Mount your I-PASS transponder on the inside of your windshield using the removable mounting strips.*
*Additional mounting strips are available at Customer Service Centers and toll plazas. Some windshields require different transponder installation. Review transponder installation exceptions.
Transponders obtained at a Tollway Customer Service Center are already activated. Activation is required for transponders obtained at a Jewel-Osco or Road Ranger location. Activation instructions are included in the transponder box. Once activated, transponders are ready for use within 24 hours in Illinois and within 48 hours in other states that accept I-PASS.
- Activate online
- Activate by phone: 800-926-6500
- Weekdays: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- Weekends: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
You will need the following:
- Serial number and activation code from the sticker on the transponder
- License plate number and plate type for each vehicle using the I-PASS transponder
- Year, make, model and color of each vehicle using the I-PASS transponder
- Driver's license number of the I-PASS account holder
- Credit/debit card information to register for automatic balance replenishment (optional)
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.
The I-PASS transponder should be secured to your windshield using the removable mounting strips. The strips do not leave a residue on your windshield. Mounting strips are available at no cost at all Customer Service Centers and every manned toll plaza.
*The Indiana Toll Road Concession Company is also charging I-PASS customers $1.00 surcharge for improperly mounted transponders. The surcharge will be added to the standard toll charge on your account statement.
It is sometimes difficult for the lane equipment to "read" a transponder signal. For vehicles with vertical windshields, such as Jeeps, buses or trucks, it is recommended that the I-PASS transponders be mounted in the center of the windshield, about one to two inches from the bottom of the window.
Fewer than 1 percent of vehicles have windshields or systems that interfere with transactions using the windshield-mounted transponder. In this case, a license plate transponder (LPT) is required, which mounts on the license plate of your vehicle, and is available for the same price as a standard transponder. Check the list of vehicles we've identified that require LPTs. LPTs are available at any Tollway Customer Service Center and can be ordered through the Customer Call Center.
In general, windshields that contain metal in the glass (metal oxide) and mirrors with compass or temperature readings may prevent the I-PASS signal from being read properly. Also, windshields with the following glass features may interfere with the I-PASS signal and require alternative or exterior mounting: solar ray, solar tint, heated, heat reflected, insulated, Insta-Clear. If you are unsure if your vehicle has one of these listed features, contact your car dealership.
If you determine your windshield contains metal components, please request our I-PASS LPT.
Instructions for Mounting a License Plate Transponder (LPT):
- Identify the back of the LPT by finding the arrows next to the mounting holes.
- The LPT must be fastened to the front license plate using the plate's top mounting screws.
- Use your license plate screws and the knock-out holes in the LPT case to fasten the transponder to your front license plate.
Unsuccessful I-PASS Transactions and Improperly Installed Transponders
Video Tolls (Vtolls) are tolls that could not be deducted from your account at the time of the toll transaction. These are typically attributed to a missing, improperly mounted or inactive transponder. It is important to periodically review your account activity to ensure the transponder is functioning properly. Excessive Vtolls may result in penalties, so please mount your transponder correctly and ensure it is working properly.
Test your I-PASS transponder to make sure it works*.
- Drive through a tollbooth lane at a manned toll plaza. The toll collector will lift the gate if the transaction is successful.
- Drive through an I-PASS or Pay Online lane on any Tollway ramp. If there is a blue or yellow light, your transponder is working.
- Drive through a lane with an automatic coin machine. The red (stop) and green (thank you) lights will let you know if the transponder was successfully read.
- Test your transponder at a Customer Service Center.
What do the blue and yellow lights in I-PASS or Pay Online lanes mean?
- Blue: The toll was deducted from your account.
- Blue and yellow: The toll was deducted from your account, but your account balance has dropped below the low-balance amount. Please check your account to confirm the accuracy of your credit card information for automatic balance replenishment. If replenishing manually, funds will need to be added to your account.
- Yellow only: Your account has no funds or your transponder has malfunctioned. Please check your account immediately to confirm the accuracy of your credit card information for automatic balance replenishment. If replenishing manually, funds need to be added to your account.
- No lights: Your transponder is not functioning.
If your transponder is not working, you will need to exchange it for a new one*. The exchange can be done in person at a Customer Service Center or by mail. To exchange your transponder by certified mail, send the transponder, wrapped in foil, with a letter requesting an exchange to:
I-PASS Fulfillment Center
P.O. Box 806518
Chicago, IL 60680
A new unit will be shipped upon receipt of the old transponder.
*If a customer does not want to return their transponder(s), they need to notify the customer service center. Their deposit will be forfeited.