VDOT estimates 65,000 people still need to get EZ-Pass for tunnel tolls

Posted at 5:18 PM, Dec 24, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-24 17:18:01-05

With 38 days to go until tolls start at the Downtown and Midtown tunnels, NewsChannel 3 asked drivers if they have their EZ-Pass.

“We haven't, and I’m really concerned about the tolls on the tunnel,” said Poetry Jackson, a Portsmouth Resident.

“Procrastination, just plain procrastination, and it hasn’t hit the Portsmouth homeowners that we have to pay a toll to actually live in the city,” said Elizabeth Wienborne.

According to VDOT estimates, about 88,000 people in Hampton Roads already have an EZ-Pass.

Portsmouth driver Joel Galang is one of them…he proudly showed off his EZ-Pass purchased last summer.

“I make a lot of trips to DC, and use the New Jersey Turnpike on my way to New York. It’s convenient, and I get discounts too,” said Galang.

Still, VDOT believes another 65,000 people who use those tunnels still need to get their EZ-Pass before the February 1st deadline.

“I think it’s going to be pretty hard for people to grasp the concept of paying for the tunnel,” said Jackson.

That’s why VDOT and Elizabeth River Crossings are launching a media blitz over the next month.

“We are across all types of media, including radio, TV, interactive, billboards, bus placards, gas pump handles, any possible way we can,” said Leila Rice, spokeswoman for ERC.

All to let people know it’s cheaper to get an EZ-Pass than to travel through the tunnels without one—but will it work?

“I’m assuming once people get that first bill, they will go and get the EZ-Pass,” said Jackson.

“I think the ferry and carpooling situation is going to come into effect. Even the bus rides…people will pay HRT first before they pay a toll,” said Wienborne.

If you decide to get an EZ-Pass, you have several options:

Apply online (credit card required)

Please have your contact information, driver's license information, vehicle information and license plate information available when you register.

Local retailers

Pick up an E-ZPass On-the-Go transponder at one of VDOT's retail partners, then register your transponder online or by calling the Service Center at: 877-762-7824.

Apply via mail or fax

Please print and complete a Personal Application or a Business Application and fax the application to 540-862-8849 (credit card required) or mail the application together with payment to:

E-ZPass Customer Service Center
P.O. Box 1234
Clifton Forge, VA 24422

Your new transponder will be mailed to you.

Apply by phone (credit card required)

To order your transponder and apply by phone or to register your On-the-Go transponder call (877) 762-7824 or (800) 828-1120 (for TTY users), Monday through Friday, between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., excluding state and federal holidays.

Visit a Customer Service Center

To apply in person and pick up your transponder immediately you can visit one of VDOT or ERC's Customer Service Centers. Find locations and hours of operation of Customer Service Centers by clicking here.