Created in 1987, E-ZPass is an electronic toll collection system used on most tolled roads, bridges, and tunnels in the Midwestern and Eastern United States. E-ZPass uses tags that are RFID transponders that transmit a unique radio signal to respond to toll transmitters. E-ZPass customers can either merge into designated toll lanes or "Express E-ZPass" lanes that are physically separated from toll booths and do not require drivers to slow down.
The E-ZPass Interagency Group consists of 39 member agencies in 17 states. Some states have their independent systems using the same technology and have consequentially been incorporated into the E-ZPass System. Examples of these are the I-Pass in Illinois and the NC Quick Pass in North Carolina. E-ZPass is typically offered as a debit account, where users prepay or add money onto their accounts, and tolls are deducted from that amount when customers pass through tolls. Additionally, some agencies charge a monthly account fee, usually only $1.00 or $1.50. How much does an E-ZPass account cost? Is there a yearly fee? How much is an E-ZPass transponder? Does my account auto-replenish? The costs for E-ZPass systems in each state vary.
Massachusetts's E-ZPass system does not have a yearly fee or deposit. Customers must pay an initial $20 fee if opening an automatic replenishment account and $30 if opening a manual account replenishment. The minimum balance required in Massachusetts is $20, and accounts auto-replenish at $10.
In Virginia, E-ZPass accounts that are opened at a Service Center require a new customer to prepay a minimum of $35 in tolls. Transponders sold in select stores are also $35 and includes $15 of prepaid toll balance for immediate use and an additional $20 prepaid toll balance after the transponder is registered to the account. The minimum balance allowed is $35 per unit, and accounts auto-replenish below $10 to average monthly use or $35 per unit, whichever is greater.
Ohio's E-ZPass system has a yearly fee of $9.00 and requires a $3 deposit to activate the transponder. A minimum balance of $25 per transponder is required to establish the account. When the balance reaches or falls below $10, the account auto-replenishes to $25. Transponder prices vary by toll agency.
Illinois's I-Pass system costs $30 to obtain, a $10 refundable deposit and $20 prepaid tolls. The minimum balance is $20, and the account auto-replenishes 10% of the average monthly usage or a minimum of $10. There is no annual fee for the I-Pass. In Indiana, an E-ZPass requires a $7 deposit and has an annual fee of $12.00. The minimum balance is $10 or the one-month average, and the account auto-replenishes 25% of a three-month average or a minimum of $2.50.
Delaware's E-ZPass system requires a $25 deposit and a $15 fee one-time fee for each additional transponder added to an account. The minimum balance required is $25. The account replenishes at or below a $10 balance if you are a credit card customer and when your account falls below 50% of your replenishment amount if you are a check or cash customer.
New Hampshire E-ZPass transponders are $7.40 for a windshield tag and $13.49 for a license plate tag. Customers must pay a minimum prepaid toll amount of enough funds to pay for six weeks worth of tolls or a minimum of $30. Customers have the option to lease a transponder for $0.50 per month. After the first year, customers must pay $1.00 per month to receive paper statements for their accounts.
In Maine, E-ZPass tags are $10 for an interior windshield tag and $17 for an exterior license plate tag. The required minimum opening balance is $20 for one tag and $40 for two or more. There is no yearly fee and no minimum replenishment amount.
West Virginia's E-ZPass system has a single fee discount for E-ZPass customers of one $25 fee for one year of unlimited travel and a one-time fee of $13 for the transponder. The other type of account option lets you pay a $10 deposit and a $5 yearly annual fee and auto-replenishes at a balance of $10.
In Pennsylvania, new E-ZPass customers will pay $35 for the first transponder and a $3 annual fee. Additional responders are $38. There is a $25 deposit; however, there is no deposit required if the customer chooses auto-replenish. Whenever an account balance reaches $10 or less, it will auto-replenish $35 per transponder.
New Jersey's E-ZPass system charges customers $18 in annual fees: $1 monthly service fee and another $1 for bi-monthly statements. New customers must make a refundable $10 deposit per tag if their replenishment method is cash or check. The minimum balance on an account is $25.
New York's E-ZPass system also charges a $1 monthly service fee for tags issued by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) and $6 per year for monthly statements. Tags issued by the New York State Thruway Authority or MTA Bridges and Tunnels are free by state law. Customers in New York State can purchase a tag for $25, and customers in New York City or Long Island can purchase a tag for $30. Once the tag is registered, the tag's full price, either $25 or $30, is applied to the account. Different account plans have different established minimum balances, and customers must replenish their accounts by the prepaid amount when the balance drops below the established minimum.
In Rhode Island, E-ZPass transponders are $10 for an interior tag and $15 for an exterior tag. After the first year, customers must pay $1 per month to receive monthly mail statements. Customers must pay a minimum Prepaid Toll Amount sufficient to pay tolls for a 6-week period with a minimum balance of $25 per transponder. When the account balance reaches or falls below $10, it will auto-replenish to $25 or to the 6-week average.
Maryland E-ZPass interior transponders are free of charge. A prepaid toll amount of $25 is required for each transponder. There is a yearly fee of $18, which is waived for Maryland addresses. Customer's accounts will auto-replenish when the account balance falls below $10 to approximately one month's level of use.
Kentucky E-Z Pass is known as Riverlink. A $20 minimum balance is required to open an account for up to four vehicles.