Illinois Tollway

Will your I-PASS transponder still work? Here's what to know as new stickers come out

According to officials, current transponders will remain active until their designated expiration date

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Drivers will soon see their long-held I-PASS transponders replaced with stickers from the Illinois Tollway, but will that mean your old transponder won't work?


According to officials, current transponders will remain active until their designated expiration date.

The questions come as the Illinois Tollway replaces the widely used transponder boxes with radio frequency identification (RFID) sticker tags.

The new stickers were first made available last month at oases, participating Jewel-Osco stores and the Tollway’s headquarters on Jan. 26. The Tollway also noted they would be available for online orders and additional Jewel-Osco and RoadRanger stores in "early February," with a release expected for next week, officials told NBC Chicago.

The stickers can be used immediately on the Illinois Tollway system, though officials say that there may be a 24-hour waiting period for use on the Chicago Skyway or for other states that are on the E-ZPass system.

Unlike transponders, there will be no deposit fee, according to the Tollway. Drivers will also be able to receive multiple stickers to link to the same I-PASS account, meaning that stickers won’t have to be moved between vehicles.

“I-PASS Sticker Tags mark the latest advance in toll collection,” Illinois Tollway Executive Director Cassaundra Rouse said in a statement. “Sticker tags are being adopted by toll agencies across the country and by the Illinois Tollway as they provide a convenient and reliable and travel experience for our customers.”

As for where you should put them, the answer is the same location as your old transponder.

"I-PASS Sticker Tags are required to be mounted to a vehicle’s windshield near the rearview mirror," according to the Tollway, "and like license plate or city stickers, they are not designed to be moved between vehicles. There is no battery, and they last until removed from the vehicle."

According to officials, 19 states are part of the E-ZPass program, and the tag will work for all of those states.  

But as drivers switch out their old transponders for stickers, the Tollway does have one request.

The Tollway asked customers to dispose of old I-PASS transponders in "an environmentally sound way." Drivers can return them to the Illinois Tollway or go to the Earth911 website, search by "lithium-ion batteries" and enter a zip code to find available recycling locations.  

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