Exiting the Alcohol Interlock Programme

Guide to Exiting the Programme Guide to Exiting the Programme (2420 KB)

When you can exit the alcohol interlock programme will depend on when you were given an alcohol interlock sentence.

  • If you were sentenced before 1 July 2018, you'll need to have held your alcohol  interlock licence for at least 12 months before you can apply to exit this stage of the programme.
  • If you were sentence on or after 1 July 2018*, you'll need to have had an alcohol interlock device installed in your vehicle for at least 12 months before you can apply to exit this stage of the programme.

Option 1: You haven't committed any violations in the 6-month period immediately preceding your request to exit.

Option 2: You haven't committed any violations in the 3-month period immediately preceding your request to exit, and you've successfully completed a drug and alcohol assessment at a Ministry of Health approved

Step 1: Obtain a Zero-Alcohol Licence

After you've been approved to exit the interlock stage of the programme, it's time to apply for your zero-alcohol licence. A zero-alcohol licence is valid for 3 years. You can apply for a zero-alcohol licence at any driver licensing agent. Go to www.nzta.govt.nz/agent to find a driver licensing agent in your area.

Caution! You're still subject to the conditions of your Alcohol Interlock Licence until you've been issued with your zero-alcohol licence.

Step 2. Remove the Interlock Device

First email a copy of your zero-alcohol licence to info@smg.nz. Smart Start will then book you in at your closest Service Centre for the removal.

What to email Smart Start

  • Copy of your Zero-Alcohol Licence

Step 3. Issue of a Standard Licence

You'll need to hold your zero-alcohol licence for three years until it expires. You can then apply to reinstate your licence at any driver licensing agent and be issued with a standard licence. 

What to take to the licensing agent

  • Completed application form
  • Proof of Identity
  • Payment for licence application


Breaching your Alcohol Interlock Licence conditions is a violation. This means that if you do any of the following during the period being assessed, you will not be granted approval to exit the alcohol interlock stage.

  • Tamper with the interlock device
  • Fail an initial or rolling retest administered by the device because of your breath alcohol
  • Fail to do two or more rolling retests
  • Start or attempt to start the vehicle without an initial breath test
  • Fail to present the vehicle for two or more consecutive scheduled services

Costs and Subsidy

The interlock programme has three pricing structures, standard, subsidy and Corrections. The NZ Transport Agency may grant subsidy assistance for some interlock costs if your circumstances qualify you for a subsidy. You may be eligible for a subsidy if:

  • Your licence was issued after 1 July 2018
  • You hold a Community Services Card
  • You are in financial hardship

Call us on 0800 002 182 and we'll walk you through the standard costs. We'll also help you find out if you're eligible for a subsidy. Read our Subsidy Guide to find out more.

Guide to the Subsidy Guide to the Subsidy (2288 KB)

Change of Circumstances

If your circumstances change after you have had your device installed and you now meet the financial eligibility criteria, you may be eligible to have the rest of your alcohol interlock costs subsidised. Go to www.nzta.govt.nz/AID-subsidy for more information.

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