Tolls on Maine highways were supposed to go away, allegedly.

My mom told me that back when the Maine Turnpike was built, that the tools were eventually supposed to go away when it was finally paid off. Here we are the better part of 100 years later, and we still pay tolls. It's just become part of Maine's financial income. So much for that idea.


Of course, over the years it's changed quite a bit how money is collected. Back in the day, it was all cash. Then the coin buckets became a things for a while in the 90's into the early 2000's. Then of course, along came E-Z Pass. This made it so cars could just keep right on trucking, and not have to stop to pay. Although, some people still pay cash. Myself included. I don't make enough highway trips to justify having it.

But what about when there's just no one to take your money at all?

Despite all the tech-y advantages current times have to offer, when you're a cash toll-payer, there are situations where you'll roll up on a toll booth, and there won't be anyone there. This has happened to me a few times, especially at night. So how does the state get your beloved cash when there's no one there to take it?

dollar denominations with fine coins

Sometimes, an attendant will leave a sign that says to just proceed. Other times, like someone pointed out on Reddit, there will be a sign directing you to a website where you can pay the toll online. Or other times, the lane will be open and there's just nothing/no one. In that event, I just keep on truckin'.

What kind of trouble can you get in?

If you don't pay a toll, and the state can track your plate number, a few things could happen. First and foremost, you won't get a bill. The state doesn't do that. However, failure to pay it could prevent you from doing things like registering your car. You'll have to pay the toll plus whatever fines you may incur for non-payment. You can pay your tolls online right here, too.

Chris Ryan
Chris Ryan

At the end of the day, the state hopes everyone will eventually switch to E-Z Pass. It's much easier to track that way, and frankly you won't have to stop for anything. There are definite advantages. It's just up to you to decide which is better for you. But who doesn't love convenience?

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