On my recent trip to San Francisco, I rented from my usual place, Alamo, and drove off. As I picked up everyone else, I suddenly remembered something. The Golden Gate Bridge does not take cash and my car didn’t have a Toll Pass.
Luckily, there’s a solution for that.
You are allowed to pre-pay for your rental car before going across the bridge. (You also get a buffer for 48 hours afterwards if you forget to beforehand).
Take note of the license plate number and the end date of your rental period. You can make a One-Time Payment using any of the following methods:
- Online using a credit card at www.bayareafastrak.org.
- By phone using a credit card: Toll free (877) BAY-TOLL (877-229-8655), outside California 415-486-8655. Click here for hours of operation.
- In person using cash at a Cash Payment Location.
- In person using cash, check, or credit card: Bay Area FasTrak Customer Service Center (effective June 17, 2014) at 62 First Street, San Francisco, CA 94105 (near the intersection of Market and First Streets). Click here for hours of operation.
You may also open a limited duration License Plate Account before crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. To ensure the License Plate Account is only activated for the length of the rental period, you must be sure to include the end date of your rental contract as the ‘Closure Date’ when completing the application. To learn more about a License Plate Account, click here.
Areas are increasingly becoming more Toll Tag/EZ-Pass/etc. only. Before I got my own EZ-Pass, I got a ticket because my GPS took me through an EZ-Pass only area and I did not know the area at all and had no idea how else to go. I was also a little nervous in Colorado when I noticed I was driving through many toll areas without a pass–but it turned out they use a license plate system there. (Phew).