If your driver’s licence has been suspended under the IRS FAIL Program because you were caught driving at a criminal-level DUI, you may be eligible for the IRS FAIL – Ignition Interlock Program.
After serving an immediate 90-day driver’s licence suspension, you may begin driving again with an interlock device:
- First-time offense – additional 12-month suspension using an interlock device
- Second offense – additional 36-month suspension using an interlock device
- third (and subsequent) offense – lifetime suspension using an interlock device
If you choose not to participate in the IRS FAIL – Ignition Interlock Program, you will remain suspended from driving.
Read about medical exemptions to this interlock program
Begin the application process with 30-days or less remaining in your minimum driving suspension term as stated on the Notice of Administrative Penalty.
You must not be serving any other suspension(s) other than the current impaired driving suspension otherwise your application will be denied.
We may deny any application in the interest of public safety. You can request a review of this decision to the Registrar Reconsideration process.
The following costs are subject to change without notice:
- $145 plus GST for the interlock device installation (there is an additional $100 surcharge for heavy trucks and specialty vehicles).
- $95 plus GST per month for the rental of the interlock device.
- $63 for the Ignition Interlock Program Application, in addition to the Alberta registry agent fee.
- $50 plus GST for removal of the interlock device.
- fees for the restricted driver's licence and road test, when applicable, must be paid at an Alberta registry agent.
How to apply
Step 1. Determine if you are eligible
Ensure you have 30-days or less remaining in your minimum driving suspension term before applying, otherwise your application may be denied and returned to you by mail.
Complete the required education course (you must present your course completion certificate to the installer at the installation appointment):
- Planning Ahead course before the interlock device can be installed
- IMPACT Program before your application form can be processed
Step 2. Complete the application
Review the Ignition Interlock Program Participant Guide (PDF, 108 KB) prior to purchasing your application form, which is only available at an Alberta registry agent.
Visit any Alberta registry agent to purchase and complete your portion of the Ignition Interlock Program Application. Your Ignition Interlock Program Application must be signed and dated, or it will be returned to you for completion before it can be processed.
Step 3. Submit the application
Submit the Ignition Interlock Program Application form either by email (in PDF format) or fax to:
Suite 109, 4999 98 Avenue NW
Edmonton, Alberta T6B 2X3
If you lost your approval letter for participation in the Ignition Interlock Program, contact Smart Start directly to schedule your installation.
If you have lost your Certificate of Installation for the interlock device, contact Smart Start to get a replacement copy.
If you lost your original Ignition Interlock Program Application and had not yet submitted it to us for approval, you must purchase another Ignition Interlock Program Application from any Alberta registry agent.
Step 4. You will be notified by mail
We will notify you by mail whether you have been accepted to participate in the Ignition Interlock Program.
It can take up to 45-days for your application to be processed plus additional time for the approval letter to be mailed to you. Contact us if it has been more than 55-days since submitting your Ignition Interlock application.
If you are accepted, you will receive an approval letter for participation in the Ignition Interlock Program in the mail along with the following information:
- how to get the interlock device installed in your vehicle
- training on how to operate the device
- information on completing the road test, if required, to obtain a restricted driver’s licence
If you are not accepted to participate in the Ignition Interlock Program, you will receive a letter of denial outlining the rationale of the decision.
These letters are mailed to the address listed on your motor vehicle file. If this is not correct, visit an Alberta registry agent with identification to update your address.
Step 5. Get the ignition interlock device
Contact Smart Start, Alberta’s only ignition interlock device service provider, to have the device installed in your vehicle.
Step 6. Get a restricted driver’s licence
Once the Certificate of Installation is signed by the installer showing the installation is complete, you must bring this certificate to any Alberta registry agent to get a restricted driver’s licence.
Ensure you have satisfied all reinstatement conditions. The registry agent will validate your completed Certificate of Installation and retain it for further administrative processing.
You will be issued a restricted driver’s licence with a new status of ‘restricted to a vehicle with an alcohol sensing ignition interlock device.’
Restricted Driver’s Licence
You cannot operate any motor vehicle until you are issued a restricted driver’s licence.
Once you are issued a restricted driver’s licence, you will only be legally permitted to drive a vehicle with an interlock device.
If you drive a vehicle without an interlock device, you can receive additional charges of driving while suspended, vehicle seizure, and additional penalties.
If you have been unlicensed or suspended for more than 3 years, you must complete a knowledge test, vision screening and road test at any Alberta registry agent. You will be responsible for related costs.
If a road test is required before you are re-licensed and you did not complete it prior to having the interlock device installed, you cannot legally drive, and you will need to plan (for example through a family member, friend, taxi, or ride-sharing service) to get to an Alberta registry agent to take your road test.
The driver examiner may request that you show your approval letter for participation in the Ignition Interlock Program.
Upon successful completion of the road test, ensure your Certificate of Installation is returned to you. You will submit the Certificate of Installation and the road test permit to the Alberta registry agent in exchange for a restricted driver’s licence.
Step 7. Choose how long you participate
You can choose to participate in the IRS FAIL Ignition Interlock Program for any length of time during your IRS FAIL suspension term. For example, some drivers choose to only drive and participate in the IRS FAIL Ignition Interlock Program during the summer months of their IRS FAIL suspension term and not drive during the winter months.
Your Ignition Interlock Program term length will begin once you have installed the interlock device and obtained a restricted driver’s licence.
Step 8. Get the device removed
Schedule an appointment with Smart Start to remove the interlock device on or after the last day of your IRS FAIL suspension term. If you remove the interlock device earlier than the last day of your IRS FAIL suspension term, you will be unable to drive.
Once the interlock device is removed, Smart Start will send your last report readings to Driver Fitness and Monitoring.
You will need to arrange with an Alberta registry agent to get your unrestricted driver’s licence.
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