Frequently Asked Questions

Click the questions below for their answers

About FasTrak®

About South Bay ExpresswaySM

About Tolling

About Toll Fees

About Pay-by-Plate

About Toll Violations

How do I Update/Make Changes to my FasTrak Account?

Miscellaneous Questions about South Bay Expressway

Questions?

Answers

About FasTrak

Q: What is FasTrak®?
A: FasTrak® is an electronic toll collection system that consists of a small electronic device called a transponder, which is placed on the inside of your vehicle's windshield. The transponder works together with electronic readers that are installed over the Expressway. When traveling in the FasTrak lane, an overhead antenna reads the data stored in the FasTrak transponder, and the toll is automatically deducted from your prepaid FasTrak account. Simple? You bet. FasTrak is fully electronic-no tollbooths or gates-and above all, there's no need to slow down or stop at tollbooths. Just drive on through!
Q: How do I sign up for a FasTrak account?
A: Signing up for FasTrak couldn't be easier. Simply log on to complete the online application. To speed things, have a major credit card and the license plate numbers of your vehicles handy. The Web site will guide you through the application process. Or, call our friendly customer service representatives at (619)661-7070 and open your account over the phone.
Q: Why should I sign up today?
A: FasTrak is the easiest, most convenient way to pay tolls on South Bay Expressway, allowing you to bypass tollbooths at full highway speeds. FasTrak customers receive significantly discounted toll rates and special offers.
Q: Are there special promotions?
A: Open your prepaid FasTrak account today and enjoy discounted tolls ALL THE TIME. Save up to $2.15 when you use FasTrak instead of cash or credit card! Contact Customer Service at (619)661-7070 to inquire about other current promotions.
Q: How do I pay?
A: Convenient Automated Cash and Credit Card Machines are located at every entrance and exit ramps on South Bay Expressway to make cash or credit card payments for your trips on South Bay Expressway. Toll Attendants are staffed in toll booths at the Otay Mesa Toll Plaza only between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. during weekdays and are happy to provide change and a receipt. At times when toll attendants are not on duty, or if you won’t be travelling past the Otay Mesa Toll Plaza, simply toss your coins into the basket, insert dollar bills into the bill acceptor, watch for the green light and drive on through. Be sure to have exact change with you since no change or a major credit card is given by our Automated Cash Machines.

If you fail to pay the required toll, you may receive a violation notice under California Vehicle Code §4770 and any other applicable law. If a violation occurs, you will be subject to all fees, fines and penalties as provided by law. The minimum penalty for nonpayment of a toll is $60.00.

If you couldn’t or didn’t pay at an Automated Cash or Credit Card Machine and do not have a FasTrak account, you now have new ways to pay and avoid violation by utilizing our Pay-by-Plate payment options. Click here to see all you need to know about making a Pay-by-Plate payment.

Q: Can I use my FasTrak in multiple vehicles?
A: Yes. We just ask that when you open your account you register the license plate of each vehicle and properly mount your transponder in your vehicle(s) every time you use SBX.
Q: Can I use my FasTrak on other toll roads? How about the I-15 Express Lanes?
A:You can use FasTrak on any California toll road or bridge that displays the FasTrak symbol, including the I-15 Express Lanes, Orange County toll roads such as the SR-73-even the Golden Gate Bridge!
Q: Can I buy a month/year pass?
A: No. However, FasTrak users receive significantly discounted toll rates - and it's also the easiest way to pay tolls since there is no stopping. You sign up with a credit/debit card that allows your account to be automatically replenished when funds get low, so you never have to worry about carrying change. You can manage your account easily/anytime online.
Q: When will you charge my credit/debit card?
A: When you open your FasTrak account at South Bay Expressway with a credit or debit card, the card is charged $40 in prepaid tolls for each transponder. The account balance is automatically replenished as you use South Bay Expressway or other California toll roads and bridges. If you decide to close your FasTrak account, simply notify us that you want to close your account, return your FasTrak transponder in good condition, and we will be happy to refund the unused balance that you prepaid (promotional credits are non-refundable).
Q: Is there a monthly minimum usage requirement like other toll roads?
A: Yes. This fee only affects FasTrak accounts opened with South Bay Expressway who use less than $7.00 per month. Most account holders don't have to worry about this fee because it amounts to around one trip per week. Those who are infrequent travelers will be charged the difference between their total amount of tolls used and $7.00 for the month. For example, if you spend $5 in tolls on SBX during the calendar month your account will be charged an additional $2, so that you would meet the account Monthly Minimum. Click here for a full list of FAQ's relating to our Monthly Minimum Toll policy.
Q: I just received my transponder; can I use it on other California toll roads right now?
Yes. Your South Bay Expressway FasTrak transponder may be used immediately on all other California toll roads and bridges wherever the FasTrak symbol is displayed.


