Ignition interlock device (IID)

An ignition interlock device is an instrument you blow into before you can start your vehicle. You’ll only be able to start your vehicle if your breath alcohol content (BAC) reading is under .025.

When you need an IID

You must have an ignition interlock device before you can reinstate your driver license after:

  • A conviction for an alcohol or drug related DUI or Physical Control of a motor vehicle.
  • Some convictions of reckless driving.
  • Some convictions of negligent driving.

When you need an Ignition Interlock Driver License (IIL)

An IIL is a restricted driver license that allows you to drive vehicles equipped with an ignition interlock device. To learn about IIL requirements and how to get one, see Ignition Interlock Driver License (IIL).

How long you’ll need an IID

To see how long you need to have an IID, see Learn how to reinstate your license.

General guidelines

For … You must have an IID for…
Some convictions of reckless driving. At least 6 months.
Some convictions of negligent driving. At least 6 months.
Conviction of DUI or Physical Control of a motor vehicle.
  • 1st offense: At least 1 year.
  • 2nd offense: At least 5 years.
  • 3rd or subsequent offenses: At least 10 years.

Note: The court may require your IID to be installed longer than what’s shown above.

The IID requirement won’t be removed until we receive notice from the interlock company that you haven’t done any of the following in the previous 4 months:

  • Tried to start the vehicle with a breath alcohol content of .04 or more
  • Failed to take or pass any required retest.
  • Failed to get scheduled maintenance, repairs, calibration, monitoring, inspection, or replacement of the device.

How to get an IID installed

Visit an IID installer that’s certified by the Washington State Patrol. The installer will submit proof of installation to us. You can:

Help for low-income drivers

You may be eligible for financial help if you can’t afford to install, lease, and remove an ignition interlock device in the vehicles you drive. To apply for assistance, submit an Ignition Interlock Device Financial Assistance Application:

  • To qualify, you must be indigent as defined in RCW 10.101.010 and have an income below the Washington State poverty cut-off level shown below:
    2014 poverty guidelines for Washington State
    People in family/household Monthly income
    1 $1,216
    2 $1,639
    3 $2,061
    4 $2,484
    5 $2,907
    6 $3,330
    7 $3,753
    8 $4,176
  • If you’re approved, you’ll need to reapply every year.
  • If you’re denied, you may reapply in 6 months.

Vehicles that need an IID

Your vehicles

  • You need to have one installed in all personal vehicles you drive.
  • You don’t need to have one installed in all the vehicles you own.

Employer’s vehicles

If you’re required to operate an employer-owned vehicle during work hours, you may submit an Employer Declaration for Ignition Interlock Exemption to us so they don’t have to install IIDs on their vehicles.

  • You can’t submit this form if the employer’s vehicle is assigned exclusively to you for commuting to and from work. You must install an IID on the vehicle before you drive it.
  • Submit the form to us before you drive any employer’s vehicles.
  • Carry a copy with you whenever you drive an employer vehicle.

Eligibility

To be eligible for an employer exemption, you must have an IID installed in your personal vehicle. In addition, you must wait a specific number of days (below) from the date your suspension/revocation began as a result of the conviction, or date the IID was installed, whichever is later:

  • First alcohol/drug conviction – 30 days
  • Second or subsequent alcohol/drug conviction – 365 days

What to do when your requirement period is over

You can have the IID removed after we’ve receive notice from the interlock company that in the previous 4 months you haven’t done any of the following:

  • Tried to start the vehicle with a breath alcohol content of .04 or more.
  • Failed to take or pass any required retests.
  • Failed to get scheduled maintenance, repairs, calibration, monitoring, inspection, or replacement of the device.

Once you’ve met all your IID requirements and we’ve received and processed the 4-month certification from the interlock company, you may have the device removed. We suggest that you check your license status before you drive.

Frequently asked questions

What if I remove the IID early?

If you remove it:

  • Before your requirement period is over, your driving privileges will be suspended.
  • After your license is reinstated, but before your requirement period is over, your license will be suspended.
  • While you have a restricted license (ORL or IIL), your restricted license will be canceled.

Can I contest the IID requirement?

No. You may request an administrative review to contest the suspension, but you can’t contest the ignition interlock requirement.

Related laws

Washington Healthcare Finder
Access Washington – official state government website