Frequently Asked Questions – Violations

What happens if my toll tag account is not in good standing or my license plate is not registered on my account?

If your toll tag account is not in good financial standing, your license plate is not registered on your account or your tag is not mounted properly on your vehicle, you will be subject to receiving Toll Violation Invoices which include toll charges and additional fees.

I want to report a violator on METRO’s HOT lanes. Who do I contact?

You may contact METRO at 713-921-HERO (4376).

Can a single EZ TAG be used in more than one vehicle?

No.  Just as your license plate is unique to your vehicle, your EZ TAG is unique to your license plate.

The EZ TAG Agreement for your Harris County Toll Road Authority EZ TAG Account requires you to update your information if you change vehicles and/or license plates. Keeping your account information updated and maintaining your EZ TAG Account balance will ensure your EZ TAG continues to function properly - keeping you from receiving Toll Violation Invoices, which you could incur if your vehicle travels on the toll road system without being properly registered with an EZ TAG Account.

How do I activate my EZ TAG?

You may activate your EZ TAG at www.hctra.org/tagactivation using the instructions included with your EZ TAG Kit. You should do this prior to installing the tag in the vehicle.

If you prefer, you can email, call or visit an EZ TAG Store location to activate your tag. If your EZ TAG is not activated using one of these methods, HCTRA will attempt to activate your tag for you when your license plate and toll tag are read on our toll road system.

NOTE:  It is the EZ TAG customer’s responsibility to ensure the EZ TAG has been properly activated, regardless of the activation method utilized. In order for the EZ TAG to be successfully activated, it must be mounted in the vehicle associated to the tag per the instructions provided in your EZ TAG Kit. Failure to do so may result in toll violations, which carry additional fees.

How do I pay for a toll violation?

If you have received a mailed Toll Violation Invoice, you may pay online.  You may also pay by mail to the address shown on your invoice, or by calling 281-875-3279 during posted business hours. Please include the Toll Violation Invoice number, license plate and state on all documents and payments, along with a phone number and an email address where you may be reached.

To make payment for a toll violation event which has not yet been invoiced to you, please call 281-875-3279 to pay by credit card. Payment may also be made by US check or money order at one of our EZ TAG Store locations, or by mail to:

HCTRA – Payment Processing
7701 Wilshire Place Drive
Houston, TX 77040-5326

Payment cannot be processed without your license plate number, state and contact information. Include the date, time and location of the event, if possible. Please do not send cash!

Once I apply online for an EZ TAG, how long will it take to arrive?

Once your application has been approved, verified, and processed, you should receive your EZ TAG within 3-5 business days if you requested to receive your tag by US Mail. Once you receive your EZ TAG in the mail, you may activate your new tag online at www.hctra.org/tagactivation.

If you prefer, you can email, call or visit an EZ TAG Store location to activate your tag. If your EZ TAG is not activated using one of these methods, HCTRA will attempt to activate your tag for you when your license plate and toll tag are read on our toll road system.

NOTE:  It is the EZ TAG customer’s responsibility to ensure the EZ TAG has been properly activated, regardless of the activation method utilized. In order for the EZ TAG to be successfully activated, it must be mounted in the vehicle associated to the tag per the instructions provided in your EZ TAG Kit. Failure to do so may result in toll violations, which carry additional fees.

What are my responsibilities as an EZ TAG account holder?

Your responsibilities are contained in the EZ TAG Agreement included as part of your EZ TAG Account application.

By using the EZ TAG you are agreeing to your responsibilities as an account holder.  Please be sure you read this agreement carefully and understand the terms and conditions. You will be notified whenever there is a change in the terms and conditions contained in the EZ Agreement. Likewise, if any of your information changes such as name, address, credit card, or vehicle information, it is your responsibility to notify us immediately. As an EZ TAG Account holder, you are also responsible for maintaining a minimum balance in your account as described in the Application and Agreement.

What do I do when my EZ TAG arrives in the mail?

For your protection, mailed EZ TAGs are inactive and must be activated before they are installed in the vehicle associated to that tag. You must activate your EZ TAG at www.hctra.org/tagactivation. The instructions for activating and installing your EZ TAG will be included with your EZ TAG Kit.

