Ignition Interlock Laws – Moving to a New State

Interlock Laws Between StatesDriving under the influence of alcohol is a problem across the country. With 1.41 million drivers arrested in 2010 for driving under the influence, the mandatory installation of ignition interlock devices in vehicles is saving lives each day. When a convicted DUI offender is ordered to install an ignition interlock device in a vehicle, that person is responsible for not only consuming alcohol safely, but also following legal guidelines related to the device itself. Most offenders readily comply with these regulations, but situations can occur where compliance becomes difficult, especially when it comes to the laws in different states.

If a driver is convicted of a DUI and must install an ignition interlock device in one state, but lives in another, compliance must be maintained with the original state. The device can be installed in the state in which the convicted offender resides, but, all reports must be sent to the state in which the conviction occurs. This assures the state in which the driver was convicted that the offender is complying with its regulations, even if they differ from the residential state.

If a convicted driver is compelled to move to another state during the time period in which an ignition interlock device is ordered as a result of a DUI conviction, the driver must still maintain compliance with the state in which the offense occurred. As part of the ignition interlock system, a monthly data report must be submitted to the original state by an interlock service center. These centers can be in any state, as long as the data is transmitted to the state where the offense took place.

As a word of caution, trying to circumvent a DUI sentence that includes the mandated installation of an ignition interlock device will only increase the fines, penalties and possible jail time associated with the DUI conviction. Whether moving to a new state while under the restraints of an ignition interlock device, or not reporting the data to an out-of-state agency, the risks involved will only increase the chances of further DUI penalties for the convicted offender, regardless of where he or she resides.


  1. DJ notarmaso says:

    if an interlock device is installed in New Jersey and the person moves to Florida, where is the interlock device supposed to be returned when the car is transported to Florida? Can it be removed in Florida when the time limit is up? Will it then have to be sent back to New Jersey since it was installed in New Jersey?

  2. What if my car breaks down with an IID installed? Does the garage have the right to disengage it- and can I get a rental car?

    • Hi Bob,

      Most professional auto mechanics have worked with ignition interlocks and understand the process. They should not disengage the device until you have called your ignition interlock provider and received specific directions on how to proceed. In most cases if a person has an ignition interlock requirement they cannot drive any vehicle without the interlock device. In the scenario you could be provided with a loaner or rental car by the mechanic shop or insurance agency but somebody else should drive that vehicle until the repairs are completed.

      Thanks for your question!


  3. Prior to my DWI conviction recently and sentencing of ignition interlock to be installed after 1 year suspension , I had plans to move away. Will all states require it still even after 1 year suspension or have a hearing ? A few places I’m interested in are more lenient in regards to the BAC and length of time of prior conviction ? — Thanks from N.C.

    • Charles Martin says:

      Usually your ignition interlock requirement follows you to another state, even if those states have different laws regarding BAC, etc., because of the Driver License Compact, which enables states to exchange information. It would be a good idea to consult a DUI lawyer and the NC DMV.

  4. Mr. Patrick says:

    I got a dui in Phoenix, did all my classes and my revocation is up. I’m supposed to get an interlock device now. Right after I went to court for this dui I moved to Florida.
    My question is this, will Florida see that I have an interlock requirement when I go to get a Florida license? Or will it not show up.. please help answerthankyou.

    • Florida will not award you a FL license until you complete the requirements to fully restore your AZ license. You can have the IID installed in FL and have the reported information sent back to AZ (as long as you have your AZ driver’s license number). If you go here (https://www.ignitioninterlockhelp.com/find-locations/) and put in your location, you can find a convenient service provider who will be glad to help you get everything sorted out.

  5. Thanks for the info, I have to have the IID installed for 3yrs for my Dui and I had hopes on moving within that time, Glad to know I can still move to another state and to the monthly maintenance in the state that I move to.

  6. First offense DUI in Nashville TN. Moving to CA in a month. Was going to sell the truck after interlock uninstalled before i move and fly out to CA. When i purchase a vehicle in CA, will they honor my restricted license and allow me to install and drive a car with an interlock device i install in CA? and do I still use my TN restricted license or do i have to apply for a CA restricted license and deal with their state laws regarding DUI first offense?

