Out-of-state drivers owe MassDOT $15 million in Massachusetts Turnpike tolls under gantry system

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Out-of-state drivers traveling along the Massachusetts Turnpike without E-ZPass transponders owe the state more than $15 million in uncollected tolls and fees — payments the Massachusetts Department of Transportation is largely unable to collect, according to masslive.

As of this month, MassDOT reported that more than 2 million out-of-state drivers had traveled on Interstate 90 without transponders under the new system, which replaced toll plazas with scanners mounted atop gantries.

Of those “pay-by-plate” drivers, nearly 1.8 million had made at least one payment for tolls owed since the cashless system took effect in October 2016 — for a total collection of $54 million, officials said.

About $15 million in tolls and fees, however, remained outstanding from more than 456,800 out-of-state, pay-by-plate accounts — only $2.8 million of which MassDOT can essentially force payment on due to reciprocity agreements it has with Maine and New Hampshire, officials said.

Under such agreements, Massachusetts can block New Hampshire and Maine drivers with outstanding toll balances from renewing their vehicle registrations after 90 days without payment, according to MassDOT.

Massachusetts drivers who don’t pay uncollected tolls can also face holds placed on their licenses and registrations.

Without similar agreements in place for other states, including neighboring New York, Connecticut and Vermont, Massachusetts transportation officials can take little recourse beyond sending invoices when seeking payments from out-of-state, pay-by-plate accounts.

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