listed above.

  2. Request and complete the fingerprint card. See form below to request fingerprint card.

  3. Send the fingerprint card, the $900 filing fee by check made payable to "Board of Law Examiners," and the certificates of admission, regular practice, and good moral character to:

    Daniel Saar
    Office of Professional Regulation
    Judicial Branch Building, Second Floor
    1111 East Court Avenue
    Des Moines, Iowa 50319

    • NOTE: The certificates do not have to be filed at the time the application is filed and fee is paid.  However, if they are not filed within one or two months after the application is filed, they may delay consideration of your application.

  4. Complete the online application to be admitted on motion (Opens a New Window) and file it with the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

    • From this link, the applicant selects Iowa as the jurisdiction to which he or she is applying.  On the next page, click on the NCBE Account Login button and either log in with your credentials or create an account. 

    • Pay the separate investigative fee to the National Conference of Bar Examiners at the time the NCBE application is filed. Do not send a copy of the application to the Office of Professional Regulation.

      • NOTE: Applications must be completed online. The administrative filing fee should be sent to the Office of Professional Regulation contemporaneously with the filing of the application with the National Conference of Bar Examiners.  If the fee is not received within 10 days after the application is filed, the application will be deleted and the applicant will have to file a new and complete application.

  5. Please remember that you have a continuing duty to update your application.  Updates must be filed with the Office of Professional Regulation and the National Conference of Bar Examiners.  Any failure to promptly update an aspect of your application may result in denial of the application or disciplinary sanctions.

For other questions on admission on motion, please review Iowa Court Rules 31.12 and 31.13 (Opens in New Window)

 

Complete the Form Below to Request a Fingerprint Card

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