Around New England

Unpaid Tolls High In Maine — Maybe Don’t Clean Your License Plate

January 6, 2020

Since 2013, the Maine Turnpike Authority is owed more than $824,000 in unpaid tolls, more than $600,000 of which is from out-of-state vehicles.

It’s a fraction of the $140 million annually the state collects in tolls. However, the state could be missing more revenue than that because some of the tollbooth cameras in the state are not able to read license plates that are too dirty or obscure or completely missing, according to the Portland Press-Herald.

“Your guess is as good as mine in terms of trying to put a dollar value on those 200,000 plates that went through, in some cases vehicles without plates,” turnpike authority executive director, Peter Mills told the Associated Press. “We don’t know where to begin to identify the car or vehicle or try to collect from them.”

Typically, there are 50 to 100 registration suspension requests put out each day by the state of Maine, but most of the tolls end up being paid. In 2018, the state suspended 4,600 Maine vehicle registrations.

Maine is able to get out-of-staters’s registrations suspended, as well, depending on which state it is and how much information is available.

For example, Massachusetts, Maine ,and New Hampshire have an agreement which allows the states to go after unpaid tolls from drivers from their respective states. In contrast, Maine does not have the same access to a database of Canadian license plates.

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