Frequently Asked Questions

Terms and conditions

Toll Relief Development FAQ

The Toll Relief Steering Committee is a volunteer advisory group gathered by the Deputy Secretary of Transportation to provide technical guidance and assist with the overall development of the Toll Relief Program.  The committee, which includes representatives from state and local agencies and non-profits, has met regularly since December 2015. The Steering Committee has helped to shape the program’s vision and goals, as well as the general program guidelines. The committee is also assisting with the program’s implementation and public roll out phases.

VDOT is conducting this program during the first year as a “pilot” to measure participation levels and monitor the effectiveness of the relief effort. In order to provide meaningful relief, the pilot program is focused on helping those that need relief the most. Initial research conducted by the Commonwealth of Virginia showed that Norfolk and Portsmouth residents were the most heavily impacted by frequent ERT tolls. After the first pilot year of the program concludes, the relief boundary could be expanded, depending on available funding. VDOT is currently researching ways to implement similar programs in other regions throughout the Commonwealth.

Toll Relief Application/Enrollment FAQ

The in person application process allows for the Customer Service team to assist with proper documentation and ensures that residency and income information is secure. It also allows for an on-site approval so the specialists can assist with final set up of E-ZPass account items.

The relief funds renew every year, per the agreement, and participants will need to re-verify their income and residency to be eligible for each calendar year.

The Toll Relief application/enrollment process ensures that the program can provide meaningful relief to those most impacted by the tolls. ERT sets the toll rates as part of the Comprehensive Agreement signed by VDOT and ERC. While VDOT is not able to reduce or remove the tolls, it has partnered with ERC to create the Toll Relief Program in order to offer some financial relief to those most impacted by frequent toll use.

The application process will be in person starting on December 1st, 2016 and continue through Feb. 15th, 2017 at two E-ZPass Customer Service locations:

Norfolk E-ZPass Customer Service Center

1701 Church St
Norfolk, VA 23504
Hours: Monday – Friday: 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Saturday: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Portsmouth E-ZPass Customer Service Center

4010 Victory Blvd
Portsmouth, VA 23701
Hours: Monday – Friday: 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Saturday: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

 

The application process has been designed to be quick and simple; please be sure to bring up-to-date proof of residency and income to expedite the process. Contact 855-530-5506 or one of the Customer Service Centers with any questions about what is needed to apply.

When you visit the Norfolk to Portsmouth E-ZPass customer Service Center to apply/enroll, be sure to bring proof of income and residency.

Accepted Proof of Residency:

  • Driver’s License
  • Lease
  • Utility Bill
  • Military Orders

Accepted Proof of Income:

  • Tax Returns
  • Pay Stubs
  • Letter from employer

You will receive the results of your completed application immediately if all appropriate income and residency documentation is available.

Toll Relief Benefit Information

Each one-way trip through the Elizabeth River Tunnels counts as one trip towards your Toll Relief.

The funding for the Toll Relief Program was contributed by ERC for use at the Downtown and Midtown tunnels only. VDOT is currently researching ways to implement similar programs that would provide tolling relief at other tolled facilities across Virginia.

The Commonwealth of Virginia reached an agreement with ERT operators, Elizabeth River Crossings, LLC (ERC) and put into place a program that sets aside $500,000 a year for 10 years to help offset the cost of tolls to those who are the most financially stressed. Unused funds will roll over and be available for use the following year. If funds are depleted before the end of the calendar year, participants will be encouraged to re-apply for the following year when funds are renewed.

The ERT Comprehensive Agreement between VDOT and ERC was signed for a value of $2.1 billion. This includes total project costs such as financing, designing, building, maintaining and operating the tunnels and the MLK extension. Tolls at the Downtown and Midtown tunnels go toward the maintenance and upkeep of the existing tunnels. They also paid for the construction of the new Midtown Tunnel, which created an additional two lanes of roadway connecting Norfolk and Portsmouth. ERT sets the toll rates as part of their agreement. While VDOT is not able to reduce or remove the tolls, it has partnered with ERC to create the Toll Relief Program in order to offer some financial relief to those most impacted by frequent toll use.

E-ZPass FAQ

By connecting your program application to your registered E-ZPass, VDOT can quickly and efficiently ensure that your trips are counting towards the program and that you are receiving your rebates and discounts accurately. Using E-ZPass also means that you will pay the lowest toll rate while going through the tunnels – this can save you up to 66% and make the toll relief go further. Visit www.ezpassva.com for more information on E-ZPass.

No, in order for the Toll Relief to connect to your account you’ll need a Virginia E-ZPass transponder. Visit www.ezpassva.com or one of the Customer Service Centers to find out how to obtain an E-ZPass.