Toll roads in Florida stretch over 719 miles. Many Florida drivers have a love/hate relationship with these pay-to-drive highways. Driving a toll road gets you to your destination much faster.
However, driving on a toll road means you have to pay the fee assessed at each toll point. While it’s tempting to skip the payment, this can get you in trouble. Paying your tolls is just one of the many Florida toll laws you need to know about.
Florida Toll Statutes
As with many other rules of the road, Florida has laws about toll roads. Under Florida Statute 316.1001, drivers in Florida are legally required to pay their tolls. Failure to pay a toll debt could result in several penalties.
Measure (SB 6-A)
A new toll law benefits Florida commuters. Measure (SB 6-A) aims to increase toll revenues by making the roads more affordable for daily commuters. The program will last for a year and is budgeted to spend $500 million.
Florida drivers need to have a Sunpass registered to their vehicle to participate. There is no need to sign up for the program, as it automatically started tracking toll road trips on January 1st, 2023.
Drivers who make 35 or more trips on a toll road in a month will receive a 50% rebate.
Toll Speed Limits
It is illegal to speed through a tolling station. Doing so can result in a speeding ticket. However, the speed limit will vary based on the type of tolling point you drive through and the highway you are on.
There are traditional toll points that have booths and SunPass Only lanes. These points have a speed limit of 25 miles per hour. You don’t have to stop when going through the SunPass Only lane, but you do need to slow down.
There are open road tolling points. These do not require anyone to stop. The speed limit through them is the same as the surrounding road.
Look out for signs before the toll point. Some have notices that will double speeding fines in toll point zones.
Paying Florida Tolls
Florida law requires you to pay your toll fee when you go through the toll point. This could be with your pre-loaded SunPass or E-Pass. It could also be with change at a booth.
You have two options if you drive through a traditional booth-style toll point. You can drive through the dedicated SunPass Only lane if you have a pre-loaded SunPass Only. If not, you will need exact change for an unmanned booth or get change from a manned booth.
The toll system is converting to a cashless system. For these toll points, there is a toll-by-plate system. A camera over each lane records the license plate of each vehicle.
If you have a SunPass, it will register and deduct your toll fee from your account. Vehicles without a SunPass get their license plate recorded for toll-by-plate.
You will then receive a notice in the mail within 14 days of incurring your toll fee. You can pay for your toll by following the directions in the notice. Typically, paying this way increases toll fees and adds an additional $2.50 administrative fee.
Failure to Pay Penalties
You will receive two mailed notices about your toll fees. After this, it could get turned over to a collections agency. They will assign more fees and pursue you for the debt.
Do not ignore your toll fee notice. Failing to pay your tolls is a noncriminal traffic violation. This means it follows the penalties listed in Chapter 318.
This could include a $100 civil penalty and court costs. A registration block can also get placed on your vehicle, preventing you from registering your vehicle until you pay your toll fees. Do not ignore your traffic citation fees; you could face even harsher penalties.
Speaking with a traffic attorney can help you avoid compounding penalties and fees if you find yourself facing a toll traffic ticket. Because it is a traffic violation, you could get points on your license.
Florida Managed Lanes Violation
Managed lanes have special uses with the goal of increasing traffic flow. When on a toll road, they are only available for use by drivers with an active SunPass or compatible transponder.
If you drive in these lanes without one, you will pay fines. The penalty is an additional $25 charge on top of the toll amount and administrative fee. You will pay $25 every day you drive in the managed lane without a valid SunPass.
Someone Else Was Driving
If someone else drives your vehicle and receives a toll notice, you are not responsible for their toll fees. You have 14 days from receiving the notice to respond.
Your first option is to provide the driver’s information. This should include:
- First and last name
- Date of Birth
- Driver’s license number if known
Your second option is to provide a police report indicating the vehicle was stolen when it incurred the tolls.
Take caution when submitting your response affidavit. Your response will be a part of the legal record. Submitting a false affidavit could result in a second-degree misdemeanor charge.
Toll Road Etiquette
Driving on toll roads is similar to any other highway in Florida. You should follow similar highway etiquette rules.
Drive in the right lanes and pass in the left lanes. If a faster vehicle overtakes you, move right and let them pass. Watch out for vehicles entering and exiting the highway.
If approaching a toll point with booths, choose your lane early and stick with it. Do not make sudden or last-minute changes. When leaving the toll point, watch out for other vehicles merging down into the highway lanes.
Drive the Toll Roads in Florida
Whether you drive on the Florida Turnpike or one of the many toll roads in Florida, always pay your toll fee. Trying to avoid it will only result in more significant fines and penalties.
If you have a toll road ticket or another moving violation, RHINO Lawyers can help. Our team of attorneys helps clients fight their Florida tickets.
Schedule a consultation and let our team fight to clear your toll road ticket.
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