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Toll Road drivers: Brace yourself for some big bills

HOUSTON – If you travel frequently on toll roads managed by the Texas Department of Transportation, you could be in for a big surprise over the next few days and weeks.

A Texas Tag system upgrade could cause major problems for your budget if you’re not prepared.

Delayed Billing and Charges

The Texas Department of Transportation started transitioning to a new operating system on November 18th. It was supposed to be complete by Dec. 7, but it took much longer. During the switch, no tolls were charged or deducted from TxTag accounts. The system was still down on Jan. 11, meaning not a single toll had been deducted from any accounts in two months. Since you don’t have to physically stop to toss in your change, you may not have noticed.

Some users worried they would get hit with huge toll bills all at once.

We reached out to TxDOT, and we got good news and bad news. The bad news is if you do not have a TxTag with autopay, you will receive a single statement by mail with two months’ worth of transactions at one time.

If you have a TxTag with autopay, the good news is you will get a few days of old transactions deducted every day until you’re caught up. TxDOT says they hope this will minimize the number of times your account will need to be replenished in a single day. They say they are not assessing penalties or late fees right now.

Protect yourself

If your TxTag autopay account is connected to a bank account instead of a credit card, you definitely want to make sure you have enough money in your account to cover two months of tolls because you won’t be notified before your account is replenished.