Does I-PASS Work in Colorado? Understanding Toll Road Payment Options

Traveling to Colorado and have an I-Pass? You might wonder if your electronic toll collection system will work as seamlessly as it does in Illinois and other states. Your I-Pass, unfortunately, won’t work on Colorado’s toll roads. They operate with a different system called ExpressToll, designed for the local toll roads. If you plan to drive on any of Colorado’s Express Lanes, you’ll need to set up an ExpressToll account to save money and avoid higher license plate toll charges.

I-Pass Compatibility Across States

Your I-Pass, issued by the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority, facilitates travel by working seamlessly with the E-ZPass system in many states, eliminating the need for stopping at toll booths and offering a more convenient drive.

I-Pass Use in Indiana and Ohio

  • Indiana: As a driver with an I-Pass, you’re good to go on Indiana toll roads. Your I-Pass is directly compatible, so you can drive stress-free through the Hoosier State.
  • Ohio: You can also use your I-Pass across Ohio, receiving the same level of convenience and efficiency on its toll roads.

I-Pass Cooperation with E-ZPass System

  • E-ZPass System: Enjoy wide-ranging compatibility, as I-Pass is part of the E-ZPass network. This means wherever E-ZPass is accepted, like in Indiana and Ohio, your I-Pass works without any additional setup or fees.
  • Cross-State Travel: This integration with E-ZPass allows you to travel across participating states seamlessly, including your journeys through Indiana and Ohio, using just your I-Pass transponder.

Electronic Toll Collection in Colorado

In Colorado, driving on certain roads may require paying tolls through an electronic system called ExpressToll. This system streamlines the process of toll collection, making your travel faster and more convenient.

Colorado’s Toll Roads and Expresstoll

Colorado offers several toll roads such as the E-470, where ExpressToll is used to facilitate the payment process. Here’s what you need to know:

  • ExpressToll is an all-electronic tolling system that means you don’t need to stop at toll booths. Instead, tolls are automatically deducted from your prepaid account.
  • When you create an ExpressToll account, you will receive a sticker transponder to place in your vehicle. This transponder is read as you drive through tolling points, and the toll amount is deducted from your account balance.

Remember, to use Colorado’s Express Lanes, an ExpressToll account is necessary if you want to avoid higher License Plate Toll charges. Initially, you’ll prepay a $35 toll balance to fund your account.

Interoperability with I-Pass

If you’re wondering about the I-Pass from Illinois and its usability in Colorado, here’s what you should know:

  • Your I-Pass is accepted on Colorado toll roads such as E-470.
  • This interoperability means you can use your I-Pass, just as you would use an ExpressToll transponder, and enjoy the same convenience of electronic toll collection while traveling through Colorado.

For additional information on setting up an ExpressToll account and saving money on Colorado tolls, you can visit their Get a Pass page. If you need more details on the compatibility of I-Pass with Colorado toll roads, check out the I-Pass Guide.

Using I-Pass on Colorado’s E-470 and Northwest Parkway

When traveling through Colorado, your I-Pass transponder can be used to pay tolls on the E-470 and Northwest Parkway. This convenient service extends outside of Illinois, making your journey smoother and hassle-free.

Fee Structures and Payment Methods

E-470 and the Northwest Parkway have their own specific fee structures for tolls. When you use your I-Pass on these roads, the charges are the same as using a local ExpressToll transponder. Your tolls are automatically deducted from your I-Pass account.

  • E-470: Fixed toll rates based on segment or exit.
  • Northwest Parkway: Single toll rate for the entire stretch.

Payment with I-Pass does not incur any additional fees on top of these rates.

Toll Plazas and License Plate Billing

Unlike traditional toll booths, E-470 and Northwest Parkway utilize all-electronic tolling. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Toll Plazas: You’ll pass through without stopping; overhead gantries read your I-Pass transponder.
  • License Plate Billing: If your I-Pass is not detected, cameras capture your license plate and a bill is sent to the registered vehicle owner. To avoid higher toll rates associated with license plate billing, ensure your I-Pass transponder is mounted properly in your vehicle and that your account is adequately funded.

Benefits of Using I-Pass While Traveling

As you journey out of Chicago and across various states, I-Pass is your key to easier and more cost-effective travel. It simplifies the toll-paying process and offers some financial perks.

Avoiding Tollbooth Delays

When you’re traveling with an I-Pass, you can forget about the old days of stopping and fumbling for change at toll booths. This is especially beneficial when you’re far from home, perhaps navigating the busy roads outside of Chicago. You’ll sail smoothly through toll plazas thanks to the electronic toll collection that lets you bypass the hassle and keep moving without interruption.

Cost Savings and Discounts

Not only do you save time with your I-Pass, but you could also enjoy wallet-friendly benefits. Discounts on tolls are a tangible perk of using I-Pass. Frequent travelers might see noticeable savings over time, which is a bonus when you’re monitoring your travel expenses. Keep in mind, however, while I-Pass is widely accepted in states that use the E-ZPass system, as of the knowledge cutoff in 2023, it isn’t recognized in Colorado for their Express Lanes.


After reviewing the available information, it’s clear that your I-Pass transponder won’t directly work for tolls in Colorado. Colorado operates its own tolling system, which includes the ExpressToll service and the HOV3+ transponder. The good news is that there’s a silver lining: the roads you’d typically use from Illinois to Colorado are toll-free, so you won’t face any tolls on the interstates along this route.

For future travels in states where I-Pass is accepted, it’s handy in a wide network across 18 states, improving travel with ease of payment and avoiding stops at toll booths. Here are the states where your I-Pass will help you glide through tolls:

  • Midwest and East: Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania
  • Northeast: New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts
  • South: Florida, North Carolina, Virginia

Remember, always check for compatibility or necessary passes when planning trips that involve toll roads, especially outside I-Pass’s reach. For more details, you can visit GetIPass Guide or the Colorado Department of Transportation. Safe travels!

  • Eric Williams

    I'm the founder of Daily Car Tips. I wrote articles in the automotive industry for more than 10 years, published in USA and Europe. I love sharing my knowledge and insights with fellow enthusiasts. Join me on this journey as we explore the exciting world of cars together!

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