After receiving a DUI, the Washington Department of Licensing (DOL) will be notified by law enforcement of the DUI charge. The DOL will immediately notify you by mail of a mandatory 90-day license suspension. You have a right to challenge the suspension by mailing the DOL Hearing Request Form or by requesting the hearing on line here. The request must be made within 20 days of the DUI. The fee to DOL for the hearing is $375.00. You may request a waiver of this fee by submitting the DOL Financial Assistance Application Form, along with the Hearing Request Form.
Always make sure that DOL has your correct mailing address. DOL mails all notifications to the address DOL has on file. Change your address at any DOL location or online here:
If you do not request a hearing to challenge the suspension, do not drive after the date of suspension until after you pay the license reinstatement fee to DOL or unless you first obtain an ignition interlock license through the DOL. (See below for Ignition Interlock Licensing)
If you request a hearing:
- DOL will send you notification by mail of your phone hearing time and date, along with a copy of the police report.
- Be sure to provide this information immediately to your attorney.
- If you do not have an attorney, be sure to be available for the phone hearing.
- The date of your suspension will be delayed until after the DOL Hearing Officer notifies you in writing of his or her decision.
- If the decision goes against you, the new date of suspension will be at least 30 days beyond the written decision, as you have the right to appeal any decision.
Obtaining an Ignition Interlock License (IIL)
You may drive during the DOL license suspension by obtaining an Ignition Interlock License through DOL. To be eligible, you must establish all of the following:
- Your suspension was caused by an arrest or conviction of one of the following:
- Physical Control DUI
- Reckless Driving
- Vehicular assault or homicide involving drugs or alcohol.
- You have an unexpired WA driver license or a valid out-of-state license.
- Your current suspension or revocation does not include a Minor in Possession charge.
- You have not been deemed a Habitual Traffic Offender or suspended in the 1st degree (DWLS 1st).
- You have installed an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in any vehicle you intend to drive.
- You have SR22 insurance for any vehicle you intend on driving.
Next, complete and submit the DOL Restricted Driver License Application form and fee ($100.00) to DOL. Be sure to have all of your documents submitted with your application and fee.
Do not let your license or insurance lapse during your probation period. Your Restricted License will have an expiration date. If you drive after the license is expired, you could face additional penalties through the court system for a violation of the terms of your probation. There is a mandatory 30-day jail sentence if caught driving without license and insurance following a DUI conviction.
AND make sure that DOL has your current address. Even if the court has your correct address, it does not mean DOL has the correct mailing address.
At the end of the suspension, your IID Restricted License will expire. You will need to go to DOL and pay a reinstatement fee $150.00. NOTE: If your case had a 90-day suspension and a 30-day suspension, which is all served in the 90-days, DOL sometimes makes you pay the reinstatement fee more than once! Stay in contact with DOL to make sure you are legal to drive!! FYI- I do not believe they send notices of expiration of the IID license, so mark your calendar and watch the dates!
In order to apply for the IID license, you will need to obtain SR 22 insurance or if possible, only a SR 22 insurance rider and an ignition interlock (IID).
DOL's website has the IIL information at http://www.dol.wa.gov/driverslicense/iil.html
For the SR 22 Insurance
SR 22 insurance is basically a high-risk insurance. You will be required to keep SR 22 insurance on any vehicles you drive for 3-years following the end of any license suspension. Do not let your insurance lapse. Watch and calendar the dates for renewal as a reminder.
The easiest and cheapest way to obtain SR 22 insurance is to add a SR 22 insurance rider on top of your normal insurance policy. If you notify your normal insurance agent that you need SR 22 insurance, the agent may require you to by the high-risk insurance policy instead of just a rider. So, keep your car insurance policy and simply go online and find an agent who specializes in SR 22 insurance for Washington State. I have listed a couple agents on the Resource page.
If you do not currently have insurance, then of course, you should shop around to find the best deal possible for a SR22 insurance policy.
Any other questions about insurance should be addressed through a licensed insurance agent or broker. I have limited knowledge and should not be relied upon to give accurate insurance advice.
Ignition Interlock Device (IID) requirement
I recommend Smart Start or Intoxalock. Their contact information is on the Resource page. Be sure to advise them that you were referred to them by Heritage Law Office. Sometimes they have discounts or specials if referred by an attorney. Shop around. For the record, I get nothing for making recommendations to these companies. I make the recommendations because I am familiar with the company and their standards.
If you have been ordered by the court to have an IID installed, the court or probation would be notified if you have violations, such as a reading showing alcohol or failure to maintain the machine. So, when you get the IID installed, make sure that you have all of the instructions regarding maintenance requirements. As well, ask the company about foods, drinks, odors, or other things that would potentially cause the machine to log a false positive.
Finally, if DOL requires an IID for longer than the 90-day suspension period, you need to rely on Washington DOL to advise you of the date the IID can be removed. Do not remove the IID from your vehicle until DOL authorizes you to do so in writing. FYI- If there is a one year requirement for an IID— you must have four months at the end of your IID requirement without any problems or false positives. Talk to the IID company and to DOL about this if you do not understand.
You may request financial assistance for the IID by submitting the DOL Financial Assistance Application Form if you are indigent and meet DOL's guidelines for poverty in Washington State. If you are approved, you are required to reapply every year. If you are declined, you may reapply in 6 months.
Remember, you may not drive any vehicle without an IID! Even in an emergency.
Ignition Interlock Requirements on Employer Vehicles
A common question is “Do I have to tell my boss that I have to have an ignition interlock device?” The answer is “Only if your job requires that you drive an employer owned, leased, or rented vehicle.”
If you drive your employer's vehicle during work hours it must be equipped with an IID in most cases. However, this may be waived under some circumstances. Do not drive any employer vehicles without an IID unless your employer has signed the DOL Employer Declaration for IID Exemption, submitted it to the DOL and approved. Once approved, you must carry a signed copy of the declaration with you when driving company vehicles not equipped with IID.
The IID requirement cannot be waived on employer's vehicles if the vehicle is assigned solely to you and you drive it back and forth to work.
You cannot drive a commercial motor vehicle while you have an Ignition Interlock License.
Your license is not automatically reinstated at the end of the suspension. To reinstate your license at the end of your suspension, either go to a DOL office or online here. There is a fee to do so. You may not drive until the fee is paid.