Video toll late fee in Md. could be slashed from $50 to $5

Two Maryland lawmakers want to reduce the penalties that kick in when drivers get billed for a toll and don’t pay on time.

Drive through a Maryland toll facility without paying cash or using an E-ZPass and you get a bill in the mail for what the state calls a video toll.

Currently, if you wait too long to pay that bill you could be charged a $50 fine. And, if you still don’t pay up, your vehicle registration could be suspended or not renewed until you do.

A bill proposed by Del. Al Carr, who represents Montgomery County, and state Sen. Kathy Klausmeier, who represents Baltimore County, would reduce the late fee to $5.

The bill would also end the policy of suspending registrations until severely late toll debt is paid, but it would still allow the Maryland Transportation Authority to prevent drivers from renewing their registration until the state gets what it is owed.

“This legislation implements best practices for the management of cashless toll roads. With MDTA moving quickly to eliminate the cash option on all Maryland toll roads, there is an urgent need to reform this broken policy,” Carr said.

Klausmeier echoed Carr, saying that he’s heard complaints from people about the video tolls.

“I’ve heard from multiple constituents who have had complaints about cashless video tolls and the collection process in Maryland. Working with the MDTA, I hope that this legislation will be extremely beneficial to people who use Maryland’s toll roads,” Klausmeier said.

Public hearings on the bill are expected to happen in late January or early February.

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Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter and anchor at WTOP.

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