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Illinois Tollway doesn’t recognize EL plate

I’ve been driving the same commute for the past 10 years and the last 14 months was with a Tesla that has an EL plate. Last week I received a letter from the Illinois Tollway accusing me of 3 toll violations. One in April and 2 in July.

I called them to dispute and they seemed to know what the problem is already. The lady said it happens to EVs from time to time. They dismissed the violations ($20 each + toll at cash price) but still asked me to pay the cash rate which is double the IPass rate.

The problem according to them is that, when I added the Tesla to my account, I’ve chosen the wrong plate type. I chose “passenger” and entered my plate number for example “99999 EL”. EL plate is NOT an option on their website so I’d automatically assume it’s a passenger plate.

The toll I missed is only $3 at cast rate but I still disputed it because I had a valid account and a working transponder at the time, and the fact that there’s no EL plate for me to choose at time of adding my vehicle. They wouldn’t budge and I didn’t pursue further since it’s only $3.

BOTTOM LINE: My fellow Illinois EV owners, if you drive a Tesla or any EV for that matter, in your IPass account you need to choose “Other - None of the above” as the plate type, and then call them to make sure they put note on it saying this is an EV. Yes they expect us to do that even though there’re no clear instructions of this anywhere. Some of you might never have this problem but it’s just a precaution. I spent an hour on the phone with them to clear this up!
 
I'm confused - do the EL plates get charged differently for tolls?

I'm from WI but have an I-Pass to visit IL, and I got a letter some time back that they were not getting I-Pass reads but only "video" plate reads. So I moved the I-Pass to the crossbar at the top of the REAR window, and it works great.

Are you sure you were not just getting bad transponder reads?
 
I'm confused - do the EL plates get charged differently for tolls?

I'm from WI but have an I-Pass to visit IL, and I got a letter some time back that they were not getting I-Pass reads but only "video" plate reads. So I moved the I-Pass to the crossbar at the top of the REAR window, and it works great.

Are you sure you were not just getting bad transponder reads?
EL plates pay the same toll. I thought it was a bad transponder as well and I asked them for a new one but they were so sure it is my plate and not the transponder. They said the Secretary of State of Illinois does not recognize EL plate as a passenger plate. Perhaps my transponder didn’t register when I went through the toll lane and when they go back and plate-read it or check it manually, they couldn’t find a “IL passenger” plate of 99999 EL. Hence the violation. If I was driving my ICE with a passenger plate, they would’ve just deduct money from my account manually.

One of my violation in July was not even true. My transponder was read and money deducted from my account, yet I still received a violation for that.

EVs are getting popular now. Just how hard is it to add this plate category in your website?
 
Aside from the cache of having the EL plate on an EV are there any other benefits to getting an EL plate in IL. I plan on transferring my existing plates when I buy my Tesla.
Renewal fee for EL plate is $35 for 2 years but it’s about to change to $248 a year starting next year. Better get a Tesla and get new EL plate before years end. Depending on when your existing plate expires, you might still be able to save some money on registration.
 
EL plates pay the same toll. I thought it was a bad transponder as well and I asked them for a new one but they were so sure it is my plate and not the transponder. They said the Secretary of State of Illinois does not recognize EL plate as a passenger plate. Perhaps my transponder didn’t register when I went through the toll lane and when they go back and plate-read it or check it manually, they couldn’t find a “IL passenger” plate of 99999 EL. Hence the violation. If I was driving my ICE with a passenger plate, they would’ve just deduct money from my account manually.

One of my violation in July was not even true. My transponder was read and money deducted from my account, yet I still received a violation for that.

EVs are getting popular now. Just how hard is it to add this plate category in your website?

My transponder wasn't reading where I had it and I went down to the main facility to fix it. The guy came out, checked out the car, re-positioned it and I was all set. Never said anything about an EL plate issue.
 
Aside from the cache of having the EL plate on an EV are there any other benefits to getting an EL plate in IL. I plan on transferring my existing plates when I buy my Tesla.

Stick with your old plates. At least then if you have a transponder glitch the license plate reader will identify you as a passenger vehicle.

I transferred my personalized plates that I've had for 40 years from my trade-in to my Model 3. Piece of cake at the Westmont store.
 
Renewal fee for EL plate is $35 for 2 years but it’s about to change to $248 a year starting next year. Better get a Tesla and get new EL plate before years end. Depending on when your existing plate expires, you might still be able to save some money on registration.
It doesn't matter when your plate expires because all EL plates expire Dec 31, 2019. I needed new plates on my EV and I figured I could get them before Illinois kicks in their overpriced increase starting January 2020 and be good for 2 years at the $35 price, but no that's not how it works. If you get them anytime before Dec 2019 they will just pro-rate the $35 fee and come January 2020 you'll need to pay the new price of $248... FOR 1 year. It sucks that this state does not do anything to help promote EV's like several other states do. Where I live there is no Time of Use (TOU) rates, no state rebates for EV purchase, no incentive and/or rebates to install EV chargers, etc. So much for Illinois trying to go green. They must have Big Oil and/or ICE manufactures and dealers still lining the politician's pockets. Sad.
 