If you prefer, you can email, call or visit an EZ TAG Store location to activate your tag. If your EZ TAG is not activated using one of these methods, HCTRA will attempt to activate your tag for you when your license plate and toll tag are read on our toll road system.

NOTE:  It is the EZ TAG customer’s responsibility to ensure the EZ TAG has been properly activated, regardless of the activation method utilized. In order for the EZ TAG to be successfully activated, it must be mounted in the vehicle associated to the tag per the instructions provided in your EZ TAG Kit. Failure to do so may result in toll violations, which carry additional fees.

What happens if I go through a toll lane without paying the toll?

Pursuant to the Texas Transportation Code, Chapter 284, the owner or renter of record (not necessarily the driver) of a vehicle that passes through a toll facility is responsible for payment of all tolls. Failure to pay a toll is a toll violation, and is against the law.  HCTRA communications may refer to each instance of toll violation as a toll violation "event."

A toll violation event can result in a Toll Violation Invoice being sent to the registered owner/renter for the past-due toll amount plus fees. Independent of a Toll Violation Invoice, any toll violation event may also result in a traffic stop and the issuance of a traffic citation, which carries a significant fine plus court costs.

To pay your Toll Violation Invoice, or to pay an outstanding toll which has not been invoiced, see How do I pay for a toll violation?

Failure to resolve a Toll Violation Invoice may result in additional Toll Violation Invoices, fines, referral to a collection firm, withdrawal of eligibility to renew your vehicle registration, and/or other legal measures as defined by Texas law.

What happens if my EZ TAG is lost or stolen?

Per your EZ TAG Agreement, you are responsible for reporting the loss or theft of your tag.  Otherwise, you may incur fraudulent tolls on your account, for which you as the account holder will be responsible. 

As indicated in the application and EZ Agreement, you may replace any lost or stolen tags by purchasing a new tag.

A replacement EZ TAG will cost $10.00 to $15.00, per EZ TAG, depending on the number of EZ TAGs registered to your account. Simply call us at 281-875-EASY or visit an EZ TAG Store location to purchase a new EZ TAG or login to your EZ TAG Account online: select the "Vehicles & EZ TAGs tab," then select the "add a permanent vehicle" link and follow the steps.

What if I did not own/rent the vehicle(s) at the time a toll violation event occurred?

If you did not own/rent the vehicle(s) at the time of a toll violation event shown on your toll violation invoice, please submit any of the following documents:

     Texas Motor Vehicle Transfer Notification
     Bill of Sale dated and signed by both parties
     Title dated and signed by both parties
     Odometer Disclosure Statement including the date the vehicle was purchased/sold
     Repossession Statement dated and signed
     Police Report showing the vehicle was lost/stolen
     Letter from insurance company stating the vehicle was salvaged
     Statement from rental/leasing agency showing dates of lease

E-mail scanned copies of all supporting documentation and your toll violation invoice(s) to violations@hctra.org. All documentation received must include a date, the vehicle license plate number, and/or the VIN number to be accepted. If you are unable to scan and email the relevant documents, you may fax to 281-877-0402 or visit any of our EZ TAG Store locations during normal business hours. Should you have additional questions or concerns, call us during regular business hours and we will gladly assist you.

What if I don’t have a qualifying veteran’s license plate?

Vehicles which are not eligible are required to pay the applicable toll.

Per Texas Transportation Code § 372.053, eligibility is limited to vehicles which are:

1. registered with the State of Texas and
2. displaying the qualifying specialty license plate for any of the following:

  • Disabled Veterans
  • Purple Heart recipients
  • Medal of Honor recipients
  • Legion of Valor recipients

Vehicles which are not eligible are required to pay the applicable toll.

Note: To see examples of qualifying Texas license plates, please visit www.txdmv.gov and select “Specialty License Plates.”

What if I’m a veteran with multiple cars – are all of my cars eligible? What about my spouse’s car?

Per Texas Transportation Code § 372.053, eligibility is limited to vehicles which are:

1. registered with the State of Texas and
2. displaying the qualifying specialty license plate for any of the following:

  • Disabled Veterans
  • Purple Heart recipients
  • Medal of Honor recipients
  • Legion of Valor recipients
Vehicles which are not eligible are required to pay the applicable toll.

