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Ignition Interlock Program

Effective May 1, 2014, the District of Columbia will begin issuing a REAL ID Credential and a Limited Purpose Credential.

The REAL ID credential requires a one-time revalidation of source documents when obtaining, renewing or requesting a duplicate (including a change of address) DC driver license or identification card. This validation will enable the DC Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to ensure your identity and issue a federally compliant REAL ID driver license or identification card. The new requirements will affect what you will need to bring to the DC DMV office when obtaining, renewing or requesting a duplicate credential. First time DC applicants and existing DC driver license and identification card holders should expect to provide source documents as proof of identity (full legal name and date of birth), social security number, lawful presence in the United States, and current residence in the District of Columbia.  If you have a non-DC REAL ID driver license (which does not contain a star in the upper right hand corner), you must bring additional source documents for validation purposes when seeking a license with an ignition interlock restriction.  For more information about REAL ID, please review our FAQs.

DMV has introduced an Ignition Interlock Device Program. This program allows for a discretionary one-year reduction of the revocation period of certain drivers who have been convicted of a second or subsequent alcohol related offense. DMV may reinstate the driving privileges of a person convicted of a second or subsequent alcohol related offense if that person satisfies all other conditions for license reinstatement and installs an approved Ignition Interlock Device (IID). An ignition interlock device is a breath alcohol analyzer connected to the ignition system of a vehicle. The driver must blow into the device and if his or her breath alcohol level exceeds the accepted level set on the device, the vehicle will not start. In addition, at periodic times during the operation of the vehicle, the driver will be prompted to blow into the device to ensure they are not under the influence.

Participation in the program will allow you to obtain a restricted drivers license and drive designated vehicles with installed ignition interlock devices. The restriction and conditions will remain in place for one year, unless extended as a result of a violation of program rules or other driving related events.


To be considered for this program pursuant to Section 311 of Title 18, District of Columbia Municipal Regulations, you must:

  • Have completed at least one (1) year of the revocation period if revoked for two (2) years or at least two (2) years of the revocation period if revoked for three (3) years.
  • Have the IID installed by a DMV approved vendor in all vehicles operated by you.
  • Complete and submit the DMV Ignition Interlock Program Application.
  • Be eligible for restoration of your drivers license and not have any additional or pending license suspensions.
  • Have not been convicted for causing injury or death while operating a motor vehicle in any jurisdiction.
  • Have not previously participated in this program or any similar program in another jurisdiction five (5) years prior to the date of the application.

Out-of-state driver with an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) restriction who wishes to surrender an operator license issued by another jurisdiction must:

  • Have Proof of DC residency, full legal name and social security number along with valid out-of-state drivers license.
  • Must be currently enrolled (minimum of 30 days) in another state/jurisdictions certified IID program and have at least one vehicle with an installed IID for a minimum of 30 days before date of application.
  • Currently possess a valid out-of-state drivers license with IID restriction (minimum of 30 days).
  • Provide a certified driving record (issued within the last 30 days) from the licensing jurisdiction.
  • Provide the vehicle registration and IID monthly reports reflecting activity and triggered events (30 days minimum reporting requirement).
  • Visit and obtain a IID from a DC DMV approved IID provider within 15 days of enrollment into the IID Program. Vehicle must be registered in DC prior to visiting the IID approved provider.
  • Remain in the IID program for the duration of either (1) the original IID license restriction in the previous jurisdiction or (2) the IID license restriction that the driver would have received if the infraction occurred in the District of Columbia, whichever duration is longer.
  • Once enrolled in the DC DMV IID Program, you will be required to follow the DC DMV requirements for the IID Program.
  • Have not been convicted for causing injury or death while operating a motor vehicle in any jurisdiction.
  • Complete and submit the DMV Ignition Interlock Program Application.
  • Obtain a District of Columbia drivers License.
  • Obtain a District of Columbia Vehicle Registration.


Participants must pay all costs involved with the installation and monthly maintenance of the ignition interlock device directly to the vendor. Costs are determined by each approved vendor.

General Information

DMV will contact eligible IID participants by mail 30 days prior to their eligibility date to enter into the program. Drivers who elect to participate in the program must fill out an Ignition Interlock Device Application and have an ignition interlock device installed by a DMV approved vendor in all vehicles operated by the participant. When the device is installed, the provider will show you how to use it, advise you about the monthly maintenance and reporting requirements, and provide you with written proof that the device was installed. Written proof of installation and the completed application must be returned to the DMV Penn Branch Service Center. Once an application is approved, the applicant will be required to take and pass the knowledge and road skills test. The applicant must also obtain High Risk Insurance and pay a reinstatement fee to reinstate his or her driving privilege. DMV will reinstate the program participant’s drivers license and issue a license with an IID restriction.

DMV records will indicate that an IID restriction has been placed on the license and notify law enforcement officials that individuals with this restriction may only operate a vehicle with an Ignition Interlock Device installed.

Participants are expected to return each vehicle to the Ignition Interlock Service Provider who installed the device every 30 days for serving, calibration and collection of information from the device. Failure to do so will result in the revocation of the drivers license for failure to comply with the terms of the Ignition Interlock Device (IID) program.

Anyone convicted of tampering, removing, allowing someone else to blow into the device, failing to pay applicable costs, or driving a vehicle without an ignition interlock device will have their drivers license revoked.

Failure to comply with the requirements of the ignition interlock device program will result in revocation of the motor vehicle operator’s license and all vehicles identified in the application.

For additional Ignition Interlock Program requirements and information click here.

Approved Ignition Interlock Device Service Providers:

You may call the toll free number(s) below for cost, installation, or appointment information.

Alcohol Detection Systems 1-800-786-7394

Costs are determined by the independent vendors and not the DMV.