We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The Tripadvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Obtain EZPass as we get on the PA Turnpike (at OH border)?

Berkeley, California
Level Contributor
2,132 posts
17 reviews
22 helpful votes
Obtain EZPass as we get on the PA Turnpike (at OH border)?
Save

We should have planned ahead! We're flying into Cleveland and driving to Pittsburgh in a few days. It just occurred to me that we'll probably be paying tolls, and it will be cheaper with EZPass (and definitely cheaper to NOT use the rental car's "service"!). It's too late to order one by mail, so that's out for this trip, anyway. We anticipate visiting/driving in PA a fair amount in the future, but probably less in OH.

Comparing the EZpass websites for both Ohio and PA, it seems OH charges a monthly rental fee for the transponder, but PA doesn't. OH also still apparently accepts cash (PA doesn't). The toll to get to the state border (in OH) is only $2 more with cash than with EZPass, but the non-EZPass toll in PA is more than $7 more.

SO -

I'm wondering if it's possible to obtain an EZPass as soon as we enter PA (on rt. 76). Is there a place/way to do that? Will we need to register it somehow before we drive on? Any help with how to do this is appreciated.

19 replies to this topic
Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
1,541 posts
24 reviews
17 helpful votes
1. Re: Obtain EZPass as we get on the PA Turnpike (at OH border)?
Save

In PA, you can buy EZ Passes at Turnpike rest stops, but of course you've already entered the Turnpike at that point so that's not going to help you. Also, I'm reading that it takes 24 hours after registering a new EZ Pass before you can use it in state, and 48 hours out of state. So that's going to be an issue too.

According to Google maps, it's only 30 minutes longer to get from Cleveland to Pittsburgh on non toll road highways, using I 80 and I 79. And you can buy EZ Passes in many grocery stores in PA. So I'd recommend taking the non-toll route and then finding a grocery store when you get into PA and buying one and registering it right away so you can use it later on your trip. You can add rental cars to an EZ Pass.

Here's a page with some links and info to get you started, including a store locator for buying EZ Passes:

https://www.paturnpike.com/e-zpass

Or you could just skip the EZ Pass and stick to non toll roads, depending on where you plan to go.

Edited: 10 April 2022, 21:52
West Chester...
Level Contributor
1,008 posts
28 reviews
53 helpful votes
2. Re: Obtain EZPass as we get on the PA Turnpike (at OH border)?
Save

Use this PA Turnpike link to load in a zip code and you will find Ez Pass retailers within a specified radius.

https://www.paturnpike.com/e-zpass

For example, in Hermitage, PA you can get one at a Giant Eagle Supermarket. You can also get transponder at a rest area on the Turnpike, but by then, your rental car tag will have been scanned at your entry interchange. From what I’m reading, it takes 24-48 hours for the registration to go through. You will need to create an account, log in your tag number, and include a credit card for when funds fall below a threshold, your account is reloaded. These “Ez Pass Go Packs” cost $38 and that includes a $3 annual fee and $35 for tolls.

You can also download an app for Apple or android and create a toll by plate account. You can also load in your transponder information, so when the registration goes through it will convert over to Ez Pass.

https://www.paturnpike.com/toll-by-plate/pa-toll-pay-app

Good Luck.

West Chester...
Level Contributor
1,008 posts
28 reviews
53 helpful votes
3. Re: Obtain EZPass as we get on the PA Turnpike (at OH border)?
Save

PS, if you’re just going from Cleveland to Pittsburgh, I would skip buying a transponder and just set up an toll by plate account through the app.

PSS, now I know who to contact if and when we head out to San Francisco and visit some wineries. Lol.

Berkeley, California
Level Contributor
2,132 posts
17 reviews
22 helpful votes
4. Re: Obtain EZPass as we get on the PA Turnpike (at OH border)?
Save

Thanks everyone. Yes, I did see the retail outlet search option, etc., and also (eventually) noticed the 24-hour wait for a PA account to be active. I also learned one can get a transponder at vending machines on the OH Tpk, (for $12?!), but with Ohio's monthly rental fee, that doesn't seem like an attractive option to me.

