No more digging for change: Dulles Toll Road goes cashless

Heads-up if you drive the Dulles Toll Road: No more digging in your pockets for change. The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority says the 16-mile stretch of road is now completely cashless.

Drivers who don’t have E-ZPass transponders will no longer have to stop at toll booths to pay tolls starting Wednesday. Instead, under the new pay-by-plate system, cameras will automatically snap pictures of their license plates, and drivers will be sent an invoice in the mail.

Cash and coins are no longer accepted and coin baskets are deactivated, the airports authority said in a news release.

The new pay-by-plate system may be more convenient for some drivers, but it’ll also come with extra costs. The pay-by-plate option includes an extra $1.60 in administrative fees compared to paying with an E-ZPass.

For example, the toll for regular cars and trucks from the main plaza is $4 with an E-ZPass but $5.60 with pay-by-plate.

The toll for E-ZPass drivers from ramps is $2 and will be $3.60 if you use the pay-by-plate option.

You can also pay your toll using smartphone apps, such as GoToll, Slora, Uproad and NextPass. But those apps also often charge users extra fees.

The transition to the cashless system is expected to speed traffic flow and benefit the environment by reducing emissions from cars idling in toll booth lines.

“Most definitely, it’s going to help speed traffic flow and reduce congestion along the Dulles Toll Road,” said James Johnson, spokesperson with the airports authority.

The airports authority is planning a gradual removal of 25 toll booth and coin machines in the coming months, which will also reduce maintenance costs.

The airports authority said of all toll payments made at the plaza in 2022, only about 2% — or about 726,367 transactions — were made using cash and change.

In 2019, crews removed 34 toll booth to create E-ZPass express lanes.

Last fall, the airports authority voted to increase rates on the Dulles Toll Road.

WTOP’s Kyle Cooper contributed to this report.

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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