Florida's Turnpike: What You Need to Know

By: Julie Landry Laviolette

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Driving through the Sunshine State? Odds are, if you’re heading up or down or even across the central spine of the state, you’ll find yourself on Florida’s Turnpike.

Here’s what you need to know about Florida’s Turnpike:

What is Florida’s Turnpike?

It is 461 miles of toll roads that make traveling more efficient because of fewer exits and less traffic. It is operated by Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise, part of the Florida Department of Transportation. See a map here.

Why do I have to pay a toll?

The Turnpike is largely paid for by the drivers who use it. Toll revenue goes to operate, maintain and expand the Turnpike system.

When was the Turnpike built?

The first section of Florida's Turnpike opened in 1957.

Why is it called the Ronald Reagan Turnpike?

The main line, from Miami to Wildwood, north of Orlando, was designated the Ronald Reagan Turnpike in 1998 by the Florida Legislature to honor the 40th president of the United States.

How much are tolls?

They depend on the section of the Turnpike you’re on and how far you're going, but are priced by mile and by the number of vehicle axles. See a toll calculator here.

How do I pay tolls? Do I need to have cash?

You can pay by cash or by SunPass, the state’s prepaid toll program, which discounts tolls about 25 percent and saves time at toll booths. Where all-electronic tolling is in effect, you can also pay by Toll-By-Plate, where a camera takes a picture of your license plate, and you are mailed a bill for tolls plus a $2.50 service charge.

How do toll booths work?

Turnpike signs will let you know what kind of toll booth is coming up, and the toll amount. At cash booths, you pay the toll and can get change. At unmanned cash booths, you will need exact change in coin. If you have a SunPass, it is scanned by an electronic reader and tolls are deducted from your prepaid account.

The Miami section of the Turnpike no longer accepts cash. Drivers use SunPass or Toll-By-Plate, which takes a picture of your license plate and mails you a bill for tolls and a $2.50 administrative fee per monthly invoice.

What is SunPass?

SunPass is the state’s prepaid toll program. To use it, you buy a SunPass device called a “transponder” that attaches to the inside of your windshield. When you drive through a SunPass toll plaza, the toll is deducted from your prepaid account.

What is a SunPass transponder and how much is it?

There are two kinds of SunPass transponders. The SunPass Portable is $19.99 plus tax and attaches to your windshield with suction cups. It is removable and can be used on any vehicle with a windshield, including motorcycles. The SunPass Mini Sticker is $4.99 plus tax, and permanently attaches to windshields. It cannot be used on motorcycles. Both require a $10 minimum balance to activate.

How does SunPass work?

When you drive through a SunPass toll lane, the SunPass transponder transmits a radio signal to sensors in the toll plaza and the toll amount is deducted from your prepaid account. Find more info here.

Where can I buy a SunPass?

Online, by mail or fax, or at nearly 2,000 retail outlets in Florida, including Publix Super Markets, CVS Pharmacies, Walgreen's, Amscot Financial branches and AAA South offices. Transponders are also sold at Turnpike service plazas, Turnpike gas stations and SunPass Service Centers. The SunPass Mini Sticker is sold at 24-hour vending machines at three Welcome Centers and one rest area. See locations here.  

How do I activate a SunPass?

To activate your SunPass, you need to put a minimum of $10 in your prepaid account. You can activate online, at 1-888-TOLL-FLA (1-888-865-5352), at a SunPass Payment Center or a SunPass Service Center. You can use your activated SunPass immediately in "SunPass Only," "E-Pass Only" and "Leeway Only" lanes. You can use your SunPass after 6 a.m. the morning after activation in other lanes.

Should visitors get a SunPass?

You are not obligated to buy a SunPass, but it will save you money and time. You will save about 25 percent on tolls, and you won’t have to stop at cash lanes.

Can I use other state transponders in Florida?

Georgia's Peach Pass and North Carolina's NC Quick Pass are accepted. Motorists must use the "SunPass Only" or "EPass Only" or "Leeway Only" toll lanes for these transponders to work.

Where does the SunPass work?

SunPass can be used on all Florida toll roads and nearly all bridges. If you sign up for Easy Pay and link a credit or debit card to your SunPass, you can use it to pay parking fees at the Tampa, Miami, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Orlando and Palm Beach airports.

What if I go through a SunPass lane by mistake?

A picture of your license plate will be taken, and you will receive a notice about the unpaid toll. Read more here.

What is Toll-By-Plate? How does it work?

