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  6.  – Ignition Interlock License

What Smith & White DUI Clients Need to Know About the Ignition Interlock Driver’s License (IIL)

An Ignition Interlock Driver’s License (IIL) allows you to drive a vehicle while your license is suspended or revoked for a drug or alcohol–related offense. You are eligible if you are a resident of Washington, have an unexpired WA driver license or valid out of state driver license, and an arrest or conviction for: DUI, Physical Control, Reckless Driving, Vehicular Assault or Homicide (involving drugs or alcohol)

We recommend that you apply for this license one week before your suspension goes into effect. This is usually enough time that you do not have to suffer any time not being able to drive. However, it is not so far in advance that DOL is not yet aware of activity that should result in suspension and therefore returns your application.

To apply for an IIL you must first have an Install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle. The installer will send us proof of installation. They can also provide it to you and you can include it with your application. We recommend Lifesafer ( for your ignition interlock device as the most trouble-free provider of ignition interlock devices. Get proof of financial responsibility, such as a Certificate of Insurance (SR–22). You can get advice from your Smith & White attorney on how to do this. Lastly, completed a Restricted Driver License Application along with paying the requisite fee.

While driving with an IIL, you have an ignition interlock device on any vehicles that you drive. If you drive for work, you can get your employer to sign an Employer Declaration for Ignition Interlock Exemption to waive the requirement of an IID at work. Speak with your attorney and see the DOL website for more information on this option.

Sometimes an ignition interlock is required as a condition of release on a pending DUI. This is not the same as an ignition interlock license. While the same ignition interlock device can satisfy both requirements, merely having an ignition interlock device does not mean you are legal to drive if a suspension action has been sustained against your license. In some cases, you may have the court condition at the beginning of your case before your license is suspended. This would result in you needing to maintain an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for longer than the 90 days suspension period.

Most people (especially those who follow our advice as to where to get their ignition interlock service) no longer experience false positives, stalling, or other technical problems with their Ignition Interlock Device. The single most significant barrier to the Ignition Interlock License is the cost. It should be noted that DOL does have some money available to help the financially disadvantaged pay for an ignition interlock device. Please look to their website (provided above) for more information on obtaining financial help with your ignition interlock license.

As with all legal matters, if you still have questions you should direct your concerns to our team here at The Law Offices of Smith & White, PLLC.