Can You Rent a Car If You Have an Interlock?

Rental cars make our lives easier when traveling, or while a car is in the shop for repairs. But can you rent a car if you have an interlock? The short and sweet answer is NO. Car rental companies do not have any vehicles that are equipped with an ignition interlock device (IID) and they will not rent to anyone with an interlock restricted license.

Your DUI came with a lot of consequences — lawyer’s fees, fines, and possibly jail time. And of course, your ignition interlock restricted driving program. But as consequences go, being unable to rent a car if you have an interlock requirement is a relatively minor deal.

How a Car Rental Company Knows You Have an Interlock Requirement

When you apply for an ignition interlock restricted license, the DMV issues a new license, with the word RESTRICTED on it, or some symbol, depending on what state you live in. They then enter your restricted driver status into a registry. If you were to try and rent a car, the rental company would ask for your license number, and then do a driver record check through the National Driver Register or another database. So even if they don’t physically see your license, they will be able to find out you have an interlock restricted license. They will then tell you sorry, but they can’t rent to you.

So you may not want to even bother trying, if you know what the answer will be.

Renting a Car to You Might Actually Be Illegal

All 50 states have ignition interlock laws that spell out the rules for who has to get one installed, for how long, and what the requirements of the restricted driving program are. They also spell out what happens if someone knowingly helps an interlock restricted driver drive a vehicle that is not equipped with an ignition interlock device. In most cases, it is illegal for someone to loan you a car or rent you a car that is not IID-equipped. If they did, this person might face misdemeanor charges, fines, or lose their job, in the case of a rental car company employee.

Furthermore, many rental car companies won’t even rent to you if you have had a DUI within the last several years, even if you now have a regular license.

Let Someone Else Do the Driving

So if you’re traveling and need a rental car for business or pleasure, unless you drive your own vehicle, you will need to let someone else do the driving. Maybe your spouse can rent a car. Or a coworker. Or you can depend on the subway, Metro, taxis, Uber, Lyft, city buses, etc. There are a lot of options, especially in larger cities. Don’t be tempted to get behind the wheel of a car that is not equipped with an ignition interlock device. No matter what state you live in, or where you’re driving, it is illegal for you to drive a car that does not have an ignition interlock device installed.

And if your car is in the shop, get a friend, spouse, or coworker to give you a ride to work. You can always help pay for gas.

Schedule Your Ignition Interlock Device Installation

If you need to get an ignition interlock device installed on one or more vehicles, ALCOLOCK is always ready to help. Our IID installation is fast and affordable at our many ignition interlock device installation locations across the country. To schedule your installation, just call the service location that’s most convenient. It’s important to know that where you get your IID installed is where you will take your vehicle in for regular service visits. You can also call ALCOLOCK directly at (866) 700-9300.

Make sure you pick a day and time for installation where someone can drive you and your vehicle to the service center. And if someone else will be driving the vehicle while you have the interlock installed, they should come with you for training.

Your installation appointment will take about an hour. First, the technician will physically install the IID in your car. Next, the service tech will calibrate the device to you, as well as anyone else who may drive your vehicle. Then, the technician will go over what all of the device sounds, lights, and messages mean. You’ll also get a user’s guide to help you if you forget some of what you learned. Finally, you will schedule your first service visit. Those are state-mandated, generally every 30-60 days, depending on your state. A service visit usually only takes about 20 minutes.

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