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Toll-by-plate vs Sunpass ?

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IL
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Toll-by-plate vs Sunpass ?

Everybody in the previous postings talking only about SunPass transponder option (and need of registratcion, activation, etc). Seems like there is another option, where the state will make a picture of your plate number and will send you the bill. It will be 25 cents more per toll, but you don't need to buy or register anything, just go with your car :

floridasturnpike.com/all-electronictolling/T…

Anybody used this option before? Can we go (with out-of-state car) everywhere, when the SunPass is required? We will be there just for two days. Seems you don't even have to preregister, just go with your car - you will get the bill by mail, no fees, no tickets - sounds to good to be true :-) ?

Sunrise, FL
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1. Re: Toll-by-plate vs Sunpass ?

I have never heard a person "opting" for the bill-by-mail, so-to-speak. Usually getting the transponder is quick, easy and cheap. If I am not mistaken when you buy one you get credit on your account for what you paid (or thereabouts).

IL
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2. Re: Toll-by-plate vs Sunpass ?

Well.. this is what they posted on their link above :

"TOLL-BY-PLATE is a toll collection method that takes a photo of a vehicle’s license plate as it travels through a Turnpike tolling location. It then mails a monthly bill for the tolls, plus a $2.50 administrative charge, to the registered owner of the vehicle. So just drive!"

, but I guess probably is not available on all roads :-(

My problem is that I'll be there for two days only, and would like to hit the road for Key West immediately - however, when you get a sunpass, seems it needs few hours to activate, and there is no way to verify if it is already active. This is not cool, Florida, not cool ... :-)

Fort Lauderdale...
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3. Re: Toll-by-plate vs Sunpass ?

You are driving your own car, not a rental , correct? Then I think it will work fine. It is available to my knowledge everywhere you pass through a Sunpass transponder.They simply photograph the plate and send a bil. And, you will eventually get a bill- but I think I saw a story recently about how many out of state cars are ignoring the bills, but I don't remember the rest of the story- let me see if I can come up with it.. not recommending you do that, just thought it was interesting to hear that that is taking place....

Cocoa Beach, Florida
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4. Re: Toll-by-plate vs Sunpass ?

I believe that you have an option to use either the toll-by-plate registration or the mini SunPass transponder. For US residents driving their own cars, I think that both can be ordered and activated before arrival in Florida, so you can have everything ready to go before you even cross the state line.

I am a fan of the SunPass, especially if you plan to return to Florida anytime in the near future, because it gets you a discount on the Turnpike and there is no monthly charge. On the other hand, if this is only for two days and probably never again, I can see why it doesn't matter much which you choose.

If you are driving a rental, the situation is different because you cannot activate before arrival. However, you may also be prevented by using toll-by-plate, because the plate may already be registered to your rental company, which may offer you the same service for either a slight, or a hefty, fee -- depending on who you use.

Edited: 21 December 2011, 22:34
IL
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5. Re: Toll-by-plate vs Sunpass ?

Yes, I will drive my own car, so if I can use this 'toll-by-plate" everywhere in Florida for these two days, I will probably go with this one, to save the hassle of registration/activation/returning of the transponder. Hopefully it is accepted everywhere, when the Sunpass is accepted.

Cocoa Beach, Florida
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6. Re: Toll-by-plate vs Sunpass ?

Note that the mini SunPass is merely a thick windshield sticker -- with a RFID transponder built in -- that does not need to be returned. However, it is designed to be non-transferable from car to car.

The mini SunPass can be purchased for $4.95, via the Internet, and shipped to your home. Unless there has been a recent change, the charge includes a toll credit of the same amount, so the mini SunPass is essentially free.

As said above, I think you can use either alternative as you prefer. I believe that toll-by-plate is accepted at all Turnpike locations where the SunPass can be used, but I'm not sure if it works on non-Turnpike bridges, etc. as found over on the Gulf side.

Edited: 22 December 2011, 04:59
Fort Lauderdale...
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7. Re: Toll-by-plate vs Sunpass ?

Yes, but the mini sticker can take up to 24 hrs for activation depending on when you activate it and what sort of credit card you use- so not great for those who need to use it immediately. My understanding is that it might be activated by 4: 30 pm or possibly not till early the following am. And I believe the only way you will know is to listen to be sure you hear the tone- as you go througha toll and then of course if it is not activated yet it will be too late. In the case of a non rental car, I think toll by plate is the best idea.

Pompano Beach...
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8. Re: Toll-by-plate vs Sunpass ?

SunPass is accepted on all Florida toll roads, and SunPass customers pay the lowest toll rates available. You may activate/register a SunPass account within 48 hours after your first use and it won't be a problem. It's very easy to activate online with a major credit or debit card, and now you can do it from your smart phone at www.sunpass.com.

The Turnpike's TOLL-BY-PLATE (TBP) program is an option ONLY on the southern 47 miles of the Turnpike, where there are no tollbooths. If you decide to go with the TBP option, you should pay cash at all other Turnpike locations where tollbooths are available. You may just drive and wait for an invoice in the mail or you may open a prepaid TBP account at www.tollbyplate.com and avoid the $2.50 admin charge per invoice.

The Miami-Dade Expressway Authority and Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority have their own TBP programs. The Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority does not have a TBP program; you may use SunPass, E-Pass or cash.

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9. Re: Toll-by-plate vs Sunpass ?

Are you saying that you can use the mini sticker before the activation kicks in or activtate it after first use without penalty? That is certainly something that is not clear to me and would be helpful for travellers here to know.

I am glad an offical ( apparently ) Turnpike person has started to post here. In my opinion ( and I am sure not alone on this Forum) the Sun Pass program is a nightmare for tourists coming here- especiallyt hose from UK etc who have to make car rental decisions. Some are renting from Dollar/Thrifty and are being charged $36+ weekly just to pay a few tolls ( about four each way) to and from Key West and often being charged that amount for every week they are renting the car because they need to use the transponder for just two of the days of their entire ( often multi week) rental.

I don't know how Sunpass can better influence car rental companies or better inform customers ( especially tourists) what would work well for them, but at this end of the state our Forum is full of confused, frustrated people, many of whom feel very ripped off by the system. The website does nothing but confuse many judging from the posts here and on other Forums. Did no one take into account our importatnt tourism industry in designing the Sun Pass program?

Tampa, Florida
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10. Re: Toll-by-plate vs Sunpass ?

Ditto what Lulutoo said about the nightmare for tourists, some of whom receive a nasty shock two months after returning to their homeland with an unexpected charge on their credit card.

Mr. Florida Turnpike surely the Turnpike authority can do something about this - at least level the playing field, so to speak, when it comes to rental car charges.

Edited: 27 December 2011, 16:53