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Illinois Tollway launches campaign to update transponder accounts to new license plates

July 21, 2011
The Illinois Tollway is looking to new-vehicle dealers in the Chicago market to help tell I-PASS customers about the need to update their license plate information when they purchase a new vehicle. 
Despite the Tollway’s best efforts to educate customers of I-PASS—people with a transponder that allows them to go through open road tolling lanes without stopping to pay—many motorists are becoming violators on the Tollway system. 
I-PASS customers, who number more than 3 million, have a responsibility to keep their account information updated. And yet:
• More than half of all violations on the Illinois Tollway are from I-PASS customers. 
• Of those, more than 80 percent are due to the license plate information not being up-to-date on the account.
• More than 700,000 violation notices are sent each year to I-PASS customers who don’t update their account information.
“The best time to educate drivers about the importance of updating their I-PASS account is when they are dealing with their license plate or vehicle,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur. “Auto dealers are uniquely qualified to assist the Tollway with this important initiative.”
I-PASS transponders are tied to license plates. Most violations incurred by drivers with I-PASS are attributed to missing or incorrect license plate information. If the plate is not listed or is listed incorrectly, a violation can occur. The Illinois Tollway also is partnering with the Illinois Secretary of State and other retail outlets on this important initiative.
“Clearly, the Tollway needs to do a better job educating its I-PASS customers about how to keep their accounts up-to-date and avoid violations,” Lafleur added. “Getting a violation notice from the Tollway is unpleasant, at best, and it is something the agency is working hard to prevent.”
At no cost, the Tollway will provide auto dealers with information cards, posters, fliers, TV spots or other materials to educate drivers about this important message. For example:
• Information cards can be included in new car packets
• Fliers can be posted in finance manager offices and in customer waiting lounges
• Key chains can be created and distributed that feature the “Avoid Violations: Update Your Plate.” message
• Window decals can be created to post on new car windows as a reminder to customers
“We believe your customers will appreciate this information, which can help them save time, headaches and, most of all, money,” Lefleur said. “Ultimately, the goal is to get more Tollway customers to update their I-PASS accounts so that violations do not occur.”
For more information or to request materials, contact Kelsey Austin at the Illinois Tollway at (630) 241-6800 ext. 2391.