Back to Top

About South Bay Expressway

Q: What is South Bay Expressway?
A: Tired of sitting in gridlock on South Bay roads and highways? South Bay Expressway provides a stress-free solution. The new 10-mile express toll road extends from SR-54 in Spring Valley through eastern Chula Vista, to Otay Mesa Road/SR-905 in Otay Mesa near the International Border. This new connection gives drivers convenient access to Downtown, Sorrento Valley, Santee, I-8 and I-15, Otay Mesa, Mexico and more, providing a fast, reliable, scenic commute every time. South Bay Expressway is a first-class, four-lane express toll road that utilizes cutting-edge technologies, including FasTrak, an electronic toll collection system that allows customers to bypass toll plazas at full highway speeds-no stopping necessary.
Q: Where will South Bay Expressway take me?
A: Ever imagine how much faster it would be to get to Downtown, Santee, Sorrento Valley, Otay Mesa, I-15, I-8 or La Jolla if only there was a more direct route or better connections? No need to imagine any longer! South Bay Expressway fills a gap in San Diego's highway network, providing drivers with a fast, easy route and connections to all of the places you want to go.
South Bay Expressway extends from the SR-54 in Spring Valley through eastern Chula Vista to the Otay Mesa Road/SR-905 intersection near the Otay Mesa Border Crossing. Whether you're headed to shopping, work or home, you'll find that South Bay Expressway is convenient and closeby.
Check out our maps.
Q: Where can I get on and off the Expressway?
A: You may enter South Bay Expressway from the north at SR-54 and at Otay Mesa Road/SR-905 from the south. The Expressway features several convenient on/off ramps located at San Miguel Ranch Road, East H Street, Otay Lakes/Telegraph Canyon Road, Olympic Parkway and Birch Road. At each of these locations, you can use FasTrak to pay the toll electronically or stop and pay with cash or credit card. The choice is yours.
Check out our maps
Q: Where can I find South Bay Expressway's Privacy Policy?
A: You can find SBX Privacy Policy by clicking here.

Back to Top

About Tolling

Q: Why is it a toll road?
A: South Bay Expressway is a "user-pay" road-a toll road rather than a taxpayer-funded road. It is financed, built, operated and maintained with tolls collected from the people who choose to use it to save time and reduce stress in their daily lives.
This project has been in the region's plans since 1959. However, with all of the needed transportation projects in San Diego County (both improvements and new roads), this project did not make it to the top of anyone's list of priorities, and there has never been funding available to construct it. Because it is being built as a toll road, it is available to people who choose to use it decades earlier than would have been possible without private funding.
Q: How does the local community benefit from a toll road?
A: As the owners of South Bay Expressway, we are committed to the local community and to enhancing the quality of life for Chula Vista, Bonita and South Bay residents. By funding improvements such as the Sweetwater Valley Little League fields and park and trail enhancements, taking exceptional measures to preserve the sensitive environment, and donating funds for valuable community services such as the new Bonita Historical Museum, we are, and will continue to be, an active and supportive community partner.
Q: Are trucks allowed to use the road?
A: Yes. South Bay Expressway provides a reliable, stress-free ride for cars and commercial vehicles, including trucks. The Expressway has been designed to accommodate these vehicles.
Q: How long will the South Bay Expressway be a toll road?
A: The road operates as a toll road for 35 years, at which time the state takes ownership and can decide whether it remains a toll road.