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It doesn't matter when your plate expires because all EL plates expire Dec 31, 2019. I needed new plates on my EV and I figured I could get them before Illinois kicks in their overpriced increase starting January 2020 and be good for 2 years at the $35 price, but no that's not how it works. If you get them anytime before Dec 2019 they will just pro-rate the $35 fee and come January 2020 you'll need to pay the new price of $248... FOR 1 year. It sucks that this state does not do anything to help promote EV's like several other states do. Where I live there is no Time of Use (TOU) rates, no state rebates for EV purchase, no incentive and/or rebates to install EV chargers, etc. So much for Illinois trying to go green. They must have Big Oil and/or ICE manufactures and dealers still lining the politician's pockets. Sad.
I got the car in July 2018 and I don’t think my registration fee was prorated. But they didn’t talk about a raise in fees at that time either. Yeah Chrysler and Ford all have plants in Illinois. Rivian will take over the old Mitsubishi plant in Normal but I doubt it will make any difference.
 
I got the car in July 2018 and I don’t think my registration fee was prorated. But they didn’t talk about a raise in fees at that time either. Yeah Chrysler and Ford all have plants in Illinois. Rivian will take over the old Mitsubishi plant in Normal but I doubt it will make any difference.
I went round and round with the DMV in Edwardsville and they were snotty explaining it to me. Their customer service skills suck big time. Common sense would say that if you register before the end of the year that you could get the $35 for two years and be good until 2021. But, no ... they explicitly told me that the $35 for two year option runs out in Dec 2019. So, now it’s $248 for one year. Illinois is definitely not a friendly state for EVs or the environment at all.
 
Going to chime in and say I agree with IL. There is a need to build and support roads, fuel tax pays for that. EV's are going to have to be taxed differently to makeup for the lost revenue. Very simple really, this is not 2010 when EV's needed a boost. They are here, at scale. Many if not most car manufacturers plan on rolling them out. So, IL could be said to be at the vanguard of states dealing with the negative cash flow impacts of EVs;).
 
Going to chime in and say I agree with IL. There is a need to build and support roads, fuel tax pays for that. EV's are going to have to be taxed differently to makeup for the lost revenue. Very simple really, this is not 2010 when EV's needed a boost. They are here, at scale. Many if not most car manufacturers plan on rolling them out. So, IL could be said to be at the vanguard of states dealing with the negative cash flow impacts of EVs;).
Yeah, I’m not saying there shouldn’t be a little more cost cause the $35 for two years is really cheap but I think an incremental increase over the next couple of years would have been more palatable. Say, from $35 for two years to maybe $75-$100 for one year starting in 2020, then say $100-$125 in 2021, then $200 starting in 2022 and leave it around there. I paid $90 for one year for my ICE 2009 Dodge Truck before I sold it. With that pricing it looks like the a Big Oil companies and Big Auto manufacturers have no problems lining politicians pockets to pass legislation to make sure EVs don’t progress too fast and take focus away from their stronghold on the auto industry.
 
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The EV Penalty will bring in maybe 4-5 million dollars tops, money that is in no way earmarked for EV infrastructure.
They would have raised more money with a $2 increase in fees on gas cars.

Make no mistake, this was all about penalizing ownership of EVs under the guise of 'fairness' and the lobbyists campaigning for these fines across the country are doing it with money from the Oil lobby.
 
I’ve been driving the same commute for the past 10 years and the last 14 months was with a Tesla that has an EL plate. Last week I received a letter from the Illinois Tollway accusing me of 3 toll violations. One in April and 2 in July.

I called them to dispute and they seemed to know what the problem is already. The lady said it happens to EVs from time to time. They dismissed the violations ($20 each + toll at cash price) but still asked me to pay the cash rate which is double the IPass rate.

The problem according to them is that, when I added the Tesla to my account, I’ve chosen the wrong plate type. I chose “passenger” and entered my plate number for example “99999 EL”. EL plate is NOT an option on their website so I’d automatically assume it’s a passenger plate.

The toll I missed is only $3 at cast rate but I still disputed it because I had a valid account and a working transponder at the time, and the fact that there’s no EL plate for me to choose at time of adding my vehicle. They wouldn’t budge and I didn’t pursue further since it’s only $3.

BOTTOM LINE: My fellow Illinois EV owners, if you drive a Tesla or any EV for that matter, in your IPass account you need to choose “Other - None of the above” as the plate type, and then call them to make sure they put note on it saying this is an EV. Yes they expect us to do that even though there’re no clear instructions of this anywhere. Some of you might never have this problem but it’s just a precaution. I spent an hour on the phone with them to clear this up!

The same thing happened to me. My responder wasn't working and because I chose "Passenger car" and not "Other" I was fined $3 per toll X 4 tolls = $12.00. This isn't right! How is one to know that they need to select "Other" when adding their EV license plate to I-Pass? Why wouldn't you just assume it's a passenger car? Is the Model 3 not a passenger car?

We should start a class action law suit against I-Pass. Not for the money but rather to stand up for what's right. It's absolutely absurd that you have to just know to select "other" and not "passenger" just because it runs on electricity and not gas.
 
The same thing happened to me. My responder wasn't working and because I chose "Passenger car" and not "Other" I was fined $3 per toll X 4 tolls = $12.00. This isn't right! How is one to know that they need to select "Other" when adding their EV license plate to I-Pass? Why wouldn't you just assume it's a passenger car? Is the Model 3 not a passenger car?

We should start a class action law suit against I-Pass. Not for the money but rather to stand up for what's right. It's absolutely absurd that you have to just know to select "other" and not "passenger" just because it runs on electricity and not gas.
This just happened to me and is total bs. I got four violations. They said the only way to get out of it was pay the cash rate for all four tolls plus one three dollar fee. They automatically knew what the problem was, so I guess my question is why don’t they fix it.
 
I keep the ipass transponder inside my glove box on my MX and it's been working perfectly so far (never have to take it out at the tolls and the readers don't seem to have a problem reading the transponder, even though it's located inside the glove compartment the entire time)
 

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