In my rush to get out of the house and onto the Parkway, I forgot my EZ Pass transponder.  (It's usually in my car, but recently I borrowed it for a trip in another vehicle.) This brain lapse of leaving EZ Pass in that other car caused me aggravation and definitely added time onto my trip last week.  I was reminded how long the lines can be at the toll plaza when one doesn't have EZ Pass.  And it's not even peak summer season at the Jersey Shore!

Feeling unsure of my rights that day, I played it safe and just paid cash for every toll on the GSP and  NJ and PA Turnpikes.  Thankfully I had enough cash to cover the round trip.

But when I got home, I did a little research and found that it could be okay to go through an EZ Pass lane without the transponder as long as you have an active, current EZ Pass account with enough of a balance to cover the tolls.  The NJ Turnpike Authority website says that an Advisory and Payment Request notice will be sent in the mail.  There are instructions that, if followed properly, can result in just having to send a check to cover the amount of the missed tolls.

Interestingly though, if you have EZ Pass with you and mistakenly enter a non-EZ Pass toll lane, you will HAVE to pay the cash amount.  There on the spot.

You can learn more about EZ Pass here http://www.state.nj.us/turnpike/ez-pass-faq.html

Anyway, after my day of travel without the automatic toll payer, I started to wonder why everyone doesn't switch to EZ Pass.   It generally makes a trip go faster, and is one less thing to worry about on the roads.  I really missed it the day I didn't have it!

Do you use EZ Pass or do you prefer to pay cash?  If you don't have EZ Pass,  will you consider getting it?  Why or why not?   Please share in the Comments below.