495 Express Lanes495 Express Lanes

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Frequently Asked Questions 

View AllThe 495 Express Lanes and Tolling

What are the 495 Express Lanes?

The 495 Express Lanes are high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes that operate on the I-495/Capital Beltway to provide you with faster and more predictable travel options on I-495. The 495 Express Lanes are two new HOT lanes in each direction on the Virginia side of the Capital Beltway from the Springfield Interchange to just north of the Dulles Toll Road (approximately 14 miles).

What is the difference between the Beltway HOT Lanes and 495 Express Lanes?

There is no difference. The name of the project has changed from HOT Lanes to Express Lanes because the on-road signage says “EXPRESS” and we want you to be familiar with what you see on the road.

Who owns the Express Lanes?

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) owns and oversees all aspects of the Express Lanes and there is a concession agreement that allows Transurban (USA) Operations Inc. to operate the lanes.

When can I use the Express Lanes?

You can use the Express Lanes now.  The lanes operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Read how you can use the lanes.

Where are the entry and exit points for the Express Lanes?

There are several entrances and exits to the Express Lanes throughout the 14-mile stretch of the lanes. Learn more about entry and exit points

Do all vehicles have to pay a toll to use the Express Lanes?

Buses, carpools with three or more people (HOV-3+) and an E-ZPass Flex, motorcycles and emergency vehicles can use the lanes without paying a toll. If you have fewer than three people in your car, you will pay a toll to use the lanes.

How many people do I have to have in my vehicle to qualify for HOV?

Three or more.

What is the toll rate?

Tolls for the Express Lanes are dynamic, meaning they will change periodically based on real-time traffic and keep the lanes free flowing.

How do you calculate the tolls?

The toll rates are set at levels to keep you moving in the Express Lanes and provide value to customers who pay to use the Express Lanes.

Is there a cap on toll rates?

There will be no toll cap, as tolls must be able to manage real-time traffic demand and keep the lanes free flowing.

How does the dynamic pricing work?

Dynamic pricing means that tolls on the Express Lanes change periodically to keep the lanes free-flowing.  Sensors alongside the road monitor traffic levels and speed, and toll prices adjust to maintain free flow in the lanes – even during peak times -- and provide value to customers.  A network of electronic signs displays the latest toll prices before you enter the Express Lanes.

Who can use the Express Lanes?

The Express Lanes are available to anyone traveling the Beltway that could benefit from a predictable trip and the new exits from the Express Lanes, particularly into Tysons Corner.  Only two-axle vehicles can use the Express Lanes and there no trailers allowed. However, buses with any number of axles can use the Express Lanes. Learn how you can use the lanes.

How do I pay the tolls?

You must pay tolls with an E-ZPass®. There are no toll booths or options to pay cash on the Express Lanes. Learn more about using the Express Lanes

How will I know ahead of time what the toll will be so I can decide whether to use the lanes?

Before all Express Lanes entrances you will see two electronic message signs showing the latest toll price information to three destinations so you can decide to use the Express Lanes or travel on the regular lanes. Learn more about signage

Will the tolls change while I am in the lanes?

No.  You will lock in your toll rate when you enter the lanes and will be charged based on that rate and the distance you traveled in the Express Lanes.  Learn more about pricing.

My destination is not on the pricing sign, how do I know what you will charge me?

Before all Express Lanes entrances you will see two electronic message signs displaying the latest toll price information to three destinations.  The first two destinations are the most popular destinations from your entry point.  The third destination is the furthest distance you can travel in the lanes from your entry point.  If your exit is not listed on the sign, it will be an amount between the first price on the sign and the last price on the sign. The last price shown is the maximum toll you could pay.

Please keep in mind that the Express Lanes are a limited access highway.  You should use our mapping tools to make sure you know where you can get on and off the Express Lanes.

Read more about Express Lanes signage
.

Are the lanes tolled 24 hours-a-day?

Yes, tolls are always in effect. Vehicles with HOV-3+ and an E-ZPass Flex can travel toll free on the lanes all the time.

How do you maintain free-flowing conditions in the Express Lanes?

The Express Lanes use dynamic pricing to manage the number of toll-paying customers in the lanes and keep them free flowing. On average, 495 Express Lanes drivers travel at 65 miles per hour, even during rush hour.

Similar facilities that use dynamic toll prices in other U.S. cities have proven to provide faster, more reliable travel times. For example, travelers save about 20 minutes per trip on express lanes on I-10 in Houston. In Southern California, SR-91 customers estimated they shaved nearly 30 minutes off their morning and afternoon commutes.

We also have dedicated incident management systems, such as closed-circuit surveillance cameras, traffic sensors and video-based incident detection that quickly identify incidents on the lanes and notify dedicated incident response crews.  Additionally, strict enforcement of HOV access and tolling in the lanes is critical to maintaining free-flowing travel conditions.

Is there a way to determine what the rates are prior to travel online?

You can get estimated toll rates on the Plan Your Trip page.  Just enter your starting and ending locations on the page.  We'll show you how the Express Lanes can get you where you need to go and give you the current estimate for your trip on the Express Lanes. The toll price may change by the time you get to the Express Lanes.

I drive a hybrid or a vehicle with clean fuel plates. Can I use the Express Lanes for free?

Per Virginia law, hybrid drivers do not travel toll-free in the Express Lanes unless they have the three or more people in the vehicle and E-ZPass Flex set to HOV mode. If a hybrid or clean fuel plate driver meets the HOV-3+ requirement, then he or she may travel in the lanes toll-free. Otherwise, the driver may choose to pay a toll to access the lanes.

Hybrids and vehicles with clean fuel plates can travel in HOV facilities throughout northern Virginia without meeting the HOV occupancy requirement so why do I have to pay the toll to use the Express Lanes?

The 495 Express Lanes are high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes and are governed by a different statue than HOV lanes, which are a separate type of roadway. The HOV statue allows hybrids to access HOV lanes regardless of the number of occupants. But the HOT statue does not have an exemption for hybrid vehicles. This means that hybrid drivers must meet the HOV-3+ requirement and an E-ZPass Flex to travel toll-free in HOT lanes (such as the 495 Express Lanes). For more information, the HOT statute can be found here http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?000+cod+33.1-56.1and goes from 33.1-56.5.

Can buses use the Express Lanes?

Yes, buses -- regardless of the number of axles -- can use the lanes toll free but will need an E-ZPass®. Learn more about who can use the lanes.

How can law enforcement use the 495 Express Lanes?

Law enforcement officers and first responders in pursuit of their duties, which does not include the use of such vehicles for commuting to and from the workplace, are exempt from toll and HOV requirements on the 495 Express Lanes. If your team needs to travel on the 495 Express Lanes in the performance of law enforcement duties for a specific operation or response, please contact us prior or afterwards so we can ensure you are not charged for these trips. Otherwise, the only way to travel the 495 Express Lanes toll-free is with three or more people in the vehicle and an E-ZPass Flex set to HOV mode. Email us with questions or to report travel.

Are commercial trucks allowed to use the Express Lanes?

Mid-sized trucks such as local delivery trucks may use the lanes as a toll paying customer or carpool. Trucks with more than two axles, including large, 18-wheel trucks are not allowed to access the lanes. Buses are not limited to two axles; any size bus may use the Express Lanes.

Can I tow my boat or trailer on the Express Lanes?

No, you cannot tow boats or trailers on the lanes.

Can I ride my motorcycle in the Express Lanes?

Yes, you can use a motorcycle on the Express Lanes anytime without paying a toll. You do not need an E-ZPass for your motorcycle.

If you already have an E-ZPass on your motorcycle, you can leave it in place when you travel the 495 Express Lanes. The system will detect that you're traveling via motorcycle and not charge you a toll. 

Why do motorcycles get to use the Express Lanes toll-free without meeting the HOV-3+ requirement, but hybrids do not?

Virginia law does not give hybrids free access to Express Lanes unless they meet the HOV-3+ requirement and have an E-ZPass Flex. 

How do I know how many axles my vehicle has?

If you are driving a private passenger vehicle and not towing a trailer, chances are your vehicle has two axles. However, you should contact the E-ZPass agency which manages your account to verify the number of axles on your vehicle. Please make sure that your vehicle has only two axles before your first trip in the 495 Express Lanes.  

Do you offer a commuter subsidy program?

Commuter subsidy programs are typically funded and administered to employees through their employers. You should check with your employer to see if they offer any type of subsidy program. Even if your employer does not offer a subsidy program, you can take advantage of toll-free travel on the 495 Express Lanes in a carpool or vanpool. Learn more.

There was an accident and I did not receive a faster trip. Will I be charged?

We are sorry to hear that your trip in the 495 Express Lanes did not meet you expectations. Refunds will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Above and beyond federal and contractual minimum speed requirements, the Express Lanes operator has a business incentive to provide customers consistent and free-flowing travel conditions in the Express Lanes. Toll-paying customers will not choose to pay to use Express Lanes if they cannot consistently depend on a faster and more reliable trip. If you were not satisfied with your trip, we encourage you to visit our Customer Care page.

If a tow truck has to pay a toll to access the Express Lanes to assist me, will I have to pay that toll, too?

Unless they have 3 or more people in the car and an E-ZPass Flex, towing companies will need to pay a toll to access the 495 Express Lanes. We encourage you to contact your towing company to see whether they would charge you if they need to pay a toll to reach your disabled vehicle in the 495 Express Lanes.

Where can I see all the rules of the road for the 495 Express Lanes?

You can see the 495 Express Lanes Terms and Conditions here.

View All495 Express Lanes Operations and Enforcement

How do you know who is HOV and who is paying a toll?

We can tell the difference between HOV and toll-paying customers by reading the E-ZPass® in the vehicle and working with state police to enforce the HOV rules.

All travelers on the Express Lanes need to have an E-ZPass or a new E-ZPass® FlexSM (available now). The E-ZPass Flex works like a regular E-ZPass, but you can switch between HOV and toll-paying modes. If your E-ZPass Flex is switched to HOV mode and you have three or more passengers in the car, you will not be charged a toll. If your E-ZPass Flex is switched to toll mode, it will be used to pay the toll on the HOT lanes. This switchable E-ZPass will pay tolls on any other road that accepts E-ZPass, regardless of the position of the switch.

How do you enforce the lanes?

Virginia State Police enforces the lanes with the help of technology.

If you don’t have an E-ZPass, roadside equipment will capture an image of your license plate and we will send you an invoice in the mail requesting payment of your toll and an administrative fee. 

If you are carpooling, equipment on the side of the road will alert state police that you have identified yourself as HOV-3 through your E-ZPass Flex.  State police then do a visual check to make sure you indeed have three people in the car.

What if I forget to flip back from HOV mode and I’m traveling by myself?

A trooper could pull you over and issue you a ticket. That is why it’s important to make sure you change the E-ZPass Flex setting before you get on the road. 

What happens if I use the 495 Express Lanes by mistake?

If you use the Express Lanes by mistake you can pay your missed toll, with a small fee, on the website. Pay your toll now.

If you do not pay the toll within 5 days of your trip, you will receive a toll invoice for your trip in the mail. The invoice will include the toll for your trip and an administrative fee, which will increase if the invoice remains unpaid. 

What happens if I enter the Express Lanes while the dynamic pricing message signs are blank?

Tolls will be in effect 24 hours a day, seven days a week on the 495 Express Lanes. If a technical issue prevents the dynamic pricing message signs from displaying the current toll prices for a period of time, toll prices will be still be in effect.   

The 495 Express Lanes will do everything possible to avoid this scenario and there are multiple backup systems in place to ensure the technology functions correctly. In the event the signs were blank, we would work as quickly as possible to get the signs working again. If you notice a malfunctioning dynamic Message Sign, please contact us as soon as you safely can. 

What is the speed limit in the Express Lanes?

65 miles per hour.

Why do I see troopers on the road so frequently?

Funded by the private partner, the Virginia State Police are on the Express Lanes to enforce the HOV requirement and other traffic laws.

What are the administrative fees for toll violations?

If you do not pay your toll, the best thing to do is to immediately go to the “Missed Toll?”page  to pay your toll.  There will be a $1.50 administrative fee to cover the cost of collecting the toll.  If the 495 Express Lanes has to send you a letter with a toll invoice, that administrative fee goes up to $12.50 per trip. If you do not pay your first invoice then that fee escalates to $25.00 per trip.

What if I don’t pay the toll violation invoice?

It’s best to pay your invoice when you receive it. If you do not pay your invoices you will face escalating fees. If you ignore multiple toll invoices, your information will be sent to a debt collection agency and then to the court system. To avoid escalating fees and court, it’s best to go online and pay the invoice when you receive it.

What are the civil penalties for violating on the Express Lanes?

For refusal to pay a toll or falsely claiming carpool status, under Virginia law a judge can choose to issue the following civil penalties:

  • $50 for a first offense
  • $250 for a second offense
  • $500 for a third offense within a period of two years of the second offense
  • $1,000 for a fourth and subsequent offense within a period of three years of the second offense

Are trucks and motorcycles allowed in the Express Lanes?

Mid-sized trucks such as local delivery trucks may use the lanes as a toll paying customer or carpool. Trucks with more than two axles, including large, 18-wheel trucks are not be allowed to access the lanes.

Motorcycle riders can use the Express Lanes anytime without paying a toll and do not need an E-ZPass.
If you already have an E-ZPass on your motorcycle, you can leave it in place when you travel the 495 Express Lanes.  The system will detect that you're traveling via motorcycle and not charge you a toll

How are out-of-towners going to understand that they need an E-ZPass to access the lanes?

Our priority is to ensure clear signage so all drivers know the rules of the road and how to use the Express Lanes. All signs leading up to and within the lanes have an E-ZPass logo which should help all drivers understand that they need an E-ZPass. Fortunately, more than 16 million people traveling along the East Coast already have an E-ZPass, so it is convenient for them to use the Express Lanes.

I drive to and from the same locations on the Express Lanes and never pay the same amount twice.  Why aren’t the tolls the same each time and how are the tolls on the Express Lanes adjusted?

The 495 Express Lanes use dynamic pricing means that tolls on the Express Lanes change periodically based on real-time traffic conditions to keep the lanes free-flowing.  Sensors alongside the road will monitor traffic levels and speed, and toll prices will adjust to maintain free flow in the lanes – even during peak times.  A network of electronic signs will display latest toll prices.

Do higher tolls mean that I may expect better service levels on the Express Lanes than the regular Beltway lanes?

Roadside equipment on the 495 Express Lanes monitors traffic in the Express Lanes and periodically adjusts toll prices to maintain free flowing travel. As traffic in the Express Lanes increases, the toll prices go up to keep the Express Lanes moving. As traffic decreases, the toll prices go down to encourage more drivers to use the Express Lanes.

The higher tolls you may see during peak rush hour travel periods ensure that we can provide drivers with a faster, more predictable trip. They are not necessarily a reflection of the regular Beltway conditions.

What is being done about the congestion around the American Legion Bridge?

While there are no bridge improvements underway at this time, some relief is on the way.  On June 25, Governor McDonnell announced the 495 Northbound Shoulder Lane Use Project, an approximately 1.5 mile congestion relief project from the end of the 495 Express Lanes (near MD) to just past the George Washington Parkway Interchange.  The project will add an additional lane, resulting in five travel lanes open to all Beltway travelers to help traffic merge from the end of the 495 Express Lanes to the regular Beltway during afternoon peak travel times.  The new lane will be open to traffic by late 2014.

View AllSafety on the 495 Express Lanes

What safety measures are in place to manage incidents on the lanes?

The increased law enforcement located throughout the Express Lanes is the most visible safety measure in place. These officers enforce safe driving and are available to respond immediately to incidents on the lanes.

Additionally, closed-circuit video cameras and traffic sensors continuously monitor the lanes and automatically identify incidents on the lanes within approximately 30 seconds.  We will deploy dedicated incident response crews to manage incidents quickly, in cooperation with first responders and emergency service providers.

Learn more about safety and the Express Lanes

What happens if I need to pull over in the Express Lanes?

You will need to pull to the left of the Express Lanes. There is no shoulder next to the right lane, so safely proceed to the left lane and pull over to the left shoulder.  And, please stay in your car. You should not get out of your vehicle unless it is an emergency. In an emergency, please move behind the safety barriers until assistance arrives. By using our incident detection monitoring in the lanes, we will be able to identify a need for assistance and will send out incident response or support to assist you.

How can I report accidents or hazardous conditions on the Express Lanes?

Report an incident by calling #77. You can also call 1-855-495-9777.

What should I do or expect, and who should I call if my car breaks down on the Express Lanes?

If you or your passengers are experiencing a medical emergency, always call 911 first.

If you begin to experience mechanical problems while traveling in the Express Lanes, safely pull over to the shoulder in the Express Lanes. The Express Lanes operators, who monitor the road 24 hours a day, seven days a week, will see you stopped on the shoulder and dispatch an Express Assist vehicle to your location. You do not need to call anyone to alert Express Assist that you are disabled – we will see your stopped car and send a vehicle out to help you without notification or request.

What is the purpose of the “Express Assist” vehicles that patrol the Express Lanes?

Express Assist crews patrol the Express Lanes to help get you back on your way if you break down or stop in the Lanes. They patrol the Lanes to help drivers who pull off onto the shoulder or stop in the Express Lanes traffic lanes. The Express Assist crew members are able to help drivers who have stopped because of a flat tire, empty fuel tank or other minor mechanical issue. Crew members can also alert fire rescue or police in the event of an emergency. Express Assist vehicles cannot provide towing services, but can contact a towing company for a disabled driver.

Express Assist crew members will perform basic mechanical tasks – like change a flat tire, provide fuel, jump start a battery – at no cost. In most scenarios, this will get you back on your way.

If your vehicle needs to be towed, the Express Assist crew member can call a tow truck, but you will be responsible for the towing company’s charges.

If you prefer to call a different roadside emergency service like AAA, for example, to come assist you, you may be responsible for the cost of the toll they pay to reach you in the 495 Express Lanes. Please check with your preferred towing company or roadside service provider to see whether they would charge you for the toll.

View All495 Express Lanes and E-ZPass

Does everyone who uses the Express Lanes need an E-ZPass?

Yes, you must have an E-ZPass if you want to use the Express Lanes. There are no toll booths or options to pay cash. If you want to carpool on the Express Lanes without paying the toll you need to get a new E-ZPass Flex. This switchable E-ZPass lets us know you are a carpooler so that you won’t be charged a toll.  Learn more about using the lanes.

I already have a standard E-ZPass. Does it work?

Rest assured – it works in the Express Lanes.

Do I have to get an E-ZPass Flex?

No. If you don’t think you’ll travel the 495 Express Lanes with three or more people in your vehicle then you need a standard E-ZPass.

However, if you want to get a toll-free trip on the Express Lanes you need three or more people in your vehicle and an E-ZPass Flex set to HOV mode.

Why can’t I use the same transponder that I already have?

The E-ZPass you need depends on how you plan to use the Express Lanes.  If you already have an E-ZPass, you do not need to switch to an E-ZPass Flex unless you plan on carpooling.  Your standard E-ZPass will work.  If you plan on carpooling, you need an E-ZPass Flex to use the Express Lanes.

Where can I get an E-ZPass?

You can get an E-ZPass on the Virginia or Maryland E-ZPass websites. To get an E-ZPass you will need:
• Driver’s License Number
• License Plate Number
• Credit Card Information

You can also get an E-ZPass or E-ZPass Flex in Virginia at:
• AAA Mid-Atlantic locations. Find a location near you.
• Select Wegmans locations. Find a location near you.
• Select Giant Food Stores. Find a location near you.

In Virginia you can also call 877-762-7824 or visit your nearest E-ZPass Service Center.

How do I swap out my existing E-ZPass for an E-ZPass Flex?

There are several ways for a current Virginia E-ZPass customer to exchange a standard E-ZPass for an E-ZPass Flex.

  • Go to www.EZPassVA.com – under the heading “Announcing the new E-ZPass Flex”, click “Request a Flex Transponder.” Log in to your account and follow the instructions. Or you can log in to your account, go to the “Transponders” tab and request exchanges from there. Virginia E-ZPass will mail you an E-ZPass Flex and provide you an envelope to mail back your standard E-ZPass.
  • Call the Customer Service Center (1-877-762-7824) – a Flex transponder can be sent to you. Virginia E-ZPass will mail you an E-ZPass Flex and you can use the enclosed envelope to mail back your standard E-ZPass. Or you can drop it off at one of the E-ZPass Customer Service Centers.
  • Visit one of the E-ZPass Customer Service Centers. Go to ezpassva.com to find the Customer Service near you.

How much does E-ZPass cost?

In Virginia, the standard E-ZPass has a monthly fee of $0.50.  New customers must pay $35 in pre-paid tolls when opening an E-ZPass account. If you got a standard E-ZPass before July 9, 2012, you will not pay a monthly fee until you replace your existing E-ZPass or add a new one to your account.  The Virginia E-ZPass Flex has a monthly fee of $1.  New customers must pay $35 in pre-paid tolls when opening an E-ZPass account. The monthly fee is waived during the months you use your Flex transponder exclusively for HOV-3 on the Express Lanes. You will be charged the fee during the months you use the Flex on another toll facility, in the non-HOV mode on the Express Lanes or if the transponder is unused.  For more information and to sign up, please visit the Virginia E-ZPass website.  

If you would like an E-ZPass from Maryland, you can purchase a standard E-ZPass for $9 and an exterior E-ZPass for $33. E-ZPass Flex is available in Maryland for $18.  E-ZPass Maryland has various plans that you can choose from. For more information and to sign up, please visit the Maryland E-ZPass website.

Are there any monthly fees associated with E-ZPass?

In Virginia, the standard E-ZPass has a monthly fee of $0.50.  If you got a standard E-ZPass before July 9, 2012, you will not pay a monthly fee until you replace your existing E-ZPass or add a new one to your account.  

The Virginia E-ZPass Flex has a monthly fee of $1.  The monthly fee is waived during the months you use your Flex transponder exclusively for HOV-3 on the Express Lanes. You will be charged the fee during the months you use the Flex on another toll facility, in the non-HOV mode on the Express Lanes or if the transponder is unused.  For more information and to sign up, please visit the Virginia E-ZPass website:  www.EZPassVA.com.

E-ZPass Maryland has various plans that you can choose from.  For more information and to sign up, please visit the Maryland E-ZPass website:  https://www.ezpassmd.com.

My E-ZPass is mounted to my license plate.  How do I use the Express Lanes as a carpooler?

You can register the E-ZPass on your bumper on the Express Lanes website and we will flag your E-ZPass as HOV-3.  You will be able to do this when the lanes open on November 17, 2012

What happens if I use the Express Lanes without an E-ZPass?

If you use the Express Lanes without an E-ZPass, a letter will be sent to you explaining the correct way to use the lanes and requesting payment of your toll and an administrative fee.

I live in Washington, D.C. and want an E-ZPass.

You can sign up for a Virginia or Maryland E-ZPass account.

I have a Smart Tag, not an E-ZPass. Will my Smart Tag work on the 495 Express Lanes?

Yes. If you have a Smart Tag transponder, you can use it to pay tolls on the 495 Express Lanes.

Can I pay cash on the 495 Express Lanes?

No. You must pay tolls with an E-ZPass®. There are no toll booths or options to pay cash on the Express Lanes.  

For more information and to sign up for a Virginia E-ZPass, please visit:  www.EZPassVA.com.

For more information and to sign up for a Maryland E-ZPass, please visit: https://www.ezpassmd.com.

What happens if I forget to switch my E-ZPass Flex to HOV mode and I have three people in my car?  Will I be charged a toll?

If your E-ZPass is in toll mode when you enter the Express Lanes, you will be charged a toll.  To ensure that you get your toll-free trip when traveling HOV-3+, it’s important to make sure you select the travel mode on your E-ZPass Flex before you get on the Express Lanes.

 

For more information about E-ZPass and the Express Lanes check out our Using E-ZPass page.

What happens if I forget to switch my E-ZPass Flex to toll mode when I’m traveling alone?

A trooper could pull you over and issue you a ticket.  Incorrect use of the E-ZPass Flex in HOV mode – including switching between travel modes while in the Express Lanes – may also result in a ticket or being charged.  That why it’s important to make sure you select the travel mode on your E-ZPass Flex before you get on the road.

What is the beep on the Flex transponder for?

The beep on the E-ZPass Flex alerts the driver that their device is switched to carpool (HOV-3+ mode).  Traveling with three or more people and an E-ZPass Flex will give you a toll-free trip on the Express Lanes.  If you are traveling with two or fewer people you should flip the switch to toll mode, which does not have a beep when you change to that mode.

Can I use my E-ZPass Flex transponder on other toll roads?

Yes, E-ZPass can be used to pay tolls on other roads such as the Dulles Toll Road or the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.  The E-ZPass Flex will work on any road that accepts E-ZPass, regardless of the position of the switch.

Is there a Flex transponder for bumper mounted transponders?

The E-ZPass Flex is not available for bumper mounted transponders.  If you plan to travel in the Express Lanes with three or more people and have an E-ZPass mounted to your license plate, you can nominate your E-ZPass.  Go to the HOV Nomination page to nominate for HOV travel. Or call 1-855-495-9777 to nominate a bumper mounted E-ZPass.

I went to nominate my bumper-mounted transponder for toll-free travel in the Express Lanes, but the website says that my trip must begin at least 30 minutes from the current time. I need to take the Express Lanes immediately and I am confident I will reach the Express Lanes in less than 30 minutes. What should I do?

We require a 30-minute window to allow sufficient time for our system to register your bumper-mounted transponder for HOV-3 travel. We do this to ensure a successful registration and to avoid charging a toll to a driver who has three or more people in the vehicle. If you attempt to travel in the Express Lanes before your nominated trip window, you will be charged the toll rate at your time of entry.

View All495 Express Lanes Invoices and Missed Tolls

What is a toll invoice?

If you travel in the 495 Express Lanes without an E-ZPass, on-road equipment will capture an image of your license plate and we will send you an invoice in the mail requesting payment of your toll and an administrative fee. You can pay your invoice online.

How do I pay a toll invoice?

You can pay your invoice on the 495 Express Lanes website, you can call 1-855-495-9777 or you can mail in your payment. Just follow the instructions on your invoice to mail your payment to P.O. Box 28148, New York, NY 10087.

How much is the administrative fee for a toll invoice?

Your first toll invoice has an administrative fee of $12.50 per trip. If you do not pay your first invoice then that fee escalates to $25.00 per trip.

What are the administrative fees on the toll invoice for?

The administrative fees cover the costs associated with locating and contacting the driver to request the payment of the toll.  Customers can avoid escalating fees by paying missed tolls right away on the website before an invoice gets mailed.

Why did the administrative fees on my invoice increase?

The administrative fees cover the costs associated with locating and contacting the driver to request toll payment.  If we send you multiple invoices your fees may increase. And, if your address is not up to date with the DMV, your information may be sent to a debt collection agency and your fees will increase.

Customers can avoid escalating fees by paying missed tolls right away on the website before we mail an invoice.

Can I pay my toll invoice online?

Yes, it’s easy to pay your invoice online.

Can I mail a check for my toll invoice?

Yes. Follow the instructions on your invoice and mail a check to P.O. Box 28148, New York, NY 10087.

What kinds of credit cards do you accept?

You can pay your missed tolls or invoices with an American Express, Discover, MasterCard or Visa.

How can I avoid future invoices?

You can avoid receiving an invoice by using an E-ZPass when you drive in the 495 Express Lanes. Everyone who drives in the Express Lanes needs an E-ZPass, even carpoolers.  Learn more about E-ZPass, including which one is right for you and how to get one.

