Drivers who regularly use the Florida Toll Road can opt to pay automatically using the SunPass transponder which not only pays their toll (debited from any account the driver chooses to fund) but also records information about their driving habits. Things like where they have traveled, how fast they drove and how long they have been driving.

As you might imagine not everyone is happy about supplying this type of personal information so they opt to may cash. Unfortunately for them, the Florida Department of Transportation put a new policy in place which forces toll plaza operators to complete a “Bill Detection Report” any time they received large denomination bills. How large? Well, drivers who use a $50 bill have been stopped, and detained and so have drovers who used a $5 bill, so it is unclear what the exact terms of requirement were.

Not only were these drivers delayed while the toll plaza operator completed the “Bill Detection Report” but they were also forced to hand over personal information such as where they were coming from, where they were going, who they were; their license plate, make and model of their vehicle and the names of all persons in their vehicle.

This week the Florida Supreme Court ruled that since no driver was forced to use any specific type of bill or amount of currency to pay the toll the state could not be held liable for detaining them for completion of the “Bill Detection Report.” This will likely clear the way for more such limitations to be placed on those who use toll roads.

Whether this us an attempt to convince drivers to use the electronic transponder or an effort to crack down on those transporting and using illegal currency is unclear, but it’s a sure bet we’ll be bringing exact change with us next time we plan to use the Florida Toll Road.