PrePass Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
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As a qualified PrePass-enrolled vehicle approaches an open weigh station, PrePass automatically verifies whether or not that vehicle is eligible to bypass. PrePass operates using either a radio frequency identification (RFID) transponder mounted to the truck windshield, or through PrePass MOTION, a mobile app for use on tablets. The system then delivers a red, green or no light signal to the transponder / tablet in the vehicle’s cab. Based on that signal, the driver knows whether or not to pull into the station. Green means bypass and red or no signal means pull in.
Both our driver and company customers tell us that the biggest benefit to them is the time saved by being able to bypass scales and inspection stations. The FMCSA estimates the minimum cost of pulling into a weigh station or scale at $8.68, and that’s just for static weighing or a credential check. In today’s operating environment, just a few minutes out of operation can make a difference between getting home or spending mandated time off in a sleeper berth or hotel. Bypassing weigh stations also saves fuel, reduces wear and tear on the truck and provides both environmental and congestion-mitigating benefits.
PrePass Plus is the PrePass toll payment and management service that lets carriers electronically pay and manage their tolls. It also, where available, allows carriers to receive discounted tolling rates. Electronic toll payments are available as a toll-only service, or as an integrated single-transponder solution with PrePass weigh station bypass. As part of this service, PrePass can manage carrier reconciliations and dispute resolutions.
Carriers with eligible safety records and all of the necessary current credentials can enroll and will be authorized to bypass PrePass-equipped weigh stations, ports of entry, scales and agriculture inspection stations.
HELP Inc. (HELP), which stands for Heavy-vehicle Electronic License Plate, provides and manages PrePass and its suite of services. HELP is a non-profit public/private partnership formed to improve highway safety and efficiency. HELP is managed by a Board of Directors comprised of members from both the public and private transportation sectors to provide objectivity and strict adherence to standards of safe motor carrier operations on our nation’s highways.
PrePass is a weigh station bypass platform provided by HELP Inc. It allows qualified motor carriers that comply with safety, weight and credentials requirements to bypass weigh stations and ports-of-entry at highway speeds, saving them time, fuel and money. HELP also offers PrePass Plus, a nationwide toll payment and management service, and INFORM, a suite of fleet management data tools.
Make sure to follow roadside signs. As a general rule, always stay in the right lane for at least one mile prior to approaching weigh station systems for an accurate reading.
States have placed signs on the highway advising when you are approaching an Automated Vehicle Identification (AVI) or PrePass-equipped weigh station. Please see the PrePass Service Map for a complete list of PrePass sites.
You must pull in any time that your transponder gives you a red light signal or no signal. You also have to pull in if you are hauling one of the special load types that are listed in the PrePass Bypass Restrictions Brochure.
Fixed sites are generally located on interstate highways and at locations where individual states have invested resources to build a scale house and inspection station staffed with trained, dedicated personnel.
Mobile sites are exactly just that – mobile, and more difficult to define. They may be located at a closed rest area or may simply be a wide spot adjacent to a primary or secondary road that enforcement might occasionally use for special commercial vehicle checks. These locations may or may not have infrastructure components such as a scale or license plate reader. In most cases, they are areas that can be geo-fenced to target commercial vehicles.
HELP’s Board of Directors and the majority of PrePass states continue to focus on new fixed sites and site enhancements, including the addition of weigh-in-motion scales (WIMs). WIMs weigh commercial vehicles as they travel on main roadway lanes at highway speeds, further reducing the need for qualified vehicles running at a legal weight to pull into weigh stations. Data has shown that fixed sites continue to provide the greatest value and safety to industry, enforcement and the motoring public.
PrePass adheres to a strict data confidentiality policy and takes great steps to ensure that PrePass cannot be used to measure or monitor driver speeds when bypassing weigh stations. PrePass encourages adherence to the speed limit and all safety laws to ensure your own safety and that of the motoring public.
Please see the PrePass Bypass Restrictions Brochure for each state’s bypass restrictions. Additionally, if you receive a red light signal or no signal and still bypass an open weigh station, you will be out of compliance and can be stopped and cited by law enforcement. Always follow your transponder signal to remain compliant.
