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FLEX Ignition Interlock FAQs

Below you will find answers to a list of common questions for the FLEX™ Ignition Interlock program, and the replaceable FLEX-Cal™ module. To simplify the list below, you may sort the questions by using the subject links located immediately above the list.

Every state requires an Ignition Interlock Device to be regularly serviced and calibrated on a schedule set by state law. For the FLEX, however, you can do this easily and quickly by replacing the device’s FLEX-Cal module yourself. That means you don’t have to visit a Smart Start service center for service on your FLEX. 

Replacing the FLEX module will avoid the need for visits to perform maintenance and calibration. However, some states require periodic inspection of your Ignition Interlock. The device will notify you whenever an inspection is due.

When it is time to install a new module, Smart Start will ship one to the address associated with your account. You’ll also receive an email notifying you that the module has been shipped. You’ll reuse the box, along with a prepaid return shipping label inside, to return the old expired module.

If you need to update your mailing address, or temporarily have your module shipped to a different address, use our Client Portal app or call Smart Start at 800.880.3394.

The shipment will arrive before the module’s expiration date with instructions on when it can be installed. You can find your module expiration date by navigating through the FLEX menu on the device.

It’s similar to how you would install a battery on a small electronic device. On the back of the handset, you’ll see a cover with a screw at the bottom. Using a coin or a screwdriver, turn the screw gently to the Unlocked position. Remove the module cover; gently remove the expired module; and insert the new module in its place. Then, replace the cover and rotate the locking screw to the locked position.

In order to comply with your Ignition Interlock requirements, it is very important to return the expired module to Smart Start using the original shipping box and the prepaid shipping label inside.

Failing to do so can result in your account becoming out of compliance, and you will not receive your next module. It also could result in a device lockout, as well as additional fees or charges.

When you receive your new module, the package will contain a prepaid shipping label and sticker for returning the expired module to Smart Start. You’ll reuse the box that was originally used to ship the module.

  • Place the expired module in the box, with the label up, then close the box.
  • Close the box, and secure it with the sticker that was included in the original package.
  • Attach the return shipping label to the box.
  • Drop it off at any UPS location.

It is important to return the module immediately to keep your account in good standing. If you cannot ship your module within a reasonable time, please contact Smart Start. 

No. In order to ensure your module is successfully received and processed, please ship it to Smart Start using the return label that was included in the package with your new module.

The return label will include a tracking number. You can enter that number on the UPS website to track your package.

Smart Start will work with the shipping company to resolve the problem. Smart Start will stay in contact with you during this process.

If you have not received your replacement module at least one day before your module expiration date, please contact Smart Start at 800.880.3394.

Some states require occasional visits to a Smart Start service center for physical inspection of an Ignition Interlock Device. When the FLEX displays “INSPECTION DUE,” you’re required to visit a service center for this inspection.

Some states do not require physical inspection. If that is the case, your device will not display the alert.

“INSERT MODULE” is displayed when the module is not in the locked position. Make sure that the module is properly inserted, and the locking screw is in the locked position.

“MODULE EXP” is typically displayed when the module has expired and passed the allotted time in the device, and a replacement module is needed.

When the device displays “PAYMENT DUE,” this means that a payment must be made to bring your account up to date. You can make a payment using the Client Portal app. Once that is done, your device will update your next payment due date over the cellular network.

You do not have to return to a service center. Simply use the Client Portal app to pay for the violation reset fee. Once this is done, your device will remotely clear the “VIOLATION LOCKOUT” from your device.

To enter an unlock code, you will access the appropriate menu using the three buttons on the front of your device. Watch how to enter the unlock code here.

The best option is by using Smart Start’s free Client Portal app. It’s easy to download and enroll through Google Play or the App Store.

  • Set up a payment schedule that works for your budget.
  • Enroll in AutoPay so you’ll never miss a payment.
  • Change your method of payment or contact information.

You can also upload documents, make notes, view FAQs or watch training videos. Just search for Smart Start Client Portal in the Apple Store or Google Play. You can learn more by visiting our Client Portal page or by watching this short video.

You can check by accessing the menu through the FLEX handset, or by checking the Client Portal app.

Here’s a short video on how to navigate the menu on the FLEX handset.

We strongly encourage you to make your payments through the Client Portal app. However, you can make a payment at the service center when your payment due date coincides with your next physical service appointment.

The laws vary from state to state, so it’s very important to check with your monitoring authority or with Smart Start before you disconnect your handset.

If your state allows, your handset can be quickly disconnected at the silver push-pull connector. Just squeeze the connector body and pull back on the outer sleeve to unlatch. To reconnect and lock the handset, simply push the plug into the receptacle.

Watch how to disconnect your handset here.

Your FLEX is built to withstand extreme temperatures. However, if your state allows it, you can disconnect the handset so you can take it inside. Doing this will speed up the warmup times in cold weather and also keeps your device safely with you.

Yes, you can wash your mouthpiece and place it back on for reuse. However, only use a mild soap-and-water solution to clean your mouthpiece, then rinse it thoroughly. Give it a few minutes to dry before putting it back on the device. It is important not to use an alcohol-based or chemical-based cleaning solution.