Earlier this week I wrote why I still avoid using E-ZPass when driving in Florida despite it now being accepted statewide. Luckily, Sunpass makes it very easy to temporarily register the plates from any major rental car agency for the duration of your rental.
Commenter william noted that he was using his Sunpass in Ohio in order to avoid the monthly fee for the Ohio E-ZPass, until he realized that he was getting charged a significantly higher rate for tolls.
Ohio doesn’t offer Ohio E-ZPass holders any discounts over other state’s E-ZPass holders, so there’s no good reason to pay the state a monthly E-ZPass fee.
For a long time I used a Massachusetts E-ZPass, which can be ordered online and has no monthly fees.
However the most common place I was paying tolls was in NYC, and bridges and tunnels rates are only discounted with an NY E-ZPass.
For example the Verrazzano Bridge toll (I miss the United Verrazzano hack from the DD Seminar days!) or the Queens-Midtown Tunnel toll is $6.55 with an NY E-ZPass, versus $10.17 with an out of state E-ZPass. The NY Thruway is also only discounted if you have an NY E-ZPass.
I ordered an NY E-ZPass online, but they sent me one issued by the PANJNY, which has a $1 monthly fee, so I closed that account.
While some people on DDF with a Brooklyn address were able to order an NY E-ZPass online and get an MTA version with no fees, others got the PANJNY version with monthly fees.
Instead, on one of my NYC trips I just picked up an NY EZPass at a retail location. These are guaranteed to be issued by the MTA and won’t have any monthly fees. The cost was $30, which included $30 in prepaid tolls loaded onto the E-ZPass.
Once I set up that account I was able to add additional transponders shipped to me in Ohio for free and those were issued by the MTA with no fees.
There are also various commuter and resident discount plans, though I haven’t signed up for any of those.
I’m sure other states have their own discount plans for in-state use only, which E-ZPass do you find most advantageous to use and what discounts do you take advantage of?
Do you have multiple E-ZPass accounts from different states that you use based on where the toll is?
Leave a Reply
104 Comments On "What’s The Best E-ZPass To Have?"
All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.
Are you sure that the MTA tag was preloaded with $30?
I believe it was loaded with $20, because they do have a $10 deposit fee which you “get back” when you return the tag
Um, I think so?
Thats only if you have autorefill off.
Commenter william was getting charged more since it wasn’t Ohio, or since it was sunpass?
Not very clear, although the next line makes it sounds like it was because it was sunpass.
As a Cleveland, Ohio resident I can attest that there is no discount whatsoever for using an Ohio E-ZPass in Ohio- you pay the same toll no matter what state your E-ZPass is from. So I am inferring that William must have paid more because he used s SunPass not an E-ZPass.
This also makes me wonder if the reverse is true? That even though E-ZPass is now accepted in Florida, you might be paying significantly more for using it over a SunPass. Which means they’re not fully equivalent yet- even in places that don’t distinguish between different states’ E-ZPasses, SunPass is still treated differently.
I checked my EZPass NY and Sunpass accounts. The FL tolls are the same on both.
NY definitely the best option
Adding a discount plan results in getting a PANJNY tag, You need to order without choosing any discount plan and after the tag arrives you can add the discount plans.
Might that depend of which discount you have? States Island vs Rockaways?
As a resident of NJ I also find the NY-MTA version to be the best. The NJ one (costs $1 a month I think) saves us a few cents on NJ tolls, but the occasional trip into Brooklyn will offset it by a large amount.
I just want to point out that you are able to have multiple Ezpasses from different states. So if I would drive a lot in NJ to justify the monthly fee, I would simply have both and keep one in the lead bag. NJ and NY both get the discount on Port Authority bridges and tunnels but the way.
Do you actually remember to switch in middle of your drive?
I don’t actually have both because I wouldn’t use the NJ enough. If I drove more on the Turnpike, I would get both. I would probably remember to switch them because I am very scrimpy person lol.
I have a MD and a NY. Probably going to cancel my NY since I don’t have any more periodic trips to NY.
Can you make a new post (or at least a new tweet) with the results once you get responses?
why not get the mini or pro Sunpass transponder in case you use the minor car rental agencies?
I have the mini, but I never rent from those places. Con artists IMHO.
If you rent with any frequency, it’s better to get a North Carolina transponder and put it on a portable mount from JL Safety and take it with you. No need to pay $5/day for a toll pass.
“While some people on DDF with a Brooklyn address were able to order an NY E-ZPass online and get an MTA version with no fees, others got the PANJNY version with monthly fees.”
When you sign up just leave out any of the discount plans and the MTA will Issue it (NY Address Required too) – IF you place a plan on the account during signup you will get a pass from the PANYNJ. You can make all the changes you want once the account is opened.
Have the same NY MTA and agree.
I live in NJ but still keep my NY ezpass because no monthly fee. Most tolls I use are in NY, but I don’t get the NJ discounts. FYI – there is an NY discount for EV’s which you can add. There used to be a carpool GWB discount that’s been deprecated.
Is this the EV discount plan you’re referring to?
Need to send in via snail mail?!? What century are we in?
Will they accept OH registration?
Will it work if I use the transponder in a non-EV rental car?
Yes. Snail mail.
No idea if they’ll accept OH registration.
It will work in other cars but it’s against their terms of service (and they might revoke your tag). It’s a green tag.
I was able to request it via the website. Took a couple of pushes but it went through. That said, even though the tag is labeled with both NY GREEN and PA GREEN plans and it is a physically green tag, I have to email them nearly every time to apply the discount, as it goes through the toll as STANDARD.
Thanks, I sent a request online.
“We are unable to process your request to add the “Green Pass” discount plan to your E-Z Pass account.
Your E-Z Pass account is with a toll authority that does not currently offer the “Green Pass” discount plan.
To obtain this plan, you must either open a second E-Z Pass account with the New York State Thruway or the Port Authority of NY and NJ (or) Close your current account and re-open an E-Z Pass account with either of the two mentioned authorities.”
In order to get the EV discount I had to sign up through the NY Thruway Authority. They charge $1 monthly fee. The EV discount is only $.50 going over the MCB so I need to use it at least twice a month to break even.
Seems like you should be able to signup for a new MTA EZPass account without the monthly fee and then add the EV discount afterward?
The EV discount is only available through the NY Thruway Authority.
what happens if you have a NY mta account – you cant sign up?
Are you sure it wont work with an mta account?
I think he means the Tap
Do you need a NY address to pick up at a retail location?
No. I used my OH license and address.
I have both NY and NJ EZpasses. I got the NY when I lived in NYC and never gave it up. Got the NJ when I moved to Jersey.
BOTH give the same discount for the NY-NJ crossings (GW Bridge, Lincoln Tunnel, Holland Tunnel, Goethels), but only the NY one gives discounts for inner-city crossings (Battery Tunnel, RFK/Triborough Bridge) and only the NJ one gives discounts for the Garden State Parkway and NJ Turnpike. These discounts are substantial.
So I switch off between them, leaving the unused one in my glove compartment, wrapped tightly in the special FOIL BAG to prevent double-billing.
The NJ EZpass does charge $1 a month (classic New Jersey!), but I usually make it up travelling as I do back and forth to Lakewood with some frequency.
Seems like a good strategy to me.
Is there no way to get an NJ EZPass without a fee like you can for NY?
There is no way to get an NJ ezpass for free. That’s because NJ Ezpass charges the fee themselves. In NY, EZpass NY does not charge anything. It’s the PANYNJ that charges.
Both NY and NJ ezpass have same rates on GSP. It’s only on the turnpike where it’s different and I think it’s only off peak
On peak you save like .05 for ez-pass on NJ TPKE
What was the United Verrazano hack?
I was curious on this as well
Live in MD but have a NY one. Instead of charging $100-150 per refill, it deducts toll cost as you go
Actually, it does precharge, it just adjusts the precharge amount based on how much you use it.
If you pass three or more times a month any Bridge from NJ to Staten Island you can sign up for the PASI plan it’s free and you get about 50% off
It’s not 50% off. It’s if you take the bridge over 3 times a month then each time is a discounted rate (about $6 now). But you must take it more Three 3 times
Which bridges are we taking about? And what’s the original EZPass price and the price with the discount?
So if you go twice one month, you’ll actually save money by going over the bridge a 3rd time that month?? Classic Gov’t lol!
This is by far the best discount available but I believe only works on the NY EZ-Pass, not on NJ. If you, together with the additional cars on you plan take the Outer-bridge Crossing, Goethals or Bayonne Bridge 3+ times a month its a no-brainer to have a NY EZpass.
