EZPass Solution

Several people have commented on the lack of a windshield pass-through location for a toll transponder. It is supposed to be to the right of the rear view mirror, but most of us have found that it is intermitent at best and our windshield has no spot where it will work. We travel constantly on toll roads and bridges, so searched for a better spot.

There is a ready made location behind the car's plastic nose. The nose cap pops off with a little pressure under either of the lower corners. I used a towel-wrapped flat screwdriver to pop the first panel release. There are standard body panel press-fit attachment points around the panel - they won't break - be forceful, pry outward and it comes right off. Pry only under the shiny black plastic, everything else stays in place.

Interestingly, there is no space immediately in the front part of the panel. Although some on the forum have suggested they don't like the protruding nose (and a few say they plan to replace it with a grille), it is shaped this way to cover a heavy steel crossmember that forms the front of the car's crumple zone. I like the way it looks anyway, but there is no potential to install a fat or recessed grille or other cover. There is about 1/4" between the steel beam and the cover panel, so no place in front to put the pass. However, to the left and right of the beam there is a recess, with a flat steel plate that is the right size to hold an EZPass transponder. A little industrial Velcro, job done!

We had a license-plate mounted EZPass transponder on a prior car, but it is an ugly black bar, and we don't have a tag on the front of the Model S, so prefer the hidden method. A couple pictures here:

I thought someone tried this and it did not work.

@P_D - I have the license-plate-mount version of the Florida SunPass taped/tied to the front bumper behind the nose cone and it works great.


Why would it not work? It works great inmy setup.

It is higher than it woudl be for people using the plate-mounted version, and I mounted it on the left side, which is where the toll sensors look in MD & VA. The thin plastic nose material is invisible to the transponder, so it solves the issue completely. Took me less than five minutes, including the pictures.

That looks like a good solution. The picture looks like a regular old EZ pass, not the one that's designed for external use. Is that area waterproof? Does it matter? Did you bag it?

There is one designed for external use, BUT you have to have a letter from your dealer to get one in NJ.

Has anyone secured such a letter?

I was able to pop off my nosecone this weekend and I used some industrial velcro to adhere a license plate EZ Pass transponder to the steel cross beam that runs below the nosecone.

The cone popped back on without any issues and my transponder was detected when I went through the toll booth that evening.

After much failure with multiple front window positions, it was time to study Model S for another idea. The REAR hatch speaker grill appeared to be at a good angle, so I opened the hatch and found a perfect place for the transponder with NO modifications necessary. It is attached to the center recessed area on the bottom of the hatch. There is a handhold area where a portion of the transponder can be placed.

I had success when trying this most unique location. The angle is right when the hatch is closed and the recessed area seems as if it was made for a FasTrak device. More testing will be done soon. If it does not work 100% of the time as shown in the photo, then I will return it to the successful upside down position that worked yesterday. The best part is that the device is NOT attached to the window. The speaker grill on the window side appears to be made of plastic and does not interfere with the transponder.

Do NOT attach decals or adhesives to any inside rear window to avoid moisture damage to the heating wires.

@Mark z

Are tints safe for the rear window defroster wires? My son sits in the jump seats in the back and is complaining it's too bright and hot when the sun is shinning behind the car.

I would hope that the manufacturers of most tinted plastic film would be fine. I am glad you asked the question so I could share my experience. I used a small PBS window cling on the rear window of a 1994 Cadillac Eldorado. Years later when I removed the cling, it had hardened to the glass. I figured moisture may have caused the damage to the now corroded conductors that had small cracks in the copper where the cling was placed.

Decreasing the solar heat in the rear seating area is critical and I would not want my comment to cause concern about tints.

Can it happen? Depends on the car model according to this thread:

It can be done, my old Mustang had the rear window tinted and that did not bother the rear window defrost wiring. Unfortunately, I bought that car used, so I've no idea who or how it was applied.

