Home Travel How To Pay San Francisco Bridge Tolls For Your Rental Car

How To Pay San Francisco Bridge Tolls For Your Rental Car

by joeheg

If you are visiting the San Francisco area and renting a car, you may travel over one of the area’s bridges. If you’re driving over the Golden Gate or heading east on the Bay Bridge to Oakland, you need to think about how you’re going to pay for your toll.

Tolls are only charged in one direction, heading toward San Francisco, but there are no toll booths. All of the tolls are collected with an electronic system called FasTrak. If you’re not interested in extra work, you can use the rental car’s toll payment system but you’re going to pay an extra fee on top of the toll for the convenience.

Fortunately, it’s straightforward to set up paying the tolls from your rental car. There’s a video explaining the process atPaying Tolls as a Visitor from Bay Area FasTrak on Vimeo. The owner settings do not allow me to add the video clip to this post. 

All you need to do is go to https://www.bayareafastrak.org/ and enter the license plate of your rental car. You can pay for a single toll ahead of time or up to 48 hours after crossing a bridge.

This system only works for bridge tolls. If you want to use the express lanes, you’ll have to pay for the rental car company’s toll payment service.

We used the FasTrak system on a recent trip and the $7 toll charge was posted to our credit card 4 days later. I want to tell you how much we saved by not getting the PlatePass service from Dollar, but there’s no mention of the cost on their website.

Honestly, the system is so easy to set up and even lets you pay after the fact that there’s no reason not to pay FasTrak directly.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

1 comment

Chad June 2, 2022 - 1:43 pm

When I was in college $7 felt too high. My friend gave us an idea of putting mud on the license plates of an SUV we had rented. We put the mud before crossing the bridge and removed it after 15 miles. Didn’t get a toll bill. The system uses a camera for identifying the license plate and if they can’t read the plate, they cannot track you. Sounds shady but it worked for us.

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