Using Your I-PASS Transponder

Here is what you need to know about using your I-PASS before you hit the road. If traveling beyond Illinois, read about using I-PASS in other states.

Step 1: Activate Your Transponder

If you obtained your transponder from either Jewel-Osco or Road Ranger, it must be activated before it can be used on the Tollway. Transponders obtained at a Tollway Customer Service Center are already activated.

  • 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)

Step 2: Mount Your I-PASS

Mounting your transponder correctly is one of the most important steps in using I-PASS. A properly mounted transponder decreases the chance of an unsuccessful signal read, which translates to the toll transaction not posting to your account. I-PASS customers should not hold or wave their transponders as they drive through a toll plaza or under an open road tolling lane.

The plastic mounting strips are removable and will not leave a residue on your windshield. Get mounting strips at any toll booth or Customer Service Center.

Less than 1 percent of vehicles require a license plate transponder (LPT) due to special systems or windshields. 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.

More information on mounting your I-PASS
View and/or download mounting instructions

Step 3: Drive the Tollway

I-PASS is accepted in all lanes on the Illinois Tollway.

Equipment mounted on the monotubes that extend over the open road tolling lanes communicates via a radio signal with your transponder to deduct the proper toll from your account.

As you approach a toll plaza, you do not need to change lanes. Maintain your speed and stay in your lane. 

Pay careful attention when approaching an exit, sometimes there is no access to an exit from the open road tolling lanes. I-PASS customers that need to exit the Tollway past a toll plaza must use a cash plaza. Most cash plazas are equipped with an I-PASS or Pay Online lane on the far left side.

If you have an I-PASS and are pulling a trailer, you may use the open road tolling lanes. The correct toll will be automatically calculated and deducted from your account.

At ramp tolls, use the lane most convenient for your direction of travel. If you use a basket lane, you must stop even though you have I-PASS.

Check to see if your transponder is working.

  • To ensure that your transponder is working, you can use a tollbooth lane or I-PASS or Pay Online lane on the Tollway's entrance and exit ramps. In the tollbooth lanes, the toll collector will lift the gate if the transaction is successful, while in the ramp lanes, blue and yellow indicator lights will indicate your transponder and account status. If you use a lane with an automatic coin machine with your I-PASS, the red (stop) and green (thank you) indicator lights will let you know if your transponder was successfully read.
  • If your transponder is malfunctioning, you'll need to exchange it for a new one.

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; please exchange it at one of our Customer Service Centers or call 800-UC-IPASS (800-824-7277) for instructions.