What you need to know
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The Ignition Interlock License or (IIL) is available for most people who have lost or will lose their license or privilege to drive in WA due to a DOL administrative suspension or revocation based on an arrest. It is also available for most people who will lose their license or privilege to drive in WA due to a court conviction.
Administrative Suspension or Revocation: The following persons may apply for an IIL:
Any person licensed to drive in WA, or who has a valid driver’s license from another state who:
has had or will have his or her license suspended, revoked, or denied administratively,
by reason of an arrest for any offense where, at the time of the arrest, the arresting officer had reasonable grounds to believe the person had been driving under the influence, or
was in violation of RCW 46.61.503 (Driver Under 21 Consuming Alcohol or Marijuana)
The department, upon receipt of the prescribed fee and upon determining that the petitioner is eligible to receive the license, may issue an ignition interlock driver’s license.
A person who does not have a WA driver’s license, but who would otherwise be eligible to apply for an ignition interlock license, may submit to the department an application for an ignition interlock license. The department may require the person to take any driver’s licensing examination and meet certain other requirements.
Conviction-Related Suspension or Revocation: The following persons may also apply:
Any person licensed to drive in WA, or who has a valid driver’s license from another state who has been convicted in court of:
A violation of RCW 46.61.502 (DUI) or
CW 46.61.504 (Physical Control) or
an equivalent local or out-of-state statute or ordinance, or
Any person who is licensed to drive in WA, who is convicted of RCW 46.61.500
(Reckless Driving) when the charge was originally filed as a violation of RCW 46.61.502
(DUI) or RCW 46.61.504 (Physical Control), or an equivalent local ordinance.
Any person who does not have a WA driver’s license, but who would otherwise be
eligible under this section to apply for an ignition interlock license may submit to the department an application for an ignition interlock license. The department may require the person to take any driver’s licensing examination and meet certain other requirements.
However, you will not be eligible if your current suspension or revocation is also due to a violation of Minor in Possession, or you are a Habitual Traffic Offender.
While driving with an IIL, you must maintain an interlock device on all vehicles you drive, except employer-owned or maintained vehicles that you drive during work, and not solely to and from work and home.
To obtain the exemption, your employer must sign the “Employer Declaration for Ignition Interlock Exemption” Form (or search title online). To be eligible for an employer exemption, you must have an IID installed in your personal vehicle and submit the above-linked declaration to DOL as well as keep a copy of the signed employer declaration with your IIL.
You cannot drive a commercial motor vehicle with an IIL; no exemption applies for driving those vehicles.
HOW TO APPLY FOR AN IIL
Install an ignition interlock device in every vehicle you will be driving. Obtain written proof of installation from the vendor.
Get proof of financial responsibility, such as a Certificate of Insurance (SR-22) from an insurance agent.
Complete the “Restricted Driver License Application” (or search title online) and submit it to DOL with a check or money order for the IIL Application Fee ($100): in person at any driver licensing office, OR
by mail to:
Restricted License Department of Licensing PO Box 3907
Seattle, WA 98124-3907
It may take two weeks or longer to receive your IIL; typically they are received the day the suspension or revocation is to begin, so long as the application was received early enough to be processed in that time frame. Please consider this in determining if and when you should apply for an IIL. If you don’t allow enough time for DOL to process the request before your license is suspended/revoked, you will not be permitted to drive AT ALL.
If you drive without the IIL after your license suspension/revocation has taken effect, you may be charged with the crime of Driving While License Suspended or Revoked, resulting in significant incarceration or bail for the current offense if you’ve violated the court’s conditions of release, an additional criminal conviction, as well as an additional year of license revocation added to the current suspension or revocation.
FEES AND COSTS
You are responsible for paying all the IIL fees and interlock device costs, including:
the cost of installing, leasing, and removing an ignition interlock device.
the cost of maintaining proof of financial responsibility – SR-22 insurance
the IIL application fee (non-refundable) — $100.00
very important facts
DOL states that they can’t issue the IIL until your suspension or revocation begins. You may request that the IIL be emailed to you. It takes DOL up to two weeks to process the IIL once all requirements listed above are met AND your suspension or revocation has begun.
Once your suspension or revocation has begun, until you receive the IIL from DOL (whether by mail or email), you are NOT a valid licensed driver. Driving without a valid license is a crime and puts you at risk of being arrested and/or cited for driving while license suspended. If you are currently under court release conditions then driving without a valid license is a violation of those conditions.
After the period of suspension or revocation is over you must reinstate your license because the IIL will be expired.
Please use this link to determine what you need to do in order to reinstate your license, https://www.dol.wa.gov/licenseexpress.html
Here is a link to the DOL’s website for your reference – https://www.dol.wa.gov/.
At the end of your license suspension or revocation period, you must reinstate your license in order to have the privilege to drive again. Until your license is reinstated, you face potential criminal liability for driving; adding at least an additional year onto your current suspension or revocation. Even if the period of your suspension or revocation is over, you can still be arrested and charged for driving while license suspended or revoked if you have not reinstated your license.
If you are unsure of the current status of your driving license or about what incident(s) have been reported on your driving record, you can request a copy of the record from DOL. You can find a Record Request form here. To reinstate your license, you will be required to submit proof that you have high-risk (SR22) insurance. This requirement is ongoing for the next three years after you became eligible to reinstate your license. You will also need to pay the standard licensing fees as well as a reinstatement fee.
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