I stand corrected. The PASI plan IS available to NJ EZ-Pass holders as well. Its not available to Business NJ EZ-Pass holders.
I just added this to my NY Ezpass account. TY!
Port Authority Staten Island Bridges Plan: Available All Hours
The Port Authority NY/NJ Staten Island Bridges Plan (PASI) offers a 57% discount off the cash toll rate. The plan is available to vehicles with non-commercial plates and private E-ZPass accounts at E-ZPass New York or New Jersey. Enrollment is required. The Plan toll rate is $7.38 per trip (plus $11.50 for each additional axle beyond two axles) at the Bayonne Bridge, Goethals Bridge, or Outerbridge Crossing, provided at least three Staten Island-bound trips are made in a single calendar month that are not otherwise discounted by the Green Pass Plan. If three trips are not taken, the customer pays the prevailing E-ZPass (peak or off-peak) rate. All E-ZPass tags on the account apply to the three trip minimum requirement. Plan Code: (PASI)
I live in Ohio and have the PA e-z pass. No monthly fee and save up to 60% off PA tolls.
Just checked my PA toll on the NY transponder. Seems the same as with a PA transponder, so that 60% discount is offered to any EZPass, not just a PA EZPass.
Doesn’t seem like there’s any advantages to OH or PA EZPasses over NY.
I live in New Jersey and I have both New York and New Jersey EZ Passes because you don’t get the discounted tolls on the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway unless you have a New Jersey EZ Pass and you don’t get the discounted tolls on the New York City bridges and tunnel unless you have a New York EZ Pass. Also, if you have an electric car you only get the green pass discounts in either New York or New Jersey by using an EZ Pass from that state, so you need a green pass in each state. Both state’s EZ Passes get you the EV discount on the Hudson River bridges and tunnels between the two states. What’s even more unfair is that if you have an EV and a New York EZ Pass you still need a New York “clean pass” sticker to use the HOV lane on the Long Island Expressway, but they will not give that sticker to cars not registered in New York State, so Jersey EV drivers, or EV drivers from anywhere outside of New York can’t use the HOV lane on the LIE. In New Jersey, all EVs can use the HOV lane on the Turnpike without any special stickers. So, if you live in New Jersey and travel to New York or vice versa, you should get both state’s EZ Passes.
How much do you save on the GSP and NJ Turnpike with a NJ EZ-Pass over a NY?
You don’t save on GSP with NJ vs NY ez-pass
Only if you travel enough on NJ turnpike offpeak where you would make up the $12 fee per year.
The off-peak toll from Exit 18 (Teaneck) to Exit 9 (Highland Park) is $8.16 with the regular EZ Pass and $7.35 with the Green Pass. So round trip is $16.32 with a regular EZ Pass and $14.70 with Green Pass. The off-peak rates seem to only apply to a New Jersey EZ Pass, so if you have a New York EZ Pass it would be the peak rate at any time of day, which is $10.88 each way, or $21.76 round trip. That’s a pretty big difference of over $7 round trip.
Why doesn’t the PANYNJ get both the NJ and NY discounts? For some people the $1 monthly fee is worth it for NJ toll discounts but it’s annoying that you don’t NY MTA bridges and tunnels discounts!
does the NY ez pass work in IL. I have an upcoming trip there. Thanks
I have a NJ ezpass without any monthly fees.
How did you get that?
Can someone please spell out the discounts offer by NJ (GSP, Turnpike) and NY (Battery tunnel, etc0? Will make it easier to make a decision, Thank you
For those who use MTA facilities, a NY EZPass makes the most sense. The discounts for NY users are very substantial. The NJ discounts are just too small to worry about.
What’s the best EZ Pass to use with a rental car in NY/NJ? Will Sunpass work in NY & NJ?
No doubt that New York is the best option- because you can get them for no monthly fee (as long as they are issued by MTA or the New York State Thruway Authority), AND it gets you the New York in-state discount, which as Dan pointed out are significant, especially in NYC. It should be pointed out that ANY New York-state E-ZPass, regardless of agency, qualifies for the in-state discount anywhere in the state; the agencies only differ with regards to the monthly fee, not the discount. So the Thruway E-ZPass still gets the full discount at the NYC bridges and tunnels, including the ones that cross into NJ.
