According to a Daily News investigation, New York drivers owe $114 million in unpaid tolls over five years. The Port Authority isn’t doing its due diligence in collecting fees for New York. Until Port Authority officials reduce unpaid tolls, drivers will treat toll roads like a NASCAR race track and continue speeding through without paying. Unpaid tolls could require the state to get tougher on deadbeat drivers.
Recently, authorities impounded a black Mercedes Benz owned by Oscar Sanchez. Not only was he driving on an expired license, he also owed $12,000 in unpaid EZ Pass toll payments.
Unpaid tolls could potentially affect New York drivers like Sanchez in at least five different ways:
Credit Report: The state can place unpaid tolls on a driver’s credit report. A negative mark on a credit score means the driver will pay higher interest rates on credit cards or mortgages. A lower credit score may also disqualify a driver from receiving or extending credit.
Denial of registration: A driver may have to wait before selling his car or truck until he pays his delinquent tolls. Unpaid tolls will prevent a potential buyer from registering the vehicle.
Suspended license: Unpaid tolls can lead to suspended driving privileges. If the police pull you over, they can impound your vehicle for driving on a suspended license. Moreover, professional drivers could potentially have their CDL suspended if they don’t pay their personal toll fees.
Denial of renewing license: Unpaid tolls may disqualify a driver from renewing his driver’s license. However, the punishment is two-fold. First, the driver cannot drive without a valid license. Second, a driver’s license is the most accepted document for identification purposes; also, an expired license is not acceptable for identification purposes.
Fines: The Port Authority may add late fees, which can also be included on a driver’s credit report. Failure to pay fines may also lead to suspended driving privileges.