This new structure is the result of a thorough review that incorporated a substantial amount of public feedback into the final product,” said MassDOT Highway Administrator Thomas J. Tinlin. “At the end of the day, our goal is to collect tolls, and we feel that this new structure is a way to ensure that continues without unduly burdening drivers with substantial fines.”
- A $1 dollar late fee will be added to every unpaid Pay-By-Plate toll after an invoice goes unpaid for 30 days;
- An additional $1 dollar will be added to each toll transaction after 60 days of non-payment, and another $1 dollar after 90 days;
- Most importantly, a new maximum cap on fines ensures that no unpaid Tobin Bridge toll transaction will be more than $6 dollars. A vehicle owner’s driver’s license and registration will be placed in a non-renew status until the toll balance and fines are paid. MassDOT notes that there is also an additional $20 fee to remove the hold on the renewal of both a driver’s license and vehicle registration.
MassDOT is also offering a 30-day amnesty for prior Tobin Bridge toll violations during the month of June
On July 21, 2014, MassDOT unveiled a new all-electric tolling system, eliminating the need to pay tolls in cash. Dubbed “Pay-By-Plate”, the system employs a dual technology that detects E-ZPass transponders, as well as vehicles without transponders by capturing a photo of non-EZ Pass vehicle’s license plate.
Once the image is captured an invoice is then sent to the address listed on a vehicle’s registration. Failure to pay an invoice for a toll incurred crossing the Tobin Bridge results in fines and reminder notices that are mailed on a monthly billing cycle. The fine structure employed, however, was modeled on a fee structure in place on the Turnpike since 2000 and which can quickly inflate the ultimate cost of unpaid toll violations on the Tobin Bridge. As a result, many Massachusetts drivers have incurred huge fees under the program.
While the use of the new All-Electronic Tolling technology has certainly proved its worth, piloting the system first on the Tobin Bridge taught us some valuable lessons. Too many of our customers were incurring hundreds or even thousands of dollars in late payment fines,” said MassDOT Secretary Pollack. “The goal of the program should be payment, not punishment. We can ensure that our customers pay their tolls with much smaller late payment fines that are fair, reasonable, and will not result in substantial charges to people who may have missed the notifications. And no one will ever incur more than $500 per year in late payment fees.”
In response, MassDOT is offering a free 30-day amnesty program during the month of June. Pay-By-Plate customers with outstanding balances have the opportunity this month “to start over” by paying only the outstanding tolls they have. All additional fines dating back to July 21, 2014 will be waived. The 30-day amnesty also includes the suspension of the $20 fee to remove the hold on a driver’s registration and license renewal.