Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 10-10-130.
Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: Toll collection and adjudication in Washington state.
Hearing Location(s): Union Station, Ruth Fisher Boardroom, 401 South Jackson Street, Seattle, WA, on February 23, 2011, at 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Date of Intended Adoption: February 23, 2011.
Submit Written Comments to: Marina Walters, 401 2nd Avenue South, Suite 300, Seattle, 98104, e-mail Walters@wsdot.wa.gov, fax (206) 716-1189, by February 17, 2011.
Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Marina Walters, 401 2nd Avenue South, Suite 300, Seattle, 98104, e-mail Walters@wsdot.wa.gov, fax (206) 716-1189, by February 17, 2011.
Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: To repeal WAC 468-300-800 [WAC 468-300-801 through 468-300-890] and replace it with chapter 468-305 WAC which will amend existing toll collection rules to implement the new statewide customer service center operations, photo toll collection, toll enforcement, toll exemptions, and dispute resolution and adjudication.
Reasons Supporting Proposal: The proposed changes are necessary for the operations of the SR 520 toll bridge and implementation of photo tolling, the statewide customer service center operations and toll enforcement and adjudication.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 46.63.160 (6)(a), 47.46.105(2), and 47.56.030 (1)(d).
Statute Being Implemented: RCW 47.56.030 and 46.63.160.
Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.
Name of Proponent: Washington state department of transportation, governmental.
Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Craig Stone, Seattle, Washington, (206) 464-1220.
No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The proposed rules apply to all vehicles using state toll facilities and do not have a disparate impact to "business in an industry" as described in RCW 19.85.030.
A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. Pursuant to subsection (5)(a)(i) of RCW 34.05.328, RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to the department of transportation and it is not required to develop a cost-benefit analysis.
January 19, 2011
Stephen T. Reinmuth
Chief of Staff
"Active account" means an open Good To Go!™ toll account to which tolls and fees may be recorded by the customer service center system.
"Administrative fee" means the fee imposed by WSDOT for toll collection processing and other activities as set forth in chapter 468-270 WAC.
"Administrative hearing" means an in-person hearing before an administrative law judge to contest a notice of civil penalty (NOCP).
"Administrative law judge" means a judge provided by the office of administrative hearings authorized to conduct administrative hearings.
"Automatic replenishment" means the addition of money to a toll account using a customers' predesignated payment method according to the Good To Go!™ terms and conditions.
"Branded debit card" means a debit card that can be used as a credit card.
"Civil penalty" means the penalty assessed for a toll violation.
"Closed account" means a toll account that has been closed.
"Commercial account" means a uniquely identifiable type of account for a toll customer who requests more than six Passes for their account.
"Commission" means the transportation commission appointed by the governor of the state of Washington. The commission is responsible for setting toll rates, fees and schedules.
"Customer-Initiated Payment" means the method used to pay a photo toll when there is no regular toll account and the customer pays the photo toll no later than three days after the toll transaction.
"Customer service center (CSC)" means the place that customers can contact by phone, mail, in person, fax or the internet to open and manage a toll account, and receive services regarding their account and information about state toll facilities.
"Day" means that time period reckoned from midnight to midnight.
"Department" means the Washington state department of transportation (WSDOT).
"Department of licensing (DOL)" means the agency that maintains vehicle registration information.
"Dishonored check" means any check returned to WSDOT by a financial institution for any reason of nonacceptance, nonpayment or stop payment, unless a justifiable stop payment order exists.
"Dishonored credit card transaction" means a credit card transaction that is not approved by the entity that issued the credit card.
"Dynamic toll pricing" means varying the toll rate charged to toll customers to maintain specific performance standards of traffic management.
"Eligible toll facility (toll facility)" means any portion(s) of the state highway system upon which tolling has been specifically identified by the legislature including, but not limited to, transportation corridors; bridges; crossings; interchanges; on-ramps; off-ramps; approaches; bi-state facilities; and interconnections between highways.
"Final order" means the decision provided by the administrative law judge (ALJ) in response to an administrative hearing or written dispute and waiver of hearing to contest an NOCP.