I think this time we'll just pay the extra $2 cash to the OH/PA border, then take the non-toll route to our destination (which G-maps claims takes less than 5 minutes more). Since this trip will also include some miles on the NY Thruway, and we'll be visiting family in PA (and throughout the northeast) regularly, - including for a wedding at a location best reached by turnpike, - we'll pick up a transponder and set up an account while we're in Pittsburgh.

I tried to set up a PA toll-by-plate account online, but it seems you can't complete the process unless you actually have a license plate to enter; so we'll do it if we need to once we have the rental car.

Pittsburgh...
Level Contributor
3,687 posts
2,867 reviews
57,456 helpful votes
5. Re: Obtain EZPass as we get on the PA Turnpike (at OH border)?
Save

you can buy a pre paid ezy pass transponder good for ohio and maine to florida border ,It was $45 with $35 credit and you register it online and have a $35 credit, It then recharges when it drops to $10 . Available at most AAA around here if a member.

Pittsburgh...
Level Contributor
3,687 posts
2,867 reviews
57,456 helpful votes
6. Re: Obtain EZPass as we get on the PA Turnpike (at OH border)?
Save

just do ezy pass AAA on google search

Pittsburgh...
Level Contributor
3,687 posts
2,867 reviews
57,456 helpful votes
7. Re: Obtain EZPass as we get on the PA Turnpike (at OH border)?
Save

also if you have a prepaid ezy pass, you only get billed by plate at the lower rate if they dont pick up your ezy pass when entering. mines always worked and used mine on a friends car to maine and my transponder got the toll bills not his car plate... best to get a prepaid at aaa and register it online in advance.

Israel
Level Contributor
6,019 posts
1,135 reviews
3,922 helpful votes
8. Re: Obtain EZPass as we get on the PA Turnpike (at OH border)?
Save

Thanks KLS-

I’m back and asking the same question that I did last year- prior to one of my canceled trips- here is that thread

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g1-i12567-k13541813-EZ_pass_to_buy_or_not_to_buy_that_is_the_question-Road_Trips.html

I’ll be traveling and using it in Pennsylvania and looking to buy it at a store near JFK but your posts give me two questions-

Again, how to buy it and get the transponder sent by mail (in U.S. or international) and more important- what’s this about registering the car without a transponder?

I have an open thread on this topic on the road trips and NYC forums for those who have sililar questions/issues.

Edited: 11 April 2022, 12:03
Level Contributor
2,673 posts
8 reviews
28 helpful votes
9. Re: Obtain EZPass as we get on the PA Turnpike (at OH border)?
Save

If you plan to take the turnpike in OH, get your EZ Pass before you hit the road. If you really hate paying anything extra, I get setting up your own stuff but it's not exorbitant to just use the rental car toll program (do confirm pricing). You're paying for convenience....which isn't a terrible thing sometimes.

Pittsburgh...
Level Contributor
3,687 posts
2,867 reviews
57,456 helpful votes
10. Re: Obtain EZPass as we get on the PA Turnpike (at OH border)?
Save

well first, I now have a prepaid ezy pass. The instructions on websites make it complicated when it's simple to register online in less than 10 minutes. When registering it you register a plate, I have 3 plates on my transponder registered. The device itself Records all tolls. All the registering a car and plate is used for is in the event the transponder doesn't work they still have you using a toll road. In this case, you are charged at the lower ezy pass rate since it's their fault. Which since last year has not happened. I switch mine between 3 vehicles. I went to New Hampshire using a rental car and just added my ezy pass to a windshield of a rental with a velcro strip. ( I did not enter a rental car plate ) All tolls were billed to my ezy pass transponder. when your credit card attached to registration drops below $10 it auto recharges to amount you set, (default is $35) (2) without the transponder your rental company gets billed at the higher rate by Plate, (they do rent the transponders but I heard they bill at pay by plate rate not cheaper transponder rate) I don't know how it works international, But I saw some prepaid transponders for sale on amazon. I also suggest getting a prepaid $20 sim card for your phones if not calling back home. for data useage.

Reply to: Obtain EZPass as we get on the PA Turnpike (at OH border)?
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted
Get answers to your questions about Pittsburgh
© 2022 TripAdvisor LLC All rights reserved.

This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in Hong Kong. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu.