Why the expiration date on your I-PASS transponder may be wrong

  • I-PASS transponders with expiry dates between 2020 and 2026 are inaccurate, officials say. The devices should be valid for another two years, and the agency will notify customers when it's time to make an exchange.

      I-PASS transponders with expiry dates between 2020 and 2026 are inaccurate, officials say. The devices should be valid for another two years, and the agency will notify customers when it's time to make an exchange. Marni Pyke | Staff Photographer

  • Don't worry if your I-PASS transponder has an expiration date between 2020 and 2026. Those are inaccurate, officials say, and the device is valid for two years beyond the given date.

    Don't worry if your I-PASS transponder has an expiration date between 2020 and 2026. Those are inaccurate, officials say, and the device is valid for two years beyond the given date. Daily Herald File Photo

 
 
Posted8/29/2022 5:30 AM

Does anyone actually look at their I-PASS transponder once it's mounted on the car window?

Not I, until a toll gate hiccup in Indiana this July caused me to glance up and realize the device expired in June 2022.

 

Or did it? Turns out my transponder is among 3.5 million with incorrect expiry dates falling between 2020 and 2026.

"All customers with expiration dates from 2020 through 2026 have two more years before they will be prompted to exchange their transponders," tollway spokeswoman Joelle McGinnis explained.

"Regardless of what the expiration date is on your transponder, customers will always receive a letter from the tollway when it's time to replace their transponder."

Customers in the 2020 through 2026 cohort eager to know when their transponders are ready for retirement can add two years to the expiry date, officials said. For example, if your device lists June 2022, the actual date would fall around June 2024.

Also, "the expiration date is predicated on the potential for failure from battery and age, and nearly all transponders last much longer than their expiration date," McGinnis said.

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The glitch occurred when the agency was transitioning between transponders with life spans of eight years to ones with 10 years. It affects devices issued between 2012 and 2018. The tollway procures the devices from Kapsch TrafficCom through a bulk purchase with the E-ZPass Group, a consortium of toll agencies in 19 states.

"Eight years ago, the tollway's fulfillment vendor set the expiration date at eight years, when the actual life span of the transponders was 10, thus the tollway is extending the expiration on this lot of transponders by two years," McGinnis explained.

The tollway began using expiry dates over 10 years ago in an effort to better inform drivers, she said.

"We've definitely had customers who are diligent and pay attention to expiry dates and contacted us immediately with concerns. There are others who keep driving until they get the letter from us," McGinnis said.

In general, "any customer with issues with their transponder should contact customer service at (800) UC-IPASS and the tollway will send a replacement," McGinnis added.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The tollway "will work with them to dismiss any fees and/or adjust the toll rates paid in the event their account begins video tolling," a reference to extra fees triggered when I-PASS users accumulate over five missed tolls in a month.

She also advised drivers to check their I-PASS accounts at least once a year to ensure contact information and credit cards are up-to-date as well as check for notifications.

Got a comment or question? Drop an email to mpyke@dailyherald.com.

You should know

The Chicago Transit Authority signed a contract last week to put 100 security guards and 50 dogs on patrol at train stations throughout the system. Teams will comprise two unarmed guards and a police dog. "These new police dog units will complement the efforts of the existing security presence out on CTA, which now boasts more than 300 unarmed guards throughout the system each day," officials said in a statement.

One more thing

Headed to Starved Rock for a fall getaway or traveling to Iowa? Plan for delays next month on eastbound I-80 in Joliet. IDOT crews are patching and resurfacing the busy interstate, which means lane and ramp closures between Raynor Avenue and Gardner Street in Joliet. Eastbound drivers are advised to consider alternate routes. Work starts Sept. 8 and should wrap up Sept. 12.

Gridlock alert

Expect overnight lane closures this week on I-55 under the Tri-State Tollway with full closures as construction crews install new bridge beams. The work should last two weeks.

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