“Now you have to be a driver and have a car, and send them proof every year. They're making it harder and harder for seniors to get the discount."
The regulation is designed to fight fraud, according to DRPA spokesman Tim Ireland.
"We've discovered there are folks who have the E-ZPass transponders who no longer drive or are deceased, and the transponders have fallen into the hands of people who have no business having them," Ireland said. "We have an obligation to all of our tollpayers to make sure that only those who are eligible get the discount."
The discounted toll is $2.50 and is available to drivers 65 and older. Applicants may have vehicles registered in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or Delaware, but they must possess a New Jersey E-ZPass.
When the discount was instituted more than 35 years ago, senior citizens purchased books of discount tickets to present to toll collectors. In 2008, the DRPA discontinued the tickets and required seniors to obtain E-ZPass to obtain the discount.
The new rule requires seniors to send the DRPA their 13-digit E-ZPass account number, along with a copy of their driver's license and their vehicle registration, to continue to qualify for the discount. The information must be resubmitted yearly by the date of the vehicle's registration renewal. Those who currently receive the discount have until Sept. 1 to comply.
"It's not that much of an additional burden," Ireland said. "There are all sorts of things that people have to do annually or biennially. This is just one more stamp and one more envelope. And there's a substantial benefit."
The information can be sent to DRPA Revenue Operations, Box 1949, Camden, N.J. 08101, faxed to 856-969-7848, or scanned and e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, go to www.drpa.org/pdfs/SeniorEZPass.pdf or call 856-968-3348 or 856-968-3349.
Contact Paul Nussbaum at 215-854-4587 or email@example.com.