How To Pay For Toll Roads
Toll roads are very popular in the US. However, if you are heading interstate or traveling to the US from another country, it can be a bit confusing to work out how to pay the toll and how much you will end up paying. If you ask yourself ‘how much do toll roads cost’, we’ve put together a handy step-by-step guide.
Toll roads in the US
Toll roads are roads or sections of roads that users pay a small fee to use. They are optional, with alternative routes to your destination possible. They usually are well-maintained and provide a less congested route, meaning less time wasted in traffic. There are three types of tolling systems in the US:
Barrier system. In this model, you pay a fixed time-based toll every time you pass through the mainline toll booth.
Ticket system. You pay a toll based on your entry toll gantry and exit toll gantry combination.
Distance-based system. The fee is based on the distance you travel on the designated toll road.
Toll roads in the US currently exist across 38 states. They aren’t evenly distributed across the country. Some states may have as little as one or two toll roads while others can even have up to 30. Here are the three toll-heaviest states and some of their major toll roads:
Florida Toll Roads. They cover more distance than any other state. The state has over 719 miles of toll roads and Orange County counts for 153 miles. The most important Florida toll roads are The Florida Turnpike Mainline, I-75 (aka Alligator Valley), and Sunshine Skyway Bridge.
New York Toll Roads. There are 30 roll roads that are considered to be the most expensive tolls in the country. The major toll roads are: The New York Thruway and I-95 which cuts across the metro NYC area.
California Toll Roads. The most famous toll roads are SR-73 (California State Route 73) and 17-Mile Drive.
How much do toll roads cost?
The cost of driving a toll road varies depending on the state and the road itself. Usually, it’s about 6 cents per mile on interstate roads and approximately 13 cents per mile on non-interstate toll roads. In general, the cost depends on which toll road you drive, how far you go, and how many axes your vehicle has. Sometimes, it is also important to what time or day you drive on the toll road. On average, the toll price Americans pay is close to $5. According to the Federal Highway Administration, tunnels and bridges are the most expensive toll roads for passenger vehicles to drive.
How do you pay for toll roads?
There are many ways to pay tolls. The most popular are transponders or toll tags (primary or secondary) and license plates or videos. You can also pay by cash (note that some toll booths are cashless, though), credit/debit card, and prepaid card. If you have a choice, it is reasonable to select transponder payments. Such payment offers the most discounts.
How do toll roads charge you?
If you pay online or with the application, you should pay within 5 days before or 5 days after driving the toll road. You can just use the ‘Pay Toll Now’ option on the Toll Roads application website. It’s the most expensive way but there are no prepayments, statements, or invoices. If you want to pay with cash, you can do so at retailers including 7-Eleven, Family Dollar, Walmart, Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy, etc.
How to pay toll-by plate invoice
Paying by plate is an easy and convenient way to pay for toll roads. It is possible in most states. It is called a ‘pay as you go’ option. The entire procedure is simple. When you pass the toll plaza an image of the license plate is captured. The Pay By Plate toll rate for that plaza is assessed to the owner of the vehicle. Once a month, you receive an invoice – it is mailed to the owner of the vehicle. You have 30 days to pay the toll. Otherwise, you will not avoid toll violations and fines. In order to pay the toll using the Pay By Plate Invoice, you can use your credit card and pay online, use a phone and pay using credit or debit card data, or use an E-Pass smartphone app that can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play Store.
How do you pay toll online?
Paying tolls online is extremely easy. There are two options depending on whether you have a pass or not.
If you have E-ZPass, it is convenient to set automatic replenishment. This works best for frequent travelers. You can just link your E-ZPass to your credit or debit card (you can also use your bank account) and your account will be automatically replenished whenever the balance gets too low. If you don’t want to use automatic replenishment, you can also choose the Pay Per Trip option (you only pay for the tolls you use by linking your E-ZPass directly to your bank checking account. This way, you don’t charge your card to maintain a minimum balance on your pass.
If you don’t have E-ZPass, you can just set up a short-term account to use your license plate and credit card. This works great if you are renting a car.
You can use Uproad - an easy and intuitive mobile application for drivers. With the app, you can easily pay for using non-cash tollway lanes.
How do I pay a toll ticket online as a one-time payment?
This option is recommended for drivers who infrequently cross particular toll roads. Depending on the state, one-time payments can be made up to 30 days before or within 48 hours after crossing the road. They can be made online using a credit card.
How to pay Texas toll without TxTag?
Toll tags are the preferred method to pay tolls in Texas. TxTag is the most popular one. It is issued by the Texas Department of Transportation and allows users to zip through the toll lanes in Texas. TxTag can be used for the whole of Texas at locations. If you are traveling through Texas and you don’t have a TxTag, you can still consider:
Pay-By-Mail and ZipCash – video tolling system of Texas. You receive a bill to pay the toll.
Cash payment on some bridges and toll roads. In general, cash payments are not accepted.
Uproad - a modern toll payment application that enables drivers to use non-cash tollway lanes and pay tolls easily.
If you are a visitor in Texas, you can also pay toll by either temporarily linking your toll tag with the rental’s license plate, or you can opt for rental companies to take care of all toll billing.
What happens if you don’t pay a toll
If you don’t pay a toll, there are usually two options:
You will be turned away. The operator at the booth may point you to a place to turn around and send you back the way you came or onto a side road.
You will be fined. The fine will be sent to the owner of the vehicle.