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What happens if I take the Toll Roads in my new car without plates??

eyespii

Member
Feb 6, 2015
442
509
Orange County, CA
Just picked up my 85D, and don't have my CA plates yet. No temp paper plate in CA, only hand-written VIN from dealer stuck to the windshield. Toll Roads are all cashless here (133/261). What happens if I run hog wild for the next 90 days?? Anyone know?

Sidenote - I also opted not to have the front plate mounted to my new car...wonder if that will raise additional red flags on the toll roads?
 

smilepak

Active Member
May 11, 2015
1,771
579
SoCal, CA
I've been doing that the last month. Take your transponder with you just in case you get pull over, otherwise free toll technically if they can't scan you.

For front, look at magneplate
 

smilepak

Active Member
May 11, 2015
1,771
579
SoCal, CA
Only works if you got a license plate. Safest best, borrow someone transponder if you don't have one yet until you get your license plate.

and you can go to their online site and add your tesla and/or you can pay via their website after the fact to avoid any problems.
 

TaoJones

Beyond Driven
Nov 10, 2014
3,064
3,028
The Americas
Don't do it. After creating an account online, including your personalized plate if you have already applied for one, visit your nearest Metro Expresslanes or similar customer service location. Ensure that they enter you/your car into the database for such vehicles (the Model S is listed as one of the cars for which a transponder will not work due to the metal oxide-treated windshield).

From that point, once your rear plate gets onto the car (and you've updated your info online if necessary), you're good to go. I've tested this and it works fine - the toll charge will show up as part of your quarterly statement.

That said, they told me specifically to NOT drive the toll roads (without paying the toll some other way) until installing the plate, and told me a charming story about a Tesla owner who just decided to drive his car without permanent plates. For months. When he was apprehended, presumably with the aid of facial recognition, his fines alone were well over $1,000.
 

rxlawdude

Active Member
Jul 10, 2015
3,075
2,544
Orange County, CA
Don't do it. After creating an account online, including your personalized plate if you have already applied for one, visit your nearest Metro Expresslanes or similar customer service location. Ensure that they enter you/your car into the database for such vehicles (the Model S is listed as one of the cars for which a transponder will not work due to the metal oxide-treated windshield).

From that point, once your rear plate gets onto the car (and you've updated your info online if necessary), you're good to go. I've tested this and it works fine - the toll charge will show up as part of your quarterly statement.

That said, they told me specifically to NOT drive the toll roads (without paying the toll some other way) until installing the plate, and told me a charming story about a Tesla owner who just decided to drive his car without permanent plates. For months. When he was apprehended, presumably with the aid of facial recognition, his fines alone were well over $1,000.

Really? If you have the dealer-issued paper document affixed to your front right windshield (as is required), you are driving a legally registered vehicle. A transponder is NOT REQUIRED due to the online payment system. There is NOTHING in any signage that cars without a plate and transponder are subject to ticketing. The TCA abandoned cash tolling, which would have totally obviated the situation. Their problem. If I were representing someone in defense, I guarantee this would be a win in traffic court.

The face recognition story is just that. Total BS. IMHO.
 

davewill

Active Member
Feb 5, 2014
1,828
2,074
San Diego, CA, US
Really? If you have the dealer-issued paper document affixed to your front right windshield (as is required), you are driving a legally registered vehicle. A transponder is NOT REQUIRED due to the online payment system. There is NOTHING in any signage that cars without a plate and transponder are subject to ticketing. The TCA abandoned cash tolling, which would have totally obviated the situation. Their problem. If I were representing someone in defense, I guarantee this would be a win in traffic court.

The face recognition story is just that. Total BS. IMHO.
If he drove for months without his plates he was probably doing it after receiving the plates, specifically to evade the tolls. Which would be fraud and definitely illegal.
 
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TaoJones

Beyond Driven
Nov 10, 2014
3,064
3,028
The Americas
Ding ding ding - we have a winner.

Further, the idea is to not end up in court in the first place. I may have the right to wave red flags at a bull, but the bull is still a bull, and not all bulls are of good temperament. I don't always have time for bull.

The combination of no plates/no front plate once issued/no transponder if issued and not displayed/no sticker-one sticker-three stickers just illustrates the chasm between a) state policy that enables restricted lane usage by EVs and b) the various tricks and gotchas associated with revenue generation and excuses for traffic stops.

Meanwhile, yeah - the guy above who got busted likely did *not* prevail in traffic court. If you've been issued plates, stickers, or a transponder, they tend to expect you to display them at some point. Caveat for the transponder for Teslas as they're on the list of cars for which xponders won't work. Also in CA, yes, one can now pay tolls online within 5 days. Ironically, the paperwork still says if you have one, you have to display it.

It's the same level of silliness that's related to front plates not being needed in the 19 mostly Southern states but somehow magically they're needed in the other 31. Can we say "revenue generation"? Fortunately, red light cams are less prevalent now, but laser devices will proliferate as prices drop.

One truism remains - legislation will always lag common sense and technology.
 

rxlawdude

Active Member
Jul 10, 2015
3,075
2,544
Orange County, CA
Agreed. Thus the differentiation of a legally registered, pending plates scenario vs. the deliberate violator. Note the title of the thread was addressed at the former situation, not the criminals. :)
 

eyespii

Member
Feb 6, 2015
442
509
Orange County, CA
So...still not really sure what I should do. I can't get a transponder until I get my plate, and I don't see any way to pay the toll online without a plate number either. I've just been avoiding toll roads in the new car for the past week or so - on the bright side it's been saving me $4/each trip!
 

rxlawdude

Active Member
Jul 10, 2015
3,075
2,544
Orange County, CA
So...still not really sure what I should do. I can't get a transponder until I get my plate, and I don't see any way to pay the toll online without a plate number either. I've just been avoiding toll roads in the new car for the past week or so - on the bright side it's been saving me $4/each trip!
I'd advise you to travel the toll road, and go online to pay per the requirement. Unfortunately, you'll find there is no way to pay with no plate number. As you're not breaking any law (as long as you have not received your plates), the TCA has to pound sand or modify signage that vehicles not displaying license plates without a transponder are prohibited.

Consider it some small recompense for the TCA's continued raising of tolls over the past 20 years. The 73 should have been paid for already, and theoretically non-toll. But, you see, there weren't enough drivers using it to make the revenue. Solution by TCA? Raise the tolls. Response by public? Fewer drivers using it. Solution by TCA? Pull the cash booths out, eliminate jobs, and raise the tolls. The original end to end toll on the 73 was $2.00 in 1996. It's now almost $7.00. The tolls have increased faster than the rate of inflation, primarily due to the nonsensical ways the tolls have been structured in response to revenue requirements.

I think the last estimate was the tolls will pay off the roads sometime by 2050. Maybe.
 
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MHP774

New Member
Aug 21, 2018
1
0
Irvine
So...still not really sure what I should do. I can't get a transponder until I get my plate, and I don't see any way to pay the toll online without a plate number either. I've just been avoiding toll roads in the new car for the past week or so - on the bright side it's been saving me $4/each trip!
You can certainly get a transponder without your plate. Transponder is tied to your account not your plate, such so that you can move your transponder from vehicle to vehicle.
 

Ludalicious

Active Member
Feb 22, 2018
1,105
1,433
Vancouver
There was a guy locally here that used to take a toll bridge every morning on his bike and cover his license plate with his hand. Well one day an officer was waiting for him. They threw the book at him.


They also use technology that identifies vehicles the same way they identify people. Looks for imperfections ect and can search thousands of cameras around the city that identifies and tracks your vehicle. This isn't new technology. Europ has been using it for years. They have been able to identify numerous individuals who evade tolls by using plate flippers. Not shown on one camera but identified on numerous others

Not worth the risk IMO. Pay up
 

Envious Eric

Former Vendor
Oct 12, 2017
50
16
Orange, CA
if you go through without plates, you either A=get free pass or B=get a ticket. There is no other way around it. The CHP have pulled me over a few times for doing just that when I purchased my car new. Paper plates or no plates, same thing.

You HAVE to have a transponder, or you are facing a $300 dollar fine potentially
 

rxlawdude

Active Member
Jul 10, 2015
3,075
2,544
Orange County, CA
if you go through without plates, you either A=get free pass or B=get a ticket. There is no other way around it. The CHP have pulled me over a few times for doing just that when I purchased my car new. Paper plates or no plates, same thing.

You HAVE to have a transponder, or you are facing a $300 dollar fine potentially
I'd be interested in a cite to the statutory authority requiring a transponder, especially given the postpay-online procedure clearly outlined on signs and the low power AM station broadcasting toll road information.

With no indication that vehicles MUST have a license plate and/or transponder, it would seem a hard case for the government to win. As I mentioned in my post 3 years ago, unless there is a mechanism for those without an account and without a permanent plate to pay, there's not much law enforcement can do.

Beginning January 1, 2019, all vehicles sold will be issued temporary plates that must be displayed. This will obviate the problem.
 

Envious Eric

Former Vendor
Oct 12, 2017
50
16
Orange, CA
I'd be interested in a cite to the statutory authority requiring a transponder, especially given the postpay-online procedure clearly outlined on signs and the low power AM station broadcasting toll road information.

With no indication that vehicles MUST have a license plate and/or transponder, it would seem a hard case for the government to win. As I mentioned in my post 3 years ago, unless there is a mechanism for those without an account and without a permanent plate to pay, there's not much law enforcement can do.

Beginning January 1, 2019, all vehicles sold will be issued temporary plates that must be displayed. This will obviate the problem.

I should have stated must have a transponder with NO PLATES OR PAPER PLATES...

If you have plates, then they can send you a ticket in the mail, or attach the fine to the registration plus fees, or you can pay the fine online as they will have your plate number on file.

Its just how it works
 

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