Where to Buy Colorado Toll Pass: Your Easy Guide

Getting around Colorado efficiently often means using toll roads, especially when you want to avoid traffic. To save money on these routes, you should get an ExpressToll pass. This pass works for all express lanes and toll roads across the state. For those who prefer not to prepay for tolls, there is also the option to use License Plate Toll.

Types of Colorado Toll Passes

Colorado offers several toll pass options that can save you money and make traveling on toll roads easier. These include the ExpressToll Pass, License Plate Toll Option, and Switchable HOV Transponder. Each has unique benefits and is suited for different types of users.

ExpressToll Pass and Account

The ExpressToll Pass is a convenient option for frequent toll road users. You can get a sticker pass or a transponder that works on all express lanes in Colorado, as well as the E-470 and the Northwest Parkway. Having an ExpressToll account can save you an average of 40% on tolls. You can manage your toll payments online and keep track of your account balance.

License Plate Toll Option

If you don’t want to get an ExpressToll Pass, you can opt for the License Plate Toll option. Cameras capture your license plate as you drive through tolled areas, and you receive a bill in the mail. This method does not offer the same discounts as the ExpressToll Pass and is usually more expensive. It’s a good option if you only use toll roads occasionally or prefer not to use a transponder.

Switchable HOV Transponder

The Switchable HOV Transponder is the best option for carpoolers. This transponder allows you to switch between toll mode and High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) mode. If you’re traveling with two or more passengers, you can switch to HOV mode and use the express lanes for free. This pass also works on all express lanes, along with E-470 and the Northwest Parkway.

Navigating the toll roads in Colorado is simpler when you have the right pass. Choose the one that fits your driving habits and start enjoying faster and more cost-effective travel.

Purchasing Your Toll Pass

To get a toll pass in Colorado, you have several options. You can buy it online, visit retail locations, or go to an ExpressToll Service Center. Each method has its own steps and requirements.

Online Acquisition

You can easily get a Colorado toll pass online. Start by creating an ExpressToll Account on their website. You will need to prepay $35, which can be used towards future tolls. Once your account is set up, you will receive a windshield-mounted transponder or a sticker tag in the mail.

For the GO-PASS, visit their website and create an account. After that, you can prepay your tolls and manage your account online. This method is quick, convenient, and allows you to bypass traffic delays at toll booths.

ExpressToll Service Center

Another option is to visit an ExpressToll Service Center. Here, you can get personalized assistance with setting up your ExpressToll Account. The staff can answer questions, help you choose between a windshield-mounted transponder or a sticker tag, and assist with payment setup.

Service centers can also provide immediate access to your pass, letting you hit the express lanes without delay. This face-to-face option is excellent if you need extra help or want to ensure everything is correctly set up.

By choosing the right method for you, getting a toll pass can be a straightforward process.

Toll Pass Installation and Usage

It’s important to correctly install your toll pass to ensure smooth usage while driving in Colorado. You’ll need to mount the transponder on your windshield, set the correct toll mode, and know the procedures for using the express lanes efficiently.

Mounting Your Transponder

Start by cleaning the inside of your windshield where the transponder will be mounted. This helps ensure a secure attachment. The ideal spot is behind your rearview mirror but make sure it’s within your line of sight.

Remove the protective film from the adhesive side of the transponder. Firmly press it against the windshield, holding it for a few seconds. This step ensures that it stays in place while driving.

If you have a Switchable HOV3+ Transponder, follow the same steps. Make sure it is oriented correctly so it can be easily switched between toll and HOV modes. This is crucial for easy access during your trips.

Setting the Toll Mode

Setting the correct toll mode ensures you are charged accurately when using Colorado’s toll roads. Some transponders, like the Switchable HOV3+ Transponder, allow you to choose between toll and high occupancy vehicle (HOV) modes.

If you’re alone in the car, set the transponder to toll mode. When carpooling with three or more people, switch it to HOV3+ mode. This allows you to use the express lanes for free or at a reduced rate.

To switch modes, simply slide the switch on your transponder to the appropriate setting before starting your trip. Always double-check the mode to avoid incorrect charges.

Using the Express Lanes

Using express lanes in Colorado provides a faster, more reliable way to travel. Ensure your transponder is visible and set to the correct mode before entering the lanes.

Always observe the posted signs and follow the rules for each express lane. Some lanes require three or more people for free use in HOV3+ mode. Others may charge all users regardless of vehicle occupancy.

With an ExpressToll Account and a properly installed transponder, driving through express lanes becomes a seamless experience. This setup helps you avoid higher rates and ensures you’re billed correctly for your travels.

