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How does E-ZPass Work?

Residents from the Midwestern and Eastern areas of the USA probably are familiar with the E-ZPass system. After all, it has been used for more than three decades ago as an electronic toll collection system.

If you are from a different state, it’s very likely that you have encountered yourself driving through a road, bridge, or tunnel that uses the system. Thruway toll plazas are obsolete around these zones thanks to the E-ZPass system.

How does E-ZPass Work?

The E-ZPass mainly uses RFID technology, meaning that motorists can drive through the tolls. Thanks to the transponder drivers attached to their vehicle’s windshield previously, the fee is paid automatically.

Near the electronic toll booth, there is an antenna. It sends a signal to the transponder and vice versa so that when you drive, you don’t have to stop and pay in cash for the fee. It is done automatically instead because you must pay at least a month of prepaid tolls in advance when registering on the network.

Where to purchase your transponder

In most states, you can get your transponder for free. However, you still have to pay a small fee, usually not higher than ten dollars, to be activated.

How to know the right E-ZPass system for your state

This is not complicated. All the states within the E-ZPass network have their websites, and those who are part of it but use a personalized version of it instead have their site. You can find out which website by reading this post.

All the information for the different states is the same, essentially.

About the balance in your account

This is an automated system, as we said previously. When you first register for it, regardless of the state you reside in, you will be required to provide your credit card information. Your transponder will be connected to that data, and each time a specific amount is reached, it will automatically replenish.

In most states, your balance has to be below $10 so that it can be replenished again. It is known that states offer residents discounts, but can be thought with out-of-state drivers have to face a not-so-generous fate.

Other states allow you to “skip” the prepaid system, and you pay for the tolls daily via the website. You can choose the option you feel more comfortable with at your convenience if your state has it available.

Brief History of the E-ZPass System

The E-ZPass system was first introduced in 1987, more than thirty years ago. Essentially, it is an automated toll collection system. As of now, 17 states are working within the network, as well as 39 agencies spread through the Midwestern and Eastern areas of the USA.

Some states have included an individual version of the system on different lanes, tunnels, and bridges. An excellent example of this is the NC Quick Pass, used in North Carolina. Another state uses a different system that is compatible with the standard E-ZPass system in Illinois, with the I-Pass.