    • Karen Lago says:

      CA will honor your restricted license and allow you to drive if you have an ignition interlock installed. Once you complete the TN program and have a valid TN license, you will be able to obtain a CA license. When you do have the device removed in TN, you will be required to have it re-installed in your vehicle within a certain amount of time. If you pass that deadline, you will be non-compliant. Contact the Tennessee Department of Safety Driver License Reinstatement at 1-866-903-7357. Make sure you choose a provider who operates in both states so they can handle reporting for both states for you. Call 1-877-660-0338 and they will help you find a provider.

  7. Hi,

    I have a Texas license, but got a dui on a trip in Tucson, AZ. I will be moving to Colorado within the next 2 months. Arizona requires an interlock for first time offenders but Texas does not. I do not have an AZ license and I will be living in Colorado. Can AZ put a hold on my Texas license if I am living in CO?

    thank you

    • Hello! AZ can (and will) put a hold on your license. We suggest you call the Arizona Motor Vehicle Department to obtain your ID number regarding your IID requirement in that state. LifeSafer provides services in both Arizona and Colorado and they can set up the reporting for you with that ID number, so that you’re able to drive and complete the terms of your IID installation. Please let us know if you have any further questions!

  8. I currently live in Oklahoma but the closest place to have ignition interlock installed is in Kansas? Would that be allowed or would I have to go to one in oklahoma?

  9. I live in CA and maintain a residence there. I took a contract job in AZ for one year and am not a resident. Because of this I am paid per diem, living expenses until the job is over. I got a DUI on AZ and have to get an interlock. Everyone, including my Lawyer is saying to get a restricted AZ license to drive but I don’t want to surrender my CA license, lose per diem and change residency. I shouldn’t have to, otherwise the 300K snowbirds should also be forced to get a license here for 6 months and change their plates, doesn’t happen. My question is that the interlock company will report to AZ and they will say “hey, get an AZ license.). I refuse to establish residency just because I work here. My second question is if I did, how do you go on vacation to NY or Vegas and rent a car when your license says “interlock required”. I don’t mind taking taxis but giving up my residency is not going to happen. Why are the DUI lawyers so ignorant about out of state residency and how to deal with the issue? They don’t even seem to understand contract temp work, and Cops just plain say “once you’re here for 30 days…. blah blah you need a license here” (in any state).

    • Hi Nancy, and thank you for your question. Its common to be confused about the different laws and guidelines between states, but, we can help make it easier for you.

      First, you do not have to get a restricted AZ license. You can call the Arizona Motor Vehicle Department and obtain your ID number for your ignition interlock requirement in the state. Have your IID installed in your vehicle in California, but, use the AZ ID for reporting purposes. There’s a company that has locations in both states and will be glad to walk you through the entire process (call 1.800.634.3077). It is a lot easier than you think.

      Next, when you go on a trip or otherwise have to drive a rental car and your license says “interlock required,” then you have to have an interlock on the vehicle you drive. That means that if you drive you’re in violation of your conviction. Please use public transportation, or, if you are traveling with anyone, that person can drive.

      Please let us know if you have any further questions!

  10. If I currently have an interlock license in PA but travel to Texas on a 5-day business trip, can I rent a vehicle there without an interlock?

  11. I have the interlock in my car and I am from Aurora, Colorado (Arapahoe County), I will be moving to the Seattle area during the summer, what will I need to do when I do move?

    • Hello! Before you move, we recommend that you call your local DMV for your ignition interlock requirement number and any requirements on their end for your move. Your new state will also have to be notified, and you will need to find an IID service provider in your area as soon as possible. You can call 1.800.634.3077 to get more specific information on your situation, as well. Best of luck to you!

  12. I have satisfied all of the requirements from the court system. Now I am required to maintain a interlock device for several more years by the DOL. I am having a difficult time getting a clear answer from Washington and Missouri about how to move to Missouri and maintain a valid license.
    I believe the procedure is to notify the DOL in both states and maintain a Washington license for another four years until the term of having an IID is satisfied. Then apply for a Missouri license.
    Does this sound correct? I have spent quite a bit of time calling to find someone at either DOL office that has a clear answer.
    Any insight of who to contact and what the procedure is for moving to anther state would be appreciated.

