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Enrollment for the 2020 toll relief program begins

The program is designed to help ease the financial burden of tolls for Norfolk and Portsmouth residents.

RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia Department of Transportation announced that enrollment for the 2020 Toll Relief Program until February 15, 2020.

The relief will start for drivers on March 1, 2020.

The program, which started four years ago, is designed to help ease the financial burden of tolls has distributed approximately $1.3 million in toll relief to qualified Norfolk and Portsmouth residents who travel regularly through the Downtown and Midtown tunnels. 

Sean McAndrews said the program is great for people like him who use the tunnels multiple times a day.

“I think it’s definitely a relief. They kind of send me out everywhere, and we use our own personal vehicles, so we’re going through the tolls and have to pay for them ourselves. So we get those bills every month,” said McAndrews. 

Other drivers like Kyra Zumbach said they think the money back will incentivize more people to take the tunnel.

“More people would use the tunnels and the bridges and stuff if you did get money back,” said Zumbach. 

Driver Antione Smith said he would be traveling more soon, so he planned to enroll in the program.

“Every weekend, there’s someone traveling, going out of town, having fun and I’m stuck at work. I think it’s time for me to travel and get through that tunnel,” said Smith.

RELATED: Toll increases announced for Downtown, Midtown tunnels in 2020

Applicants for the program must bring proof of income and residency in person to the E-ZPass Customer Service Center in either Norfolk or Portsmouth. 

To qualify for Toll Relief, participants must:

  •  Reside in Norfolk or Portsmouth
  • One of the following is required for proof of residency:
    • Driver’s license
    • Utility, telephone or cable bill
    • Checking or savings account statement
    • Property tax bill
    • Mortgage or proof of homeownership
    • Rental contract
    • Military documentation confirming residency
  • Earn $30,000 or less per year
    • One of the following is required for proof of income:
    • W-2
    • 1099-MISC
    • One month of pay stubs
    • IRS 1040
    • Employer’s statement
    • Self-declaration of no income
  • Have or open a Virginia E-ZPass account

Once a participant’s Virginia E-ZPass records eight or more trips through the Downtown or Midtown tunnels during a calendar month, a 75-cent refund is credited to his or her Virginia E-ZPass account for each trip.

VDOT said there is no limit on the number of discounted trips in a calendar month.

VDOT spokesperson Holly Christopher said current participants must re-enroll to receive 2020 Toll Relief Program benefits. 

“Enrollment doesn’t carry over. The enrollment has to be done in person at one of the two customer service centers. We have two of those locations, one at Norfolk, and one at Portsmouth, in person. So, people have to re-enroll every year to make sure they maintain their status in the program,” said Christopher.

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Elizabeth River Crossings, operators of the Downtown and Midtown tunnels, is providing the Commonwealth $500,000 a year for 10 years to help offset the cost of tolls on those users most financially stressed. 

The 2020 Toll Relief Program marks the fourth year.

For more information on Toll Relief click here or call 855-530-5506.