If you are a frequent driver, you might have come across the E-ZPass, an electronic toll collection system used on most tolled roads, bridges, and tunnels in the United States. The system is designed to make your travels smoother and more convenient by eliminating the need to stop and pay tolls in cash. However, if you’re new to the system, you might wonder, “where can I buy an E-ZPass near me?” This blog post will explore the different places to purchase an E-ZPass near your location and give tips to help you get started.
What is an E-ZPass?
First, let’s briefly explain what an E-ZPass is. It’s an electronic device you install on your car’s windshield, communicating with toll booths as you drive through them. The device contains a transponder, which sends a signal to the toll booth that deducts the toll amount from your account. You then receive a bill for the tolls at the end of the month. With an E-ZPass, you can avoid long lines and traffic backups at toll booths, saving you time and money.
Where Can I Buy an E-ZPass Near Me?
Several retailers sell E-ZPass transponders, including convenience stores, supermarkets, and drug stores. Some of the most popular ones include Walgreens, CVS, and 7-Eleven. You can visit any of these stores and purchase an E-ZPass, which typically costs between $25 to $30. The transponder comes pre-loaded with a $15 balance that you can use immediately.
- Toll Agencies
You can also purchase an E-ZPass directly from a toll agency. Toll agencies are the organizations responsible for collecting tolls on toll roads, bridges, and tunnels. Examples of toll agencies include the New York State Thruway Authority, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. You can visit their offices or online portals to purchase an E-ZPass. The price for the device varies depending on the agency, but most offer discounts for seniors and frequent travelers.
- Online Retailers
Online retailers like Amazon and Walmart also sell E-ZPass transponders. You can purchase them online, and the device will be delivered to your doorstep. The price is similar to what you would pay at a retail store, but you’ll have to wait for delivery. Also, you might need to activate the device before using it, which can be done online or by phone.
- Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
In some states, you can purchase an E-ZPass at the DMV when you renew your vehicle registration. The DMV is responsible for issuing license plates and vehicle registration stickers, so it also makes sense to offer E-ZPasses. Check with your local DMV office to see if they offer this service.
- Toll Booths
Lastly, you can purchase an E-ZPass at some toll booths. Not all toll booths offer this service, but some do. If unsure, ask the toll collector if you can purchase an E-ZPass. They’ll be able to tell you if it’s possible and how to do it.
Tips for Purchasing an E-ZPass nearby
- Check the Fees
When purchasing an E-ZPass, be aware of the fees that might apply. Some toll agencies charge an account maintenance fee, annual or per-toll fee. Ensure you understand the fees and how they affect your account balance.
- Register Your E-ZPass
After purchasing your E-ZPass, register it online or by phone. Registration is required for proper account management and will allow you to monitor your account balance and transaction history. It will also ensure that you receive notifications when your account balance is low, or there is an issue with your transponder.
- Link Your E-ZPass to Your Account
To use your E-ZPass, you’ll need to link it to an account. You can do this online, by phone, or by mail. When linking your transponder to an account, you’ll need to provide personal information such as your name, address, and credit card information. You’ll also need to choose how you want to fund your account through automatic replenishment or manual replenishment.
- Test Your E-ZPass
Before hitting the road, it’s a good idea to test your E-ZPass to ensure it’s working correctly. You can drive through a designated E-ZPass lane at a toll plaza. If the transponder works correctly, the toll booth’s equipment will recognize it and deduct it from your account. If you’re having issues, contact the toll agency’s customer service department for assistance.
- Consider the E-ZPass Flex
If you’re a carpooler or use High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes, consider purchasing an E-ZPass Flex. The E-ZPass Flex is a version of the E-ZPass that allows you to switch between HOV mode and regular mode. When carpooling, you can set the transponder to HOV mode, allowing you to use HOV lanes without being charged a toll. When driving alone, you can switch it back to regular mode.
An E-ZPass can be a great addition to your car if you frequently drive on toll roads, bridges, and tunnels. It can save you time and money and make your travels more convenient. When purchasing an E-ZPass, you have several options, including retail stores, toll agencies, online retailers, DMVs, and some toll booths. Check the fees, register your transponder, link it to an account, and test it before hitting the road. With these tips in mind, you’ll be ready to start enjoying the benefits of an E-ZPass.