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EZ-Pass question

ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 4184 replies92 threads Senior Member
I am going on a little road trip to catch a couple of basketball games next month from Newark thru different points to Boston and will be driving via rental car (got a super cheap rate via Priceline, $25 a day thru Hertz) as opposed to using Acela and the like. Staying at my older kid’s house in Connecticut. I bit the bullet and ordered an EZ Pass from Massachusetts.

A simple question - do I just mount it on the winshield and go? Or do I need to do something in each state? For example, with my silly Fastrak device in California, if I rented a rental car, I would need to log in and add the license plate and state info each time - a pain doing it from a phone since there is no mobile app to do this. I ask this because it seems as if each state that uses EZ-Pass has their own rules.

Also, are there different types of EZ-passes transponders? I ordered it online and didn’t get an email receipt via email, though I see the charge on my credit card.
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Replies to: EZ-Pass question

  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn 39941 replies2197 threads Super Moderator
    Just mount it and go! As long as it's EZ Pass, it's the same in all states. I use it all over the northeast. :) I don't know if there are different types. I have mine set to refill automatically on my credit card and I get statements in the mail every month.
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  • twokids2gotwokids2go 77 replies5 threads Junior Member
    I think the rules with EZ Pass and whether you have to log in the new license differs by the state in which it was purchased. I bought my EZ Pass in North Carolina before a trip to the northeast and realized just prior to the trip that I could not use the pass with a rental car as NC requires that their passes be specifically identified with a single car. I had to use the one from the rental car agency. However, I think Virginia allows you to change the license plate attached to the EZ online. Luckily, the rental agency didn't overcharge me too badly for it. Best of luck to you!
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  • mominvamominva 3094 replies36 threads Senior Member
    There are different types. There are regular and flex. Regular passes charge the toll when you go through. Flex passes have you switch from regular to flex if you are a high occupancy vehicle (HOV) incurring no or reduced tolls when commuting. Although my passes are registered to specific vehicles, they are portable and we have used them without problems when riding in other cars.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 80128 replies720 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    For example, with my silly Fastrak device in California, if I rented a rental car, I would need to log in and add the license plate and state info each time - a pain doing it from a phone since there is no mobile app to do this.

    The license plate thing is so that if you go through a toll detector that does not detect your toll transponder and photographs your license plate, they will bill a toll to your account instead of sending you a citation.

    In a rental car, if your toll transponder is not detected and the license plate is not listed, the citation will be sent to the rental car company, which will bill you and add additional fees.

    So it is in your interest to list the license plate even if not required. Of course, delist the license plate when returning the rental car.
    edited December 2019
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 1855 replies31 threads Senior Member
    Yes, I’ve moved transponders between cars without registering license plates and it worked fine. I’ve also had a transponder go bad, so having my license number on file helped - flat rate charge instead of a citation/fine.

    That was after about 10 years of usage - the battery died. The odds of your transponder failing are very low. If you can, try it once and see that it’s working, then don’t worry about rental cars. (Or add it just to be safe - not that hard).

    Side note - in PA it’s a flat rate toll if you’re registered but the transponder isn’t working. The one that failed for us was on my D’s car, who uses it when she’s home from school - no toll roads - and the one we pack up for trips to the in-laws, which is 3 hrs on the PA turnpike. So we saved $15 every time we used it. I took my time replacing it once I found the issue. Which was nearly 2 years later - they don’t tell you when you get a flat rate charge. I imagine that if you commuted one exit every day it could get quite expensive.
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  • thumper1thumper1 76455 replies3379 threads Senior Member
    1. I would not use my little Velcro mounting things in a rental car. You know....you can just hold the thing up when you need to.

    2. I would add the license plate number from the rental car to your easy pass account. This is easily done online. You can and should remove it when you return the rental car.

