By Associated Press - Thursday, February 4, 2021

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Officials in Virginia say they are temporarily pausing deactivations of idle E-ZPass accounts during the coronavirus pandemic.

Virginia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Melodie N. Martin told The Washington Post on Wednesday that the agency will halt its routine practice of deactivating idle accounts.

She said the department generally asks drivers to return the state-owned transponders when they go unused. But there is now a six-month pause on requesting the transponders be returned.

E-ZPass allows drivers to pass through tollbooths without paying cash. Money is deducted from an account when a vehicle with a transponder passes through.

Virginia’s transportation agency contacts drivers after a year without activity on their accounts. Those accounts are moved to “inactive status” if the user fails to respond after 30 days.

Users who received deactivation notice before Jan. 28 must act to keep their account active.

“Those customers who have already received an inactive account notice will still have their accounts closed if they do not take action within 30 days of receiving the notification,” Martin said.

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