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E-ZPass Violations: Things That You Absolutely Cannot Do

Last updated: August 18, 2021
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vector graphic showing man holding e-zpass and wincing because of the e-zpass violations he just caused

E-ZPass is used in many areas of the United States to electronically collect toll payments on highways, tunnels, and bridges.

E-ZPass customers can travel hassle-free through the participating toll booths without having to stop and pay with cash.

Mount the small transponder, or tag, on your vehicle’s windshield or front bumper, and the toll booth scanners will read your E-ZPass and deduct the toll fee from your account.

The pass makes going through tolls fast and convenient for E-ZPass customers; no more searching for loose change or getting stuck behind the car that doesn’t have the money to pay the toll fee.

Having an E-ZPass makes traveling less complicated, but only if you use it correctly.

If your E-ZPass doesn’t have the funds or isn’t mounted in your car correctly, your toll fee won’t be paid, and you will be sent an E-ZPass violation.

E-ZPass ticket violations can get expensive.

In addition to the toll amount, a hefty administrative fine is tagged on, which you will need to pay within the deadline.

Make sure you’re on top of your E-ZPass account and know what you can and cannot do to avoid expensive and unnecessary fines.

What is an E-ZPass Violation?

When you go through a toll collection, there may be lanes marked specifically for E-ZPass only.

These lanes are for E-ZPass customers who have an E-ZPass transponder.

Other lanes may accept only cash or cash and E-ZPass.

If you go through an E-ZPass toll booth lane and don’t pay the toll with your E-ZPass transponder, you will receive an E-ZPass toll violation notice.

Common E-ZPass Violations

Read the E-ZPass rules carefully and understand your responsibilities on how to use and maintain your account.

Many scenarios occur where motorists receive fines for misusing their E-ZPass.

Some of the most common violations include:
Toll Evasion
You cannot drive through an E-ZPass toll lane without a functioning and active E-Zpass transponder.

If you don’t have an E-ZPass, you must use the cash lanes to pay the toll.

If you have a transponder that isn’t mounted correctly on your car, the toll booth may not read it and register that you paid.

Make sure that your E-ZPass tag is installed correctly – either on your windshield for an internal tag or on the car’s front bumper if you’re using an external one.

Insufficient Funds
Your E-ZPass account balance must have sufficient funds to cover the cost of the toll. Once your account has no money in it, all toll transactions will automatically receive violations.

To avoid getting a violation, you can set up your account to automatically refill when it hits a minimum amount.

1. Credit Card is Expired or Cancelled

If the credit or debit card linked to your E-ZPass account isn’t valid, your account won’t be able to be refilled.

Link a backup card or bank account to your E-ZPass account so you don’t risk a negative balance or are left with insufficient funds.

2. Transponder Improperly Mounted

Make sure your transponders are installed correctly in your car.

The toll scanners may not be able to read your E-ZPass tag if it’s mounted incorrectly or is held unsteadily while you’re driving.

Install interior transponders on your upper windshield, ensuring that the arrows are pointing up.

Install exterior transponders in the center of the car’s front bumper, above the license plate.

3. Transponder Malfunction

If your transponder is installed correctly and has sufficient funds but is not scanning, it may not be working.

Your local E-ZPass customer service center should be able to help troubleshoot the issue or request a new transponder.

4. Incorrect License Plate

Your license plate number is registered on your E-ZPass account.

If you are using the transponder with another car, let E-ZPass know.

It may not accept the tag if the car’s license plate doesn’t match the one on your account.

5. Vehicle Type

Some vehicles have windshields that make it difficult for the toll plaza scanners to read the E-Zpass transponder.

For those vehicles, use an external transponder and mount it on your car’s front bumper.

6. Speeding through the Toll Lane

Your E-ZPass tag can record your speed as you go through the E-ZPass lanes at the toll.

If you exceed the speed limit, you may get hit with a violation.

What Happens if you Receive a Violation?

You may receive an E-ZPass violation in the mail for any of the violation reasons we listed above.

In addition to the toll’s price, toll violators will usually pay an expensive administrative processing fee.

Send the fee and the lower portion of the violation notice to the address listed on the notice.

You may also have the option of paying the violation online or over the phone.

The violation will show the date, location, and photos of your vehicle going through the toll plaza.

Read the violation notice thoroughly.

If there is a mistake, such as the vehicle photographed isn’t yours, you can dispute the charge and get the violation removed from your account.

Disputing the Violation

If you want to dispute the violation, you may call the number listed on the notice.

You can also fill out the section on the notice for disputes and mail it in.

Send in supporting evidence and documentation of your dispute.

If you were flagged for not having an E-ZPass, send in your account information.

Perhaps your transponder malfunctioned or wasn’t installed correctly.

You can request a new one if yours isn’t working.

You can also try calling E-ZPass and ask them to waive the administrative fee.

For first-time toll violators, they may be willing to remove the extra charge.

If you received the violation due to insufficient funds, make sure to refill your account.

If it is linked to an expired credit card, update the expiration date or submit a new card to use instead.

E-ZPass Violation Cost

If you get sent an E-ZPass violation, you will need to pay the cost of the tolls you missed plus an administrative fee.

The administration may vary, but it can be expensive.

Be prepared to pay $50 or more for a violation, even if it was a toll of $1.50.

How to Check E-ZPass Violations

You can check your E-ZPass violations online on the site of the state that issued the violation.

There are options to search by violation number, by your account, or license plate number.

Create an account login so you can pay the violations through the site as well

Some of the states that use E-ZPass and their sites are listed below:

Frequently Asked Questions

Each state that participates in the E-ZPass system may have slightly different regulations.

If you receive a violation, follow the instructions of the issuing state’s requirements.

Some of the most common questions about the E-ZPass are:

When is the fine for the E-ZPass violation due?

Your violation notice will state when the fine is due.

It may vary by state but is usually within 14 or 30 days.

It is imperative to take care of the violation right away, either by paying the fine or disputing it.

If you’re past the violation due date, you risk incurring additional late fees and losing your vehicle’s registration.

Does E-ZPass send you a receipt to your house after you pay the violation?

If you paid the fine online or have an email on record, you will likely receive your receipt via email.

Will unpaid tolls affect my credit score?

If you don’t pay your violations on top, they can get sent to a debt collection agency as with any other outstanding bill.

Debts at collection agencies can affect your credit score.

Make sure you pay your fines and tolls on time to avoid them going to collections.

Can I use someone else’s E-ZPass in New York?

You can borrow someone else’s E-ZPass or use yours for a rental vehicle, but let E-ZPass know the license plate of the car that you will be driving.

You can temporarily add the car to the E-ZPass account to avoid having it flagged for not matching the license plate number on file.

To Sum it Up

The E-ZPass makes traveling through tolls faster and more convenient.

It is widely used on roads in many states across the country.

To get the most out of your E-ZPass, make sure it is installed correctly, has sufficient funds to cover the tolls, and that you pay any violations that you receive as soon as possible.

Drive safely and carefully – and take the E-ZPass Only toll lane!

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