Back to Top

About Toll Fees

Q: How much are the tolls on South Bay Expressway?
A: Tolls are based on the distance traveled and the number of axles on your vehicle. For 2-axle vehicles with FasTrak, neighborhood trips within Chula Vista are just 85 cents, medium trips are $2.10 to $2.75 and through trips are just $3.85. To determine the toll for trucks and other commercial vehicles, or for the cash or credit card toll, visit our Toll Calculator to quickly calculate your toll.
Q: How were toll amounts determined?
A: South Bay Expressway's toll schedule was determined based mainly on two factors:
  1. Extensive research, including interviews, discussions and surveys with our future customers about appropriate toll levels.
  2. A financial model to repay the $635 million cost to build the road, plus the millions of dollars required to operate and maintain it over the next 35 years.
Q: What is the toll for trucks and other commercial vehicles?
A: Tolls vary based on how far you are traveling and the number of axles on your vehicle. Vehicles with 3 or more axles pay two times the 2-axle toll rate. To quickly and easily determine the toll for trucks and commercial vehicles or for the cash or credit card toll, visit our Toll Calculator to quickly calculate your toll.
Q: What is the toll for RVs, cars towing trailers and motorcycles?
A: Tolls vary based on how far you are traveling and the number of axles on your vehicle. Motorcycles pay the same toll as other 2-axle vehicles.
Vehicles towing trailers (such as boat trailers) and RVs pay according to the number of axles. Vehicles with 3 or more axles pay two times the 2-axle toll rate. To quickly and easily determine the toll, visit our Toll Calculator.
Q: Do carpoolers and environmentally friendly vehicles pay a toll?
A: Yes. South Bay Expressway is a toll road, and all drivers and vehicles choosing to use the road must pay a toll. Tolls are based on the distance you are traveling and the number of axles on your vehicle. To quickly and easily determine your toll, use our Toll Calculator.
Q: What discounts are available to residents?
A: By opening a FasTrak account and paying your toll electronically, you receive a significant discount over paying your tolls with cash or credit card on South Bay Expressway.
In addition, short trips within Chula Vista-between East H Street and Birch Road and the two exits in between (Otay Lakes Road/Telegraph Canyon and Olympic Parkway)- cost just 85 cents per trip using FasTrak.
Q: How much are the cash and credit card tolls?
A: You can find your toll due on the Automated Cash Machine when you are entering or exiting SBX. Cash and credit card tolls for two-axle vehicles (autos, light trucks and motorcycles) on South Bay Expressway range from $2.50 to $4.00. Vehicles with 3 or more axles pay two times the 2-axle toll rate. To calculate the correct toll, visit our Toll Calculator.
Q: What happens if I do not pay the toll?
A: If you fail to pay the toll, a camera will take a photo of your license plate and you will be issued a citation. You can avoid a citation with our new Pay-by-Plate payment options for your South Bay Expressway trips. Click here for the view our Pay-by-Plate section. If you fail to pay the toll in one of those ways, the minimum penalty for nonpayment of a toll is $60.00 plus the amount of the toll and any applicable fees under California Vehicle Code §4770 and any other applicable law. If a violation occurs, you will be subject to all fees, fines and penalties as provided by law.
Q: I didn't have the correct change to pay the toll, what do I do?
A: If you couldn’t or didn’t pay at the Automated Cash or Credit Card Machine or by the option above, you can avoid citation with our Pay-by-Plate payment options for your South Bay Expressway trips. Note that Pay-by-Plate tolls are $2.00 higher per trip than cash or credit card tolls and must be paid within four (4) business days.

You can: 1) make a Pay-by-Plate payment using our website by clicking here 2) make a Pay-by-Plate payment  using an envelope available at the Automated Cash Machines and sent via mail; 3)make a Pay-by-Plate payment by calling the South Bay Expressway Customer Service Center (619)661-7070; 4) walk into the Customer Service Center located at 1129 La Media Road, San Diego, CA 92154 and pay in person Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. If you fail to pay the required toll, you will receive a violation notice under California Vehicle Code §4770 and any other applicable law. If a violation occurs, you will be subject to all fees, fines and penalties as provided by law. The minimum penalty for nonpayment of a toll is $60.00.
Q: I paid the toll but I received a violation notice in the mail, what do I do?
A: Please follow the specific instructions on the notice/citation for resolving a dispute.
Q: The automated cash or credit card machine was not working properly. I called from the machine and was told to drive through. Why did I receive a violation notice?
A: Occasionally, our cash or credit card customers will experience problems using the automated cash or credit card machines. Follow the any verbal instruction you are given and if you receive a violation notice, call our Customer Service Center at (619)661-7070.
Q: I have a FasTrak account. Why did I get I violation?
A: If you have a valid FasTrak account, we apologize for the inconvenience. There are a number of reasons why you may have received a notice.
  • Did you mount your transponder as outlined in the instruction sheet?
  • Did you update your vehicle license plate information?
If you answered YES to these questions then contact the Customer Service Center at (619)661-7070.
Q: I was told that the FasTrak lanes were "free", I didn't understand.
A: In order to use FasTrak lanes you must have a valid FasTrak account and a FasTrak transponder properly installed in your vehicle - no exceptions. If you do not have a FasTrak transponder you must stop and pay the toll at our automated cash or credit card machines, or at our main toll plaza located on Otay Mesa.
Q: What happens if I don't pay the fine?
A: Failure to pay the toll violation penalty will result in escalating toll penalties and may result in a hold being placed on your vehicle registration by the DMV.

