OVERSEAS HIGHWAYFLORIDA KEYS – Officials with Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise plan to introduce an all-electronic system Feb. 19 to collect tolls from motorists who travel Florida’s Turnpike between Exit 1 and Exit 47.

That segment of the turnpike, known as the Homestead Extension, is a primary route on the way to the Florida Keys.

The new system affects four toll plazas between mile posts 0 in Florida City and 47 at the Miami-Hollywood/Fort Lauderdale line. It eliminates driver stops at booths to pay tolls and officials say electronic toll collection is safer, more efficient and seamless.

Tolls are to be collected only with SunPass, a prepaid toll program, or with TOLL-BY-PLATE, a system that photographs each vehicle’s license plate and mails a monthly bill for tolls, plus a $2.50 administrative fee, to the vehicle’s registered owner.

Vacationers traveling in their own cars can obtain a mini-SunPass sticker via mail before their trips for $4.99 and receive the cost back in toll credits. The pass also is available at many major Florida retailers and Turnpike service plazas. It works on all Florida toll roads and many bridges, said officials, adding that SunPass customers typically get a 25 cent discount at most toll plazas and exits on turnpike roads. For details on purchasing a mini-SunPass, visit www.sunpass.com or call 1-888-865-5352.

For visitors renting cars in Florida, most major rental companies have programs allowing customers to utilize the TOLL-BY-PLATE system. Tolls, plus varying service fees, are automatically charged to the credit card used to rent the vehicle. For details, including pricing options at participating rental car agencies, visit www.sunpass.com/rentalcar.

Officials caution motorists that under no circumstances should they attempt to stop in high-speed electronic tolling lanes.

Travelers can call 1-800-749-PIKE (7453) or visit www.FloridasTurnpike.com/all-electronictolling for more information about the all-electronic tolling on Florida’s Turnpike.

Details on the new Florida Turnpike procedures also can be found on the Florida Keys & Key West website at http://www.fla-keys.com/gettinghere.cfm#land.

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