Just returned from a quick round trip on the 91 Express Lanes. The new transponder location mentioned above has now worked 3 out of 3 times! Appears that it could be the solution for those who must be able to set the number of passengers before driving on our newest Toll Roads. It would require opening the hatch before sitting in the driver's seat, but the access is easy when placing items or passengers in the back.

The double beep is hard or impossible for the driver to hear at the hatch mounting location. To check if it works, I used an extra iPhone and recorded a voice memo. The phone fits nicely in the cover handle, faced the microphone towards the front and took note of the start time and when driving through the toll. The tones are clearly heard when playing the memo back.

Enjoy trying this successful rear hatch FasTrak location. Don't forget that if you sign up with 91 Express Lanes, ZEV Tesla travel is free or discounted on the 91. No discounts or free programs with The Toll Roads.

This should be the last thread to "edit." Sorry for the duplications. If only we could edit our previous entries!

This mirror mount location WORKS PERFECTLY. Here is a photo:

I received a response from "The Toll Roads" today. Please DISREGARD MY SUGGESTION of the rear hatch location. While it works and it's not on the glass, the Highway Patrol could be upset. Here is the reply:

"Thank you for contacting The Toll Roads.

In accordance with the California Vehicle Code, it is not permitted to place the transponder in the rear window.

The internal transponder may be placed on the lower left-hand side or right-hand side of your windshield or behind the rear view mirror where it will not obstruct your sight while driving.

At times, we have found that the polarized windshields have prevented the internal transponder from reading at all times. Therefore, it may be necessary to replace your internal transponder with an external one.

This recommendation is presented in situations when the internal transponder fails to read while properly mounted and generates a significant number of tolls which are paid by the license plate number instead of the transponder number.

The external transponders mount directly to the front license plate brackets and are secured with tamper-resistant screws. A special tool is provided in order to remove/affix the external transponder."

You can. Hover the pointer over the logo, and select Edit. Then move to "None Selected".

If you attach the EZPass transponder to the black stem holding the rear view mirror (on the black plastic, just on top of the mirror), not touching any glass) it will work!

Ditto. I've had no problems with mine attached just to the left of the rear view mirror stem (placing it right on the black plastic base). If you look on the outside of windshield near this location you will see a hole (presumably for the Homelink; that may by why this works). Not sure why people are struggling with this (at least the NY EZ Pass folks).

This may sound like a dumb question, but how is it that people on this thread *know* that the transponder is working? When I drive in HOV lanes with my old car, I get no feedback at all when driving under the electronic receiver structures on the freeway. It doesn't beep or anything, but in a few weeks I eventually do get billed on my transponder statement.

So when I get my Tesla, and I put the transponder somewhere on the windshield, how will I know if it's working? For that matter, how does a cop know that it's working?

(Hopefully my white HOV stickers will arrive quickly, so I won't need the transponder any more)


I have been going through the toll booth to test the EZ pass, it will say accepted on the toll booth screen if it works. After i made sure it works, then I started using the EZ pass lanes (fast lanes, no booth).

You can tell it works when you get the monthly bill. At Maryland bridges there's also a visual "paid" signal at the toll booths, even the 15mph units. However, there is no indicator on roads like the Dulles toll road in VA or the ICC in MD, so I verify by checking the bill.

@Xerogas; In Califorina the FasTrak responder beeps twice while driving under the sensors. Mounting it on the flat part of the mirror mount has worked perfectly. The Velcro strip must be moved or it can be positioned in a portrait rather than landscape orientation. In landscape position part of the transponder will hang over the mount and be visible through the glass. That will help the CHP if they stop the driver and check for a recommended mounting location.

Thanks, @Mark Z, so that means my FasTrak transponder's beeper is malfunctioning. I pay for the HOV lanes all the time, and I get billed, but no beep...guess that explains my confusion...