"Good To Go!™" means the name of the department's toll collection system and is a registered trademark.
"Good To Go!™ customer" means a toll customer who participates in the department's Good To Go!™ tolling program.
"Government agency transponder account" means a uniquely identifiable type of account for a public agency.
"High occupancy vehicle (HOV)" means a bus, vanpool or a carpool vehicle with minimum occupancy requirements depending upon the posted roadway HOV signage and as further described in WAC 468-510-010 and RCW 46.74.010.
"High-occupancy toll lanes (HOT lanes)" means one or more lanes of a highway that charges tolls as a means of regulating access to or the use of the lanes in order to maintain travel speed and reliability. HOT lane supporting facilities include, but are not limited to, approaches, enforcement areas, improvements, buildings, and equipment as defined in RCW 47.56.401 and 47.56.403.
"Inactive account" means a toll account that has had no toll transaction activity during a predefined period of time as defined by the Good To Go!™ terms and conditions.
"Insufficient funds account" means a toll account with a balance less than the single toll rate or fee at the time the customer's transaction is processed.
"Nonsufficient funds" means a dishonored check presented to WSDOT in payment of any toll transaction.
"Notice of civil penalty (NOCP)" means the notice that is sent to notify the registered vehicle owner of a toll violation for failure to pay a toll by the toll payment due date, and for which a civil penalty is assessed.
"Notice of dishonored credit card transaction" means a transaction authorized by a toll customer that is not honored by the financial institution for any reason except for the existence of a stop payment order.
"Notice of nonsufficient funds (NSF)" means the notice sent to a toll customer who presented a nonsufficient funds check to WSDOT in payment of any toll transaction or fee. This notice will be mailed to the toll customer at the address noted on the check returned from the financial institution.
"Pass (Good To Go!™ Pass)" means the transponder device used on WSDOT toll facilities.
"Pay By Mail" means the method used to pay a photo toll when a toll bill is mailed to the vehicle's registered owner.
"Pay By Plate" means the method used to pay a photo toll by a customer who has a toll account through the use of a photo toll system.
"Payment transaction" means a record of activity created by the customer service center as a result of a customer payment.
"Person" means an individual, firm, partnership, corporation, association, or public agency.
"Photo toll" means a charge associated with a particular vehicle that is identified by its license plate and includes Pay By Mail, Pay By Plate and Customer-Initiated Payment.
"Photo toll system" means a camera-based imaging system that uses digital video or still image formats to record license plate images of vehicles using toll lanes for the purpose of collecting photo tolls.
"RCW" means the Revised Code of Washington.
"Registered toll account" means a toll account that contains customer contact information.
"State" means the state of Washington.
"Statewide tolling program" means the single, integrated tolling operations used by all eligible state toll facilities and includes both toll collection and toll enforcement processes.
"Tacoma Narrows Bridge" means the toll facility located on SR 16 in Pierce County, Washington.
"Toll" means the charge for the use of a state toll facility that may be paid by Good To Go!™ Pass, Pay By Plate (or a registered license plate account), Customer-Initiated Payment, Pay By Mail, or cash (where available).
"Toll account (Good To Go!™ toll account)" means an account that is linked to a Pass or license plate, or both, in order to pay a toll by automatic debit.
"Toll bill (Pay by Mail Toll Bill)" means a bill that is sent to the registered owner of a vehicle which has incurred a photo toll. A toll bill will state the total amount due including photo tolls at the Pay By Mail rate and all associated administrative fees.
"Toll collection system (TCS)" means any system that creates a toll transaction and includes both electronic and photo toll collection systems, and cash where available.
"Toll customer" means anyone who passes through a toll transportation facility.
"Toll enforcement office" means the division within WSDOT responsible for toll enforcement activities associated with the notices of civil penalty (NOCPs) as well as the written disputes and administrative hearings.
"Toll enforcement officer" means any person authorized by WSDOT to review and certify notices of civil penalty (NOCP).
"Toll facility" means a toll transportation facility.
"Toll payment due date" means the date when a toll bill must be paid to avoid a toll violation and civil penalty. The toll payment due date is eighty days from the date the vehicle uses the toll facility and incurs the toll charge.
