California Toll Roads

In the United States, there is a complex transport interchange, especially for California roads. To ensure good traffic capacity, California does have both toll roads and municipal roads. Despite the fact that most of the roads are still free, toll roads in California are also popular. Therefore, every traveler should be aware that certain fees apply at some crossing points.

A noteworthy detail is that the duty payment for traveling may be avoided. However, in some cases it makes sense to use toll roads to reduce the time it takes to travel around California. Duty payment on toll roads is carried out in several ways:

  • contactless payments on automated Fast Track Only highways;

  • contactless payments using credit and debit bank cards;

  • in cash.

As of today, there is a number of toll roads where there is no service for cash payments. Some of them:

  • San Francisco coast (on the south side) - the ‘Golden Gate’ Bridge;

  • highways in Southern California: SR 73,133, 241, 261 (located in ‘Orange’ County, SR 125 (located in ‘San Diego’ County).

On most toll roads in California cash payments are still accepted. Thus, you can pay for the traveling by any of the above methods.

When driving on toll roads, you need to remember an important detail. If you do not have a registered Fast Track Only account, you should avoid Fast Track Only lanes. But, as a rule, the automated system sends the invoice + fees to your email address. Instead of Fast Track Only roads (if you don't have an account), you can use Cash/Cash combo lanes.

I Stock 96920789

Payment lifehacks

Instead of buying a FasTrak transponder, you can rent one from a car rental service. It is important to first clarify the terms of use and the amount of fees that will be charged additionally.

The cost of a transponder renting varies from $3 to $10 - the amount ex commission fees for traveling along tolls roads, and regardless of the duration of use. For example, even if you did not use a transponder for payment, but rented it for a week, you are charged the same amount as for 7 days.

Renting also has its disadvantages:

  • you pay even for an unused transponder - it is extremely inconvenient and costly for those who use a car in California frequently, but rarely travel on roads with Fast Track Only;

  • for violations of the rules for a rented car operating, additional fees may be charged on top of the basic payment for traveling.

Set up a one-time electronic payment to save money. This may be done very easily - you need to enter # and a bank card number. But this option is available by no means on all tolls roads in California.

If you travel on Fast Track Only roads all the time, then it is better to buy a transponder instead of renting one. This solution is especially relevant when the total payment of fees is over $25.

Be sure to follow the driving regulations, do not try to change lanes in reverse. This can lead to fines, create a dangerous situation on the road.

FasTrak transponder

The FasTrak transponder is a special device that is used to pay tolls on automated roads. Fees are collected automatically by reading the device. There are the following transponder classifications:

  • standard - a conventional device in the shape of a square;

  • flex - looks like a standard transponder except for the button for the number of passengers in the car.

Some car rental companies offer a transponder with it. But you can refuse it. Then the car is served with a box blocking the signal of the device. If the box is opened, then the calculation of the transponder use amount automatically starts.

What are express lanes - a road that is indicated separately on the freeway. Each lane has its own rules of use:

  • lanes for vehicles (HOV) - designed for those who have a minimum number of passengers for a certain time. Failure to comply with the driving conditions is punishable by a fine of up to $ 400;

  • HOT toll road in California - they are used by car pools, drivers with a FasTrak transponder. Tolls are charged for traveling. Some HOT road rules state that a FasTrak device is required.

For rules violations for using toll roads in California, apart from tolls, a fine will be charged. Express tolls require a working FasTrak transponder.

I Stock 650731432

How much are toll roads in California?

In the San Francisco Bay Area, both tourists and locals visit the world-famous ‘Golden Gate’ Bridge every day. Concurrently, it is not only a historical landmark, but also an automated paid post.

When driving south to San Francisco, traveling through the ‘Golden Gate’ bridge, you must pay a commission by bank transfer or in cash on a deferred account.

Toll road fees California:


from $4.5 for cars using a dedicated lane, up to $6.5 for regular cars

Payment by phone 877-BAY-TOLL

One-time payment of a $7.5 commission, or in cash at the payment agency - you can choose to pay in advance within two days. If you need to cross the bridge several times, you can use FasTrak with the "limited duration plate account" feature.

Deferred payment by email

If there is no transponder, you can use a deferred account. Additional fees may apply for delayed payments.

There are 6 more bridges where the FasTrak system is installed. They are ‘Oakland Bay’ (80), ‘San Mateo’ (92), ‘Dumbarton’ (84), ‘Carquines’ (80) as well as the ‘Benesia Martinez’ (680). In addition to toll bridges, there are three HOV express lanes (I-580, I-680 and SR237).

Southern California

Metro Express Lanes are located in Los Angeles County. At the moment, they are located on the l-10 and l-110 highways. Payment for traveling is charged only through FasTrak, regardless of the number of passengers in the car.

Attention: The FasTrak transponder is only required if you are traveling on Metro Express Lanes. They are well seen, so it will be impossible to confuse them with other lanes. But if you need to drive on any other lane, not on Metro Express Lanes, then you do not need to install a transponder.

How do toll roads work in california:

  • when driving on a section of the l-110 road, you are free from a fee payment even if there are more than two people in the car. But for this you need to switch the transponder to the correct position;

  • traveling along l-10 will be paid for two people during rush hour from 5 to 9 am, and from 16:00 to 19:00. Within any other period, the driving will be free;

  • using the standard FasTrak classification without a switch, the toll is charged at the SOLO fare regardless of the number of passengers in the vehicle.

‘Orange’ County has fully toll roads: 241, 261, there are also partially toll roads such as parts of freeways 73, 133. A period of 5 days is given for payment, if payment is not received during this time, then for this violation the amount of $57.50 is charged.

Roads covered by our application:

Los Angeles/Orange County

  • I-10 Express Lanes (covered by Uproad toll tag);

  • I-110 Express Lanes (covered by Uproad toll tag);

  • SR-91 Express Lanes (covered by Uproad toll tag).

  • SR-241;

  • SR-261;

  • SR-73.

San Diego

  • I-15 Express Lanes (covered by Uproad toll tag);

  • SR-125 Southbay Expressway (covered by Uproad toll tag).

San Francisco Bay Area

  • Antioch Bridge;

  • Benicia Martinez Bridge;

  • Carquinez Bridge;

  • Dumbarton Bridge;

  • Golden Gate Bridge;

  • I-580 Express Lanes;

  • I-680 Express Lanes;

  • I-880 Express Lanes;

  • Richmond San Rafael Bridge;

  • San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge;

  • San Mateo Hayward Bridge;

  • SR-237 Express Lanes.

‘San Diego’ County has the ‘South Bay’ Expressway (South 125). The fee for driving on toll roads can be paid through a FasTrak transponder or Cash system. You may pay in cash or by credit card.


Sep 01, 2022
Serge Lypko

Serge Lypko

BDM and tolling expert

Ready to pay tolls with your phone?

We thought you might be. Download the app today and enjoy your drive. Stress-free toll payment awaits!

Get the app

Recommended articles

By continuing to use our site, you agree to our privacy policy. Learn more about how we use cookies by reviewing our privacy policy


Scan QR code to
download Uproad!

Open phone camera and scan
Fleet Toll Managment