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I visited Illinois at the end of last year. I used Google maps to route my trip and made sure to stop by every toll booth indicated on the way.

I received a notice of toll violation, though. Looking at Google Maps, the tolls I allegedly missed are all on the highway, so I can't imagine I would have missed them. Google clearly indicated all of them, and every time I saw a tollway on the highway, I pulled off to pay. I paid in cash, though, so unfortunately, I don't have any proof that I paid.

I want to schedule a hearing, but I feel like I'm at a big disadvantage. Again, since I paid in cash at all of the tolls, I can't look up any bank statements to prove that I made payments. As I'm in Nebraska, I can't reasonably attend a hearing in person - I'll have to do it by mail. And looking at the website for scheduling a hearing, it gives this information:

  1. If you submitted an unpaid toll payment within seven days of the violations, please call 800-UC-IPASS (800-824-7277) or visit a Customer Service Center for assistance.

  2. If you were an I-PASS or E-ZPass customer at the time of the violations, please call 800-UC-IPASS (800-824-7277) or visit a Customer Service Center for assistance.

  3. Lack of familiarity with our roads, signs, or tolling infrastructure are not considered grounds for the dismissal of violations. We appreciate that traveling from one jurisdiction to another often requires travelers to follow different traffic laws and practices, but hearing officers are charged with helping uphold the rules consistently across our 1.5 million daily drivers.

None of these apply to me, unfortunately. I honestly think that what happened was I paid in cash, and the system just didn't work for some reason and incorrectly tagged me as a violator.

Altogether, my violations add up to less than $70 dollars, so if I don't have a chance at winning a hearing, I'll just pay the fines. But if I can potentially beat these alleged violations, I would much rather do that. What should my approach be when I dispute this?

closed as off-topic by A. K., Nij, David Siegel, A.fm., feetwet Feb 28 at 14:57

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    When you say that you paid in cash, did you pay a toll booth operator or was it some kind of machine? Also, you may have been in an "EZ-Pass Only" fast lane (a lane without toll booths) and not noticed you were on a tolled road. – pboss3010 Feb 11 at 13:20
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pboss3010 has a good point, many "fast lanes" do not have toll booths that accept cash, and will simply bill your license plate.

Google maps also has a "location history" feature that you could check for the times and dates of your tolls (if enabled). It will show you which roads you took and at what times, which could be used as evidence to some degree to show that you (or at least your phone) traveled a finite set of toll roads. There is some differing opinions on the implications of proof with this 'evidence' in court, but if it is just a hearing they might accept that as evidence.

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So, since you didn't specify what the toll violation notice looks like, I'll have to make some assumptions. If it does not have a picture of your car and your license plate, call the customer service center number and state you are disputing the violation. They will likely check their records and send you the photo evidence they used.

If the notice does have the picture attached, you'll need to ask if they have video evidence, because you believe you did pay. Ideally, your photo or the video should show you handing over money and/or a green "Go" signal, which normally indicates that you've paid and are free to proceed through the toll gate.

If you're lucky, they'll find that it was their mistake and rescind the notice, if not, you can try to contest it in court, but paying the $70 seems easier. You'll want to do this quickly, before the toll becomes a more serious infraction (not sure if Illinois does this or not).

As noted in my comment, here in the Mid-Atlantic, the toll systems have been adding EZ-Pass Only lanes, where there are no toll booths or a special non-stop toll gate where it's very easy to not notice you're on a toll road. You might want to check if the toll road the notice said you used is one of these.

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