By following these steps, you can make the most of Colorado’s express lanes and enjoy a smoother journey.

Payment and Toll Rates

To use Colorado toll roads efficiently, you’ll need to manage a prepaid account, understand toll rates and discounts, and know your payment methods. Here’s a detailed breakdown to help you navigate these aspects.

Managing Prepaid Account Balance

To set up a prepaid toll account, visit the Colorado Department of Transportation’s website and sign up for an ExpressToll account. You need to prepay $35, which will be used toward future tolls. This balance ensures you always have funds available for toll payments.

Keep track of your balance through the online account management system. You can easily see your current balance, transaction history, and reload your account. Low balance notifications can be set up to alert you when funds are running low. This helps avoid any unpaid toll fines or surcharges. It’s essential to regularly check and manage your prepaid account to ensure seamless travel on Colorado toll roads.

Understanding Toll Rates and Discounts

Toll rates in Colorado vary based on the road and time of day. Peak hours may have higher rates due to increased traffic. The rates for I-25, I-70, and other major routes are listed on the Colorado Department of Transportation’s website.

With an ExpressToll account, you benefit from discounted rates compared to those who use License Plate Tolling. Discounts may also be available for carpoolers with the Switchable HOV3+ Transponder. This makes your travel more cost-effective if you plan accordingly. Always check current rates before your trip to budget accurately.

Payment Methods

There are various payment methods to ensure your tolls are covered. If you have an ExpressToll account, your tolls are automatically deducted from your prepaid balance. You can add funds to your account online using a credit card, debit card, or through electronic funds transfer.

If you receive a License Plate Toll Statement, you can pay online, by phone, or mail. The online payment system is user-friendly and offers convenience for managing your account and paying tolls quickly. For those who drive infrequently, paying as you go through the License Plate Tolling option can be more flexible.

Special Considerations

When purchasing a Colorado toll pass, there are various factors to keep in mind depending on your vehicle type and travel needs. Let’s explore key points relevant for rental cars, motorcyclists, trucks, and those traveling to other states.

Rental Car Tolling Information

If you are driving a rental car, it’s important to understand how tolls work. Many rental companies offer tolling programs, but these often come with additional fees.

To avoid these extra charges, you might want to purchase a toll pass directly and attach it to your rental vehicle. Before you do so, check with the rental company about their policies on using personal toll passes.

Keep in mind that some rental cars might already have an integrated toll pass. If so, confirm how the toll fees will be charged and if there are any daily or usage fees associated with it. By doing this homework, you can control your toll expenses more effectively.

Motorcyclists and Tolling

Good news for motorcyclists: you generally do not need a toll pass to use CDOT’s High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Express Lanes.

According to CDOT guidelines, motorcycles can use these lanes for free. It’s crucial, however, to be aware of any updates or changes to this rule before hitting the road.

Motorcyclists planning to use other toll roads should consider getting an ExpressToll pass to save on tolls. This pass works on E-470, Northwest Parkway, and CDOT Express Lanes, providing convenience across various routes.

Trucks and Commercial Vehicles

Trucks and commercial vehicles have specific rules for tolling. If you operate such a vehicle, you need to ensure that your toll pass is registered correctly to avoid fines or penalties.

Commercial vehicles should use a valid transponder like the ExpressToll pass. This pass can be set up through an online account, making it easy to manage payments and track expenses.

Different toll rates may apply based on the vehicle’s weight and the number of axles. Always check the latest rate information to budget accurately for your trips. Proper toll pass setup is essential for smooth, uninterrupted travel for commercial operations.

Interoperability With Other States

If you frequently drive beyond Colorado, it’s essential to consider toll pass interoperability. Colorado’s ExpressToll pass is usable on local toll roads like E-470 and Northwest Parkway, but you’ll need to confirm if it works in states you’ll be traveling through.

Some toll passes, like the GO-PASS, may offer limited or no interoperability. Researching ahead can save time and avoid surprise toll charges on out-of-state highways.

Checking each state’s toll system and understanding which passes are accepted can streamline your multi-state travel. This way, you are prepared and won’t face unexpected toll invoices in the mail.

Enforcement and Penalties

When using Colorado’s toll roads, it’s important to follow the rules to avoid penalties.

If you use the I-70 Mountain Express Lane without paying, you face a $75 civil penalty. This fine can double to $150 if not paid within 20 days.

Violations on other express lanes, like C-470 and I-25 north of Denver, carry the same penalties.

Payment options include an automated phone system. If you’ve received a violation notice, call 1-800-450-5167 to make a payment.

Regular compliance ensures smooth travel and avoids any extra costs.

  • 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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