December 22, 2022
The Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) and the Golden Gate Bridge District today announced two new programs that will benefit eligible veterans and people earning a low income across all eight Bay Area toll bridges.
Beginning January 1, 2023, a new California law - Assembly Bill 2949, authored by San Jose Assembly member Alex T. Lee - will grant eligible veterans of the U.S. armed forces free tolls on California toll bridges. Vehicles registered to a veteran displaying eligible license plates will be exempt from paying tolls to cross the Golden Gate Bridge as well as the seven state-owned bridges (Antioch, Benicia-Martinez, Carquinez, Dumbarton, San Francisco-Oakland-Bay, Richmond-San Rafael and San Mateo-Hayward). The free-passage benefit does not apply to Express Lanes.
Additionally, commencing July 1, 2023, BATA and the Golden Gate Bridge District will institute a policy for lower-income residents to receive a waiver for any penalties assessed due to late or missed payments of toll bridge crossings occurring between March 20, 2020 and January 1, 2023. The waiver is created by Assembly Bill 2594, authored by San Francisco Assemblymember Phil Ting, and will apply to the Golden Gate Bridge and the seven state-owned bridges. The waiver does not apply to Express Lanes.
Veteran Benefit Eligibility
To be eligible for free tolls, veterans must have a license plate with one of the following designations on their registered vehicle: Congressional Medal of Honor, Disabled Veteran, Legion of Valor, Pearl Harbor Survivor, Ex-Prisoner of War or Purple Heart. Eligible veterans do not currently need to have a FasTrak account, although a FasTrak-enrollment requirement will be instituted in the future. To avoid being charged a toll, veterans who already are FasTrak customers must place their FasTrak toll tag in a Mylar bag provided by FasTrak so they will not be charged for that particular trip when traveling through bridge toll plazas. Mylar bags may be ordered for free by logging into your FasTrak® account or calling the FasTrak Customer Service Center at 877-BAY-TOLL.
Low-Income Toll Waiver Eligibility
To receive the low-income toll waiver, drivers must make a request to participate in the program and have a household income of no more than 200 percent of the federal poverty level (approximately $55,000 for a family of four). Waiver recipients will be required to pay any tolls and any fees charged by the Department of Motor Vehicles for vehicle registration holds due to the non-payment of penalties.