A guide to purchasing and using Florida's automatic toll program

It can be a hassle to stop at toll plazas and always remember correct change. Travelers looking for a more convenient option should consider SunPass, available throughout the state of Florida and along the Florida Turnpike. Here's everything you need to know about buying and using the automatic toll program.

Q: What is SunPass?

A: SunPass is a prepaid toll program for use around Florida. Users receive a SunPass Portable transponder or a SunPass Mini Sticker transponder, which attach to the car windshield and allow you to drive through toll plazas without stopping. The SunPass automatically communicates with the toll plaza via radio frequency and deducts the toll cost from your prepaid account.

Q: How much does SunPass cost?

A: SunPass is reasonably priced. The SunPass Portable transponder costs $19.99 plus tax while the SunPass Mini Sticker transponder costs $4.99 plus tax. Both require a minimum opening balance of $10 for a personal SunPass account. SunPass customers pay less per toll than those paying with cash, and discounts are available for those who travel frequently through certain tolls. A list of possible discounts is available on the SunPass website.

Q: Where do I buy SunPass?

A: Purchase one of the transponders online at SunPass.com or at an authorized SunPass retailer. There are over 3,100 retail locations available in Florida. These include Publix Super Markets, CVS Pharmacy, Walgreens, Amscot Financial, AAA South, Navarro Pharmacies and Sedano's Supermarkets. SunPass transponders are also available at all Florida Turnpike service plazas, Turnpike gas stations and SunPass Service Centers.

Q: How do I set up SunPass?

A: Follow the instructions to install the SunPass transponder on your windshield behind the rearview mirror. It's important to position the transponder correctly so tolls can be properly read. SunPass Portable transponders can be moved between cars, but the SunPass Mini Sticker transponders are permanent once installed.

Set up an online account for your SunPass, which you can manage manually, or set up Easy Pay to automatically keep your account balance filled. Use a debit or credit card to up your balance, or pay with cash at one of 5,000 retail locations throughout Florida. Cash replenishment services are available at authorized merchants, including grocery, convenience and check cashing stores.

Q: What if I don't need SunPass anymore?

A: If you move out of Florida or decide you no longer need access to the SunPass program, ask for your account balance to be refunded. There are no refunds on the cost of the transponders. Refund requests can be made online at SunPass.com, by phone, mail or fax.