It’s true that when you order online, you get the PANYNJ one which has the fee unfortunately as Dan mentioned. For those not near the city regularly, another option is to pick one up at a retail location near the Thruway- those will have to be issued by the NYSTA and will have no monthly fee.
I travel about 4 times a day on the gsp going back and forth from passaic to monsey. Are there any discounts for North GSP? I only saw on option for south going to AC. Or am I stuck with getting the standard plan nj ezpass? What is my best option?
Here are some examples using popular routes for our communities. There are some significant differences between NJ and NY EZ Passes.
EZ PASS TOLL RATES BRIDGES AND TUNNELS FROM NEW JERSEY TO NEW YORK
NY and NJ Off-Peak $12.75
NY and NJ Peak $14.75
NY and NJ EV Off-Peak $9.25
NY and NJ EV Peak $14.75
EZ PASS TOLL RATES NYC BRIDGES AND TUNNELS
No peak/off-peak or EV discounts
EZ PASS TOLL RATES NY THRUWAY FROM NJ LINE TO HARRIMAN (CATSKILLS)
NY EV $1.07
EZ PASS TOLL RATES NJ TURNPIKE EXIT 18 (TEANECK) TO EXIT 9 (HIGHLAND PARK)
NJ Off-Peak $8.16
NJ Peak $10.88
NJ EV Off-Peak $7.35
NJ EV Peak $10.88
EZ PASS TOLL RATES GARDEN STATE PARKWAY LAKEWOOD TO MONSEY
NJ EV Off-Peak $6.09
NJ EV Peak $6.76
EZ PASS TOLL RATES MARIO CUOMO BRIDGE (ROCKLAND TO WESTCHESTER)
NY EV $5.18
It’s either the Tappan Zee Bridge (correct name), or the Mario M. Coumo Bridge (incorrect name). Coumo didn’t waste millions of taxpayer dollars – twice! – to rename the bridge just to have people use the wrong name!
(They messed up on the signs the first time – they forgot the M. – and Coumo made them spend a few hundred thousand/million dollars scrapping them and having new ones made. The funniest part? NJ still has it listed on its signs as the Tappan Zee Bridge.)
Some experiences with my NY E-ZPass:
-It’s free, something I took for granted until I read this post.
-I really used the “carpool” option on the GWB a lot. IIRC it lowered the price from $12ish to some $5 and change. That brought me significant savings.
-While I’m not sure if this can still be done today, my tag is not registered on any specific license plate. It took a couple HUCAs, but in the end I got an agent to understand that I don’t (at that time) own a car, and that I would be using it on rentals with a different plate number each time. While I got my tag some fifteen years ago, if it still works today, it should help out-of-state people get a NY tag.
-My account is set up so that it refills with $25 every time my balance goes below $10. However, when I travel a lot within a short period, it’ll start refilling with $50. After it sees that my traveling slows down, the replenishment amount goes back down to $25. I’m not sure what the exact criteria and algorithms are, but it’s excellent.
-It works great for paying parking at airports, so no need to worry about credit cards, or entrance time-stamped cards etc.
-An interesting anecdote, I once got a huge charge on my E-ZPass statement which I couldn’t make sense of. Turns out, I was sitting on a bus and had the tag in my pocket. Apparently the sensors picked the vehicle size and my tag at the same time. A phone call straightened everything out. So if you have more than one tag in your car, MAKE SURE TO WRAP THE UNUSED TAG WELL in provided casing so you don’t get double charged.
Regarding no vehicle registered: no need to call in. Can do it on the website easily. Also if you don’t have a vehicle but still want to order a tag, just make up a plate number, and once the account is created you can remove it (I personally did it without any issues).
@dan for those living inn the Midwest and use the PA turnpike, theres some significant discounts for using the PA EZpass.
Are there? That’s interesting because I have a PA Ez Pass and the PA Turnpike is the same price as EZ Pass responders from other states.
Nope, they charge the same for any state’s EZpass. The savings they offer is versus not having an EZpass.
Is there any way to get the free ny ezpass shipped to nj?
The next time you go to Monsey, buy the tag in the EZ Pass Office.
Where is it located?
EZ Drive, AAA offices, County Clerk, DMV, Sloatsburg Service Area (past exit 15), etc.
Just make sure it is not a PANYNJ tag. (It should be a Thruway tag.)
In addition to the rest of the NY discounts, as a Staten Island resident I pay about half (of regular NY) on the Verrazano.
