How to Get Restricted Driving Privileges After a DUI in Washington or Oregon  

January 01, 2023
person handing over car keys

You’ve made a mistake, and you realize it. You were arrested and convicted for operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol — a DUI charge. In addition to impacting the cost and availability of car insurance, your DUI resulted in the temporary loss of your driving privileges. 

How will you get to work? How will you get the kids to school and back? How do you get the week’s groceries? If you’re not within walking distance and don’t have easy access to public transportation, this might get you fired or cause serious problems in how you run your household. 

Fortunately, authorities recognize that there are certain circumstances in which they should cut some drivers with DUIs a break. If you don’t have multiple DUIs or you’re not a minor when arrested, there was no loss of human life, and a few other issues were avoided, you can likely qualify for restricted driving privileges. 

Here’s how it’s done in Washington and Oregon. 

How to Get Restricted Driving Privileges After a DUI in Washington State 

Start by filling out this brief application for an Occupational/Restricted License (ORL). Then print out the form and take it to any state driver licensing office, or mail it to the address found at the top of the form. 

Your application must include a $100 application fee. Include a check or money order if you mail the application. 

Within 30 days of submitting the application for your restricted driving license, you must also send proof of financial responsibility. This is most commonly in the form of an SR-22 document your car insurance agent will provide you. 

You must also apply for an Ignition Interlock License (IIL) within this period, and have the ignition interlock device installed on all vehicles you’re going to drive (even work vehicles, unless your employer submits exemption paperwork). The device acts as a breathalyzer. Your engine won’t start unless your blood alcohol content (BAC) is under 0.025. 

The IIL application also costs $100. There are separate costs for installation and use of the device. If you are having a difficult time paying for these expenses, you may be eligible to receive financial assistance. Be sure to read the ODL application for details and restrictions. 

How to Get Restricted Driving Privileges After a DUI in Oregon 

Start by filling out this Hardship Permit Application after failing a breathalyzer or refusing to take one. It’s a much more extensive form than the Washington document. This is mostly due to the state’s requirement that you list all times and reasons you’re applying for privileges — such as work shifts, school drop-off and pick-up times, and scheduled addiction treatment sessions. 

If you’re employed, your employer must submit a letter clearly stating your work and driving hours. You’ll also need to submit an SR-22, which, again, you can get from your auto insurance provider. 

Read the application directions carefully for details. Also, if you’re later convicted of the DUI charge, you’ll have to have an IIL device installed. 

Once you’ve filled out your Hardship Application Permit and obtained the other necessary paperwork, submit all forms, with a check and money order for $125, to the address at the top of the application form. 

insurance agent speaking with customer

It’s Complicated, But Your Car Insurance Agent Can Talk You Through It 

Chances are good that your car insurance agent has seen plenty of DUI charges and convictions for drugs and alcohol and is quite familiar with the complicated process. 

Just think of the whole procedure as the steps you must take to get your full privileges reinstated. Even if your car insurance rates go up as a result of the DUI, cautious driving over time will result in those higher rates eventually falling back to normal (or even lower than they used to be if you now drive more carefully than before). 

Find Affordable DUI Insurance in Washington and Oregon Today 

We’ve helped countless drivers work their way through DUI charges and get their unrestricted driving privileges back. Call us at (800) 455-8276 or get a quick online quote for SR-22 coverage. You can also find a Vern Fonk agent at a Washington or Oregon office near you