Trip Tip – How to Avoid Tolls on your Next Trip

Avoid out of state bills by learning how to avoid tolls

Trying to avoid tolls tolls may be a daily goal for those of us in the pay-to-drive states.  Below is a list of the 24 free-to-drive states:

Alaska Kentucky North Dakota
Arizona Michigan Oregon
Arkansas Mississippi Rhode Island
Connecticut Missouri South Dakota
Georgia Montana Tennessee
Hawaii Nebraska Vermont
Idaho Nevada Wisconsin
Iowa New Mexico Wyoming

Why would a motorcyclist feel justified in avoiding tolls? Many motorcyclist feel that a bike doesn’t do enough damage to a road to warrant the price of tolls. A recent GAO study shows semi-trucks are responsible for the majority of wear on a road but are not being charged at tolls accordingly. Cars, passenger trucks, and motorcycles pay for the lion’s share of tolls for damage actually caused by semi-trucks.  We can theorize that the damage caused by a motorcycle is exponentially smaller than that caused by a car. If a car is paying an unfair amount at tolls, how much more so are motorcycles?

Common methods:

Active Rigging:

Flip plate rig

Pros: You can easily flip a switch and the mechanism will conceal your plate. They doesn’t require a change in riding position or any body maneuvering.

Cons: It’s hard to defend if you are caught with one and could possibly draw unwanted attention from law enforcement.  It requires vigilance to  actively engage and disengage the system.  Missing one camera could mean all your avoidance work was for nothing.

Passive Rigging:

Tucked license plate

  • “Broken” brackets
  • Old temp tags
  • Plate Tucking

Pros: They require no positioning or rider engagement.

Cons: If you don’t secure your paper temp tags, “broken” bracket, or tucked bracket you may lose it.


One “Broken” bracket method I witnessed involved mounting their plate rigidly using electrical wire. When riding on a toll road they would flip the plate all the way up until it was unseen. If they were stopped, they would say their bracket was stolen or broken and they rigged like that to get home. When riding on a freeway or residential street, the rigidity of the wire will hold the plate down and visible to law enforcement.

Disclaimer: We are not encouraging anyone to go out and commit a crime. This article is for informational purposes only. If you are found to have committed a crime following a method listed above, we are not liable or a defense. Further if injury or property damage is sustained we are not responsible.

Let us know how you liked this article. Did we cover everything? Was this helpful to you? Is there a topic you wish we would cover. Let us know below, we love to hear your comments!



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