How to Pay Toll in Massachusetts – E-Pass MA, Pay by Plate, Mass Turnpike Toll and More

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Toll in Massachusetts can be paid with toll tags: E-ZPass MA and other toll tags of E-ZPass network. Another popular pass here is NationalPass. You can also pay tolls via Pay-By-Plate. However, there are no cash toll plazas in Massachusetts.

Toll payment options for visitors in Massachusetts

If you are visiting Massachusetts and plan to drive, it is likely that you will have to pay tolls. As all the toll facilities in Massachusetts are All Electronic Tolling, you would not be able to pay tolls with cash there. One option would be to pay tolls later using Pay By Plate MA Invoice. But if you wish to avoid receiving invoice, you have three options:

1. E-ZPass MA: Though different states have their own E-ZPass, E-ZPass tag transponders purchased from any one state is accepted across following states. Therefore, if you already have a E-ZPass from any of these states, you are good to go.

DelawareMaineNew JerseyPennsylvania
IllinoisMarylandNew YorkRhode Island
IndianaMassachusettsNorth CarolinaVirginia
KentuckyNew HampshireOhioWest Virginia

But if do not have E-ZPass tag from other state, you would need to apply for E-ZPass MA. To get a regular E-ZPass transponder, USA registered vehicle license plate number is required. Here is the link to register for E-ZPass MA[1]. Tourists, who rent a car, have just the option to use rental car’s license plate if the rental agency allows. Therefore, you need to first check with your car rental agency if they release their rental car’s license plate to renter’s for getting E-ZPass. In simple words, you need to check if they will let you use the rental car’s license plate for registering for E-ZPass. If yes, then you would need to register for E-ZPass MA in advance to your trip and get the tag transponder delivered to your address. Here is the link to register for E-ZPass[2].

2. On The Go (OTG) transponder: If you live in Massachusetts and need a transponder immediately or plan to travel to Massachusetts, or have rented a car, OTG transponder can be a good option. OTG transponder can be picked from the retailer locations in Massachusetts Only. To get transponder in person, you can either visit EZDriveMA Customer Service Centers[3] or it’s partner locations[4].The transponder is not registered to you until you either open an E-ZPass MA account or register the transponder to an existing E-ZPass MA account. Until OTG transponder is registered to an E-ZPass MA account, certain restrictions and limitations apply. Please note that following are important factors to consider before you plan to buy OTG Transponder:

  • The transponder is for use only on two-axle, four tire vehicles with passenger plates – commercial vehicles are not allowed to use OTG transponders.
  • The OTG transponder is only valid on Massachusetts toll roads. To use it in other states, you would need to register it to an E-ZPass MA account. if not registered to an account, use of the transponder in another state could result in you receiving violations.
  • If for any reason the OTG transponder does not read correctly in Massachusetts toll lanes, a picture of your license plate will be captured and you will be mailed a Pay By Plate invoice.
  • If you open a Private Individual E-ZPass MA account at one of their Partner locations you must: i) Wait 30 minutes to use your transponder in Massachusetts & ii) Wait 3 more business days before your transponder will be accepted out of state on E- ZPass toll roads.

3. PlatePass: PlatePass® is an electronic toll payment system that enables vehicle renters to use high-speed electronic toll collection lanes and bypass backups at cash lanes or pay tolls at booth where cash is not accepted. The PlatePass service enables you to avoid costly toll violation fines otherwise incurred if high-speed toll lanes are used without toll tag. Here are more details on using PlatePass® while traveling to northeast states[5]. You will be charged the cash or pay-by-mail toll rate, whichever is higher, as published by the toll authority, plus a service fee per rental day to a weekly or monthly maximum. Therefore, though this is hassle-free option, it might turn out to be as costly or costlier than getting an E-ZPass® On-the-Go or opting for car rental agency’s daily flat fee.

4. NationalPass: NationalPass[6] is a toll interoperability solution with seamless access to U.S. toll roads without managing multiple transponders or toll accounts. Travelers are considered local customers of all toll roads that accept NationalPass providing the lowest available toll rate. As of July 2016, NationalPass works the following states:

MaineMarylandNew HampshireNew JerseyNorth CarolinaNew YorkOhio
OklahomaPennsylvania Rhode IslandTexasVirginiaWest Virginia
NationalPass is expanding its coverage to eventually provide single transponder access to all public toll roads and bridges across North America.

Therefore, depending on wheather you own a registered license plate or not, where do you plan to start your travel and how often you plan to use toll roads during your visit, you should choose toll payment option that suits you most.

Again, the toll charges vary depending on peak/off-peak hours. Peak-hours toll charges are more than off-peak hours. Therefore please plan to have enough balance in your E-ZPass tag when you travel. Also, E-ZPass is cheaper than cash on the locations where both are accepted. You might be able to recoup the E-ZPass costs by not paying in cash and save all the hassle later in trying to pay tolls and toll facilitation charges.

Calculate tolls for Massachusetts and other states in the US

Calculate routes, tolls and fuel costs for your travel by car, truck, taxi, bus, caravans (with or without a trailer) in Massachusetts and other states of the US using TollGuru Trip Calculator. It also shows the cheapest, fastest and other optimal routes to your destination along with toll plaza(s) location en route, payment methods and more.

Rideshare, OEM, TMS, fleet companies and other transport businesses can leverage toll intelligence by integrating with the TollGuru Toll API for pre-trip calculation and post-trip reconciliation.

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