ELECTRONIC TOLL PASSES

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THE BASICS

Most states' and many regions' toll agencies have their version of an electronic toll sticker or transponder that may be used to pay your tolls without having to use cash. In most jurisdictions, the use of an electronic transponder will result in lower toll costs, as many agencies discount the toll rates for toll pass users. The discounts can be substantial for regular haulers and commuters, who may need to use a specific road or group of roads on a consistent basis.

An agency-issued sticker or transponder is affixed to the windshield of the vehicle, typically adjacent to the rear-view mirror, so that transponder equipment, located both in the asphalt and in overhead gantries, can read the unit's ID number and vehicle type as the driver passes beneath the tolling gantry.

Toll Pass Accounts

When you order a transponder and prepare to use it in your vehicle, you will be required to set up a toll pass account with the state or regional agency that issues the transponder. This involves providing your information, your vehicle information, the transponder number to be used in the vehicle, as well as any payment information that may be required by the agency, often a credit or debit card.

Often, families will have more than one vehicle and, consequently, more than one pass on their account. Most agencies permit more than one transponder to be assigned to an account, but only one vehicle may be assigned to a transponder ID at any given time.

State-Specific Info

To get specific information about your state or regional toll pass agency, as well as account information, simply select your state in the menu or the drop-down form.

WHERE CAN I USE MY E-ZPASS?

Please see the map sections below for an easy-to-understand reference to toll pass interoperability. You may download these reference materials as well.

Regional pass compatibility has become quite common, particularly across the New England states to the Midwest and through the Mid-Atlantic. Additionally, two other large, regional networks dominate the Southern Plains and the Deep South.

To make certain your toll pass is compatible with other states' tolling systems, see the reference sections below for detail and maps.

Although toll interoperability was mandated by Congress in 2012, not all states' transponders are yet compatible. Read more about toll compatibility issues in our news section.

 

TOLL PASS NETWORKS IN BRIEF

E-ZPass States

The E-ZPass system is the largest interoperable toll collection and payment system in the United States.

States connected to the E-ZPass system include Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and West Virginia. Additionally, portions of Florida are also compatible with E-ZPass.

E-ZPass compatibility map
OPEN AS PDF ► | OPEN COMBO PDF ►

 

SunPass States

The Sun Pass is used primarily on state and local toll roads in Florida. It is compatible with Georgia's PeachPass system, and can also be used in North Carolina. It is also compatible with Orlando's E-Pass. Sun Pass is not compatible with E-ZPass.

However, E-ZPass may be used on some Orlando toll roads, where the E-Pass is accepted. It may not be used on other Florida toll roads outside the Orlando area.

The Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX) has published a map detailing the specific portions of roads where E-ZPass is accepted in the Orlando-metro area.

SunPass compatibility map
OPEN AS PDF ► | OPEN COMBO PDF ►

 

TxTag & The Southern Plains

TxTag is the statewide pass used across the state of Texas, and it is nearly compatible with all local and state-operated toll roads. There are two other major regional systems: the TollPass from the Dallas-Fort Worth area and the TollTag from the Houston area. Both systems are now compatible across the state of Texas.

Additionally, all passes from Texas may now be used in Oklahoma and Kansas, and vice versa. The Kansas K-Tag and the Oklahoma PikePass are also compatible across this tri-state region of the Southern Plains.

TxTag compatibility map
OPEN AS PDF ► | OPEN COMBO PDF ►

 

FasTrak

FasTrak is California's statewide electronic toll system. It is not compatible with systems outside California.

Other Passes

There are other toll systems in states that operate toll roads, tunnels and/or bridges. These include Colorado's ExpressToll and Go Pass!, the Good To Go pass in Washington State, as well as various bridge passes and cards that are used at international crossings between the United States and Canada.

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TRANSPONDER TYPES

Toll passes are generally issued in three types of transponders: An RFID (radio-frequency identification) sticker, a portable transponder, and a bar or stick transponder designed to attach above or below the front license plate.

All devices have an identification number, which is stored on the circuitry of the device, along with other basic information about the transponder. The unit's ID number corresponds to a database in state records that contains your user account and vehicle information.

transponder samples illustrated

RFID Stickers

The most common type of toll pass is a sticker that gets affixed to your windshield. The sticker transponder utilizes RFID technology printed on a flexible circuit.

Stickers have the advantage of being relatively inexpensive, as well as easy to use. They are also disposable.

The nature of the circuitry in a sticker means it can only transmit data via your vehicle's GLASS windshield, which acts as a dialectric antenna for the sticker. Sticker transponders can not be used on vehicles that do not have a glass windshield, such as motorcycles.

Additionally, once a sticker is removed from your windshield, you must discard it, making sure to deactivate or unassign the unit from your vehicle. Stickers can NOT be moved from one vehicle to another.

Portable Transponders

Portable transponders come in a variety of shapes, most commonly an oblong box or smaller, rectangular box. These types of transponders make use of suction cups to affix to your window.

Portable transponders will have varied features, depending upon which agency issues the unit. Common features include audible alerts when going through toll plazas or a gantry, as well as alerts when account balances are low. Some transponders also have switches to select passenger counts, often used to determine rates on tolled express lanes, as well as to offer carpool discounts on toll roads and bridges. Some units may also include notification lights or LED's (light-emitting diodes).

Portable transponders cost more to purchase, and some agencies require a you keep a higher balance on your account when you register a portable unit. However, the advantage with the portable transponder is you can move it from one vehicle to another.

License Plate Transponders
For Truckers And Special Cases

The third type or transponder is designed for large commercial trucks and tractor-trailers, and this type attaches to the front license plate or to the roof of the vehicle. This type is, as the name implies, an attachment to your license-plate frame, using the bolts that already are used to hold the plate, itself.

Roof attachments require a mounting plate that uses a special foam tape, to which the transponder is then attached.

Large vehicles, specifically tractor-trailers, and some vehicles with certain options or metal-oxide windows, must make use of an exterior transponder unit that affixes either to the license plate frame or vehicle roof. If the license plate option is unviable, then a roof-mounted transponder can be utilized.

Metal-oxide Windshields

Many of today's luxury and higher-end cars use metal oxides in their windshields, and that diminishes the signals from regular transponders. In such cases, special mounting instructions must be followed, or an exterior transponder must be used.

The state of California's Deparment of Transportation (CalTrans) has published a comprehensive and ever-expanding list of vehicles with metal-oxides that can interfere with your window-mounted transponder.

View the CalTrans metal-oxide list to see whether your vehicle is shown, and if so, you will want to consider a license-plate transponder option.

MOUNTING INSTRUCTIONS

The placement of your toll pass is critical to making certain your unit and the information stored thereon can be properly read by electronic tolling equipment. All agencies have a preferred location, adjacent to your windshield's rear-view mirror, about one to one-and-a-half inches (three to five centimeters) from the top of the windshield, and about one to two inches (three to five centimeters) to the left or right of the rear-view mirror. See the illustration for reference.

common toll pass transponder placements

IMPORTANT! Do not place the sticker or transponder in a location that will block the view of the driver or impede your ability to operate your vehicle!

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