A SunPass is an electronic transponder that is attached to the windshield which allows the driver to drive through the designated SunPass, E-pass and O-pass lanes which automatically detect and deduct the toll amount form a prepaid account. People visiting Miami International, Orlando International, Palm Beach International and Tampa International Airports can pay for the airport parking charges via SunPass.
How does SunPass work?
If you are a regular toll booth user then you would always have to wait and give exact change. But SunPass is a solution to all the waiting and it allows you to cruise by at a speed of 25mph as it automatically scans the transponder to deduct the toll charge, while others without a SunPass remain waiting in the cash lanes.
The transponder once attached to the windshield transmits a radio signal to the sensors mounted on the SunPass lanes in the toll booth, and those transponders relay the proper toll amount by ducting it from the user’s prepaid account by themselves.
There are the original SunPass transponder and the SunPass Mini transponder.
The original one has three lights – red, yellow and green, and also an audio buzzer. Specific combinations of the lights will let the user know when the toll was paid, when the user has a low balance and when the transponder needed a new battery.
The new portable transponder is fixed to the user’s windshield, but it does not have any lights and neither it emits any beeping sounds.
The latest transponder is the SunPass Mini which does not run on batteries and neither does it have any lights or beeping sounds. It is about the size of a credit card and as thin as one. While this transponder is stuck to a particular user’s windshield, it cannot be moved from one vehicle to another vehicle.
No transponder or SunPass is designed for use on motorcycles. They are only affixed to car windshields.
How to get a SunPass?
A SunPass can be purchased for $19.99 (plus tax) online and the SunPass Mini at $4.99, at the following locations – CVS Pharmacies, Publix Supermarkets, AAA Auto South Club, Navarro Discount Pharmacy, Sedano’s Markets, Walgreen’s Amscot and Turnpike Service Plazas.
A SunPass or a SunPass Mini Sticker transponder account is to be set up with a minimum starting balance of $10.00.
The below are the options at which a user can set up his / her SunPass account –
- Call 1-888-865-5352 Toll-Free OR,
- Register the recently purchased SunPass online OR,
- Purchase the SunPass online for which the License Plate number, driver’s license number, and a credit card details are to be provided in order to pay for the balance. Once done, the SunPass will be received by the user via mail.
How to buy a Florida SunPass?
To get started using a SunPass, you need to find a retailer and the choose the pass that best suits your lifestyle and needs.
- Choosing a pass on the basis of the vehicle group and size. If you are using a single vehicle, the mini SunPass transponder will work. And if you have a vehicle with more than two axles, a standard SunPass transponder is required. Family members may share the Sun Passes between them.
- See whether you need a portable regular SunPass or the affixed mini SunPass which cannot be shared with the family and is affixed to one car permanently.
- It is better to get a standard size portable SunPass if you anticipate a lot of usage between multiple vehicles as you may qualify for special discounts.
- After determining the SunPass, find your retailer, by checking in the locations given above for a SunPass retailer, according to the SunPass you need as not all retailers offer both SunPass and SunPass Mini. Or receive it online and via mail.
- Check with the car rental company, if you are a visitor to Florida and want a SunPass to cut down on tolls. The Car Rental Companies have many deals on Sun Passes to draw the customers and choosing a better deal will help you wind up with a less expensive charge on the tolls than driving with it on your own vehicle.
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How to replenish the SunPass?
The SunPass frequent re-filling of the balance. And when the SunPass drops below the ‘low balance; threshold or less, the SunPass transponder emits a light of high – low – high – low tone.
The SunPass Service Center will automatically replenish the user’s account with a pre-set amount determined by the user at the time of enrollment if there is a credit card on file.
Otherwise, the account holders can visit an authorized merchant near them to replenish the account with cash, which may cost a $1.50 service fee applies to all the cash transactions. Or the user may go online and can also replenish the balance on their SunPass.
The Floridians exclusively love having a SunPass as it saves their time in exchanging cash for paying at the toll manually and it is too easy to be obtained.
What happens in Florida without a SunPass?
Most of Florida’s highways Tollbooths are collecting the toll charges via SunPass and an all-electronic technology. If the passer-by does not have a SunPass, then the toll pass will be paid through a new technology of toll – by – plate. Using this technology, a picture of the passerby’s license tag will be taken, processed and a mail will be sent with the toll bill and a $2.50 service fee applies.
However, it is recommended to the non – SunPass users to purchase the SunPass at the earliest possible, as the SunPass customers pay the lowest toll rates. And as tolls in the express lane are collected electronically with an active, properly mounted SunPass or other interoperable transponders, the passerby cannot pay the tolls in those lanes in cash or via the toll – by – plate technology, because a passerby using such methods to pay the toll will be considered as a violator and the amount is subject to additional fees.