When a driver opens an I-PASS account, he or she receives a transponder, a small plastic device that needs to be mounted on the windshield of his or her car. When a car drives through a toll plaza, a radio antenna sends a signal to the I-PASS to deduct money.
To get an I-PASS, a driver must provide some basic information and $30, which includes a $10 non-refundable deposit and $20 for prepaid tolls. When the $20 in prepaid tolls runs out, Illinois Tollway can use the credit card the driver put on file to replenish the account balance if the driver selects the automatic account replenishment option. The driver can also opt for the manual balance replenishment option, which requires the driver to keep track of the account balance and add more money when the account is empty.
The Illinois I-PASS can be used on the Chicago Skyway, Indiana Toll Road and in 14 other states that use E-ZPass. I-PASS customers receive a 50 percent discount on tolls, and funds on the card never expire. Using the I-PASS saves the driver an average of 10 minutes per trip and 2 hours per week, because the driver does not have to stop to pay the toll.