If your license was recently suspended or revoked, there are two initial questions that need to be addressed. First, was the suspension justified? If you believe your license was revoked without reasonable cause or that it was too harsh a penalty, you may be able to fight it. You will want to speak to a revoked license attorney to discuss your case.


Second, if your suspension was justified, do you know how to go about trying to get a restricted license? Washington State provides for two types of restricted driver’s licenses: Occupational/Restricted Driver Licenses (ORLs) and Ignition Interlock Driver Licenses (IILs). There are specific eligibility requirements and procedures for obtaining one. For help with your case, contact our legal team at Daryl Graves Law, PLLC.


Common Causes for Suspended Licenses


If your license was revoked, you’re far from alone. In fact, given the long list of offenses that are punishable by license suspension, having your license revoked relatively commonplace. Below are just some of the types of situations that can lead to a suspension.


  • Having your insurance canceled
  • Not paying child support
  • Violating probation
  • Getting a DUI
  • Driving while a license is revoked
  • Failing to pay traffic tickets or having too many tickets
  • Committing a felony involving a motor vehicle (vehicular assault, vehicular homicide, vehicular manslaughter, etc.)
  • Committing fraud
  • Failing a physical/vision exam
  • Driving recklessly
  • Having a child in the car without using a proper car seat
  • Violating a driver’s license restriction


ORLs: Restrictions and Eligibility


If you have a Washington State driver’s license and live in the state, you may be eligible for an Occupational/Restricted Driver License. An ORL can be used only to drive to certain locations such as work, school, community service, substance abuse treatments and your own healthcare appointments. There are several types of restrictions you’ll need to observe when you have an ORL, including the following.


  • The times of day when you are allowed drive (Your driving window will be 12 hours or less in a 24-hour period)
  • Which days of the week you are allowed to drive
  • Which areas where you are allowed to drive
  • Which vehicles you can drive (You will only be allowed to drive vehicles for which you’ve filed proof of financial responsibility, or SR-22.)


Note, not everyone is eligible for an ORL. Certain offenses disqualify you, such as vehicular homicide, DUIs, medical or vision reasons, failure to pay child support, and having your SR-22 canceled. To determine eligibility, consult a local defense attorney.


Applying for an ORL


There are four basic steps to apply for an ORL.


  • Obtain and fill out a Restricted Driver License Application.
  • Gather your proof of financial responsibility. This can be achieved in one of three ways: an SR-22 certificate, a State Treasurer’s certificate of deposit of $60,000 or a surety bond.
  • Submit your application and proof of financial responsibility and pay the fee ($100 at the time of this writing).
  • If approved, the Department of Licensing (DOL) will email or mail your ORL on the day your suspension begins.


IILs: Requirements and Costs


Ignition Interlock Driver Licenses are a type of restricted license only for those whose licenses were revoked for a drug- or alcohol-related offense. This type of license requires that you install an ignition interlock device (IID) on your vehicle. An IID is an instrument that tests your breath alcohol content (BAC) and determines whether or not the vehicle will start. In order for your car to start, you’ll need to blow into the device and have a BAC reading of less than 0.025.


To be eligible for an IIL, in addition to having a WA State residence address and an unexpired WA driver’s license, your conviction must be one of the following.


  • DUI
  • Driving while in possession of drugs or alcohol
  • Reckless Driving
  • Vehicular assault involving drugs or alcohol
  • Vehicular homicide involving drugs or alcohol


Before you apply for an IIL, you’ll need to have an IID installed in your vehicle. For this, you’ll need to find a local installer. The cost of the device and installation can run a couple hundred dollars. There are also monthly maintenance fees in the $50 to $100 range. The state offers financial help for low income drivers. To apply for aid, you’ll need to submit and Ignition Interlock Device Financial Assistance Application to the DOL.


The other fees involved in obtaining and IIL include the state’s non-refundable $100 fee, the cost of maintaining your SR-22, and eventually, the cost of removing the device.


Applying for an IIL


After you have your IID installed, the installer will send the state proof of installation. Next, you can gather your proof of financial responsibility and fill out a Restricted Driver License Application. Then you can submit your application, associated financial responsibly documentation and fees, either in person at a driver’s licensing office or via mail.


Note, if your application is incomplete or you don’t have all the required documentation, the DOL will deny it. It’s not a bad idea to have a lawyer review your paperwork for incidental errors or omissions.


Addressing Common Questions about Restricted Licenses


Our firm has been handling traffic-related and drug/alcohol-related cases for more than 35 years. When clients with suspended licenses come to us, they have a lot of questions – and a lot of anxiety. It’s our aim to get them back on the road as soon as possible, guide them through the system as efficiently as possible, and answer any questions they may have. Below are some of the most common questions we’re asked in regard to restricted licenses.


Q: Do I need to get an IID on all my vehicles?
A: You only need to have a device on all the vehicles that you drive, not on all of those that you own. To keep costs down, you may want to have a device installed on just one vehicle and only drive that vehicle during the duration of your suspension.


Q: Where do I find an IID installer?

A: Your attorney can provide a list or you can visit the Washington State Patrol (WSP) website and see a list of WSP-certified installers.


Q: When should I apply for an IIL?

A: You can apply for an IIL at any time, from the time you’re arrested until your revocation hearing.


Q: Am I required to tell my employer about my IID?

A: Not usually. You only have to tell them if your job requires that you drive a car.


Q: What do I do if my ORL application was denied?

A: You can speak to an attorney and request a hearing with the DOL to review your eligibility and make a redetermination.


Q: Can my ORL be canceled?

A: Yes. The DOL will cancel your ORL if you violate ORL restrictions, if your SR-22 lapses or if you remove a required IID.


Q: Can I get an ORL to drive a commercial vehicle?

A: No. If you drive a commercial vehicle for a living, you can’t get an ORL for your CDL, but you can still get one to drive your personal vehicle.


Free Consultation with a Restricted Driver’s License Attorney


For a free consultation with an accomplished attorney who handles suspended and restricted driver’s license issues, contact Daryl Graves Law, PLLC at 253-383-7777.