Back to Top

About Pay-by-Plate

Q: What is Pay-by-Plate?
A: Pay-by-Plate allows users to pay for their trips using photos we have taken of their license plate while travelling South Bay Expressway. Please note that SBX does not mail bills to customers for the trips they have taken on the Expressway.
Q: What are South Bay Expressway's Terms and Conditions for Pay-by-Plate?
A: South Bay Expressway’s Pay-by-Plate Terms and Conditions require that customers pay their tolls within four (4) business days of the trip taken on SBX. WE DO NOT MAIL BILLS FOR TOLLS TO CUSTOMERS. IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO REPORT AND PAY FOR YOUR TRIP. If a customer fails to pay for their toll within four (4) business days, he or she would be in violation and will be subject to a $60 minimum penalty. SBX has a separate toll schedule for Pay-by-Plate tolls that is $2 higher per trip than cash or credit card tolls. It’s easy to pay your Pay-by-Plate tolls on our website at sbxthe125.com.
Q: What information do I need to provide to use your Pay-by-Plate payment options?
A:Whether you are utilizing our Pay-by-Plate option via web, mail, phone or paying in person, you’ll need the following:
Q: What happens if I don't know my entrance and exit points or entered them incorrectly?
A:If you are unsure of your entrance and exit points, you should choose “unknown.” This means that you will be charged the full toll fare as if you had travelled the full length of SBX from SR-54 through the Otay Mesa Toll Plaza. If you do plan on using the Pay-by-Plate payment options in the future, be sure to make a note of the information you need to process your toll payment.
Q: What is the Pay-by-Plate toll schedule?
A: See below.
Pay-by-Plate Toll Schedule
Q: Can I close my FasTrak account and use your Pay-by-Plate payment options?
A: Certainly, but because Pay-by-Plate tolls are $2 higher than cash or credit card tolls, closing your FasTrak account to solely use our Pay-by-Plate payment options will likely cost you more than using your FasTrak account. FasTrak is the easiest, most convenient way to pay tolls on South Bay Expressway, allowing you to bypass tollbooths at full highway speeds. FasTrak customers also receive significantly discounted toll rates. You can close your FasTrak account with us at any time but if you use SBX even a few times per month, we suggest you keep your FasTrak account.

