Ignition Interlock Devices

Ignition Interlock Device Evaluation Survey (OL 627)

What Is an Ignition Interlock Device (IID)?

An IID is about the size of a cell phone and wired to your vehicle’s ignition. After installation, the IID requires you to provide a breath sample before the engine will start. If the IID detects alcohol on your breath, the engine will not start. As you drive, you are periodically required to provide breath samples to ensure the continued absence of alcohol in your system.

Can IIDs Prevent Drunk Driving?

Yes. The International Council on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety maintains that IIDs, when combined with a comprehensive monitoring and service program, lead to a 40–95 percent reduction in the rate of repeat drunk driving offenses among offenders as long as the IID remains on the vehicle.

How Do I Know If I Need to Install an IID?

A court may order you to install an IID and provide you with information about their IID requirements. Additionally, certain laws require driving under the influence (DUI) offenders to install an IID. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will send you a suspension or revocation letter that will provide you with information about regaining your driving privilege. These letters may include information about mandatory IID installation, depending on which DUI law applies to you.

How Do I Install an IID?

Contact information for authorized IID manufacturers can be found here .  Authorized IID manufacturers can provide a list of facilities and more information about installing an IID in your vehicle. Prior to installation, ensure the installer has a valid license issued by the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) or Bureau of Household Goods and Services (BHGS), which are part of the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA).

Installation and Monitoring Fees

IID installers are required to offer reduced fees for IIDs to participants whose income level falls within the federal poverty level guidelines. Documents used to verify your income could include:

  • Your previous year’s federal income tax return.
  • Your previous three months’ weekly or monthly income statements.
  • Employment Development Department (EDD) verification of unemployment benefits.

If you are not eligible for reduced fees, you are responsible for the entire cost of the IID program.

What Happens After I Install the IID?

After installing the IID, the IID installer will provide you with an original Verification of Installation Ignition Interlock (DL 920) form.

If you apply for an initial IID-restricted driver license (DL), you must bring your original DL 920 and all applicable fees in person to the nearest DMV office. If you meet all eligibility requirements, DMV will place you on an IID restriction with unlimited driving privileges as long as you drive a vehicle equipped with an IID.

IID Calibration and Monitoring

Once installed in your vehicle, the IID must be calibrated and inspected by a certified installer at intervals not to exceed 60 days. Your installer ensures the device is working properly and that no violations, such as failing to take random retests, have been logged. Noncompliance with IID requirements are reported to the court or DMV (whichever applies) and you may have your driving privilege suspended or revoked.

Certain violations require DMV to immediately suspend or revoke your driving privilege if you have an optional IID restriction (for example, an attempt to remove, tamper with, bypass, or failure to comply with any requirement for IID maintenance or calibration). DMV may restore the IID-restricted driving privilege upon receipt of a new DL 920.

IID Noncompliance

Your driving privilege could be suspended or revoked if you do not comply with your IID restriction. IID noncompliance includes the following:

  • Failing 1 time to service the IID within 60 days.
  • Failing 3 or more times with the requirement for maintenance or calibration within 60 days.
  • Attempting to bypass the IID.
  • Tampering with the IID.
  • Attempting to remove the IID.

Your driving privilege can also be suspended or revoked if you remove the IID before your restriction period is over.

Need to file a review of an interlock device?

If you are a participant in the Ignition Interlock Device Program and need to report an observation of an ignition interlock device, you can complete the evaluation survey. All submissions are reviewed for program improvement and to determine if there are any violations of the California Vehicle Code (CVC) or the California Code of Regulations (CCR). If violations are identified, DMV will take appropriate steps to ensure compliance.