North Texas Tollway Authority ZipCash customers who fail to pay their bills on time will notice changes after Sept. 1, as a result of a bill passed by the Texas Legislature that revises the NTTA’s toll collection process.
ZipCash is the NTTA’s pay‐by‐invoice option developed to replace cash collection. ZipCash customers are billed at a 50 percent higher rate than TollTag users.
“The new system still allows us to extend the convenience of ZipCash to our customers,” said NTTA Executive Director Allen Clemson, “and assesses fees only to those who burden the system by neglecting to pay on time.”
If a vehicle does not have a TollTag, overhead cameras take a photo of the car’s license plate, and a ZipCash invoice is sent to the vehicle’s registered owner. Payment of the invoice is required within 30 days.
Under the new law, after a customer’s failure to pay an invoice, the NTTA issues a “First Notice of Nonpayment” allowing an additional 30 days to pay tolls, and charges an $8 administrative fee. Under the previous system, the NTTA issued a “Late Notice” with 15 additional days to pay tolls, plus a $2.50 late fee.
Under the changes from Senate Bill 469, failure to pay the “First Notice of Nonpayment” authorizes a “Second Notice of Nonpayment,” under which the customer will be responsible for all tolls, the previous $8 administrative fee, and additional administrative fees assessed at $6.60 per toll, not to exceed $200. Previously, after a customer’s failure to pay the “Late Notice,” the NTTA issued a “Violation Notice” for all unpaid tolls, with additional administrative fees of $25 per unpaid toll, which would be reduced if the customer paid on time.
After Sept. 1, continued failure to pay triggers a “Third Notice of Nonpayment,” under which the NTTA charges all prior tolls and fees, and adds a third-party collection agency fee.
Upon failure to timely pay the Third Notice of Nonpayment, the registered owner may be charged with the crime of “Failure to Pay Tolls,” and may be prosecuted for a fine of $250 and court costs as well as all previous invoiced tolls and administrative fees.
SB 469 further clarifies that the bill does not affect tolls and related fees assessed prior to Sept. 1, 2011, the effective date of the bill. Tolls invoiced prior to Sept. 1, 2011 will continue to be collected under the “Old NTTA Process.”