Note: To see examples of qualifying Texas license plates, please visit www.txdmv.gov and select “Specialty License Plates.”

What is a Toll Violation Invoice?

A Toll Violation Invoice is an invoice sent to the registered owner or renter (not necessarily the driver) of a vehicle that traveled through a tolling location and did not pay the proper toll at the time of the transaction(s).  A Toll Violation Invoice reflects the date, time, and location of each toll violation event included in the invoice, as well as the past-due toll amount and any additional fees owed.

Failure to pay a toll is against the law.  Failure to resolve violations may result in fines, referral to a collection agency, withdrawal of your eligibility to renew your vehicle registration, and other legal measures as defined by Texas law.

To pay your Toll Violation Invoice, or to pay an outstanding toll which has not been invoiced, see How do I pay for a toll violation?

What is a Toll Violation?

Pursuant to the Texas Transportation Code, Chapter 284, the owner or renter of record (not necessarily the driver) of a vehicle that passes through a toll facility is responsible for payment of all tolls. Failure to pay a toll is a toll violation, and is against the law.  HCTRA communications may refer to each instance of toll violation as a toll violation "event."

A toll violation event can result in a Toll Violation Invoice sent to the registered owner/renter for the past-due toll amount plus fees. Independent of a Toll Violation Invoice, any toll violation event may also result in a traffic stop and the issuance of a traffic citation, which carries a significant fine plus court costs.

To pay your Toll Violation Invoice, or to pay an outstanding toll which has not been invoiced, see How do I pay for a toll violation?

Failure to resolve a Toll Violation Invoice may result in additional Toll Violation Invoices, fines, referral to a collection firm, withdrawal of eligibility to renew your vehicle registration, and/or other legal measures as defined by Texas law.

Why did I receive a Toll Violation Invoice?

You may have received a Toll Violation Invoice for one of these reasons:

1) A vehicle registered in your name traveled the tollway without being registered to an EZ TAG account or making a cash payment at a toll booth,

2) You have an EZ TAG, but your EZ account balance is insufficient, or

3) You have an EZ TAG, but your vehicle information is incorrect on your account.

Pursuant to the Texas Transportation Code, Chapter 284, the owner or renter of record (not necessarily the driver) of a vehicle that passes through a toll facility is responsible for payment of all tolls. If you feel you received a Toll Violation Invoice in error, please contact us at 281-875-3279.

Failure to pay a toll is against the law.  Failure to resolve violations may result in fines, referral to a collection agency, withdrawal of your eligibility to renew your vehicle registration, and other legal measures as defined by Texas law.  To pay your Toll Violation Invoice, or to pay an outstanding toll which has not been invoiced, see How do I pay for a toll violation?

Why do you need my vehicle license plate number?

In the unlikely event that your EZ TAG transponder is not read properly, we can use your license plate number listed on your account to identify your vehicle to be sure the correct toll amount is applied to your EZ TAG Account.

Without correct license plate information it is impossible to identify you as an EZ TAG Account holder and you could be charged with toll violation events (refer to your EZ Agreement).

REMINDER:  If you should purchase or sell your vehicle, it is important to update your account information as soon as possible.  Vehicle information may be updated online or by contacting Customer Service by email, telephone at 281-875-3279 (M-F 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m and Saturday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.), or by visiting an EZ TAG Store.

Why must the EZ TAG be mounted on my windshield?

To ensure a valid transaction and avoid toll violation fines.

The EZ TAG must be properly mounted per the instructions provided in your EZ TAG Kit to ensure a valid transaction (typical mounting is inside the front windshield, four inches below the top of the windshield and two inches to the right of your rear-view mirror). EZ TAG operates on a radio frequency and improper mounting may interfere with your EZ TAG functionality and could result in toll violation events.

Holding the tag with your hand or leaving it on the dashboard will also prevent the EZ TAG from reading accurately and may result in incomplete toll road entry/exit data, which may cause inaccurate account information or possible toll violation events.

NOTE:  Certain vehicles with a high metallic content in their windshields and/or motorcycles may require a specialized EZ TAG.  If you believe your vehicle may require a specialized EZ TAG, please email or call Customer Service at 281-875-3279 (M-F 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m and Saturday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.), or visit an EZ TAG Store.