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Frequestly Asked Questions:
Please also visit the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Ignition Interlock Frequently Asked Questions website.
1. Do I have to install ignition interlock?
Has a judge ordered you to do so? Then yes you must install ignition interlock.
Is your license revoked? You have the choice to wait out your revocation period or you may install ignition interlock and drive now.
Is your licensed cancelled? If your license was cancelled on or after 7/1/11, in order to drive legally you must use the ignition interlock for a number of years, depending on your DWI history.
If your license was cancelled before 7/1/11 and you cannot prove abstinence and need to drive now, you may waive the old program rules and opt to do ignition interlock instead to start driving now. Contact Driver and Vehicle Services for a waiver from 651-296-2948.
2. Can I afford Ignition Interlock?
If you’re driving illegally, you may not be able to afford the consequences of being caught. If your license has been cancelled – inimical to public safety, this is a gross misdemeanor criminal charge and has been seen to carry a fine in the Fifth Judicial District of as much as $1,000 and/or jail time, depending on the circumstances. Driving after revocation is a misdemeanor criminal charge and carries a $278 fine. If you’re on probation you may also face a probation violation for not remaining law abiding.
The Ignition Interlock program can make driving legally much more affordable than continuing to incur new criminal charges. Installation typically costs around $100. The device costs on average $80 - $100 per month. The judicial district may be able to help pay for installation and a portion of the monthly cost for up to a year, depending on your income. Financial Assistance Application Form
3. Is there help with the $680 reinstatement fee?
If you had a public defender represent you, you can apply to pay half that fee now and half later through the Partial Pay Program. Contact your local court administration office to get proof you were elibible for a public defender.
4. I need to have a couple forms notarized. Where do I find a notary?
Usually someone at your local courthouse is a notary as are many bank employees. Most human services/social services have a few notaries, especially child support workers. Your insurance agency may also have a notary.
5. What are the requirements for the Certificate of Insurance?
A Certificate of Insurance is required for a vehicle to be equipped for ignition interlock. This form must include the name of the ignition interlock participant, even if the participant is not the registered owner. The Department must be able to verify that the certificate of insurance is from the insurance company (not the insurance agent) by either the display of a company stamp or a direct fax from the company.
6. What if the device does not work correctly?
Certain substances can cause issues with the ignition interlock device. Some mouthwash brands and sprays have up to 30% alcohol and can cause the device to register recent alcohol use. If you believe your device has incorrectly found a blood alcohol level and will not allow you to start your vehicle, wait until it will allow you to retest and test again. Contact your vendor and probation agent if it continues to be a problem.
7. Do I have to blow into the device while I'm driving?
The device will randomly prompt you to blow into it while you are driving, these are often called "rolling retests". The device will tell you when such a test is required. You have ten minutes to respond to it. Some people find they are able to respond while driving, other times it may be safest to pull over to submit a sample. Three missed rolling retests in a 7 day period will extend your ignition interlock period.
8. What if someone else uses the device after drinking?
The device has a camera. These pictures can be accessed to determine who used the device and registered the positive alcohol test.
9. What are the steps to installing ignition interlock?
Contact the Ignition Interlock Coordinator (listed on the bottom of this webpage) for an application packet that covers the steps you must take or follow these steps depending on your license status:
Revoked Status Checklist (PDF) Cancelled Status Checklist (PDF)
10. Is my license revoked or cancelled?
Go to www.mndriveinfo.org or call 651-284-2000
11. When can I drive my car?
If your license is revoked:
You are not legally able to drive until you have received notification from DVS that you have been reinstated with the ignition interlock restriction You can check your status by calling 651-284-2000 or visiting www.mndriveinfo.org. Once your status shows valid, you are able to drive on your yellow receipt until you receive your plastic card in the mail.
If your license is canceled:
You are not legally able to drive until you have been issued a limited license and are in possession of it.
12. What kind of driving privileges will I get with ignition interlock?
Depending on your history of offenses you will be granted one of two types of licenses:
• Restricted License. With a restricted license, you may drive anywhere as long as the device is installed in your vehicle. After a license cancellation, a person with a restricted license will have a notation on their driver's license stating "ignition interlock required" - meaning a person must drive a vehicle with an ignition interlock installed.
• Limited License. With a limited license, you will be allowed to drive to work, school, treatment and support programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous, to court and probation appointments.
13. How long will I need to be on ignition interlock?
Options for Reinstatement