"Toll transaction" means a record of activity created by the toll collection system as a result of a vehicle traveling through a tolling point.
"Toll violation" means the violation of statutes requiring that a toll be paid by the toll payment due date which is eighty days from the toll transaction date.
"Transponder disabling device (shield)" means an authorized WSDOT device that is used to render inoperative the radio transmission of the vehicle identification code from a transponder to a roadside transponder reader.
"Transponder (Good To Go!™ Pass)" means a device attached to a toll customer's vehicle that automatically identifies the toll customer's vehicle as it passes through the toll facility.
"Transponder toll transaction" means a toll transaction has posted in the customer service center system based on a transponder number.
"Unregistered toll account" means a uniquely identifiable type of account that does not contain customer name, address, or vehicle information and requires the use of a Pass (transponder).
"Variable pricing" means a method of varying a toll rate by time of day.
"Written dispute and waiver of hearing" means a completed form containing a written statement disputing a notice of civil penalty that is reviewed and decided by an administrative law judge. There is no appeal of a decision in response to a written dispute.
"WSDOT" means Washington state department of transportation, any division, section, office, unit or other entity within Washington state department of transportation, and any of the officers or other officials lawfully representing Washington state department of transportation.
(1) Establish a uniform toll collection and enforcement system for transportation facilities across Washington state;
(2) Establish efficient processes for both photo and electronic toll collection including an effective toll bill system; and
(3) Ensure fair and efficient toll enforcement and adjudication processes including the accurate issuance of notices of civil penalty (NOCP) and the opportunity for an impartial resolution of NOCP disputes.
(2) All toll related revenues collected by any independent toll collection company through WSDOT are payable to the state of Washington.
(3) Although WSDOT may contract with independent toll collection companies to manage the day-to-day toll collection activities of its toll facilities, WSDOT retains ultimate oversight authority for all toll collection operations at those facilities.
(2) The purpose of the project is to help determine if HOT lanes can more efficiently move people and vehicles within the SR 167 corridor by allowing drivers of single occupant vehicles, who pay a toll, to use SR 167 HOV lanes when excess capacity exists.
(3) Photo tolling is not available on the SR 167 HOT lanes. Customers must have an interior mounted Good To Go!™ Pass to use the toll facility. A violation of the high-occupancy toll lane restrictions may result in a traffic infraction issued by a law enforcement officer.
(1) Payment by Pass: This toll payment option uses a Good To Go!™ Pass (transponder device) to debit funds from an associated valid toll account.
|Note:||This is the ONLY payment method available on the SR 167 HOT lanes pilot project. Single occupancy vehicles must pay by an interior Good To Go!™ Pass and may receive a traffic infraction for failure to pay using the Pass.|
(3) Manual payment: This payment method is available only on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. It requires payment at a tollbooth using cash, a credit card or branded debit card. This option also requires you to stop your vehicle at the tollbooth facility to pay.
(1) Automatically if you have a valid toll account linked to your license plate;
(2) By Customer-Initiated Payment; or
(3) In response to a Pay By Mail toll bill.
(1) Registered owner's name and current known address;
(2) Details of the toll charges and fees assessed; and payments, if any;
(3) A request for payment within fifteen days of the toll bill invoice date;
(4) A warning of the potential consequences for not paying the toll bill and tolls;
(5) Information on how to dispute the toll bill;
(6) Contact information for the CSC, including the web site address; and
(7) Information about establishing a toll account.
If you fail to pay any toll listed on the toll bill within eighty days from the date of the toll transaction, you have committed a toll violation for which a notice of civil penalty may be issued.
A Good To Go!™ customer with an account in good standing at the time of the transaction but who failed to update their vehicle information may be entitled to an adjustment.
(a) Establish that the vehicle(s) is eligible for exemption by submitting a certification of exemption eligibility; and review and monitor toll usage as requested by WSDOT;
(b) Establish and maintain a Good To Go!™ toll account in good standing and equip the qualified vehicle with a Pass; and
(c) Equip the vehicle with identification signage.
