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Motorists May Not Lose Their Licenses for Unpaid Tolls Starting July 1

On Behalf of | Jun 22, 2020 | Traffic Violations |

Wheaton traffic violations lawyer

The Illinois Tollway is a user-fee system that does not receive state or federal funds to operate or maintain its roadways. I-PASS was implemented to avoid traffic delays by allowing motorists to seamlessly travel through the open road tolling lanes. This eliminates idling time, excessive braking, and the need to stop at toll plazas. The cost for each toll is also discounted for those who use an I-PASS, cutting the toll price in half. In addition, account alerts keep users up to date, alerting them if their credit cards on file are out of date or show low account balances. According to the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority, a person’s driver’s license may be suspended for failure to pay fines or penalties for five or more toll violations or evasions. However, starting July 1, that may no longer be the case. It is important to understand what actions or inactions can lead to a traffic violation if you are a frequent traveler on these Illinois roads.

Penalties for Not Paying Tolls in Illinois

Motorists on any Illinois tollway are required to pay specified toll amounts at each toll plaza according to designated signs. Failure to pay the tolls may be considered a traffic violation, and it can result in costly fines and even a driver’s license suspension in some cases.

Drivers who miss paying a toll typically have a seven-day grace period to pay them online. Once a notice is received, motorists have 30 days to pay the fines or contest the violations. Penalties may include paying the amount in missed tolls plus an additional $20 per violation.

License to Work Act

The License to Work Act was signed into Illinois law on January 17, 2020. Starting July 1, an Illinois resident’s driver’s license cannot be suspended for failure to pay parking or vehicle compliance tickets, or for failure to pay five tolls or fines for certain tollway violations. Basically, it repeals the existing laws that allowed the Secretary of State to suspend driving privileges for unpaid fines and various traffic violations.

The Act also allows motorists to reinstate their driving privileges if they have already had their driver’s license revoked or suspended for these reasons. In the majority of cases, license reinstatement will be automatic without having to pay a fee. However, if the suspension was made through court action, the defendant may need to provide more information to resolve the suspension.

It is important to note that a person may have more than one suspension on his or her driver’s license at the same time. If the suspension is for a reason that is not covered by the License to Work Act, then that individual will not have his or her driving privileges fully restored on July 1. Therefore, it is possible to have one suspension eradicated, but another violation can still keep a person from driving legally.

Contact a Wheaton Traffic Violations Defense Lawyer

Many people may think that failing to pay a toll is a minor violation, and therefore may not bother with paying them at all. However, after so many infractions, you risk losing your driving privileges. If you or someone you know has questions or concerns about a tollway or any type of traffic violation, consult a DuPage County criminal defense attorney right away. At Anderson Attorneys & Advisors, we understand how recent changes to the laws can be confusing to Illinois motorists. Call us today at 630-877-5800 to schedule your free consultation.