Good Question: Are Canadian drivers getting toll bills?

Brennan Somers
Created: November 18, 2020 05:53 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — No cash anymore. The New York State Thruway is fully automatic. It’s E-ZPass or tolls by mail only. Those bills are easy to hand out for New York drivers and even those from other states, but you wanted to know about others.

Bill asked News10NBC’s Brennan Somers: "The last I heard is that NYS wasn't allowed access to the Canadian DMV. With that being said, how are we going to collect tolls from Canadians driving on the 90?"

RELATED: Good Question: How do I get an E-Z Pass? | Are toll collectors losing their jobs as Thruway moves to cashless tolling?

While cashless tolling is live statewide as of last weekend, it's actually been around in some places for a while, including at the Grand Island bridges near Buffalo and Niagara Falls.

That started in 2018, with no agreement in place to get license plate info from Canadian drivers. They drove essentially for free for about 19 months.

That all changed about a year ago in the fall of 2019. The New York State Thruway Authority reached a deal with the Province of Ontario, allowing it to get addresses for drivers from Canada and send them cashless tolling bills.

The Thruway Authority was working on a similar deal with Quebec for drivers coming from the north into New York. News10NBC reached out to Thruway officials for a status update on those talks.

That’s how it works when the border is open to drivers. But for now, amid the coronavirus pandemic, it remains shut off to non-essential travel.

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