In New York State, if you accidentally pass through a toll without paying, you will incur an E-ZPass violation. When discussing toll violations, it is important to note that such issues vary from state to state, so the applicable rules in one state may be different in another. Regardless of whether your car’s transponder is not in place or not functional, the violation interpretation remains the same. Below are common practices in some of New York’s major toll routes.
New York Thruway Route
If the EZ Pass violation occurred between Buffalo and Woodbury, your car’s plate number would be photographed on exit, not entry. If you already have an EZ Pass, the electronic system will account for the violation. In some cases, you may not even know that you have been charged if you do not scrutinize your bank email statements, as such charges may take as long as two months to reflect. If you feel that you have been charged wrongfully, you can appeal to the HQ of EZPass to seek redress.
Tappan Zee Bridge Southbound
Tappan Zee Bridge crossing from Nyack to the Tarrytown route has a similar violation procedure to what is obtainable at Massachusetts’ Turnpike. At this toll, you are charged on a pay-by-plate basis if your transponder is undetected or not in place or if you do not have an active EZ Pass account.
Common Scenarios that may attract a traffic violation
To gain a better understanding of the tolling legalities, here are common scenarios that may cause you to receive an EZ Pass violation.
#1 A Toll Evasion: If your vehicle has no transponder, but you drove through an “EZ Pass Only” lane – you have violated the traffic laws of New York.
#2 Insufficient funds in your EZ Pass Account: Driving through an EZ Pass Lane when you have insufficient funds in your account will lead to an EZ Pass violation.
#3 Expiration/Cancellation of your Credit/Debit Card: A card expiration or cancellation will make it impossible to pay the toll charge if your EZ Pass account is linked to the card. Should you drive through an EZ Lane under such a circumstance you won’t pay the toll fee, and this in itself is an EZ Pass violation.
#4 Bank Clearance issues: Sometimes, the fault may not be yours but that of your bank. Failure of your banker to clear payments may lead to penalties.
#5 Improperly mounted EZ Pass Transponder: Mount the transponder on your car’s windshield with the antenna pointing upwards. Any other position is a violation of the rule.
#6 Transponder Malfunction: Sometimes, transponders malfunction even if they are mounted correctly. If you notice any issue with yours, take it to a walk-in retail outlet anywhere in New York to have the battery tested.
What must you do if you passed through a Toll without paying?
If you accidentally pass through a toll without paying, you still have the opportunity to correct your mistake by paying the toll on time. Timely payment of tolls will help you avoid fines and registration suspensions. When a motorist fails to pay his or her toll, the DMV will send the bill to the registered address of the vehicle owner. If the address with the DMV is different from the current address of the owner, there are other options available to make payments. Here are some of them.
If you prefer to pay your tolls in advance before the DMV sends the toll bill over, you can visit www.tollsbymailny.com to select the “Pay Toll” option to perform a quick search of your License plate number. US and Canadian drivers can also perform searches based on their country, State or Province from the drop-down menu. Your toll transaction will be available on the website one week after the date of the violation. You can also get more information by placing a call to Tolls by Mail customer Service on this number 1-844-826-8400.
Your bill can also be mailed to you about 30-40 days after the violation if you are the registered owner of the vehicle. Ensure that you check your email regularly for the toll mail.
How to Read a Toll Bill?
Reading a toll bill is very easy. Just follow these steps.
- A bill will be sent to you within 30-40 days
- After receiving, you have a maximum of 30 days to pay the bill
- If you fail to settle the bill within 30 days, a second one will be sent to you with a $5 late payment fee
- If you don’t honor the second bill, the bill will escalate into a full-blown toll violation
- 100 days after the date of the violation, you will receive a notice from the DMV in an orange envelope with a fee for violation. The violation fee is $50 per trip.
- If this fee is not paid after 15 days, the notice will be referred to a collection agency
- Failure to respond to notices within 5 years may lead to the suspension of your vehicle’s registration.
You can get more information about toll violation payments by contacting EZ Pass New York at 1-800-333-8655
Collection Agencies in New York
The collection agencies that handle toll violations in New York on behalf of the DMV is Linebarger Goggan Blair and Sampson, LLP. These agencies are privately run organizations, but they have an existing contract with the authorities. In most cases, violations referred to collection agencies either attract hefty fines or, in worst cases, registration suspension. To avoid such an ugly scenario, it is in your best interest to make sure that you settle the bill forwarded to you within the allotted timeframe.
If you realize that you have incurred an EZ Pass violation, you don’t need to fret. Just wait for the violation notice. Once it comes, reload your EZ Pass account so that the penalty fee deducts automatically, provided you haven’t paid it already.