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Learn more about Ignition interlock devices in your state

Do I Need to Install an Interlock Device if I Don't Own a Car?

Do I Need to Install an Interlock Device if I Don't Own a Car?

If you’ve been convicted of drunk driving, you might have to install an ignition interlock device (IID) as part of your sentence. Many states have restricted driver’s licenses or ignition interlock laws that require you to install a device so that you can regain driving privileges. Learn more about the timeline of an IID.  But what if you don’t own a vehicle?

You Aren't the Legal Owner of the Car You Drive

State laws do vary, but all states have some form of IID requirement in place. For states that have restricted driver's license reinstatement as part of an ignition interlock program there will be a legal requirement and a note on your digital driver’s record that you have been required to install and only be driving in a vehicle with an IID. In the states that have these IID requirements, this will include borrowed vehicles from a friend, spouse or other family member.

If you drive a company vehicle, your state law may require an IID to be installed so that you are in compliance with the law. There are some states that have exemptions for work vehicles, such as Texas. Other states will revoke the commercial endorsement on your license, and it may not be possible for you to drive a work vehicle at all during the IID or license suspension period.

Owner's Permission for Install

When you install the device in the borrowed vehicle, you will either need the registered owner’s written permission or they will need to accompany you to the install appointment. Check with your state monitoring authority such as the department of motor vehicles to see what your state requires regarding vehicle owner permissions.

Demonstrating Non-Use of a Vehicle

A few states, like California, allow for you to apply for a waiver that proves you don’t own or have reasonable access to any vehicle. However, this can be difficult to demonstrate. If you don’t install an ignition interlock because you don’t own a vehicle, you could be required to install a device if you do buy a car in the future if you are within the period of IID requirement.

Getting Around an Interlock Device Installation Requirement

Some people think they can bypass the interlock installation requirement by renting a car when they need a vehicle to drive. However, when you receive a drunk driving conviction and have a suspended license, that information will be stored in your driver's license file. This means that any rental company who accesses the file to verify your license will see that you have an IID requirement.

What Happens if I Drive Without an IID?

Some drivers take on a serious risk when they choose to drive without an IID. If you are ordered to install an ignition interlock by a judge or court, Department of Transportation, Department of Motor Vehicles or a probation officer, you do need to follow the order. If you are caught driving without an IID, you can face serious consequences:

  • License suspension or revocation
  • Penalties fines, tickets, or car impoundment
  • Added time to your IID requirement
  • Increased legal expenses

The risk of driving without an ignition interlock device isn’t worth it. You could find yourself in a worse situation than your original DUI conviction. For help scheduling an ignition interlock device installation, call Intoxalock at (833) 623-0200.


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