I have an I-pass (Illonois) that work on the tollways for I-95. In Maryland, the toll reader did not pickup the I-pass at one station and snapped the license plate of the rental car. Needless to say that I received a large bill and an appeal was disregarded.

In the future, I plan to input the rental car plate into the I-Pass system. Can I expect that MD or NY will check the the IL i-pass system for the rental car plate in the event the reader misses the transponder?

  • 2
    I don’t know about IL i-pass, but many system do not allow transfer into other vehicles. So it might have picked it up, and rejected, as the plate didn’t match.
    – Aganju
    Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 21:22
  • Interesting: all (approximately seven) I-95 I traversed picked up the I-pass. Only one failed
    – gatorback
    Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 21:25
  • @Aganju It doesn't check on the fly that your transponder matches the plate for the vehicle.
    – Karlson
    Commented Jan 22, 2018 at 22:17
  • i-pass may not like that the rental car's plate is already registered to a different transponder. Almost every rental car already has an EZpass family transponder built into it; it's rigged as a profit center for the rental agency. This is the classic problem of a misread with your pass on the rental car. You entered the turnpike with your pass but exited with the rental agencys pass (via license plate photo and lookup). Or vice versa. The system has no idea what to do with that. Commented Jul 2, 2018 at 21:17

1 Answer 1


In the EZ-Pass system, most though not all agencies allow you to use the transponder with other vehicles of the same class (e.g. a motorcycle transponder on a different motorcycle, but not a car). You must register the vehicle with your EZ-Pass agency, however. Otherwise, there is no way for the agency to verify that it should be associated with your account, and I'm not sure what grounds you would have for an appeal.

Some applicable sections of the I-Pass agreement include these:

  1. You agree to:
    C. Use your I-PASS only on the vehicle(s) listed by make, model, and license plate and with the proper number of axles and tires specified on your application.
    D. Promptly notify the Tollway of changes in your account name, credit card number and/or expiration dates, financial institution, e-mail or mailing address, vehicle make, model, and year, vehicle registration number, license plate type and number, and/or any other information required to keep your I-PASS account in good standing
    H. Not assign or transfer your I-PASS without the written consent of the Tollway.

It's quite standard; compare at

New Hampshire:

You may use your transponder(s) on the vehicle(s) you specifically listed on your application for E-ZPass use.


You agree to use the E-ZPass transponder only on the vehicle(s) specified on your application.

North Carolina seems to be more of a stickler about one-vehicle-one-transponder:

You are required to purchase a TRANSPONDER for each vehicle listed on the ACCOUNT. Each ACCOUNT may only have as many TRANSPONDERS as the number of vehicles listed on the ACCOUNT. You may use the TRANSPONDERS only on the vehicles listed by license plate specified on your ACCOUNT.

So, you could try adding the rental car to your account before setting off. It's possible that the plate might already be registered to the rental agency's account; I'm not sure what happens in practice. If it works, do remember to remove it before returning the car so you don't end up on the hook for the next customer.

Most of the time, you can probably get away just using the transponder, as you have discovered. It's always possible, however, that it won't be read; there might be a problem with the reader, or the way you mount it in the new vehicle, or the battery might be low, or you might be going too fast, and so on and so forth.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .