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New York adopts new rules to address unpaid tolls: What happens to those debts now?

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

New York has introduced new regulations to address the ongoing issues related to cashless tolling, including large debts accumulated by drivers for unpaid tolls. After years of legislative efforts blocked by gubernatorial vetoes, a compromise was reached in the recent state budget, establishing rules aimed at ensuring drivers are adequately notified of their toll charges and given clear instructions on how to dispute any incorrect billing.

The new guidelines, effective from September 30, focus on non-E-ZPass users, who are billed by mail after their license plates are captured by camera systems. The system has been problematic since the transition from manned toll booths began in 2016, leading to cases where drivers faced significant debts from unnotified toll charges and late fees. In one notable instance, a Rockland County resident discovered a $12,000 charge only after her vehicle was impounded.

Under the new rules, toll authorities are required to send two billing notices before issuing a violation notice, provide clear dispute instructions, and offer notifications via email or text. Late fees will be waived if a violation notice is delayed beyond 90 days after the second bill. The reforms also mandate the creation of toll payer advocate offices to assist with disputes and require public outreach to educate drivers about the changes. These steps aim to prevent the severe penalties and financial burdens previously experienced by many New York drivers under the cashless system.

Categories: New York StateNews