This page is valid for anyone in the state of New York, but it also focuses on local NYC tolls paid on New York City bridges and tunnels administered by MTA or The Port Authority.
That said, we should start with your options for paying tolls on the New York State Thruway:
Option 1: Cash
You know how that works. No credit cards accepted at toll booths. Cash only. If you don’t have enough cash, a toll collector should give you an unpaid toll slip, which you can pay next time you go through a toll plaza or pay online or pay by phone (518-471-5051) or pay by mail (make check out to NYS Thruway Authority and mail to: NYSTA, PO Box 189, Albany NY 12201-0189). NOTE: Some toll booths have become “cashless,” meaning that if you don’t have EZ-Pass (see below), you won’t be able to pay cash and a bill for your toll will be sent to the address on file for your vehicle’s license plate.
Option 2: EZ-Pass:
E-ZPass works like a debit card. You keep a balance in your E-ZPass account, and every time you go through a toll booth, the amount of the toll is subtracted from your balance. The toll booth knows to debit your account because you attach an E-ZPass electronic tag to your vehicle’s windshield, and this tag gets scanned as you pass through the booth. The E-ZPass is also nice because it works at many other New York locations as well as in 15 other states, including New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and more.
You can buy and prepay your E-ZPass in one of 3 ways:
- Online: Go to https://www.e-zpassny.com/en/signup/step1.shtml to sign up and prepay your account. Your vehicle tags (up to 4 per account) should arrive in the mail within 5-7 business days.
- At Retail Stores: Pick up a prepackaged $25 tag at certain local retailers. You will still have to register the tag online, so this is not a huge time saver.
- By Mail: Download an application and mail it to: E-ZPass® NY Customer Service Center, P.O. Box 149001, Staten Island, NY 10314-9001
Note that there are discount plans available for drivers who frequently go through certain toll booths.
If you go through an E-ZPass toll booth and do not have sufficient funds in your account, you will receive a violation notice, which you can pay online or by calling 1-800-333-8655 or by sending a check to the address on the violation notice.
New York City Tolls
Your options for paying New York City tolls are essentially the same — use cash or E-ZPass. The only differences are:
- Most (possibly all) bridges and tunnels are now cashless non-stop toll collection spots, meaning you either pay with E-ZPass or you will receive a Tolls By Mail bill. (Info on paying these Tolls By Mail bills is here.)
- Toll violations will be paid to the proper authority, either MTA (http://webpay.mtabt.net/index.cfm) or The Port Authority (unpaid toll bills will be sent to the address associated with your driver’s license, including instructions on how to pay).