Your Guide to Getting Started

Guide to Getting Started Guide to Getting Started (2381 KB)

Welcome to Smart Start Interlocks. After you've been issued with an alcohol interlock sentence, you'll be given a 28-day disqualification. When this disqualification has ended, you'll need to get an alcohol interlock device installed in your vehicle. Smart Start is here to help guide you through this portion of your licence restoration process.

An alcohol interlock is a breathalyser that is wired into the ignition of your vehicle. You must take and pass a breath test before the vehicle will start.

Follow these three simple steps and let Smart Start Interlocks help you get back on the road.

Step 1. Call

Call Smart Start on 0800 002 182 while you're in the disqualification period. We'll set you up in the programme, find out if you're eligible for a subsidy, and help with any other questions you might have.

Details to have ready for Smart Start

  • Your contact information
  • Vehicle make, model and registration

At the end of your disqualification period, it's time to apply for your alcohol interlock licence. You can apply for an alcohol interlock licence at any driver licensing agent. Go to to find an agent in your area.

Step 2. Email

Once you've obtained your alcohol interlock licence, email a copy of it to If you're eligible for a subsidy, the cost of the licence is free. You'll also need to send us a copy of the $0.00 receipt to prove that you're subsidised. Smart Start will then send you a lease agreement to sign before arranging a time and date with your nearest Service Centre to install the interlock device.

What to email Smart Start

  • Copy of your Interlock Licence
  • Interlock Licence receipt (if you're eligible for a subsidy)

Step 3. Install

Once Smart Start has confirmed your install, take your vehicle to the Service Centre. Allow at least 2 hours for the installation and training on how to use the interlock device. You'll need to pay an installation fee and the first month's lease to the installer at this time.

What to take for the install

  • Interlock Licence
  • Installation payment

Ongoing Requirements

Each month you'll be required to take your vehicle to a Smart Start Service Centre for a monthly service. This takes around 15 minutes. Booking an appointment is not required.

What to take to monthly service

  • Monthly service payment

Smart Start Interlock Manual V2 Smart Start Interlock Manual V2 (784 KB)

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.

Corrections Funding Scheme is not currently available.

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 for more information.

Exiting the Alcohol Interlock Programme

When you can exit the alcohol interlock programme will depend on when you were given an alcohol interlock sentence. See our Guide to Exiting the Programme for more information.

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