Toll-By-Plate is a tolling system that works by taking a picture of a vehicle’s license plate as it passes under a tolling station. The vehicle’s owner is invoiced for tolls every 30 days, plus a $2.50 administrative charge. It is available on the Turnpike system roads where all-electronic tolling is in effect — Florida's Turnpike in Miami, The Sawgrass Expressway west of Fort Lauderdale and the Veterans Expressway in Tampa.

To open a prepaid Toll-By-Plate account, visit www.tollbyplate.com or call 1-888-TAG-TOLL (888-824-8655). Or just drive and you will receive an invoice in the mail.

Are other Turnpike toll booths converting to all-electronic/no cash?

Yes. Hollywood Boulevard (Exit 49) and Griffin Road (Exit 53) in Broward County are scheduled to convert in late 2015.

For updates, check the current projects web page.

How do I pay tolls if I rent a car?

Most major rental car companies can include tolls in your rental agreement. Some rental cars have a SunPass. If your car does not, Turnpike cameras take a photo of the rental car's license plate as it goes through a toll lane and bills the rental company. Your credit card is charged or you are billed for tolls, plus any service fees. Ask your rental car company for fees and terms.

What if I have a SunPass and rent a car?

You can use your own SunPass transponder in a rental car. Just let SunPass know the rental car’s license number, and remember to remove the transponder when you return the vehicle.



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93 comments
I hope I did not get inaccurate info. I drove a rental car on the Florida Turnpike from just south of Ocala to Orlqndo and then east on 408. We do work for Duke Energy and I was told that without a sun pass account to just go through they're paid lanes and the rental car company would place the charge along with a service fee on my credit card without any fine. I did this but now am concerned. Is this accurate?
Hi John,
Thanks for reaching out.
You're okay. Read what Sun Pass says about the rental car program here: https://www.sunpass.com/rentalcar
Whew!
I just got back from Florida and had a miserable time. I got to an unmanned toll booth that required exact change or SunPass. I had to get out of the car and dig though it to find exact change. I was worried what I would have done had I not found the exact change....this is a set up for disaster. I had to stop 3 times in 4.3 miles to pay tolls and I was exasperated. I don't think I'll be going to Florida anytime soon, this is too much hassle and stress to deal with.
Planning to travel north out of the Sanford airport all the way to savanna and back. Is there any toll booths that I can't pay cash?
Answer:
Hi Karen,
Thanks for reaching out.
You should be fine; there are no all electronic areas there.
Toll plazas along the Mainline feature at least one lane staffed by an attendant 24 hours per day. If you require change, receipts or even directions, look for an overhead green sign. If you have exact change, proceed toward the lanes featuring overhead blue signs.
However, not all exit and entrance ramp toll plazas are staffed, so you should be prepared to have exact change at these interchanges, especially after 7 p.m. or on weekends.
You can check out more info from the turnpike here: http://www.floridasturnpike.com/tools_paytoll.cfm
Sunny regards,
Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA
I and my family will be heading on from Missouri to Orlando, FL (and then possibly to Miami). Is there any tolls we should pay for the trip either to Orlando or to Miami? If I will go with toll-by-plate option, do I need to stop when there is a toll booth or not? and how much do you think it will cost me considering either option (sunpass or toll-by-plate). Thanks
Answer:
Hi Ali,
Thanks for reaching out.
If you pay by toll-by-plate, you don’t need to stop. But not all of the areas you may be traveling – like Florida’s Turnpike by Orlando—have all electronic tolling, so then you’d need to stop. My personal recommendation is to buy a SunPass Mini for $5, and then you’ll get a discount and you won’t need to stop anywhere, or worry about what toll booths will be manned when it’s late. It’s so much faster than stopping!
Also, about the cost, you can find a toll calculator for the Florida Turnpike here and figure the exact amount. But going to Orlando should be inexpensive, under $5. And $20 should more than cover the whole trip. The latter estimates are just mine, and they are certainly not exact, but it should give you a rough idea of what you can expect.
Below is more info.
Kinds of Payment
Paying with SunPass: If you have a SunPass, it’s scanned by an electronic reader and tolls are deducted from your prepaid account. It discounts tolls about 25 percent and saves substantial time at toll booths.
Paying by Toll-By-Plate: Where all-electronic tolling is in effect, you can pay by this method. A camera takes a picture of your license plate, and you’re mailed a bill for tolls plus a $2.50 service charge.
Areas that don’t accept cash: The Miami section of the Turnpike and the following locations don’t accept cash: Mid Bay Connector (Destin); Veterans Expressway (Tampa); Selman Expressway (Tampa); and Sawgrass Expressway (Ft. Lauderdale). So you need to use SunPass or Toll-By-Plate. (See above for details.)
More about SunPass
• What it is: SunPass is the state’s prepaid toll program. To use it, you buy a SunPass device called a “transponder” that attaches to the inside of your windshield. When you drive through a SunPass toll plaza, the toll is deducted from your prepaid account.
• How much it costs: There are two kinds of SunPass transponders. The SunPass Portable is $19.99 plus tax and attaches to your windshield with suction cups. It is removable and can be used on any vehicle with a windshield, including motorcycles. The SunPass Mini Sticker is $4.99 plus tax, and permanently attaches to windshields. It can’t be used on motorcycles. Both require a $10 minimum balance to activate.
• Where to buy one: You can buy a SunPass online or at over 3,100 retail locations throughout Florida. Retailers include Publix Super Markets, CVS Pharmacy stores, Walgreens, Amscot Financial branches and AAA South offices in Florida. They can also be purchased at Navarro Pharmacies and Sedano's Supermarkets in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties. Transponders are available at all Turnpike service plazas, Turnpike gas stations and SunPass Service Centers.
How to activate it: To activate your SunPass, you need to put a minimum of $10 in your prepaid account. You can activate online, at 1-888-TOLL-FLA (1-888-865-5352), at a SunPass Payment Center or a SunPass Service Center.