You must complete and send an original Florida Agricultural and Electronic Bill of Lading Pre-Clearance Program Application (Form DACS-01281, ref date 5/02) to PrePass. Copies or faxes are not accepted. PrePass will then submit these forms to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) for approval. You will be notified of your approval status by mail.
We provide PrePass transponders with no upfront cost. Depending on the service you have, you may have a nominal monthly tag fee added to your invoice. Transponders remain the property of PrePass, so if your transponder becomes damaged or lost, there may be a replacement fee of up to $100.
All transponders no longer in service must be returned to PrePass. Make sure to insure each transponder for $100 and send them via a trackable method to the PrePass Customer Service Center at the following address:
PrePass Device Returns
510 Parkland Drive
Sandy, UT 84070
If you have our PrePass Plus or Tolls-Only service, the transponder’s toll payment functionality is live when installed. For bypassing, your transponder should be operational at most weigh stations within 48 hours of your paperwork being processed.
The windshield transponder placement is necessary so that the PrePass overhead readers can scan the data coded in the transponder. There are two specific approved transponder locations that maximize device readability. The first is at least two inches but not more than three inches from the top center of the windshield. The second is two to three inches from the lower part of the windshield, especially on trucks with visors and/or overhangs. If you have a right fender spot mirror, mount the device to the left of the center of the windshield to eliminate any mirror blind spots.
Always pull into the weigh station if you do not receive a signal from your transponder. Make sure that the transponder is properly mounted on the windshield. Some systems may have some slight variation in the setup of their overhead antennas, so you may need to adjust the transponder slightly to ensure proper communication. If you need assistance, please contact the PrePass Service Center at 1-800-PREPASS (1-800-773-7277).
Internal non-replaceable batteries in some of our devices last approximately five years. Replaceable lithium batteries in our ElitePass devices should be changed out annually. We recommend changing out lithium batteries when renewing your registration to make sure that your service isn’t interrupted when you are out on the road.
If you do not receive a light on your PrePass transponder at a weigh station, you are required to pull into that station. Lights may display when going through toll booths, but there is no need to stop if they do not. If you think your transponder is not working correctly, please contact PrePass Customer Service at 1-800-PREPASS (1-800-773-7277).
No. Your credential information and related truck details must match PrePass records or you may be subject to citations. You should only have one PrePass-issued transponder in your vehicle at a time.
If you have a transponder that is not issued to you, please return it to:
PrePass Transponder Returns
510 Parkland Drive
Sandy, UT 84070
To turn off, or deactivate, a transponder’s bypass functionality, you must go into your account on PrePass.com and delete a truck and deactivate the corresponding transponder. Tolls functionality cannot be turned off. If you need assistance, please contact the Customer Service Center at 1-800-PREPASS (1-800-773-7277).
In addition to any obvious destruction of a transponder, a transponder may be considered damaged if any of the following apply:
- The transponder and/or sticker has been written on or defaced in any way.
- The transponder and/or sticker has been modified or tampered with.
- The sticker has been removed, scratched out or replaced without prior written authorization from PrePass.
- ElitePass internal components are missing.
There is a $100 charge for each damaged transponder.
Report your lost or stolen transponder through your PrePass.com account. If you need assistance, please contact the PrePass Service Center at 1-800-PREPASS (1-800-773-7277). If necessary, the center will issue a new transponder and charge your account up to $100 for each lost/stolen transponder.
If your account is active and in good standing, certain transponders can be reassigned or returned for credit only. Please check the current PrePass license agreement for more information.
You can also return the transponder(s) to:
PrePass Transponder Returns
510 Parkland Drive
Sandy, UT 84070
Installation takes just seconds and requires no technical know-how or additional expense. PrePass provides Velcro adhesive materials and an easy-to-read diagram so that you can be sure that you’re installing the transponder in the correct position.
Billing and Accounting Issues
PrePass customers are billed monthly. PrePass Plus and Tolls-Only customers also receive a mid-month bill that reflects accrued toll usage and applicable toll discounts.
You can pay by check or credit card through your PrePass.com account. You may also pay by phone or set up recurring payments by calling 1-800-PREPASS (1-800-773-7277).
