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Auto know: Sometimes there is a free ride

Eric Lai answers what you need to know about the 407 ETR.

Published July 9, 2012
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Q: An American friend with Kansas plates on her car says she’s used the 407 toll highway for many years as a frequent visitor here but has yet to receive a bill. Are U.S.-plated vehicles not billed by 407? Their website says everyone must pay, but if these folks never get a bill, how can they?

A: Steve Spencer, spokesperson for 407 ETR, replies:

As per our website (www.407etr.com), all users are required to pay for their usage of 407 ETR. We do send bills to the vast majority of out-of-province users and have agreements with many states to access their driver information. However, due to factors beyond our control, it is not always possible to get an invoice to every user from the United States.

Q: Can renters get a “free ride” on the 407 ETR when driving a U-Haul vehicle (as their Ontario rentals bear Arizona plates)?

A: Transportation Ministry (MTO) officials advise that Ontario and Arizona have reciprocal agreements in place. This is why U-Haul rental autos based here are permitted to display Arizona plates instead of having to get Ontario plates.

According to MTO, Arizona collects the license fee for Arizona-plated vehicles based here and remits it to Ontario and vice-versa.

Since a reciprocal agreement is in place, 407 ETR will likely have access to vehicle owner information in order to bill U-Haul for a renter’s toll highway usage. In turn, U-Haul is entitled to bill this amount to your credit card as per the terms of the rental contract you signed with them. The contract may also allow for surcharges on toll fees.

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