This ONLY works if ALL of the tags on the account are associated with license plates that are registered in SI.
Do any of the readers just read the license and charge an ezpass connected to that account?
I thought they did, so is that a problem to have two passes for one car?
I think that’s just the backup method if no EZPass signal is present.
So there’s no issue of having multiple accounts charged at once in case the tag doesn’t go through and the plate is read instead?
Correct, but you do need to make sure to have one in a sleeve if you have 2 in your car.
They all do – even at high speed (75 MPH or so). Which makes you wonder what the point of the transponders are other than a cash grab. (See, e.g., the MTA “Mid-Tier” rates for its bridges and tunnels.)
I have the paynynj ezpass. How would I switch to the free NY one? Do I need to cancel my account and open a new one, or is there a simple way to just switch the tag on my account?
Cancel and get a new one.
Isn’t it through the same provider (NY) though?
Yes, read the post?
Yup, I don’t see anything regarding if I need to create a new ezpass account, or if I can just get a new tag, cancel the old one, and use the new one on my existing ezpass account
Actually you should get a new one and then cancel
Years ago I got I-Pass. Illinois. Not a resident but no monthly fee. Still using that account.
First of all: In order to get DC-area discounts when using the express lanes (significant if you go south of DC!), you apparently need to have a VA tag with the switch in it (EZPass Flex). I did not know that on my last trip to DC, and it cost me something like $100 more in tolls when I went down to the Richmond area.
A sort-of hack for NY drivers: If you register your plate to your account, the various toll plazas can actually pick up your car based on the plate even without a tag in the car. Here’s the benefit: When going from Monsey to Brooklyn via SI, the Turnpike doesn’t know how to properly pick up the tag/plate, so instead of charging me the NY rate of $6.85 (each way), on the way to Brooklyn it charges the off-peak rate of $5.14, and on the way back it charges me $3.15. (I have no idea what rate this is, I can’t recreate it. It’s my own private discounted rate that’s even cheaper than the Green rate of $4.63!)
The Goethals still picks up as a NY tag (so 3x per month = 57% off), but the Verrazzano (two “zz”s, corrected 2018) picks it up as an improperly placed/unreadable NY tag (which is the “mid-tier” rate), so instead of $6.55 it’s $8.36.
I haven’t tried it all the way down to see what happens, but if it follows through for the rest of the Turnpike that is a nice discount.
The DC area Express Lanes are not discounted. You can either drive them for free with 2+ or 3+ people with the switch, or pay full price with fewer people.
Many, many years ago, I ordered e-z pass tags from the Peace Bridge (between New York and Ontario). IIRC, that was the only authority at the time which delivered tags out of state and didn’t charge a fee. My account was originally serviced by the Peace Bridge directly, but eventually they merged into the general New York e-z pass system.
I still use my original tags with the Peace Bridge logo (maybe a collector’s item!). They must be at least 15 years old, and I’m always surprised that they still work.
When canceling do they give you a label to ship back?
No I think you have to mail them back
I live in Fl. and NJ and travel from NJ to/from NY often. Given discounts only available to state issued EZ-Passes, I have a Sunpass, and both a NY and NJ EzPass. Based on using both the NJ turnpike and the Verrazzano bridge, makes that cost effective. I think only NJ charges a monthly fee.
You have to be careful to insure only one Ezpass is used.
The best is the North Carolina QuickPass because it can be used in all the EZPass states plus Florida and Georgia. If you get the HOV switch version, it can also be used on the Virginia Express Lanes.
Just wanted to add a side note. If you park at Newark Airport and are using a handicap tag to get the discount (of course when traveling with someone who is handicapped!) be careful NOT TO USE THE EZ PASS!! Instead get a ticket when you enter and when you leave use an agent. You will not get the discount if it’s done with the EZ pass. I learned the hard way and lost over $120!!
Tangential question here. I recently sold my car. Should I hold onto my NY EZ-Pass in case i need it in the future if I get a new car or get a rental? Or should I turn it in to get my balance back?
Reading this post is making me thing, since other EZ-Passes have monthly fees, maybe the NY will at some point in the future, maybe existing holders will get grandfathered in, maybe I should hold onto it…
All depends on what your balance is.
Living in Baltimore, the Maryland bridges are discounted with a MD E-ZPass. I have that one and still have my NY E-ZPass for my trips there.
And yes, I will switch them during a drive.