Where’s yours?


Here’s my EZ Pass transponder used when traveling some of the toll highways in the US. Here’s the list of participating states.

Since we’ve had EZPass, for probably 13 or so years, it’s been a very useful device. At one point, we traveled across the eastern and southern parts of the US somewhat regularly; having the transponder was a boon – particularly in the toll-both-infested ribbon of roads around Chicago.

Did you know that it’s a violation to not have your EZPass transponder affixed to the windshield?

Neither did we?

ez passThe PA Turnpike EZPass Users Manualhttps://www.paturnpike.com/pdfs/tolls/EZPass_User_Manual.pdf contains a whole bunch of information that we, and maybe you, have not reviewed in some time.

Since we’ve become a less-frequent toll-road user (and even when we were a heavier user – we have not mounted the transponder on the windshield. Years ago, a toll-taker at one of the Turnpike stations told us the device did not have to be mounted.

In fact, the Users Manual states: “Please be aware that an active transponder located anywhere in or on your vehicle may be read electronically.”

We’ve been in the practice of storing the device and holding it to the windshield (or clipping it onto the sun visor or placing it on the dashboard) when going through toll stations.

So, on our recent trip, the transponder did not spark the green light at a Turnpike station at Breezewood. A youngish (likely a summer intern worker) attendant gave us a toll ticket and said, “You have to have your device mounted on the windshield.”

We commented that we’d been using the toll system for a long time and never have done that.

At the Harrisburg East exit station, the transponder elicited the expected green light.

Back home, we went to the EZPass Website for verification information; here’s the Website: https://www.paturnpike.com/default.aspx

And here’s what the Website and the Users Manual says:

  • “What constitutes a violation or TOLL BY PLATE invoice? A customer drives through an E-ZPass lane or TOLL BY PLATE location with an improperly mounted E-ZPass transponder.
  • “You agree to correctly mount, display and use the E-ZPass transponder in accordance with the instructions provided by the PTC E-ZPass CSC. Do not mount the E-ZPass transponder in any location that could interfere with your visibility or ability to operate your vehicle. Failure to mount the E-ZPass transponder correctly may hinder toll collection and may subject you to a fine and forfeiture of the E-ZPass transponder. You agree to use the E-ZPass transponder only on the vehicle(s) specified on your application. You agree to contact the PTC E-ZPass CSC to change the vehicle assignment of your E-ZPass transponder(s).
  • “Most passenger vehicles will use the interior transponder, which should be positioned on the inside of the windshield behind the rear view mirror.”

During a call to the Turnpike Commission’s Customer Service Center, we were informed that not affixing the transponder to the windshield makes a motorist liable for a $200 fine.

We also learned that our transponder was out of date (we didn’t know that, because we received no notification about that), but that the Customer Service representative would send me a new, replacement device. We were cautioned to return the current transponder – within 10 days – or face a $10 charge.

There you have it … some of the little known terms of service that most of us get and seldom know about. For lots of services, devices, etc.



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