FAQs

Have questions about the Express Lanes? We’ve got you covered. Click between the sections below to see what other riders are asking and the answers to them.

If you need to report an accident or hazardous condition, please call #77 or 1-855-495-9777. Help is never far behind on the Express Lanes.

About the Express Lanes

What are the Express Lanes?

The Express Lanes offer a smoother and more predictable trip for drivers in Northern Virginia. Drivers use the Express Lanes to bypass congestion on the Beltway and 95 corridor. And because we’re all about keeping things moving, our customers pay for tolls electronically using an E-ZPass®. No need for cash, means no more toll booth backups.

The 495 Express Lanes run 14 miles from Springfield to McLean and the 95 Express Lanes run 31 miles from Stafford to Fairfax.

Learn more about the 395 Express Lanes that will be open to drivers in fall 2019 here.


What does the partnership between the Virginia Department of Transportation and Transurban mean for the Express Lanes?


When can I use the Express Lanes?


What’s the speed limit on the Express Lanes?


How do you maintain free-flowing conditions on the Express Lanes?


Where can I see the rules of the road for the Express Lanes?


I don’t see the Express Lanes grant program application on the website anymore. Does the program still exist?


95 Express Lanes and the I-395 HOV Lanes

What’s the lane reversal schedule for the 95 Express Lanes?

The 95 Express Lanes follow an approximate reversal schedule, which you can learn more about here. A simple way to remember which direction our reversible Lanes are heading? Think about the weekday morning and evening commutes. Our Lanes point north in the morning to help many of our customers heading into D.C. and then point south in the evening for their return trip.


What’s traveling like where the 95 Express Lanes and I-395 HOV lanes meet?


I’m continuing north after Edsall Road toward Washington, D.C. Do I need an E-ZPass® to travel this section of I-395?


Can 95 Express Lanes customers access I-395 inside the Beltway?


Can all travelers access the 95 Express Lanes outside rush hour and on weekends?


How do I read the digital signs above the 95 Express Lanes?


Ways to travel the Express Lanes

Can carpools and vanpools travel the Express Lanes for free at all times?

Carpools and vanpools can travel toll-free on the Express Lanes at all times as long as they fit within our free travel guidelines. If you have a headcount of 3 or more people in your carpool or vanpool, just make sure to switch your E-ZPass® Flex to HOV mode to travel for free.


I drive a hybrid or a vehicle with clean fuel plates. Why can’t I use the Express Lanes for free?


Can motorcycles use the Express Lanes?


Can buses use the Express Lanes?


How can law enforcement use the Express Lanes?


Are commercial trucks allowed to use the Express Lanes?


Can I tow my boat or trailer on the Express Lanes?


Can taxi drivers use the Express Lanes?


Can I use the Express Lanes if I’m traveling in a rental vehicle?


I’m from out of town. Am I allowed to use the Express Lanes?


I slug, how do the Express Lanes benefit me?


Express Lanes tolling

Are the Express Lanes tolled 24 hours-a-day?

Yes, tolls are always in effect. At the same time, free travel is always available to motorcycle riders, as well as HOV-3+ vehicles with an E-ZPass® Flex set to HOV mode.


What’s the toll rate?


How does dynamic pricing work?


How do I pay the tolls?


How will I know ahead of time what the toll will be so I can decide whether to use the Lanes?


Will the tolls change while I’m on the Lanes?


My destination isn’t on the pricing sign, how do I know what you’ll charge me?


I can see the price to travel to the last exit on the 495 Express Lanes no matter where I enter the Lanes. Why is this not the case on the 95 Express Lanes?


Is there a way to determine what the rates are prior to travel?


What happens if I enter the Express Lanes while the dynamic pricing message signs are blank?


Express Lanes and E-ZPass®

Can I pay cash for tolls on the Express Lanes?

No, Express Lanes tolls must be paid with an E-ZPass® or E-ZPass® Flex. There are no toll booths or options to pay cash on the Express Lanes.

For more information about Virginia E-ZPass®, head on over to: www.ezpassva.com.

For more information about Maryland E-ZPass®, please visit: www.ezpassmd.com.


Does everyone who uses the Express Lanes need an E-ZPass®?


Does a standard E-ZPass® work on the Express Lanes?


Do carpoolers need an E-ZPass®?


I have a Smart Tag, not an E-ZPass®. Will it work on the Express Lanes?


Where can I get an E-ZPass®?


How do I swap out my existing E-ZPass® for an E-ZPass® Flex?


What does the beep on the E-ZPass® Flex mean?


Is there an E-ZPass® Flex for bumper mounted transponders?


How can I travel toll-free on the Express Lanes with my bumper-mounted transponder?


How long does it take for my Express Lanes trip to post to my E-ZPass® account?


Express Lanes operations and enforcement

How many people need to be in my vehicle to qualify for HOV?

You must have a total of 3 or more people in your car.


How do you know who’s HOV and who’s paying a toll?


What happens if I use the Express Lanes without an E-ZPass®?


What happens if I forget to switch my E-ZPass® Flex from HOV mode to toll mode when I’m traveling with less than 3 people?


Why do I see troopers on the road so frequently?


What do you do with the video and data you collect on the Express Lanes?


Express Lanes invoices and missed tolls

What’s a toll invoice?

If you travel on the Express Lanes without an E-ZPass®, our on-road equipment will snap a photo of your license plate. If you don’t pay for your missed toll within 5 days of your trip, we’ll send you an invoice in the mail requesting payment of your toll plus an administrative fee. If you received an invoice from us, you can pay for it here.


How do I pay a toll invoice?


What are the administrative fees for toll violations?


Why did the administrative fees on my invoice increase?


How long do I have to pay my invoice after receiving it in the mail?


What happens if I don’t pay my toll invoice?


How can I avoid future invoices?


How do I dispute an invoice?


What can I do if I’ve disputed a violation, but I’m not satisfied with the outcome?


I never received my invoice by mail but have been contacted by a debt collection agency. Why?


My E-ZPass® Flex was set to HOV mode and I had at least 3 people in my vehicle, but I still received a toll invoice. What should I do?


What do I do if I received a court summons in the mail?


Why did I receive a court summons?


What are the civil penalties for violating on the Express Lanes?


Can I prepay to avoid going to court?


How much are the court fees?


Do I need a lawyer on my court date?


What if I need to reschedule my court date?


Safety on the Express Lanes

How can I report accidents or hazardous conditions on the Express Lanes?

Call #77 to report an accident or hazardous conditions. You can also call 1-855-495-9777. Thanks in advance for helping keep the Lanes safe.


What safety measures are in place to manage incidents on the Express Lanes?


What’s the purpose of the “Express Assist” vehicles that patrol the Express Lanes?


What happens if I need to pull over in the Express Lanes?


Do you ever conduct maintenance on the Express Lanes?