Sunny regards,
Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA
First, thanks for the quick response last time. Well, Let me please ask a few more questions
1. Suppose that I am driving in Florida and there are two options in front of me, A=Cash booth and B=Sunpass, does the toll-by-plate normally go belong option A or option B?
2. Is it always expected to have the three options (Cash, Sunpass, and Toll-by-Plate) in the same exact location?
3. according to your previous response, Is it possible to have cash booth only with no other electronic options?

Thanks
Answer:
Hi Ali,
Thanks for reaching out. I’m sorry I wasn’t clearer: it’s kind of confusing.
• SunPass is always an option.
• Cash is not an option in all-electronic areas, like those around Miami.
• Paying by Toll-By-Plate is only an option where all-electronic tolling is in effect.
So, you can buy a $5 SunPass, and be covered for everywhere. Or just bring cash, pay with it in most areas, and let toll-by-plate cover the all-electronic areas. I would really recommend the SunPass so you don’t have to stop and wait at the booths.
Oh—here are your exact questions and answers:
Suppose that I am driving in Florida and there are two options in front of me, A=Cash booth and B=Sunpass, does the toll-by-plate normally go belong option A or option B?
Where it’s all electronic you don’t have the option of stopping and it either gets charged to toll-by-plate or your SunPass automatically. If there’s a cash booth and SunPass there won’t be toll-by-plate.
2. Is it always expected to have the three options (Cash, Sunpass, and Toll-by-Plate) in the same exact location?
Nope. Electronic only areas just take SunPass or toll-by plate. Some areas just take cash or SunPass.
3. according to your previous response, Is it possible to have cash booth only with no other electronic options?
No. SunPass is always an option.
Sunny regards,
Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA


I was in Florida last month and decided to use the Florida Turnpike, as I always use 95. I entered the Turnpike at Lake Worth (#93) and exited at Becker Rd. (#138). Becker Rd had no toll booth for me to pay. I received a bill in the mail for $10.10, plus a $2.50 surcharge from FDOT. I researched the cost of driving this stretch of the Turnpike (45 miles) and found that it costs a Sunpass customer $3.01. Not sure why someone visiting Florida would be charged $7 extra, plus a $2.50 surcharge. Seems like "highway robbery" to me!
Hey All, I am travelling to Florida in July from the UK. From reading all this it seems the only option I have if I want to use the toll roads is pay in the booths, as from looking at the Sunpass Website I don't think I can buy one from here. But now concerned about unmanned booths!
I will only be using the Toll from MCO to the I4 on my first day travelling from the airport and the last day travelling back on the same route.
Any other suggestions?? I have heard adding it to my hire car can be 'uneconomic'....
Answer:
Hi Jules,
Thanks for reaching out.
I just checked SunPass’ website. You are correct; it seems as if you can’t purchase a transponder while you’re in the UK. But it wouldn’t be an economical way to do it anyhow: the transponder costs $20 for the portable. I looked up your route on the Turnpike Toll Calculator (http://www.floridasturnpike.com/TollCalcV3/index.htm) and your trip cost from the airport to I 4 is $3.25 one way. (The site points out you could save $0.58 by using SunPass.)
Paying with your rental car is the easiest and shouldn’t be expensive. Most major rental companies have programs allowing customers to utilize the Toll-By-Plate electronic collection system where tolls and service fees are automatically charged to the credit card used to rent the vehicle. For details, including pricing options at participating car agencies, visit http://www.sunpass.com/rentalcar. That way you can figure out exactly how much it will cost to use that option.
Or just get $10 worth of change to pay cash and you’ll be more than covered.
Sunny regards,
Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA
Hello, in a couple of weeks I will be duplicating what I did last year. Towing a small boat, getting on at ex 152 and heading south to the end. I was told the pay by plate would send me a bill for the trip down and back - I received no bill for either direction so maybe my tow setup messed it up?
I am thinking of just getting a ticket and paying cash at the other end?
I sent a fax to the sun pass office (obnoxious Sharpee print) looking for help with this - heard back nothing.
thanks - Wish my EZPass would work!
Rob
Hi Rob,
Thanks for reaching out.
So you’re from Virginia! We lived there for years.
As you know, I 95 isn’t a toll road, so you don’t have to worry about tolls until you get to the Miami area. I don’t know where you’re going from there, so here’s a list of all the toll roads in Florida from Wikipedia, including what kind of payment they accept: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_toll_roads_in_Florida . Here’s a map of the toll roads in the Miami area from Florida’s Turnpike, including which are all electronic: http://www.floridasturnpike.com/all-electronictolling/Turnpike_Sawgrass%20all-electronic%20tolling%20map_web.pdf
Florida's Turnpike from south of Ft. Lauderdale to Miami/Homestead is all electronic (which means paying with Sunpass or toll-by-plate). With toll-by-plate, as you know, they just take a picture of your plate and send you a bill for the toll. But if they don’t send you a bill, I wouldn’t worry about it.
If you want you can buy a SunPass; a mini is just about $5: http://www.floridasturnpike.com/all-electronictolling/SunPass.cfm . It will work everywhere and the tolls are a little less with it, and if you’re going to make an annual trip it might be worth the bother. But if you’re only going to use it a few days it doesn’t make sense (you have to buy one and then put a minimum balance of $10 on it).
Finally, here’s an article that you might find helpful, Travel Tips, Driving and Toll Roads in Florida: http://www.visitflorida.com/en-us/articles/2009/march/1203-florida-travel-tips.html
Sunny regards,
Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA
I am riding from Vancouver B.C to Key West Florida on a motorcycle.Is there any way to get to Key West without using the turnpike I like to see more of the landscape and less of interstate roads
Answer:
Hi Reinhard,
Thanks for reaching out.
There are always alternate routes! Check out Google Maps where you can view your options: https://www.google.com/maps/ The road that runs south west to Key West is glorious on a motorcycle; here’s info from the Florida Keys visitors’ services: http://www.fla-keys.com/
Sunny regards,
Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA
Very helpful information.

Suggestion to make trip planning a bit less stressful for those of us from out of state with rental cars: on the map showing toll points, add a symbol to indicate the ones that accept or don't accept cash!
Florida is great! The Florida turnpike is not. I drove a rental car from Ocala to Orlando. We paid the toll near the Orlando Airport then a mile later had to pay again. The coin receiver was broken so I put the money in and drove on as directed. Then again, another toll??? I didnt have any change and the trraffic was high so I drove through the sunpass booth. Now I have a $30.00 charge on my Visa. Brutal money grab. I realize it is a minor issue but I will not return to Florida unless I have to ... I understand this is a common issue.
We will be flying into Orlando and driving over to Disney and around the North Orlando area (near Millenia Plaza) and finally over to Port Canaveral. Will the tollroads that we will be driving on accept cash or do we need to worry about renting a transponder from the rental agency?
Hi Angela,
Thanks for reaching out.
The Miami section of the Turnpike and the following locations don’t accept cash: Mid Bay Connector (Destin); Veterans Expressway (Tampa); Selman Expressway (Tampa); and Sawgrass Expressway (Ft. Lauderdale). So you need to use SunPass or Toll-By-Plate.
That’s not the area in which you’ll be traveling, so you can indeed pay with cash.
However—my personal take on it-- it’s easier to just pay through the rental agency. Most major rental companies have programs allowing customers to utilize the Toll-By-Plate electronic collection system where tolls and service fees are automatically charged to the credit card used to rent the vehicle. For details, including pricing options at participating car agencies, visit www.sunpass.com/rentalcar.
Sunny regards,
Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA
I will be driving from Baton rouge Louisiana to fort Walton beach Florida, is there any all electronic tol booths I should know about ?
Answer:
Hi August,
Thanks for reaching out.
All-electronic tolling is in effect on Florida's Turnpike from south of Ft. Lauderdale to Miami/Homestead; on the Sawgrass Expressway west of Fort Lauderdale; and on the Veterans Expressway and I-4 Connector in Tampa.
So it’s not in the areas in which you’ll be traveling.
Sunny regards,
Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA
I will be arriving in Orlando and driving around that area and to the coast. I want to pay cash. Are there any toll roads where you can't pay cash? This system is really annoying and highly inconvenient for the Florida visitor, not welcoming at all.
Answer:
Hi David,
Thanks for reaching out, and sorry for the frustration.
All Turnpike tolls are collected electronically between the U.S. 1 (Exit 1) and County Line Road (Exit 47) interchanges in Miami-Dade County, on the Sawgrass Expressway in Broward County, on a portion of the Veterans Expressway in Hillsborough County, and on the I-4 Connector in Tampa, and cash tolls are not accepted.
Those aren’t areas that you talked about visiting, so you shouldn’t need to worry about it.
In the electronic tolling areas, they’ll take a picture of your license plate and mail you a bill, so it’s really not bad either. It just saves so much time in busy areas like Miami.
Sunny regards,
Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA

What is fee from Indiantown Road to Renaissance Seaworld Orlando
Answer:
Hi Nancy,
Thanks for reaching out.
Here’s the toll rate calculator: http://www.floridasturnpike.com/TollCalcV3/index.htm You can click on the region, and then on your exact entrance and exit—as well as how you are going to pay, SunPass or cash—and it will give you the amount.
Sunny regards,
Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA
We will be driving from Ft Lauderdale airport to Key West are there cashless booths we have to go through or can we just bring change with us and be okay? I don't want to have to pay for 6 days with the rental car if we will only be going through tolls going down and back.
Answer:
Hi Nana,
Thanks for reaching out.
All-electronic tolling is in effect on Florida's Turnpike in Miami, The Sawgrass Expressway west of Fort Lauderdale and the Veterans Expressway in Tampa. You’ll be going through Miami so you’ll need to pay with toll-by-plate.
The road through the Florida Keys isn’t a toll road so you won’t need it then.
Most major rental companies have programs allowing customers to utilize the Toll-By-Plate electronic collection system where tolls and service fees are automatically charged to the credit card used to rent the vehicle. For details, including pricing options at participating car agencies, visit www.sunpass.com/rentalcar.
Sunny regards,
Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA
Hello I will be traveling from Houston, TX to Weston Florida near Fort Lauderdale, June 23rd 2016,
Are there any tolls are turnpikes on the way there,If so what do you recommend on payment tolls/turnpike?
answer:
Hi Shirley,
Thanks for reaching out.
Here is a List of toll roads in Florida from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_toll_roads_in_Florida
But yes, there are tolls on some of your route.
Now, you could just bring a roll of quarters and pay cash. And if you happen to get on a road that’s all-electronic you could let them charge you with toll-by-plate. (All electronic areas are not on your route, but if you went to Miami or another place you might run into one.)
However, I personally hate to stop at the toll booths, so I would definitely go with a SunPass. You can get a mini for $5, and you get a discount on all of your tolls, so you’d probably make up the cost. But to me the big advantage is that the SunPass lanes often don’t even have to slow down. Waiting in line at a toll booth versus not hitting the brakes once is the selling point for me. You can buy a SunPass here if you are like-minded. https://www.sunpass.com/purchase
Sunny regards,
Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA

I'm heading to south beach an wanted to know if turnpike would be the best. Heading from Kissimmee to south beach an what evict do I get off at in south beach. Thanks chuck
Answer:
Hi Chuck,
Thanks for reaching out.
Here’s directions from Google Maps for Kissimmee to South Beach Miami, which includes your exits. It looks like the quickest route is indeed the turnpike. https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Kissimmee,+FL/South+Beach,+Miami+Beach,+FL/@27.0292611,-81.8893911,8z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m13!4m12!1m5!1m1!1s0x88dd841a37150be7:0x94e7cd9711fdc20d!2m2!1d-81.407571!2d28.2919557!1m5!1m1!1s0x88d9b48e8bc080f1:0x7afeece4a9efe6bd!2m2!1d-80.1340772!2d25.7826123