Every arrest for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Washington State carries the potential for license suspension/revocation. Suspensions or revocations can occur based upon convictions in court or even through a separate administrative process within the Department of Licensing (DOL). When a driver has been suspended or revoked due to a DUI conviction or the separate administrative process the DOL can issue an Ignition Interlock License (IIL). Having the Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed in a car is not the same as DOL issuing an IIL. Before taking any action toward obtaining an IIL it is important to determine eligibility and to verify any possible restrictions by contacting DOL at 360-902-3900.

There are three steps that must be completed to obtain the IIL: install the IID, purchase SR-22 automobile insurance and take the IIL application and fee to a DOL branch office. DOL does not require these steps to be done in a specific order, but all three must be completed for DOL to process and issue the license.

Step 1: Immediately contact an ignition interlock device company to schedule an appointment to have the IID installed. There may be a few days between the initial contact and the next available appointment.

Step 2: Purchase SR-22 automobile insurance. Different companies may charge different amounts for this insurance so shopping around may be valuable.

Step 3: Take the IIL application and fee to any DOL branch office. The IIL application will remain valid for 30 days from the date of filing with DOL. If the application expires, then DOL will require a new application and payment of another fee.

Proof of installation of the device and proof of the SR-22 insurance will be sent directly to DOL from the device installer and insurance company. Therefore, only the application and fee must be taken to the DOL branch office.

Try to complete all three steps at least seven days prior to the DUI related suspension/revocation. This should give DOL enough time to process the IIL. Currently, DOL waits to grant the IIL until the day the suspension/revocation begins. Suspensions and revocations begin at midnight, but the earliest we have seen the IIL granted is 10:00 a.m. This causes a minimum 10 hour gap in driving privileges. If all three steps have been completed and the IIL has not been granted by the afternoon the suspension/revocation begins, then contacting DOL customer service is a good idea. This could help diagnose the problem and move the process along. Having a backup transportation plan for 1-3 days is also a good idea.