Back to Top

About Toll Violations

Tips on How to Avoid a Violation

1. Keep your vehicle information current at all times.
Be sure to keep your account information current. This includes your banking or credit/debit card information and vehicle license plate numbers (either removing or adding vehicles). You can access and manage your FasTrak account online at "My Account". If you have additional questions or would like to speak with a Customer Service Representative call us at (619)661-7070.
2. Always mount your transponder on your windshield.
Make sure your transponder is properly mounted to your windshield for proper reading. The CHP is authorized under the California Vehicle Code to cite drivers who fail to properly mount their transponders to the windshield.
3. Don't ignore other Agency violation notices.
If you receive a violation notice from any another California toll agency (I-15 Express Lanes, SR-73, 91 Express Lanes, etc), correct it immediately. You need to resolve the violation directly with that agency by following the instructions on the toll violation notice. And remember, delays in payment can result in additional fees. Unfortunately, South Bay Expressway cannot resolve a violation from another toll authority. To prevent future violations:
4. Add rental cars to your FasTrak account.
If you are a FasTrak customer and will be driving a rental car for any reason, be sure to add the rental car license plate information to your FasTrak account so you don't receive a violation notice.
Q: Why did I receive a violation notice?
A: A violation occurs anytime you travel South Bay Expressway without making a proper payment either by cash/credit card or through your valid FasTrak account. When this happens, a camera will take a photo of your license plate and you will be issued a Notice of Toll Evasion (violation notice). The minimum penalty for nonpayment of a toll is $60.00 plus the amount of the toll and any applicable fees. If you fail to pay the required toll, you may receive a violation notice under California Vehicle Code §40254. Follow the instructions on the violation notice and mail payment within 21 days to: South Bay Expressway Customer Service Center, 1129 La Media Road, San Diego, CA 92154.
If you fail to respond as outlined in the violation notice, an additional fine may be assessed and a hold may be placed on your vehicle registration by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) (CVC§4770 and §40267).
Q: What is the fine for a toll road violation?
A: Each violation is assessed a $60.00 violation on top of the toll amount due. For example, if your toll was $2.50, you will be required to pay the $60.00 violation plus the $2.50 toll for a total of $62.50.
If you fail to respond as outlined in the violation notice, an additional fine may be assessed and a hold may be placed on your vehicle registration by the DMV (CVC§4770 and §40267).
Q: How can I dispute a violation?
A: Follow the instructions on the violation notice and return by mail within 21 days to avoid further fines and penalties. We will investigate the circumstances and provide the results by mail.
If you are not satisfied with the results of the initial investigation, you can request an administrative review within 15 days of the postmark date of the results of the initial investigation. The procedures for administrative review and appeal are set forth in California Vehicle Code, §40255 and §40256.
Q: How many days do I have to respond to the violation notice?
A: If you receive a violation notice:
Q: I am a South Bay Expressway FasTrak customer but I received a violation notice. Who do I contact?
A: If you are a FasTrak customer and have received a violation notice(s), the reason for this could be:
If you are a FasTrak customer and received a violation notice, call the Customer Service Center at (619) 661-7070. For faster processing, please have your violation reference number(s) and FasTrak account number ready - these numbers are located at the top of your violation notice.
Q: I received a violation notice. How do I pay the fine?
A: Follow the instructions on the violation notice. If you are paying by mail, send payment within 21 days to: South Bay Expressway Customer Service Center, 1129 La Media Road, San Diego, CA 92154. You may also pay your violation in person at the Customer Service Center Monday through Friday, 9am - 6pm.
Q: I am an I-15 Express Lanes FasTrak customer and I received a violation notice from South Bay Expressway. What do I do?
A: If you have a FasTrak account with another agency, the reason for the violation may be:
We recommend you first contact the agency with whom you opened your account and make sure your information is up-to-date. For faster processing, please have your violation reference number(s) and FasTrak account number ready - these numbers are located at the top of your violation notice.
Q: I am a South Bay Expressway FasTrak customer and I received a violation notice from another toll agency. What do I do?
A: If you receive a violation notice from any another California toll agency (I-15 Express Lanes, SR-73, 91 Express Lanes, etc), you need to resolve the violation directly with that agency by following the instructions on the toll violation notice. Unfortunately, South Bay Expressway cannot resolve a violation from another toll authority. To prevent future violations:
Q: How can South Bay Expressway put a hold on my DMV vehicle registration?
A: South Bay Expressway has an agreement with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to receive license plate information and authorize vehicle registration holds. South Bay Expressway is authorized to enforce vehicle registration holds by the California Vehicle Code, §40255 and §40256.
Q: Do rental vehicles have to pay tolls?
A: Yes. All vehicles traveling South Bay Expressway must pay the proper toll. If you are a FasTrak customer, contact the Customer Service Center to add a rental vehicle to your account. Make sure to remove the vehicle from your account, once your rental period expires.
Q: How do rental vehicle drivers receive violations?
A: South Bay Expressway will contact the rental company to locate the person who was driving the vehicle at the time the violation occurred and acquire the violator's mailing address.

Back to Top

How do I Update/Make Changes to my FasTrak Account?

Q: What do I do if I buy a new car or need to add another vehicle to my account?
A: Please contact the Customer Service Center at (619)661-7070 with the new license plate information. You may also update your FasTrak account with new vehicle information by visiting the "My Account" link.
Q: What happens if my transponder is damaged, lost or stolen?
A: Please contact our Customer Service Center immediately to report a lost, damaged or stolen transponder. Customers are responsible for the replacement of lost or stolen transponders. There is a $35 (interior transponder)or $50 (exterior transponder) fee to replace any lost, damaged or stolen transponder. Once reported lost or stolen, FasTrak customers will not be held responsible for unauthorized transactions.
Q: What if I lose the credit card that is attached to my FasTrak account or want to replace the card on file with a different one?
A: Please contact the Customer Service Center as soon as possible and provide us with the new credit card number. You may also update your credit card information online at "My Account".
Q: Can I manage my account online?
A: Yes, from the "My Account" page you can:

Back to Top

Miscellaneous Questions about South Bay Expressway

Q: Who maintains and polices the road?
A: Our priority is to provide a safe, well-maintained road for our customers. We contract with Caltrans to maintain the road and with the California Highway Patrol to provide routine patrol services and incident management.
Q: Are bicycles allowed on South Bay Expressway?
A: South Bay Expressway is open for bicycle use between Birch Road and SR-905. Cyclists are to remain within the white painted, striped lines while traveling and are never allowed on South Bay Expressway north of the Birch Road Interchange. Motorists are advised, as always, to drive with caution.

Back to Top

Questions?

Q: Who do I call if I have questions?
A: We want to hear from you! For information on signing up for FasTrak or other questions, visit the Contact Us page or call us at (619)661-7070.

Back to Top