(2) To claim exemptions for specific toll transactions debited from a toll account, the registered owner or its authorized representative must submit a written request which:
(a) Includes the toll account number;
(b) Identifies the date and time of the transaction(s) for which a credit is being sought;
(c) Includes a statement that the qualified vehicle's use of the road met the exemption requirements; and
(d) Submit the written request within eighty days of the toll transaction date. The department may then issue a credit to the toll account.
(3) To claim exemption from specific toll transactions where the registered owner receives a Pay By Mail toll bill, the registered owner or its authorized representative must submit a written request which:
(a) Includes the toll bill number;
(b) Identifies the date and time of the toll transaction(s) for which a credit or waiver is being sought;
(c) Includes a statement that the qualified vehicle's use of the road met the exemption requirements; and
(d) Submit the written request within eighty days of the toll transaction date. The department may then waive the toll.
(4) Failure to submit a certification of vehicle(s) exemption eligibility or timely submit a written request for toll transaction credit will result in a waiver of the ability to claim a toll exemption.
(2) Prepay at least the minimum fund balance into the account. If you have any amounts due to the toll division they must be resolved prior to opening an account;
(3) Purchase and install a Good To Go!™ Pass (transponder device) for Pass transactions; and
(4) Register your vehicle license plate(s) for Pay By Plate transactions.
A toll account may be set up to include Pass transactions and Pay By Plate transactions.
|Note:||The "Good To Go!™" customer contract contains a full explanation of the Good To Go!™ terms and conditions associated with the WSDOT "Good To Go!™" toll collection program.|
(1) Registered toll account. This account contains customer contact information and will allow for Pass and Pay By Plate transactions. For Pass transactions, the vehicle or vehicles must be equipped with a transponder. For Pay By Plate transactions, the customer must provide the license plate numbers of the vehicles that will be authorized to use the account.
(2) Unregistered toll account. This account does not require or contain the customer's contact or identifying information. All vehicles that the customer intends to use the account must be equipped with a Pass. Automatic replenishment and account refunds are not available for this account type.
(3) Commercial account. This is a registered account that has more than six Good to Go!™ Passes registered to it and may have a higher account establishment level.
(4) Government agency transponder account. This account is a uniquely identifiable toll account for government agencies. The agency must provide customer contact information.
(1) Automatic account replenishment. A customer who has a registered toll account may choose to have that account replenished automatically by using an electronic check (ACH) from your bank account, credit card, or branded debit card and according to the following requirements:
(a) Electronic check (ACH). You must designate a bank account (electronic check) to be used for replenishment as well as the replenishment range to be used. The replenishment amount will remain within your authorized range, but will never go below the WSDOT established minimum replenishment amount. You must also complete the electronic check – ACH Authorization Form.
(b) Credit card or branded debit card. You must designate a credit card or branded debit card to be used for replenishment, and designate the payment amount to be used.
The automatic replenishment amount can be raised by the customer but cannot be lowered on-line. The customer can call a customer service representative to lower the replenishment amount but it cannot be lowered below the WSDOT established minimum replenishment amount. The automatic replenishment is not available on unregistered accounts.
(2) Manual account replenishment. If you choose to manually replenish your account, you are responsible for monitoring your account balance and making deposits as needed to maintain a positive balance sufficient to cover toll charges.
(2) Replenishing an account. If your payment cannot be processed to automatically replenish your account, the CSC shall attempt to resubmit the payment request a second time. If your payment does not go through and your account goes negative, you may receive a toll bill(s) for any toll transactions that occur while your account was negative.
(a) Proposed. An account is in this status prior to becoming active.
(b) Active. An account is considered active if it is funded and eligible to receive toll transactions.
(c) Closed. An account may be closed upon a customer's written request to close it; or closed by the CSC after twenty-four months of inactivity or if the account has a zero or negative balance.
(d) Suspended. An account may be suspended for up to twenty-four months at the request of the customer. Transactions and payments cannot post to a suspended toll account.