I followed the advice of another poster a few months ago who put his transponder in the rear-hatch door. There is a slot on the inside of the hatch that the transponder tucks away and the signal works great. I can tell because I have received my bill and it indicates if the transponder was read or if they needed to bill you to your license plate. On my most recent bill, all of the readings were from the transponder. The only potential problem I face is if an officer is parked on the side of the highgway looking for mounted transponders. If I get spotted and pulled over (IMO very unlikely) I have a very good explanation as to why it's not mounted on my windshield.

I never could get the windshield pass to work, and tried many locations. My neighborhood uses EZ Pass to open the gates, so I needed to find a way for it to work. I finally got the transponder that is supposed to attach to the front license plate, but since I opted not to install a front license plate, I installed it behind the nosecone (actually the Houston Service Center was kind enough to install it there for me). It works fine for the highway, and most of the neighborhood entrance gates. I've found a couple that won't open, but not really an issue.

As Mark Z mentioned, our new Los Angeles FastTrak needs to be mounted somewhere convenient, because our transponders have a switch to set how many people are in the car, as HOV access/charges on the 110 and 10 freeways varies for time of day and number of passengers.

Fortunately, the spot next to the rearview mirror seems to be working ok for me.

I was faced with the problem of ALSO having an RFID credit-card-style parking pass for work. I was going to just live with swapping it and the FastTrak as needed (fortunately my FastTrak use is mostly on the weekends), but I discovered that velcroing it to the inside of the small triangle of glass at the front part of the driver door works. You could not fit a FastTrak/EZpass there, but for card-style transponders this appears to be an option.

Assuming u have hov stickers no change is necessary. HOV 3+ stays at all times for free access HOT lanes

Raleigh, NC Tesla Service just told us, "Go get the big ugly transponder, then stop by". They mounted behind the nose cone, washed the car and sent us on our way; no charge.

Also, we checked to make sure the transponder was working in both NC and FL by logging onto the State's websites and looking at the transaction histories. So far, no failures after dozens of uses.

One problem is that FasTrak transponders in Northern and Southern California are different. The Bay Area ones have no switch. So mounting them permanently means paying tolls in lanes that should be free, if there's no way to turn them off. The Bay Area website is a confusing mess, and makes conflicting statements. It has a list of cars, including those by Tesla, for which it says an exterior (gray as opposed to ivory) toll tag is needed. It also says "Please click here for special instructions for obtaining a toll tag for your hybrid vehicle." That section mentions that EVs qualify, but the page says nothing about how to obtain a toll tag for your Clean Air Vehicle. It simply says that you use the standard one, but use it as if there were multiple passengers. Does anybody know if a "FasTrak for Clean Air Vehicles" exists or ever existed?

The next question I have is whether a southern California transponder could be registered in the Bay Area. California law requires the systems to be compatible, and out of the box, the transponders do nothing. It's necessary to go to an account (or set one up) and put in the Toll Tag Number & Validation Code. So if I buy one in southern CA, and the guts are more or less the same, then would the 10 digit tag number and 8 digit validation code work? I've never looked at the packaging in a retail store such as Costco, but are there any differences in the packaging to indicate that they should be registered in a particular area, aside from the service center address printed on the transponder?

If the systems are supposed to be compatible, it would make sense that a person from Southern California traveling in an HOV lane in the Bay Area, and with the switch sent to 3 passengers, should not be billed. I can't see how the systems could be considered compatible otherwise, and there's no sign saying to remove the transponder. So if the law says they should be compatible systems, I can't see why the Bay Area doesn't simply source parts from the same place and issue new transponders with switches.

If there's a way around it such as registering in the "wrong" part of the state, that would be good to know.

@Haggy, you can contact the Southern California toll agency via email using the form here, or phone (949) 727-4800 during normal business hours.

I figured I could call them or call the Bay Area one and I suspect that the people who answer the phones may know what happens if I use one with a switch in an area where switches aren't used. But I don't know if they would be able to answer the registration question or if they'd just say that I'm not supposed to do that. That might be how they were trained rather than because of a technical knowledge.

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