Toll enforcement program helps ensure fairness for those who pay their tolls on time

 By guest blogger Emily Pace Glad

Did you know that the vast majority of tolls are paid on time? It’s true: nearly 90 percent of SR 520 and Tacoma Narrows Bridge drivers pay their tolls on time. Furthermore, between 75 and 80 percent of tolls are paid with a Good To Go! account. To all those drivers – thank you for paying on time!

If you travel either of the bridges – even occasionally – we encourage you to open a Good To Go! account to ensure you  pay the lowest toll rate.

As you may have heard, we recently started the next phase of our toll enforcement program to collect tolls from those who don’t pay on time. We started mailing the first civil penalty notices for unpaid tolls in April. Now, some vehicle owners with unpaid civil penalties may not be able to renew their vehicle registration with the Department of Licensing until all tolls, fees and penalties are paid.

Our goal is to not only collect the unpaid toll amount, but also to ensure we are being fair to the majority of drivers, who continue to pay their tolls on time. Enforcing tolls also strengthens one of the main reasons we’re tolling these bridges – to pay for them. This effort allows us to put collected tolls, fees and penalties back into each bridge program.

Though they’re getting a lot of media attention, it’s important to keep in mind that these toll scofflaws represent a very small percentage of toll transactions. To put it into context, we’ve had over 21 million toll transactions on the Tacoma Narrows and SR 520 bridges and less than one percent of those transactions have become civil penalties. And less than half a percent of all transactions have resulted in a hold on someone’s vehicle registration.

If you aren’t Good To Go!, here are some tips on what to do if you receive a bill:
  • Keep an eye out for a bill about two weeks after you cross the SR 520 or Tacoma Narrows bridges. We mail bills to the registered vehicle owner on file with DOL. If you don’t receive a bill, please call us at 1-866-936-8246.
  • Make sure to pay within 15 days of receiving the bill to avoid a $5 reprocessing fee.
  • If you fail to pay within 80 days of crossing the bridge, you will receive a $40 notice of civil penalty for each unpaid toll transaction.
  • We only notify DOL to place a vehicle registration hold when a civil penalty remains unpaid for 20 days. Before placing a hold on vehicle registration, we’ll have already mailed two toll bills, a notice of civil penalty and given vehicle owners more than 100 days to respond with payment or dispute.
You can contact the Good To Go! customer service center to settle unpaid tolls or to check if they have a registration hold for your vehicle. DOL will notify vehicle owners of any registration holds via renewal notices or when owners attempt to renew their tabs. Learn more about vehicle registration holds for unpaid tolls.