Just moved from Chicago, need advice for tolls

Hi there!

I just moved down to Grand Prairie from a suburb of Chicago and I’ve seen a bunch of different options for paying tolls (TxTag, Toll Tag, EZPass, etc). I’ve been researching which is the best option for a little while, but it seems like I can’t find any objective third-party breakdowns for the pros and cons of each.

Because I just moved, I don’t have anyone to ask or get advice from so I thought I’d post it here. Any advice is appreciated and I apologize in advance if this type of post isn’t allowed!

Welcome! Pretty much everyone uses Toll Tag (https://www.ntta.org/custinfo/tolltag/Pages/default.aspx) - If you go to Oklahoma or (I think) anywhere that requires TxTag it will just charge your Toll Tag account. But like 99% of the roads around Dallas are Toll Tag friendly. Watch out for the TEXPress lanes on 635 and 35. They are super expensive. Great if you are in a hurry but it’s variable based on traffic flow and getting from one side of Dallas to the other can cost $10-12 on a heavy traffic day. Mass transit is a joke compared to cities like Chicago, sooo enjoy the drive.

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Awesome, thank you for the advice! I was already leaning towards Toll Tag based on what I was reading, so with your input I’m definitely going to go with that.

You can order them online or go to a TollTag store. Need DL, proof of insurance and you license plate numbers. Can be set up to autodraw periodically from a credit/debit card.

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Perfect. It looks like they’re closed today so I am planning to swing by their Irving location tomorrow after work!

All of the tags work on all the toll roads in Texas. Price with a tag per toll is the posted tag fee regardless of the tag you have installed.

Since I had a tag in Houston and one in Dallas before the toll toad authorities decided to develop a coop agreement, they function the same. You get a tag, 𝘗𝘙𝘖𝘝𝘐𝘋𝘌 a billing account, and they do a $40/charge, that tolls are deducted from until it gets down to a predetermined level, when they auto fill the Acct with another $40.

My tag is with NTTA -North Texas Tollroad Authority. Their offices are relatively convenient to my home. I can manage my acct online. For example, I was in a wreck, so was driving a rental for several weeks. I was able to change the vehicle/license tag from my regular car to the rental. (They use cameras as backup to the actual tags, in case they don’t get read properly). Then changed it back when my own car was returned. I can also update the payment info as needed.

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Fantastic! I’m sorry to hear about your wreck, but I’m glad to hear about the convenience of the Toll Tag.

FYI, make sure you dont put the tag with an expire date. I apparently had done that, They were not sympathetic & would not budge.

Also if you have more than I think 3 vehicles, they do an $80 charge per refill.

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Great to know, thanks Tim!

Just FYI when I got my tolltag years ago, I was able to do it at Kroger. Not sure if they still do it.

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I’ll look into that!

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The toll roads and bridges no longer allow paying with cash or coins. If you do not have a compatible tag, the system takes pictures of your car and looks up your license plate to snail mail you a bill.

If you use the toll roads much at all, there is a substantial discount for having a tag.

If you do not want to associate a credit card to the tag, there is an option to pay cash into your account and top it off periodically as needed. If the account runs out, it reverts to pay by mail at the higher rates.

One other thing to consider: the tag is also used to pay for parking at the airport. That may be a plus or a minus.

Oh, and to prevent problems, if you ever sell your car, be sure to file paperwork at the DMV saying you no longer own it.

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I did not know that and better go look at their terms again.

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EZPass is for those who don’t have a TollTag (or equivalent) account. They look up your license and bill a higher rate for the privilege.

I have multiple TollTags through NTTA.org. Pretty painless/easy. It’s a sticker with RFID which adheres near your rear view mirror. Tied to the specific car.

It also works on the Kansas Turnpike near Wichita, KS. I don’t know if it works on toll roads in other nearby states (e.g. Oklahoma, Colorado) which I know do have toll roads.

TollTag and DFW

You can also use it for easy access at DFW and Love Field airports. If you travel for work and want to pay as you go at the airport (for easier reimbursement, perhaps) you can temporarily disable your TollTag online.
If you preregister to park at DFW at least an hour ahead of time and use the TollTag, parking close is about 1/2 price of normal.
https://onlineparking.dfwairport.com/en/

Selling Your Car

You can disable the tag from within the NTTA site as well. I’d recommend peeling the sticker/antenna off the windshield AND disabling it. I’d also pull the plates and print out a TRANSIT PERMIT instead. That’ll prevent any new tolls accruing based on the license plate number.

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Welcome to Dallas!

NTTA does not allow those paper temporary tags. That’s what their rules say, but I did get anyway with it when I registered the temporary tags on-line. When my new tags came in I just updated my account on-line.

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+1 on NTTA Toll Tag and this.
Never let a vehicle leave your care with YOUR license plate nor Toll Tag. These are both your property, not the car’s and should stay with you when the car is no longer working for you. Its new boss can outfit it anew.

Welcome to DFW!

TollTag supposedly works in Colorado based on the signs. Don’t trust it. Their system is broken and it didn’t ever go through the tag. They tried to send the fees and later court notices to an address for me that was many years old. They sent everything to the address where I was living when the vehicle was purchased and I had moved twice since then. Vehicle registration was current, TollTag information was current, I had all my ducks in a row. I got it all sorted out but it was a huge pain the in ass.

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Certain toll roads (635) are very price gougy. When I was commuting I was spending 240 a month on toll roads alone. A lot of my coworkers had the same experience.

Get ready for your new normal with unregulated privatized highways :slight_smile:

Zero state income taxes, so at least it’s optional.

Meaning you can take surface roads, if you don’t want to shell out tolls.

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An interesting (and infuriating) exercise is to crunch the numbers and compare the cost per mile of the toll road versus your cost per mile for the fuel to drive on it…

I keep seeing the title as “Just moved from Chicago, need advice for trolls

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