The State of Illinois has gone to great lengths to make sure consumers have as easy time as possible making appropriate payments for using toll roads. Those who fail to make payments as required are subject to receipt of a Notice of Toll Violation and certain penalties and fines. Believe us when we say drivers should not ignore tollway violations. Doing so could end up creating serious negative consequences.
Under the current law, drivers receive Notices of Toll Violation after accumulating three or more violations within a two-year period. That two-year window is a rolling window, meaning a minimum of three violations within any 24-month period qualifies for receipt of a notice. Penalties are assessed as follows:
- First Notice – The violator faces a $20 fine per violation and must pay all original toll charges at their cash value. The violator has 30 days to make payment or request a hearing to dispute the violations.
- Second Notice – The violator faces an additional $50 fine per violation if the fines and original toll charges included in the first notice are not paid within 30 days. Receiving a second notice automatically disqualifies a driver from requesting a hearing.
- Third Notice – Receipt of a third notice subjects the violator to additional $50 fine per violation and warnings of further fines and penalties. Continuing to ignore a third Notice can result in suspension of both driver’s license and registration, referral to a collection agency, and a negative report being sent to credit bureaus.
In light of the penalties associated with tollway violations, it is simply unwise to ignore said violations. It is far better to pay what you owe and be done with it. If there are extenuating circumstances that may influence your ability to pay, it is best to consult legal counsel to determine how to proceed.
Avoiding Tollway Violations Altogether
The best way to avoid having to deal with Notices of Toll Violations is to avoid those violations to begin with. That said, the state of Illinois knows things happen. You may leave home with every intention of paying the necessary tolls by way of cash, only to discover upon reaching the toll plaza that you left your cash at home. That’s fine. Keep driving to your destination and take care of the tolls later.
The state allows a seven-day grace period to pay unpaid tolls without recording an official violation. You can pay by mail though the best way to make sure your payment is recorded within the grace period is to do so online. You will need to know the date and location of the toll plaza in order to make your payments, so record that information if you reach a plaza and find out you are unable to pay.
I-PASS holders may be found in violation if the state is not able to successfully bill their accounts for accrued tolls. This may be due to an expired credit card, a transponder not being in a corresponding vehicle, or account information simply being out of date. Any such violations need to be paid within the 30-day window in order to resolve a violation notice. Furthermore, tolls in such cases are assessed at their cash value.
If you find yourself in trouble with the Illinois Tollway system due to unpaid tolls, consider resolving the issue as quickly as possible. You may need legal counsel in the event your license has been suspended, or you face further action by the state.