What happens if I don’t pay my toll invoice?

If you don’t pay your invoice, you face escalating fines and penalties, including the possibility of civil penalties or other fees issued by Fairfax Courts. That’s why it’s important to pay your invoice when you receive it. Pay for outstanding invoices

How long do I have to pay my invoice after receiving it in the mail?

The due date for your payment is on your invoice. It’s best to pay your invoice when you receive it.  You can pay your invoice on the 495 Express Lanes website, you can call 1-855-495-9777 or you can mail in your payment. Just follow the instructions on your invoice to mail your payment to P.O. Box 28148, New York, NY 10087.

The toll I was charged is not the toll rate I saw on the sign when I entered the Express Lanes.  What should I do?

Please note that the toll price to each exit is not displayed on every dynamic message sign, but if you exit a point between the points displayed on the sign, your toll should fall between the prices you saw. You can verify the historical toll rates and ensure the rate you were charged falls between the prices you saw. If you have questions about your tolls, please contact us

How do I dispute an invoice?

You can dispute an invoice on the website here or you can call 1-855-495-9777.

I have disputed a violation, but I am not satisfied with the outcome.  What can I do?

If you have an HOV-3 violation, you can follow the instructions on the summons and appear in court to dispute the HOV violation.

If you do not like the outcome of a toll dispute you can raise that with your E-ZPass agency.

I never received my invoice by mail but have been contacted by a debt collection agency.  Why?

We use DMV records to determine the address where we should send the toll invoice.  If your address is not up to date with the DMV, the toll invoice may be returned to us.  We then send the toll invoice to a debt collection agency to contact you for payment.

To ensure toll invoices are sent to the correct address, make sure your information is up to date with the DMV.

I have an E-ZPass Flex, was in HOV mode, had three people in my vehicle and still received a toll invoice.  What should I do?

Please call our customer service center at 1-855-495-9777 to speak with a representative.

I accidentally used the Express Lanes without an E-ZPass. What do I do?

If you traveled accidentally without an E-ZPass, you can avoid a toll invoice by paying your toll here through the Missed a Toll process.
 
In order to avoid a toll invoice, you need to pay your toll and the small fee before we mail you a toll invoice. Your toll amount will usually be available for payment within 48 hours of your trip and in order to avoid the toll invoice, you must pay via Missed a Toll within 5 days of your trip.

What do I do if I get a court summons in the mail?

If you receive a court summons, please contact Customer Care at 1-855-495-9777, between 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Monday – Friday.

What happens if I overpay the amount of an invoice?

You can request a refund for the overpayment by (1) contacting the customer service center at 1-855-495-9777 to speak with a representative or (2) sending a request on the “Contact Us” page of www.495expresslanes.com.  You have up to a maximum of ninety (90) days after 495 Express Lanes receives your payment to request a refund.  Any overpayment in excess of $100 will be automatically refunded to you – no need to request it.

Why did I receive a court summons?

Your vehicle was recorded using the 495 Express Lanes without paying the toll, and you have been identified as the registered owner of the vehicle by the DMV.  Two toll violation notices were mailed to you at the vehicle’s registered address prior to the unpaid invoice being forwarded to a debt collections agency. After a minimum of 180 days in debt collections with no payment received, a court summons is sent. For more information, please contact Customer Care at 1-855-495-9777, between 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Monday – Friday.

Can I prepay to avoid going to court?

Yes – to prepay, please contact Customer Care at 1-855-495-9777 (7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday – Friday) at least 7 business days before the court date listed on your summons.

How much are the court fees?

Your court fees will be listed on your court summons. Under Virginia law (§33.1-563 of the Code of Virginia), penalties and charges can be applied to drivers with unpaid tolls.

Do I need a lawyer on my court date?

No, you do not need a lawyer for your court date, as this is a civil hearing and a lawyer is not required. However, you have the right to seek legal counsel.

What if I have to reschedule my court date?

If you need to reschedule your court date, please contact the court:  (703) 246-3764