    • Hello!

      We are sorry for your difficulties. You should contact your IID service provider directly to find out the process for your situation, since they’ll know the specifics of your requirement and how to remain in compliance when you move. Our preferred providers’ numbers are below, in case you need them. Thank you, and best of luck!

      LifeSafer – 800-634-3077
      Guardian – 800-499-0994

  13. Hi there, I live in Colorado and was charged with “imminent control” even though I wasn’t driving. I refused testing. long story short in court I was only ordered community service and classes. The CO DMV which is separate says I have to have an interlock for 2 years if I am to have a CO DL. I’ve had it for a year now and am moving to AZ. Since I wasn’t actually ordered by a criminal court to have the interlock installed and was only convicted of DWAI (Plea deal) will I still have to have one in AZ?

    • Hi there,

      You will still have the requirement to have the device in AZ. CO will place a hold on your license that will follow you to any state until you complete your interlock program/requirement. For more information, we suggest you call, the CO DMV at (303) 205-5600 Mon-Fri 8am-5pm.

      If you’re using either LifeSafer or Guardian, you’re in luck since both brands operate in CO and AZ and can easily arrange for a state to state transfer for you to receive service in AZ.

      Please let us know if we can be of any further assistance!

  14. I was charged with a DUI almost ten years ago in Florida. In order to get my license in Texas I had to get my interlock devise put on my car to get my license. I have had it on there for over a year but Florida is stating that it needs to be on there a year from my Texas license was issued or they will suspend my Texas license. Can they do this?

    • Thanks for your question. States do coordinate with each other to enforce ignition interlock requirements so it is possible the State of Florida could ask Texas to suspend your license. In reading your message it sounds like you have met Florida’s requirement. You said you had to get an Interlock in Texas BEFORE they would issue a license and you have had it on for one year. So you have had it on one year from your Texas license issue date. We suggest you call the DMV/Court in Florida and provide them with the information they need to resolve the case in Florida and you should be good to go.

  15. I currently have an ignition interlock permit issued in Nebraska. I want to move to Colorado. I use Lifesafer here in Omaha. How do I find out if I can even drive in Colorado?

    • Thanks for your question and with a couple of steps you can drive in Colorado! You should visit or call your current service provider in Nebraska and let them know when you are moving to Colorado. They will arrange for you to visit one of their locations near where you will live in Colorado to program your device and transfer your program to Colorado. It’s all smooth sailing from there.

      • I am moving to Florida from Massachusetts with 6 months interlock ignition remaining out of a 10 year restriction.
        I need to cancel Mass license asap when I install device in Florida, can I then cancel mass license.

        • Thanks for your question. With 9 years and 6 months complete in Massachusetts you should try to complete your program with them. Here is how you could do that. Our suggestions is you talk with your current service technician and ask them to coordinate a transfer with a location that will be near to where you live in Florida. Once in Florida your new technician can transmit your appointment results to Massachusetts – for six more months. After that, apply and receive an unrestricted Florida driver license.

  16. Ive been in CA for 2 years now with a restriction of driving only vehicle with breathalyzer. The state of Kansas is where I was convicted and although they are receiving info from interlock that i’m following the state law. Kansas will not issue a restricted physical ID. I can only show a letter saying the state law for my restriction. California police department doesn’t except this as form of identification even though i also have California state resident ID. From everything i can figure out. My only option of living in California is to ride the bus, and wait until i move back to kansas where i can continue my breathalyzer requirement. Both DMV’s say the other state needs to take care of it.

    • Hello, how long was your interlock requirement in Kansas? If you have had it for two years since leaving Kansas you might have met your requirement there. In that case, call the Kansas DMV and ask them to mark the case as resolved. Then, you should be eligible to apply for, and receive a California driver license. That fact you have a valid California ID should be enough to apply for a California driver license.

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