You can also mail a check along with your invoice payment coupon to:
PO Box 52774
Phoenix, AZ 85072-2774
Bypassing invoices do not include timestamps. Toll invoices do include timestamps for each toll transaction.
If you were previously working for a company that provided PrePass transponders and you were not directly billed from PrePass, simply return your transponder(s) to the prior company. If you have your own PrePass account, you will need to submit a new application and copies of your new operating credentials so that your account can be updated.
For assistance, please contact the PrePass Service Center at 1-800-PREPASS (1-800-773-7277).
Customers can perform most maintenance related to the vehicles and transponders enrolled in their account by logging into their PrePass.com account. If you need assistance, please contact PrePass Customer Service at 1-800-PREPASS (1-800-773-7277).
Please contact the Customer Service Center at 1-800-PREPASS (1-800-773-7277). Please have your registration and transponder available when you call, as we will need information from both items to quickly assist you.
Please refer to the available reports in the INFORM reports portal for this information.
The PrePass ELD application is self-certified and registered with FMCSA. It is also compliant with all laws and privacy regulations. Beyond that, all of your data is encrypted and protected by your password and your device security. The Device Name registered with FMCSA is PrePass ELD.
PrePass ELD data is encrypted and stored in the cloud, which creates a secure backup that can be recovered even if a device is lost or damaged beyond repair.
The application runs on a mobile device. It connects via Bluetooth to a Nexiq Blue‑Link OBD adapter that plugs into the truck’s diagnostic port. This connection may or may not need a special cable, depending on the vehicle’s OBD port. Once connected, it will track operation metrics and automatically synchronize with the vehicle to record all driving time, date, time of day, location, engine hours, vehicle miles and driver identification data. The PrePass ELD only records the data required by law.
Yes. The PrePass ELD will work with multiple device formats as well as recent Android and iOS devices. All devices must have mobile internet access and be mounted and secured in a fixed position.
The service fee is $14.99 per month per license. Current PrePass customers receive a discounted rate of $12.99 per month per license.
It is available for download in Google Play (Android devices) and in the Apple App Store (Apple devices). The App’s name is PrePass ELD in both locations. Carriers must contact PrePass to set up their account and activate their app or it will not work. Carries who want to enroll in this service do not need to qualify for PrePass bypassing.
The device currently costs $156 for the 9-pin adaptor and $175 for the 16-pin adaptor (supplier’s price may vary) plus shipping. Unique Truck Equipment takes credit card, Purchase Order or ACH (E-Check) and offers UPS Ground (standard), 2-Day and Next Day shipping. For more information, see their website. If the customer wants to buy this device from another vendor, they need to ask that vendor about their specific payment terms and shipping policies.
The log can be viewed on the device. It can also be uploaded to the FMCSA via the FMCSA ELD Web service.
The status choices are Off-Duty, Sleeper Berth, Driving, and On-Duty/Not Driving.
Read more about the ELD mandate, hours of service and FAQs on the FMCSA Website:
Yes. Just like our existing PrePass bypass service, as regulations are modified or added, we will update the PrePass ELD app to remain in compliance with FMCSA regulations. These changes will take effect through updates to the mobile application.
Yes. The PrePass ELD supports co-drivers. Each driver, however, will need his or her own ELD license and account.
Yes. In order for the ELD to function and to be compliant you must have both the app and the OBD device installed in the truck. The Nexiq Blue‑Link Mini (Nexiq #126015) is the ONLY OBD that will work with the app.
- 100 Air-Mile Radius Drivers: short-haul drivers
- Drive-Away/Tow-Away Drivers: Drivers transporting a vehicle for an operation (repair, sale, etc.) wherein the vehicle itself is the product being shipped.
- Pre-2000 Model Drivers: Drivers operating vehicles manufactured prior to model year 2000.
- Limited Log Usage Drivers: Drivers whose paper log usage does not exceed 8 days in a 30-day period.
Even if you or your drivers qualify for an exemption, you will still be expected to provide authorized safety officials with any motor carrier records they require.
Yes. Unless they qualify for an exemption, drivers from Canada and Mexico must use a compliant electronic logging system to record their HOS when operating in the United States of America.
