Are we Bonnie and Clyde?
January 2, 2008 8:16 PM   Subscribe

We got stuck in the EZ pass toll booth without an EZ pass. Are we now fugitives from The Man?

OK, so we were going through the Baltimore Bay Tunnel. Came out the other side in the fast lane and somehow got stuck in the EZ pass toll lane, unable to get back into the cash toll lane (blocked by other oncoming traffic). So we ended up going through the EZ pass gate not being able to figure out what to do. People were blowing their horns.

What happens now? Will the Maryland toll authority take a photo of our license plate (state of WV) and mail us a fine? Or are we fugitives from The Man? Note: we're not disputing any fine; it was totally our bad & we're OK with paying our dues.
posted by media_itoku to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I can't speak for Maryland, but in Illinois, typically, they let it go if you do it once or twice-it's understandable to make a mistake. If you do it repeatedly, that's when they start getting mad and might prosecute you or make you pay fines or take away your driver's license.
posted by evariste at 8:19 PM on January 2, 2008

Yeah, in Illinois and Indiana, you can call them and explain, then pay the regular toll. In the SF Bay Area, you'll get a letter within a week with a grainy photo of your license plate. The fee is $25, plus the toll you skipped.

It's best to contact them before they contact you. Look up the toll authority and give them a call. Be contrite. It's your best bet.
posted by mudpuppie at 8:24 PM on January 2, 2008

I know in Massachusetts, the first one or two times the mass transit authority will send you a warning, complete with big red letters and a picture of your car. After doing this too many times you will get fined... so try to not get too worried about it if you've only done it once or twice.

If you really feel that bad about it, I would suggest sending them a check with the exact amount for the toll. I wouldn't be surprised if they actually ended up cashing the check. Cheap buggers...
posted by speek at 8:24 PM on January 2, 2008

Maryland Transportation Authority

The policy of The Maryland Transportation Authority is to send a "Notice of Tolls Due" to the registered owner of the vehicle for the first instance of a missed toll. This is for the amount of the toll only.

If the toll is not paid by the due date stated on the notice, or if there is a subsequent toll violation within 12 months, a $15 administration fee will be added.

The customer (who has inadvertently violated) may either wait to receive the notice or sent payment to: E-ZPass Maryland Service Center, P.O. Box 5100 Baltimore, MD 21224


*Vehicle make and model

*License plate information, state and tag number

*Date and approximate time the violation occurred

*Toll facility and lane traveled if known

Credit card payment is also accepted by phone at 1-888-321-6824.
end MDTA policy TOLLROADSnews 2005-08-01 (items added as received)
via this website
posted by niles at 8:25 PM on January 2, 2008

Yeah, you can pay up. Of course, in Illinois, they spent millions of dollars upgrading their database to autobill scofflaws/oopsies and finally cancelled the contract, because during the changeover they got behinder and behinder until they were something like 11 months out of date. Not that they told you "We might never get around to billing you" when you fessed up or anything.
posted by dhartung at 8:53 PM on January 2, 2008

evariste/mudpuppie: In Illinois they don't ignore any of the missed tolls, they just wait until you have at least three to send you your fines. My IPass was never properly registered, and I had unknowingly been caught 11 times before I got my fines, totaling over $1000. Fortunately the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority's little Kangaroo Court (a.k.a. mediation, in which the impartial mediator is paid by the ISTHA) saw things my way and reduced it to just the tolls owed. They even screwed that up, charging me some like $5.83 cents, which isn't even possible, but by then I wasn't complaining.

Anyway, in Illinois and in most other states, if you contact the tollway authority in a timely manner and pay the toll, they won't fine you.
posted by indyz at 8:54 PM on January 2, 2008

Thanks for the info, indyz!
posted by evariste at 9:11 PM on January 2, 2008

Yep, in MD they just mail you a ticket for the toll and you pay it and it's done.
posted by desuetude at 9:25 PM on January 2, 2008

I did this years ago in NYS. The toll operator told me to pay at the next exit, which I did. 65 whole cents.
posted by yeti at 6:53 AM on January 3, 2008

It's hit or miss. They will send you roughly $20-40 bill for the toll if it’s a miss. Not having money to pay the toll or not noticing that my EZ pass is missing is an occasional event in my life. It happens.
posted by thetenthstory at 9:14 AM on January 3, 2008

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