If you are confused about the new rules for I-PASS, this might help you understand them better.

The Illinois Tollway is changing some of the rules for using I-PASS on their roads. There really seems to be some confusion for Illinois drivers. Hopefully, this will help you figure it out for when it happens.

From the dailyherald.com,

Will you need a transponder in your vehicle when driving on the tollway? The answer is yes. You will need one in your car while going through tolls to get charged the transponder fee. That is cheaper than paying cash on the road.

"The bottom line is "drivers who regularly use the tollway without a transponder mounted in the car they are driving run the risk of losing the 50 percent discount and paying the cash toll rate."

Can you share if you have more cars than transponders? For example, you don't use the tollway very often. You have two cars but only one transponder. That is fine as long as the car on the tollway has it properly mounted in the vehicle and the license plate number is registered to the I-PASS account.

"It's important to know that households with more cars than transponders can share them, as long as it is mounted in their car and the tollway wants all vehicles to be registered to that I-PASS account."

What about for motorcycles? Do they need to have a transponder mounted to it. Yes, you do. All vehicles must have one to get that rate.

"The transponder can be mounted on the inside of the windshield, on the handlebars, over the gauges, or on the gas tank." "The important thing to remember is that to receive the discounted I-PASS rate, your transponder must be properly mounted on your motorcycle, car or truck whenever you drive on the tollway."

Can family or visitors from out of today use your I-PASS? Yes, they can. Just remember it needs to be mounted properly in their car and their license plate number must be registered to the account.

"If you have family or visitors from out of town, they can use your I-PASS transponder to travel the tollway as long as it is mounted in their car and the license plate is on your I-PASS account."

Why is this change needed? The cost to match plate numbers to accounts has skyrocketed.

"When I-PASS customers cruise through toll plazas without transponders, it takes time for employees to match license plates with I-PASS accounts and charge the electronic rate."

More information is available at illinoistollway.com.

Does each transponder need its own account? No, they don't. You can have multiple sharing.

"With a shared balance account, multiple transponders are listed on one account drawing funds from a common balance. This means each transponder does not need to maintain a separate balance."

Can I just have the transponder anywhere in my car while driving on the tollway? No, it must be properly mounted or you're not guaranteed that it will work.

"Similar to a computer, transponders "time out" when not being used and must be "woken up/activated" before a transaction can be recorded. This activation happens approximately 300 feet before the toll collection equipment. If you wait until the last minute to find your transponder or hold it up to the windshield, the signal might not be read, which may result in a violation." 

Here's my advice. Have a separate transponder mounted in all of your vehicles and connect them to one account. That way you should be good each time you drive on the tollway. You never want to spend extra money when it's not necessary.

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