What Is SunPass, and Can You Use Florida’s Toll Pass Anywhere?
Most drivers in the Sunshine State are familiar with SunPass, the electronic prepaid toll program for approved highways, bridges, and parking garages. Cars equipped with compatible transponders do not have to stop to pay a toll, helping to maintain a steady traffic flow and reduce congestion.
However, travelers driving from out of state might be unfamiliar with the prepaid toll system and have valid questions. For instance, in what other states does SunPass work? How are the tolls collected? And is there a fee for the service?
We answer the most frequently asked questions about the program, giving motorists a better understanding of how SunPass affects their driving experience.
What is SunPass?
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) oversees the electronic prepaid toll program. Customers who activate a transponder receive a discount of approximately 25% for all tolls, paying a lower rate than drivers who use cash or toll-by-plate.
“Many roads in Florida are converting to electronic, no cash, toll collection,” Florida’s Turnpike says, and the preferred method of paying for tolls is SunPass.
The user agreement states, “The intent of SunPass is to provide a safe transportation system and reduce traffic congestion and air pollution by providing efficient and convenient electronic toll payment.”
At most Florida toll booths, designated lanes allow drivers to pass through the collection point without stopping. An overhead electronic device reads the vehicle’s transponder, automatically deducting the toll amount from the user’s prepaid account.
Can you use SunPass anywhere?
Most toll roads and bridges in Florida accept SunPass as a payment method. Drivers with an active account can also use it to pay for parking at Port Canaveral, Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, and most major Florida airports.
The electronic toll collection system also works in several other states, including Georgia, North Carolina, Kansas, Oklahoma, and some highways in Texas.
Is Florida SunPass the same as E-ZPass?
SunPass and E-ZPass are independent programs. Florida drivers typically use the former, while U.S. Northeast and Midwest drivers regularly use the E-ZPass toll collection system.
However, E-ZPass account holders do not have to purchase a SunPass to drive on Florida toll roads because both systems work in the same states. To avoid duplicate charges, motorists should never travel with more than one activated transponder in their vehicle.
What is the difference between SunPass and SunPass PRO?
SunPass PRO has an expanded range and can be used everywhere E-ZPass is accepted, including Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, parts of Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Standard SunPass Mini users get a small sticker transponder to attach to the inside of their car windshield. However, PRO users have a portable transponder with suction cups affixed to the inside windshield.
Where can you buy a SunPass?
All users must purchase, activate, and install a transponder in their vehicle before using the system to pay for tolls. SunPass Mini costs $4.99 plus tax, and the SunPass PRO transponder is $14.95 plus tax.
Both can be purchased online, by visiting a walk-in service center, or by phone at 1-888-TOLL-FLA. The transponders are also available at local retailers such as Publix, CVS, and Walgreens.
To activate the transponder, new users must set up a SunPass account, making a minimum deposit of $10 to cover tolls. Drivers can enroll in Easy Pay to set an automatic replenishment amount using a credit or debit card. Funds can also be manually added or paid by cash at local retailers throughout Florida. If an account holder has a low balance, an alert light will appear at the toll booth as a reminder to add funds.
Is Florida doing away with SunPass?
Florida is not doing away with SunPass. On the contrary, the state is investing in the popular program. A 12-month Toll Relief Program, effective January 1, 2023, provides drivers significant discounts. Anyone who uses SunPass for 35 or more transactions in the same calendar month receives a 50% toll credit and can continue to do so through the end of the year.
SunPass is a valuable resource for Florida drivers, offering a quick and efficient way to prepay tolls electronically. It eliminates the need to stop at toll collection booths, making travel throughout the state safer and more convenient.