How to Dispute an E-ZPass Violation in New Jersey
New Jersey uses E-ZPass, an electronic toll collection system. If you have an E-ZPass tag, tolls are deducted from your prepaid account when you drive through the E-ZPass toll lane. It seems simple enough, but the system does make mistakes. While it's easy enough just to pay the violation, there's no point in paying the additional $50 fee assessed by the Turnpike Authority for violations if you don't have to. If you receive an E-ZPass violation notice despite the fact that you paid the toll, you can dispute the violation online, by phone, or through the mail.
Submitting Your Dispute
1. Ask for a waiver if it's your first violation. Call the Violation Processing Center at 1-973-368-1425 and provide your violation number to the representative. Explain that it's your first violation and request they waive the $50 administrative fee.
If you can get the fee waived, you'll only have to pay the toll. While this can be frustrating if you were sent the violation in error, it may take more time and effort than it would be worth simply to avoid paying $1.50.
2. Access your violation online. From the NJ E-ZPass website, you can enter the violation number on your notice along with your license tag number at https://www.ezpassnj.com/vector/violations/violationInquiry.do?locale=en_US&from=Home&btnLogin.x=1&formid=frmViol.
When you click "view violation," it will pull up the violation and give you the option either to pay the violation or to submit a dispute.
You can also manage your violations by logging into your online account and navigating to the violation page.
3. Mail documentation if you want a paper trail. Especially if you're getting repeated erroneous violations, you may want to submit your dispute in writing. Write a formal letter with details about the violation and your dispute. Attach any relevant documents as proof.
For example, if the photo shows a tag that doesn't match the tag on your vehicle, you could take a picture of your tag and submit the two photos to show the difference.
Use the address for the E-ZPass Violations Processing Center: P.O. Box 4971, Trenton, NJ 08650.
Make a copy of everything you send before you mail it. Use certified mail with return receipt requested so you know when your letter is received.
4. Request a new tag if your tag is more than 3 years old. Older tags may have a dead battery that causes them not to send a signal to the transponder. When this happens, your tag won't be read and the toll won't be deducted from your account.
Contact E-ZPass at 1-800-AUTO-TOLL and request a new tag. The operator will deduct the toll from your account and remove the violation from your record. You won't have to pay the additional $50 administrative fee.
Understanding the Violation
5. Read your violation notice carefully. It may be several weeks after the alleged violation occurs before you get a notice in the mail. The violation notice will state the specific location, date, and time that the violation was registered.
Violation notices are automatically generated. It could be that you received the notice in error.
Check the photo taken and make sure the vehicle and tag number are yours.
6. Identify the specific violation. Most commonly, you'll receive a violation notice because your E-ZPass tag wasn't read. But you can also get a violation if your tag isn't mounted properly, or if you switched your tag to a different vehicle and didn't update your account.
For some of these violations, you can get the violation removed after you've updated your account or corrected the problem that led to the violation.
7. Review your itemized statement. For the first 6 months after you open an E-ZPass account, you'll receive a statement every month. From then on out, you'll get a statement every other month. Make sure there are no deductions from your account that are unfamiliar to you.
If you have a statement that covers the time period of the violation, look for a deduction with the same date, time, and location as the violation.
8. Verify your account status. If you received a violation notice alleging that your account had insufficient funds, there may be a hold or other problem with your account. Contact the E-ZPass service center at 1-888-288-6865 to verify that your account is in good standing.
You can also verify your account status online at the NJ E-ZPass website, www.ezpassnj.com.