Paybyplatema vs E-ZPass MA: Which One is Right for You?

In today’s fast-paced world, having a convenient and efficient way to pay tolls is essential. With the advancement in technology, various electronic toll collection systems have been developed to simplify the payment process. Two popular options in Massachusetts are Paybyplatema and E-ZPass MA. While both serve the same purpose, they have certain differences that might influence your decision. In this blog, we will compare Paybyplatema and E-ZPass MA to help you determine which one is right for you.


What is Paybyplatema?

FeaturePaybyplatemaE-ZPass MA
AvailabilityAvailable for all driversOnly available for Massachusetts residents
Initial CostNo initial costRequires a one-time fee of $20 for the transponder
Monthly Fee$1.50 per monthNo monthly fee
Toll DiscountsNo toll discountsOffers discounted toll rates for E-ZPass MA users
Accepted StatesAccepted in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and MaineAccepted in multiple states across the US

Paybyplatema is a toll payment system used in Massachusetts for individuals who do not have a valid E-ZPass transponder. It allows drivers to pay their tolls either before or after using the toll roads through an online account. The Paybyplatema system uses license plate recognition technology to identify and bill vehicles that pass through tolling locations without an E-ZPass transponder. This system provides an alternative method for toll payment for occasional drivers or those who do not desire to have an E-ZPass account.

What is E-ZPass MA?

E-ZPass MA is an electronic toll collection system widely used in Massachusetts and several other states in the United States. It functions by placing a transponder, a small electronic device, inside your vehicle. As you drive through a toll collection point, the transponder communicates with the toll barrier, deducts the appropriate toll amount from your pre-funded E-ZPass account, and allows for seamless passage without the need to stop and pay tolls manually.

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Similarities between Paybyplatema and E-ZPass MA

While there are differences between Paybyplatema and E-ZPass MA, they also share some similarities:

1. Convenience

Both Paybyplatema and E-ZPass MA aim to provide drivers with a hassle-free toll payment experience. By eliminating the need to stop and pay manually, these systems help reduce congestion and save time for commuters.

2. Online Account Management

Both systems allow users to manage their toll payment accounts online. Users can access their accounts, add funds, update personal information, review toll transactions, and make necessary changes conveniently from their computers or mobile devices.

3. Compatibility

Both Paybyplatema and E-ZPass MA are compatible with various toll roads and bridges in Massachusetts, making them widely accepted options for toll payment throughout the state.

Differences between Paybyplatema and E-ZPass MA

1. Ownership of Transponder

The most significant difference between Paybyplatema and E-ZPass MA is the ownership of the transponder. With Paybyplatema, you do not need to acquire a transponder as the system identifies your vehicle through license plate recognition. In contrast, E-ZPass MA requires you to obtain and place a transponder inside your vehicle for automatic toll collection.

2. Cost

While both systems charge toll fees, the cost structure may differ. Paybyplatema calculates the toll fees based on the vehicle’s class and the distance traveled. On the other hand, E-ZPass MA offers discounted toll rates for registered transponder holders.

3. Payment Process

With Paybyplatema, tolls can be paid either before or after using the toll roads. On the other hand, E-ZPass MA deducts the toll amount from your pre-funded account as you pass through the toll barriers.

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4. Frequent Travel Benefits

E-ZPass MA provides additional benefits for frequent travelers, such as discounted toll rates during off-peak hours and specific toll-free periods. Paybyplatema may not offer such benefits.

Which One is Right for You?

Now that we have discussed the similarities and differences between Paybyplatema and E-ZPass MA, let’s consider which option might be suitable for you:

If you are an occasional driver:

Paybyplatema might be the ideal choice for occasional drivers who do not frequently use toll roads. With Paybyplatema, you can conveniently pay your tolls without the need to acquire and manage a transponder.

If you are a regular commuter:

E-ZPass MA may be more beneficial for regular commuters. The transponder ownership provides seamless and faster toll passage, along with potential discounts during off-peak hours. Plus, having an E-ZPass account allows you to enjoy additional advantages offered by the E-ZPass network in other states.


1. What is PayByPlateMA and E-ZPass MA?

PayByPlateMA and E-ZPass MA are two different electronic tolling systems used in Massachusetts. PayByPlateMA is a pay-as-you-go system where tolls are automatically charged to your registered license plate, while E-ZPass MA allows for pre-paid tolling using a transponder device.

3. Which system offers more cost savings?

E-ZPass MA typically offers more cost savings compared to PayByPlateMA. E-ZPass users enjoy discounted toll rates, reduced fees, and even occasional promotions. PayByPlateMA users, on the other hand, may incur slightly higher toll rates and administrative fees.

4. How can I obtain a PayByPlateMA or E-ZPass MA account?

To sign up for PayByPlateMA, simply visit the official website and register your license plate. E-ZPass MA, on the other hand, requires you to acquire a transponder device by signing up on the E-ZPass MA website or visiting a participating retailer, service center, or customer service location.

5. Can I use both PayByPlateMA and E-ZPass MA interchangeably?

Yes, both PayByPlateMA and E-ZPass MA can be used interchangeably on Massachusetts toll roads. If you have an active PayByPlateMA account and also possess an E-ZPass transponder, you can link the two accounts together for added flexibility and convenience. By doing so, your tolls will be properly accounted for regardless of the system used.


In conclusion, both Paybyplatema and E-ZPass MA offer convenient, online-based toll payment systems. The decision depends on your individual needs and usage frequency. If you frequently travel on toll roads or desire potential discounts, obtaining an E-ZPass transponder and enrolling in E-ZPass MA might be the better choice. However, for occasional drivers, Paybyplatema allows for hassle-free toll payment without the need for a transponder. Evaluate your requirements, assess the costs, and make an informed decision based on what works best for you.

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