(2) The CSC will not allow a customer to close an account with a negative balance and reopen a new account. The CSC will notify the customer of the amount due, in writing, when an attempt is made to close an account with a negative balance. Unpaid balances on a toll account may be forwarded to a collections agency.
(3) If an account is suspended, closed or has insufficient funds to cover a toll transaction, the customer will receive a Pay By Mail toll bill for any transactions that do not post to the account.
(4) If funds are available on the account at the time of closure, the customer will be refunded the balance, minus any outstanding tolls and fees.
For accounts that cannot be refunded electronically, the customer will be issued a check by WSDOT to the account's last recorded mailing address. Refunds will not be issued to unregistered transponder accounts.
(1) Payment shall be applied to the oldest outstanding unpaid toll transaction based on transaction posting date and time, unless otherwise directed by customer.
(2) For each toll transaction, payment will be applied first to the administrative fees then to the toll transaction amount.
(c) American Express;
(e) Branded debit cards.
(2) Debit card. The CSC will accept and process debit cards. Debit cards that require a pin for processing will be accepted only for in-person transactions.
(3) Check. The CSC will accept the following forms of checks as a customer's method of payment:
(a) Personal check;
(b) Business check;
(c) Electronic check (automatic clearing house - ACH);
(d) Money order;
(e) Cashier's check;
(f) Traveler's check;
(g) Bank or teller's check;
(h) Government check (warrant);
(i) Voucher or similar draft guaranteed by a U.S. bank.
(4) Cash. The CSC will accept cash in the form of U.S. coin or currency.
(5) Electronic benefits transfer. The CSC will accept and process electronic benefits transfer (EBT) at walk-in CSC locations.
(6) Inter agency payment. The CSC will accept and process inter/intra agency payment (IAP) for accounts flagged as a state agency.
(7) Electronic check (ACH).
(a) The CSC will accept direct payment from your bank account via electronic check (also known as automatic clearing house - ACH) at the walk-in centers, mobile units, on-line, via phone, mail and fax. Foreign banks will not be accepted.
(b) ACH payments will require either a signed authorization or electronic signature authorization from the customer. The authorization can also be verbal for payments by phone.
(1) U.S. coin and currency;
(2) Credit cards (MasterCard, VISA, Discover, or American Express);
(3) Branded debit cards (no pin); and
(4) Other noncash instruments authorized by the department.
(1) Electronic statements are free and are available to Good To Go!™ customers at wsdot.gov/goodtogo;
(2) The interactive voice response (IVR) phone system provides previous day account balance information and information regarding the last ten account transactions and the last five payments to call-in customers without charge; and
(3) Customer service representatives will provide account balance information to call-in customers without charge and answer any concerns regarding your account.
TOLL VIOLATIONS AND PENALTIES
(1) A certification of the toll by an authorized WSDOT toll enforcement officer;
(2) The amount of the penalty plus the toll including any administrative fees; and
(3) Instructions for payment or dispute of the NOCP.
(2) Payment of the penalty or failure to contest within fifteen days shall constitute a waiver of the right to contest the civil penalty.
(3) Failure to either pay the fine or timely contest the civil penalty shall automatically result in liability for the civil penalty.
(4) If the notice of civil penalty is unpaid after fifteen days, a hold will be placed on the vehicle registration renewal and the penalty may be transferred to a collections agency.
(1) Administrative hearing. The registered owner may request an in-person administrative hearing before an administrative law judge in order to contest one or more NOCP(s) within fifteen days of the date of the NOCP. The hearing will be consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act brief adjudicative proceedings described in RCW 34.05.482 through 34.05.494.
(2) Written dispute and waiver of hearing. The registered owner may contest an NOCP by completing and submitting a Written Dispute and Waiver of Hearing Form to the toll enforcement office within fifteen days of the date of the NOCP. However, where a registered owner chooses to dispute in writing, he or she waives the right to an in-person hearing, and the right to appeal the final order issued in response to the written dispute and waiver.
The Written Dispute and Waiver of Hearing Form shall include a full written statement explaining the reasons for disputing the NOCP. You may also submit documentary evidence that is relevant to your dispute. The information included with the Written Dispute and Waiver of Hearing Form will be considered a final submittal and be the only information reviewed in your defense.
