What is E-ZPass® and how does it work?

EZPass Transponder

An E-ZPass® transponder is a small electronic device you attach to your car's windshield to pay for tolls on a trip.  It allows you to use the high speed cashless lanes on toll roads, bridges and tunnels where E-ZPass is accepted, and often provides discounts to the cash rate depending on the state that issued the E-ZPass.  Important to note is that many existing toll facilities are converting to cashless tolling meaning if you don't have a transponder a picture will be taken of your license plate and you will receive a bill in the mail that frequently will include a service charge and end up more expensive than the transponder rate.

Do I need an E-ZPass to drive on toll roads in the US?

With the exception of certain Express Lanes (which are optional to drivers) you will not need an E-ZPass to drive on toll roads in the 19 states where E-ZPass is accepted. You do however need an E-ZPass to drive on the toll lanes that are designated E-ZPass only.

Where is E-ZPass® accepted?

States that accept EZPass

E-ZPass® is accepted at toll facilities in the following 17 states:

How much does an E-ZPass® cost?

Some states like Ohio charge an activation and shipping & handling fee to get an E-ZPass transponder and require you to put down a refundable $10 deposit (please view your state's specific requirements using the links above). Note however that your credit card will be charged an initial amount of prepaid tolls from $20-$35 which will be replenished when the balance is drawn down below a certain amount. 

Do I get a discount for using an E-ZPass®?

EZPass Toll Calculator

That depends upon which state your E-ZPass was issued and which toll facility you are on. It varies from state-to-state as states like Maryland choose to provide discounts to their residents and so only apply discounts for E-ZPass transponders issued by the Maryland Transportation Authority.  In other instances, like the Lincoln and Holland tunnels into New York City discounts are applied to all E-ZPass holders, regardless of state of issue. 


This can be quite confusing as there really is no rhyme our reason, and given that there is no E-ZPass Toll Calculator that works across all of the states we've built all that logic into the Tollsmart application so you don't have to think about it! And this applies to all transponder discounts across the US such as SunPass in Florida, TxTag in Texas and FasTrak in California.

What is an E-ZPass® Flex?

An E-ZPass Flex is a version of an E-ZPass transponder that allows you to flip a switch to indicate that you have enough passengers in your vehicle to travel for free on certain Express Lanes within the E-ZPass region.   The E-ZPass Flex works just like a regular E-ZPass and is accepted in all toll facilities that accepts an standard E-ZPass transponder.  Express Lanes are often also referred to as HOT lanes as they have converted the HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lanes to allow vehicles that did not meet the carpool minimum passenger requirement to travel on them by paying a toll, thereby becoming High Occupancy Toll lanes. However to distinguish HOV from HOT vehicles a new type of transponder was required, and the E-ZPass Flex was born.

What is an E-ZPass® Plus?

An E-ZPass Plus allows you to use your E-ZPass to pay for parking, mostly at certain airport garages in New York and New Jersey. E-ZPass Plus is currently accepted in the following locations: 

  • Albany International Airport
  • JFK International Airport
  • LaGuardia International Airport
  • Newark Liberty International Airport
  • Atlantic City International Airport
  • Atlantic City's New York Avenue Parking Garage

What is Driven by E-ZPass®?

Driven by E-ZPass is a pilot program to make payments at gas stations and other retail outlets using your E-ZPass transponder.  The pilot is currently being run by PayByCar at four Mobile service stations in Massachusetts, and soon will be expanding to retail outlets in Raleigh, NC. Learn more here.