Road tripping would be a whole lot easier if you didn't have to wait in line to pass through all those pesky toll booths. Now, folks traveling through the Sunshine State can conveniently wiz by at a breezy 25 miles per hour in the electronic toll collection lane thanks to SunPass, Florida's version of the Northeast's E-ZPass system.
These days, most of Florida's highways are collecting tolls by all-electronic technology. If you drive a stretch of highway without SunPass, you'll be charged through a TOLL-BY-PLATE bill that you'll receive in the mail.
The SunPass system makes traveling these roads easier. An electronic transponder attaches to your windshield, allowing you to drive through designated SunPass, E-Pass, and O-Pass lanes without stopping. The tolls are automatically deducted from a prepaid account.
The SunPass is also handy when paying for parking at Miami International, Orlando International, Palm Beach International, Fort Lauderdale International, and Tampa International Airports. It works in Georgia and North Carolina, too.
Where to Purchase
You can purchase a SunPass online for $19.99. They're also available at CVS Pharmacies, Publix Supermarkets, AAA Auto Club South, Navarro Discount Pharmacy, Sedano's Markets, Walgreen's, Amscot, and even in nifty vending machines dotted along the Florida Turnpike.
In addition to the SunPass Portable, which can be taken out of one vehicle and put into another (including rental cars), there's also a SunPass Mini, available for only $4.99, that mounts to a single windshield and won't come off. Because motorcycles don't have glass windshields, they're only able to use the Portable variety.
How It Works
Once attached to your windshield, the transponder transmits a radio signal to sensors mounted on the SunPass toll lanes, themselves. Instantly, the transponder relays the proper toll amount and deducts it from your prepaid account.
You are required to set up a SunPass or SunPass Mini account with a minimum starting balance of $10. You can set up your account by calling 1-888-TOLL-FLA (1-888-865-5352) or registering online.
When registering your SunPass transponder, you will be prompted to create a low-balance threshold and a pre-set renewal amount. This way, you don't have to worry about your SunPass balance getting too low because it will automatically renew to the amount you set. Automatic balance renewal also puts you at an advantage because you become a SunPass Plus member, meaning that you can use your SunPass to pay for parking at the previously mentioned parking lots. If your SunPass balance is too low to cover the full parking fee, the rest is deducted from your credit card and the balance on your SunPass is replenished.
If you do not feel comfortable leaving a credit card on file, account holders can also go online to manually top up the balance on their SunPass or visit an authorized merchant to top up with cash (a $1.50 service fee applies to cash transactions).