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Mass. Ignition Interlock Device Removal Procedures

Massachusetts Registry News

Anyone with 2 or more DUI convictions on his or her Registry record who is reinstating his or her license on or after January 1, 2006, the effective date of the Ignition Interlock Requirement of Melanie’s Law, must have a certified ignition interlock device installed in any vehicle which he or she owns, leases, or operates. Also, anyone with 2 DUI convictions on his or her RMV record who is on a hardship license must use the ignition interlock device. The IID is required during the entire term of any DUI hardship license and for at least 2 years after the driver gets his or her full license back. There is absolutely no way to around this requirement.

After having participated in the Massachusetts Ignition Interlock Device program for the required 2 year period, drivers can apply to have the ignition interlock device removed. The Registry will only approve ignition interlock removal when there have been no alcohol readings or any other ignition interlock device violations for a period of 6 months prior to the removal request, which must come after the driver has served at least 2 years on interlock with a full license. Drivers must carefully follow the Registry of Motor Vehicles removal process which is outlined below.

First, the driver must go to the ignition interlock service provider for a final download of the ignition interlock data. This must be done only after the driver has served at least 2 years on the Massachusetts Alcohol ignition Interlock Program. It takes approximately two (2) hours for the data to be electronically transmitted from the ignition interlock service provider to the Ignition Interlock Unit of the Registry of Motor Vehicles in Quincy.

At least 2 hours after the download, but within 24 hours, the driver must appear at a Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles branch which conducts hearings. The driver must meet with a Registry hearings officer and apply for ignition interlock removal authorization. The Registry Hearings Officer will contact the RMV Ignition Interlock Unit in Quincy and confirm that there have been no violations or alcohol readings within the 6 month period immediately preceding the removal request. Once it is confirmed that the driver is eligible for interlock removal, the Registry Hearings Officer will supply the driver with written authorization.

Only with written authorization from a Mass. Registry Hearings Officer can an ignition interlock device be removed. The driver should take this authorization to the ignition interlock service provider and have the device removed. Upon IID removal authorization, the Registry will remove the “Z” restriction from the driver’s license. When this happens, the driver is no longer interlock required. Interlock required drivers must carefully follow this process. It is important to remember that it is illegal to remove an ignition interlock device without obtaining approval from the Registry in advance.  

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