If your driver’s licence is suspended through an impaired driving-related Criminal Code of Canada conviction, you must participate in the Mandatory Ignition Interlock Program otherwise your driver’s licence will remain suspended.
To get your driver’s licence fully reinstated, you must demonstrate a sustained ability to separate driving and drinking.
If criminal charges result in a criminal conviction, you will:
- receive a provincial driver’s licence suspension term under the Traffic Safety Act
- receive a federal driving prohibition under the Criminal Code of Canada (possible time where you are unable to drive under any circumstance)
- must attend a remedial education course through the Alberta Impaired Driving Remedial Education Program (AIDREP)
- must pay a driver’s licence reinstatement fee at an Alberta registry agent
Fines and imprisonment may also be imposed by the court depending on the conviction.
Before you apply
To get your restricted driver’s licence, you will need to meet the following requirements before having your application approved:
- Alberta resident
- not serving other suspensions
- complete all reinstatement conditions
- pay reinstatement fees
You must complete all reinstatement conditions other than the road test and payment of the reinstatement fee prior to having your Ignition Interlock Program Application approved. The Alcohol-Related Reinstatement Fee is $209 (subject to change at any time) and can be paid at any Alberta registry agent.
See the Ignition Interlock Program Participant Guide (PDF, 108 KB) and Mandatory Ignition Interlock Program Terms and Conditions for more information.
Do not submit the proof of course completion certificates for these programs with your application form. You will need to present them to the installer when the interlock device is installed.
Complete the Planning Ahead course. You can submit your Ignition Interlock Program Application for approval prior to completing this course. You will need to complete the course prior to the installation of the ignition interlock device.
Complete the IMPACT program. This must be completed prior to submitting your Ignition Interlock Program Application. If not, your Ignition Interlock Program Application will be denied and returned to you unprocessed until the program is completed.
You can expect to pay the following Ignition Interlock Program costs which are subject to change without notice:
- $145 plus GST for the ignition 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 ignition interlock device
- $63 for the Ignition Interlock Program Application, in addition to the Alberta Registry Agent fee
- $50 plus GST for removal of the ignition interlock device
- $364 for the Planning Ahead and $1,024 for the IMPACT program, if required
- 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
Review the information in the Order of Driving Prohibition Against an Offender received in court and determine whether you are eligible to apply and ready to participate in the program prior to paying the non-refundable Ignition Interlock Program Application fee.
Step 2. Complete the application
Review the Ignition Interlock Program Participant Guide (PDF, 108 KB) prior to purchasing your application form, also available for free at any Alberta registry agent.
Visit any Alberta registry agent to purchase and complete your portion of the Ignition Interlock Program Application. The Ignition Interlock Program Application must be signed and dated, or it will be denied and 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 are already participating in the IRS FAIL Ignition Interlock Program, you are not required to purchase and submit another application. Your participation automatically transitions by unless you receive a minimum absolute prohibition in your federal driving prohibition. Refer to the Ignition Interlock Program Participant Guide (PDF, 108 KB) for full details.
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 of whether you have been accepted to participate in the Ignition Interlock Program.
It can take up to 30 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 40 days since.
If you are accepted, you will receive the signed and approved application in the mail along with the following information:
- how to get the ignition 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 service provider, to have the interlock device installed in your vehicle.
You must participate in the ignition interlock program to get your driver’s licence reinstated. Your suspension will continue until all requirements have been met.
To receive credit toward the Mandatory Ignition Interlock Program, you must have access to a vehicle equipped with a device for your suspension term and record a minimum of 100 kilometres of driving each month.
You do not have to be the registered owner of a vehicle to have the ignition interlock device installed. You can rent or borrow a motor vehicle to complete the Ignition Interlock Program participation term.
An ignition interlock device may be installed in a company vehicle if the registered owner provides written authorization and has proof of insurance.
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 your driver’s licence is suspended for more than one year, you may need to complete a road test. 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 Ignition Interlock Program Application Form.
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.
You must be issued and maintain a restricted driver’s licence for your entire Ignition Interlock Program term, otherwise the Registrar may extend your term or revoke your Ignition Interlock Program participation.
Your Ignition Interlock Program term length will begin once you have installed the ignition interlock device and obtained a restricted driver’s licence.
Step 7. Get the device removed
Schedule an appointment with Smart Start to remove the ignition interlock device on or after the last day of your Ignition Interlock Program term.
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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