    3. Once this rental car license plate is on your account, you should be able to use it everywhere you drive that accepts EZ Pass. Just be alert...some places don’t.
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  • abasketabasket 20176 replies891 threads Senior Member
    Ours is a few years old (purchased in Ohio) - we have a few different cars attached to it so we never mounted it - didn't want that velcro stuff on our window - and since we are passing it between cars/drivers. We just hold it up to the window as we drive under the detector! (if there is a passenger, that becomes their job). :)
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  • snowballsnowball 2760 replies245 threads Senior Member
    What if the rental car has an EZ Pass; attached, would you be charged twice for the toll? When my husband was in Austin, he used a toll road in the rental car, and I believe the charge was around $10. I am not even sure he knew he was on a toll road, nor that the care has a EZ Pass on it! :neutral:
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  • thumper1thumper1 76455 replies3379 threads Senior Member
    @snowball if you want EZ Pass activated by the rental car company, you have to ask for that extra little service when you rent the car....otherwise that EZ Pass won’t be available for your use.
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  • snowballsnowball 2760 replies245 threads Senior Member
    I realized that after I typed my reply. Who know if my husband agreed to it or not as he just signed things without paying attention :-( That could be a whole different post!
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  • MaryBarbara58MaryBarbara58 155 replies3 threads Junior Member
    We have a few transponders, and they're connected with my credit card. Recently I noticed that it had automatically reloaded $50.00 on a Friday and then again on Sunday. Upon investigation, it appeared that my son had TWO of the transponders in his car, and was double charged for his trip from CT to MD (and back again)! Luckily they were good about removing the double charge.
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  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 4184 replies92 threads Senior Member
    Does the EZ Pass need to have a line of sight to the overhead transponder on the road? With the California Fastrak, I can leave the thingy in the glove compartment and it still works fine.
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  • deb922deb922 5865 replies196 threads Senior Member
    I got my ez pass in Ohio. I can go online and change the license plate that has the ez pass in it. I just tried and I can log on to my account from my phone, so you could put in the license plate of the rental.

    They do charge you a fee per month.

    I don’t use mine but a couple of times a year but once the ticket didn’t come out and I nearly got very stuck on the PA turnpike. It’s a long story but I decided it was worth the monthly charge for me to not have that happen again.
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  • surfcitysurfcity 2600 replies60 threads Senior Member
    @ProfessorPlum168 I don't think it needs a line of sight. One time I was driving and dropped mine (didn't have it attached) and I could not find it on the floor. I kept driving figuring I'd get a bill in the mail and have to straighten it out later. When I got home I checked my account and the EZpass had paid the toll even though the transponder was under my seat with assorted other junk.

    They give you a metallic envelope to put it in if you don't want to use it, so you don't get charged (Like MaryBarbara's S above)
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  • anomanderanomander 1746 replies4 threads Senior Member
    When I’ve rented with Hertz and National, their toll card (don’t know if it was EZ pass or what) was in a little box mounted to the windshield. If you wanted to use it, you slid the cover of the box open so it would work. Otherwise if you left it closed it wouldn’t work.
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  • thumper1thumper1 76455 replies3379 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    They do charge you a fee per month.

    @deb922 who charges you a monthly fee? We have no monthly fee for our EZ Pass accounts. We had to frontload with a certain $$ amount when we got them. They automatically reload (charged to our credit card) when our balance is low.

    But no monthly fee.

    There is a maximum number of cars you can have on an account IIRC. One time, we had to take one car off when one of our kids used ours for a cross country trip in his car. We deleted one of our cars, and added his...just for the duration of the trip.
    edited December 2019
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  • abasketabasket 20176 replies891 threads Senior Member
    No monthly charge for ours either! - in Ohio! I have it set up for adding $25 to it when it gets below a certain balance - that's the only charge I ever see.
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  • 4kids4us4kids4us 801 replies4 threads Member
    @thumper1 i think whether there is a monthly fee depends on what state you have an account with. MD used to charge a minimal monthly fee but eventually changed it such that MD residents no longer pay a fee, nor do out of state residents with MD accounts, as long as they use the transponder within MD a certain number of times every month.

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  • deb922deb922 5865 replies196 threads Senior Member
    Q: What is the cost to obtain an E-ZPass transponder?
    A: Transponder pricing varies by toll agency. While some charge an upfront fee, the Ohio Turnpike leases transponders to Ohio E-ZPass customers for $ .75 per month. NOTE: Starting with trips taken in January 2014, the $ .75 per month maintenance fee will be waived for all Ohio Turnpike E-ZPass transponders that are used for 30 single or 15 round trips in Ohio in the previous month.

    A minimum balance of $25.00 per transponder is required to establish your account, and a credit card is required to maintain the account. Toll fares will be deducted from your account when the transponder is read at an interchange. When the balance on the E-ZPass account reaches or falls below $10.00 per transponder, the customer’s credit card on file will be charged to replenish the E-ZPass balance for future use. A one-time, $3.00 charge is applied when the customer's transponder is activated. *International shipping rate will apply

    From the Ohio EZ Pass website. They charge me .75 per month
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  • deb922deb922 5865 replies196 threads Senior Member
    I went back and scoured my account and I do not see that I have been charged .75 per month. But I definitely have been charged in the past and still thought that was the case via the FAQ
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