Coming to San Francisco without crossing the Golden Gate Bridge or Bay Bridge, it’s a bit like visiting Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe… it’s just too bad. And if you are a resident, it is absolutely impossible to never cross a bridge unless you do not have a car.
But beware, the eight bridges surrounding the Bay have a toll system that can be fulfilled in several ways.
- You rent a car
Ask the attendant when you pick up your car. Some rental companies handle the tolls, others do not and some increase the bill for service. In any case, you have 48 hours after the crossing of the bridges to pay online before the invoice is sent to the owner of the vehicle, therefore to the car rental company.
All details are here for car rentals.
- You are a resident and often cross bridges – FasTrack
You can open an online account that you credit in advance and which will be debited from your bank account each time you arrive under a certain amount. You will need to provide an email address, a credit card, the name of the car manufacturer, the model, and your car license plate…. Each time you pass one of the 8 bridges, your FasTrack account will be debited. If you have multiple cars in your household, you can list all license plates under one account.
Good to know: FasTrack allows you to benefit from a small discount.
- You are a resident and you occasionally use bridges
Account associated with a license plate: the account is associated with the car and you will need to provide an email address, a credit card and the vehicle registration number.
Convenient if you stay several weeks and cross the bridge occasionally but no discount granted conversely to FasTrack.
- You are a resident or occasional visitor
Pay at each pass without opening an account: you can buy a pass up to 30 days in advance or pay 48 hours after your visit. You will find here all the details.
And if you are distracted, if you forget to pay within 48 hours after your visit, you will receive an invoice at your home. Beware, penalties add up in case of administrative phobia … and the rental companies will find you.
For details on bridges and how they operate, visit https://mtc.ca.gov/about-mtc/what-mtc/bay-area-toll-authority/san-mateo-hayward- bridge
Golden Gate Bridge is at this address http://goldengate.org/tolls/tollpaymentoptions.php