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Smart Start Ignition Interlock is discreet, affordable and reliable making it the #1 ignition interlock in the world. Find all your Ignition Interlock Device resources here.

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TN Interlock resources

Interlock Questions Answered

All ignition interlock manufactures providing services in Tennessee report to the TN Department of Safety. Smart Start devices are compliant with all state and federal requirements.  In addition, our devices are certified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Your TN License will be revoked.  Go apply for a restricted license and then you are able to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID to get you back on the road. Once you receive this requirement from the TN Department of Safety or County Court, contact Smart Start of TN to get your interlock installed. Most service centers can accommodate same day installs!

It is best to submit your indigent application before your install appointment to prevent delays in your funding. To submit your application, fax to 865-288-4126 or email to tnindigent@smartstartinc.com.

Please let the service tech know that you are applying for indigency BEFORE you install so we can verify your account.

It is VERY important your indigent application is filled out completely. It will be denied by the Department of Treasury if it is not filled out accurately. Double check all fields in the application before your appointment to avoid delays. The most common mistakes on the application are:

  • Page 1: Case/Docket number must match what is on your ORDL as “Docket No.”
  • Page 2: Judge must check indigent section, indicated by the red arrow
  • Page 2, Field 1b: “Costs associated with the required device” must be a number LESS THAN OR EQUAL TO $200. For example: “$200” or “$150”
  • Page 2, Field 2: MUST include specific length of time wording. For example: 365 “days,” or 1 “year”, or 12 “months”
  • Page 3 (ORDL) Top Section: All highlighted sections are required
  • Page 3 (ORDL) Order Section: At least 1 box MUST be checked
  • Page 3 (ORDL) IID Section: At least 1 box in right column MUST be checked
  • Page 3 (ORDL) “Interlock required after reinstatement:” this row cannot be left blank, something must be checked
  • Judge must sign ALL pages of the application

If you have ANY questions on the indigent application, please email our indigent specialist, tnindigent@smartstartinc.com.

Once you have scheduled your ignition interlock installation with Smart Start of TN, you will need to bring the following to your ignition interlock installation appointment:

  • Cash or debit/credit card payment
  • Photo identification
  • A copy of your Order of Restricted Driver’s License (ORDL)
  • The Technician will verify your TN License number
  • Information regarding your monitoring authority
  • If indigent, a copy of your uniform affidavit of indigency
  • Vehicle registration (or, if you are installing on someone else’s vehicle, a letter of permission from the registered owner stating that you have permission to install an Ignition Interlock Device on the vehicle)

Smart Start of TN will provide you with proof of installation to take to your monitoring authority so that you receive credit for your time with your Ignition Interlock Device (IID). Take the proof of installation to the Department of Motor Vehicles to obtain your restricted license.


When you get your interlock installed, you will receive a Client Reference Guide from your technician and watch an important video. Don’t violate, drive smart, and you will complete your program successfully!

After your fifth violation, you will be locked out of your device. Call customer service, 800-880-3394, for remote unlock. You will be required to return to a Smart Start of TN service center for a calibration and pay a fee.

Failing to calibrate the interlock monthly at any point in your 365 day program will result in a violation and an extension of your program.

For arrests occurring after July 1, 2016: if you violate within the last 120 days of your required period of interlock, your Ignition Interlock Device requirement may be extended for an additional 120 days from the date of the violation.

For arrests occurring after July 1, 2016, you are required to have an Ignition Interlock Device for 365 CONSECUTIVE days. The last 120 days must be free of any violations to be Compliant. Missing a service at any point in your requirement results in an extension.

Upon completing your requirement, the technician will perform a “final download” at your next service appointment. The TN Department of Safety or whoever is your monitoring authority will review your records and deem you compliant or noncompliant.

You will receive a notice from Smart Start of TN on your compliance status by email or post mail (if you don’t have a working email on file). If you receive a “Compliance Notice,” you can go get your valid TN License then head to your local service center for removal.

If the Ignition Interlock Device (IID) was installed as a result of a bond/probation condition, Smart Start requires authorization of release from the COURT OR PROBATION OFFICER to remove the device.

If you wish to remove your Ignition Interlock Device early, you will be required to start the program over without credit for the time you’ve already had it installed. We recommend finding a way to keep the interlock installed so you don’t have to repeat the program. The two common reasons why people remove early is cost and inoperable vehicle. We have resources to help! For TN Financial Assistance, use the Indigent Form HERE. For an inoperable vehicle, use the Toll Form HERE.

If you have any other questions on removal, contact TNRemoval@smartstartinc.com.

If your arrest date is prior to July 1, 2016 the TN Department of Safety does not require you to have a compliance review. Most clients are only required to have the interlock for 6 months unless you are a multiple offender. Make sure to verify with the TN Department of Safety your required interlock duration, Smart Start of TN does not have this information. Once you complete your required duration, go to the DMV to get your unrestricted license. You will need to send a copy of  your unrestricted license to TNRemoval@smartstartinc.com to have your account marked as eligible for removal. Your local service center does not have the ability to mark your account eligible, be sure to do this prior to your removal appointment to avoid delays. 

If you do not own a vehicle, but you do have an Ignition Interlock requirement, the State of Tennessee will sometimes allow you to complete your requirement by installing an Ignition Interlock on a borrowed vehicle.  In order to do this, you will need a letter of permission from the registered owner of the borrowed vehicle stating that you have permission to install the Ignition Interlock Device (IID).  Smart Start frequently installs on borrowed vehicles, so this will not pose a problem at any of our service centers as long as you have the required documentation.

No, you will only need the Ignition Interlock Device installed on the vehicle you will be driving during your requirement.

No.  The camera is only there to take digital stills to accompany each breath test.

In Tennessee, your monitoring authority will be the court, probation, or the TN Department of Safety.

No, Smart Start’s Ignition Interlock Device will not hurt your vehicle.  However, vehicles with an older battery or poorly functioning alternator may experience issues while starting.