(2) If the dispute is denied, the final order will include a brief statement of the reasons for the decision. Any fine owed shall be paid within ten days after issuance of the final order.
(3) The order on the written dispute and waiver is final. There is no right to appeal the final order to WSDOT or superior court.
(2) Once you request a hearing, you will receive a notice of hearing which will contain:
(a) The date and time of your hearing;
(b) The legal authority and jurisdiction under which the hearing is to be held;
(c) A reference to the statutes and rules involved;
(d) A short plain statement of the matters asserted by WSDOT in the NOCP; and
(e) A statement that a party who fails to attend or participate in a hearing may be held in default.
(3) If you cannot appear on the date scheduled, you must notify the WSDOT toll enforcement office in writing at least twenty-four hours before the scheduled time and request a new date. Only one such rescheduling is permitted. If you do not appear at a scheduled hearing without notification, you will be in default and a final order of liability will be issued against you.
(a) The vehicle license plate images associated with the NOCP(s);
(b) The vehicle registration information from department of licensing;
(c) The Pay By Mail toll bill(s); and
(d) Any other documentary or oral evidence pertaining to the toll violation.
(2) Other evidence.
(a) The registered owner will be afforded the opportunity to respond to the evidence with an oral statement and to present evidence that is reasonably related to the toll violation.
(b) All testimony of parties will be made under oath or affirmation.
(c) Documentary evidence may be received in the form of copies or excerpts or by incorporation by reference.
(d) The administrative law judge may exclude evidence that is irrelevant, immaterial or repetitious.
(1) That a person other than the registered owner was driving the vehicle when using the toll facility; or
(2) That the person did not know to pay a toll.
After consideration of the evidence and argument as presented in either the Written Dispute and Waiver of Hearing Form, or at the administrative hearing, the administrative law judge will determine whether the toll violation was committed. Where the evidence does not support the toll violation, a final order will dismiss the notice of civil penalty. Where it has been established that the violation was committed, a final order affirming the toll violation and civil penalty will be issued.
(2) Written Dispute and Waiver of Hearing Form. No appeal is available from the final order issued in response to a Written Dispute and Waiver of Hearing Form.
The following sections of the Washington Administrative Code are repealed:
|WAC 468-300-801||What is the purpose of these rules?|
|WAC 468-300-805||What definitions are important to understanding these rules?|
|WAC 468-300-808||What toll paying methods are available on WSDOT toll facilities?|
|WAC 468-300-810||Who collects the tolls charged on WSDOT toll roads and bridges?|
|WAC 468-300-820||What is a "Good To Go!™" toll collection system?|
|WAC 468-300-822||Is the WSDOT electronic toll collection (ETC) system compatible with electronic payment methods used by other transportation systems?|
|WAC 468-300-824||Will commercial vehicles using the CVISN program need a special transponder to use WSDOT toll facilities?|
|WAC 468-300-826||What is "dynamic toll pricing"?|
|WAC 468-300-828||What is the purpose of the department's State Route 167 high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes pilot project?|
|WAC 468-300-830||How can I open a "Good To Go!™" customer account and use the electronic toll collection lanes?|
|WAC 468-300-832||What types of "Good To Go!™" customer accounts are available?|
|WAC 468-300-834||Do I need to establish a separate "Good To Go!™" account for each "Good To Go!™" toll road or bridge that I use?|
|WAC 468-300-840||What is a customer service center (CSC)?|
|WAC 468-300-850||What toll payment methods are available to "Good To Go!™" customers?|
|WAC 468-300-852||How can my customer account be closed?|
|WAC 468-300-853||If my registered account is closed, am I entitled to a refund?|
|WAC 468-300-854||What toll payment methods are available to manual toll customers?|
|WAC 468-300-860||What administrative fees may apply to WSDOT toll customers?|
|WAC 468-300-862||What administrative services are provided to WSDOT toll customers without charge?|
|WAC 468-300-890||How does WSDOT process dishonored checks and dishonored credit card transactions?|