A beautiful photo from Destin, FL

Updated Toll Info for Destin-Bound Travelers

If you are headed to the Destin area for spring break, we wanted to remind you of the major change in your beach route. The Mid-Bay Bridge Connector opened in 2014, but it still confuses many travelers.

That’s because if you are traveling to Destin and the Mid-Bay Bridge, you encounter two different tolls:  

1) The connector toll – you pay later through the mail ($4.50)

2) The bridge toll – you pay on-site in cash ($4.00)

The connector is the new controlled access highway, connecting the north end of the Mid-Bay Bridge with SR 85 immediately north of Niceville. The connector reduces travel time – you bypass Niceville and avoid 14 traffic lights.travelling to Destin FL

Here’s the confusion – the state of Florida is using a toll-by-plate collection system on this new section of highway. The toll collection method takes a photo of your vehicle’s license plate as it travels through the connector. There’s no stopping – signs warn you to keep moving.

The base toll for a regular vehicle is now $2.00. The state also adds a monthly administrative charge of $2.50 per billing cycle. You can avoid the administrative charge by creating a prepaid account with toll-by-plate.com.

This toll-by-plate system has upset some travelers who are not used to this type of toll system or who are confused about the two separate tolls. The toll-by-plate made the news last fall in Tennessee when a television station did an investigative report on the billing system.

One last bit of advice – don’t ignore that toll-by-plate notice when it arrives in the mail. Failure to pay after the second notice means more fees and the account is assigned to a collection agency. 🙁

Even with the extra charge, the connector is well worth it, especially on Saturdays when vacationers are oh-so-close to Destin. During busy times such as spring break, it cuts several minutes off your trip since you are avoiding bumper-to-bumper traffic on John Sims Parkway/SR 20 and those 14 traffic lights!

After the connector highway, you will approach the toll booths at the Mid-Bay Bridge. This is where you pay a cash toll to cross over the bridge into Destin.

Are you traveling to Destin, Fl for spring break? Don’t forget to check out all our resources for lodging, restaurants, and beach activities.

Safe Travels & Happy Spring Break!

Kendra Veach

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