Inside the Tollway
TOLLING 2020 to feature a new approach to unpaid tolls and relief to outstanding fines
The Illinois Tollway today announced TOLLING 2020, a comprehensive tolling reform package featuring a significant reduction to the initial costs faced by motorists when tolls are left unpaid. The measures also include steep reductions in fines for those with outstanding violations while formalizing the COVID-19 pandemic relief period during which no violations will be assessed for unpaid tolls.
“From day one, we’ve advocated for a more equitable tolling process, one that works for the customer,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director José Alvarez. “We have a remarkable tolling system, but changes were long overdue with regard to unpaid tolls.”
Highlights of the changes include:
New Invoice Process – Starting today, customers with unpaid tolls will be mailed an invoice with a $3 fee per unpaid toll for passenger vehicles rather than an initial $20 violation, and as always customers can continue to avoid fees completely for at least 14 days by paying online.
Violation Relief – For the remainder of 2020, the Tollway is reducing all outstanding violations with the Illinois Tollway, and all existing $20 and $50 fines per toll will also be reduced to $3 per toll providing an opportunity for relief to thousands of motorists.
COVID-19 Relief – Any unpaid tolls that occurred between March 9 and June 25 during the stay-at-home order will not incur additional fines or fees.
“These changes are long overdue. Pursuing hefty violations is a costly process, and both the Tollway and customers are better served by providing as much opportunity as possible for customers to pay their tolls,” said Alvarez. “That’s why we’re resetting the clock for all outstanding violations as well, to bring them in line with the new rules, and thanks to the Board of Directors, anyone who has unpaid fines will realize significant savings if they pay by the end of the year.”
Reduced Notices –The Illinois Tollway is implementing a more gradual approach to violations by significantly lowering the initial penalties associated with an unpaid toll. Passenger vehicle owners who fail to pay a toll will now initially face a notice with a $3 invoice fee for each unpaid toll rather than a notice with a $20 violation fine, an 85 percent reduction.
Currently, a $20 fine is assessed for each unpaid toll if left unpaid. That penalty escalates by another $50 if the notice remains unpaid for an additional 60 days. For example, a single trip with five unpaid tolls could cost a passenger vehicle owner more than $100. That same customer will now receive an initial notice with only a $15 invoice fee, in addition to unpaid tolls, and will have 60 days to pay before those fees increase.
Violation Relief – Beginning in July, drivers with current toll violation notices will see each existing penalty reduced to $3 through the end of the year, providing six months for customers to settle violations under the new guidelines. This will include anyone previously sent to collections for outstanding toll violations.
COVID-19 Relief – The Illinois Tollway has also formalized the grace period for unpaid tolls during the COVID-19 pandemic from March 9 through June 25, ensuring customers will not receive violations for unpaid tolls for the previous three months. Following the deadline, any unpaid passenger vehicle tolls will be aligned with the new unpaid toll invoice process.
“Motorists who may have inadvertently missed a toll during this crisis will not face any penalties associated with those unpaid tolls,” said Alvarez.
What do customers need to know?
- Beginning now, customers looking to take advantage of the significant reduction in fines can simply visit the Tollway’s website to review and pay their updated balances through the end of the year, even if they were previously at collections. No special arrangements are necessary.
- Customers with unpaid tolls during the COVID-19 period will receive an invoice for their unpaid tolls only and are able to pay those tolls online as well.
- Since the Illinois Tollway is still operating all-electronic toll collection to prevent the spread of COVID-19, customers should remember to pay their tolls online to avoid any fines and fees.
- The Illinois Tollway’s online payment system and customer service operations will be offline beginning this evening, June 25, through Sunday, June 28, to make the critical system updates necessary to implement the TOLLING 2020 reform and relief package. During this upgrade customers will not incur any violation fines or fees.
Read the TOLLING 2020 Fact Sheet here.