Yes. The Fleet Manager is responsible for granting special permissions for those two options to each driver. They are part of the FMCSA requirements.
The PrePass MOTION app gives carriers the option to expand bypass opportunities using tablet or mobile phone devices, and may be used with a PrePass transponder. While transponder technology is the industry gold standard with 99.9% accuracy, the MOTION weigh station bypass app provides expanded coverage to enforcement locations without a transponder reader. The application is available on Apple iOS, Android and select telematics devices. If you have a transponder, then MOTION will default to the transponder alert when PrePass transponder infrastructure present.
Depending on where you operate, PrePass MOTION will expand bypassing opportunities at weigh stations that are not currently equipped with PrePass transponder technology. And MOTION is included with your PrePass service.
While PrePass and Drivewyze (pronounced “Drivewise”) both provide weigh station bypass services on a mobile platform, there are several key differences. The first is that PrePass offers both a mobile bypass app and transponder bypass solution. A comprehensive study completed by Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) shows that cellular bypassing accuracy ranges from 81.5% to 93.9% in controlled conditions where cellular signals are good. On the other hand, the PrePass transponder accurately communicates data at a rate of 99.99%.
PrePass MOTION (available on both Android and Apple iOS devices) works in tandem with the PrePass transponder to increase the ability to bypass when a PrePass reader is present at the weigh station while expanding service to locations without PrePass readers. In this scenario, the MOTION weigh station bypass app defaults to the more reliable transponder when a reader is present. Similar to Drivewyze, customers can use the MOTION bypass app without a transponder, however with a reduced accuracy rate.
The PrePass transponder also allows for bypassing within other transponder-based bypass networks including NORPASS and Oregon Green Light sites. Customers can request the addition of these services for free through PrePass. In addition to third party bypass, transponders also provide the ability to add toll payment services. PrePass Plus provides weigh station bypassing and toll payments with one transponder. Cellular applications will not be able to provide for electronic toll payments in the foreseeable future. In addition, PrePass offers powerful data visualization tools including INFORM Safety and INFORM Tolling available only to PrePass customers.
PrePass developed MOTION to minimize data consumption while providing the highest bypass rates available. Bypass rates using MOTION or Drivewyze will vary depending on the site location, WIM placement, device model and cellular carrier.
The PrePass MOTION application is currently available to download on open Android and Apple iOS phones and tablets. PrePass is in discussions with several fleet management telematics companies to provide easy and accessible use of the PrePass MOTION application on proprietary tablets in the future.
PrePass MOTION will consume minimal data. If you travel through 30 weigh stations in a month, the approximate amount of data the app will consume for that month will be about 1 MB. The data usage for PrePass MOTION with this usage is similar to 2 minutes of streaming music or 15 seconds of streaming video.
Cellular provider performance varies based on geographic territories. Refer to your data plan provider for coverage across the areas you travel.
The PrePass MOTION app gives carriers the option to expand bypass opportunities using mobile devices, separately or in conjunction with the PrePass transponder. Transponder technology is the industry gold standard with 99.9% accuracy, and works with MOTION to provide coverage where transponder readers are not present.
PrePass MOTION is another way to expand the value of the PrePass service you have today. It is included as part of your PrePass service fees.
One of the primary differences between transponders and cellular-based mobile applications is how signals are transmitted between weigh stations and trucks. PrePass transponders transmit and receive signals with almost 100% accuracy within milliseconds. Alternatively cellular signals can be dropped or experience a latency in signaling. The signal can also be affected by terrain, weather and the quality of the GPS chip set. In these cases, the driver will receive a “Pull-In” message. While cellular technology is not as reliable as the transponder, it is more easily deployable to some locations where it is not economically feasible to install PrePass readers.
Yes. For users running ELD, the two applications can run concurrently. MOTION is designed for hands-free use and will run in the background and passively display alerts when approaching a weigh station.
PrePass MOTION will display only the date and not the time stamp. In the weigh facility, the officer will see the same information they see today such as the DOT number, License Plate, Equipment ID, Vehicle Weight and the Green Light or Red Light decision. PrePass MOTION will only identify your location for the purpose of weigh station bypassing and alerts.
If you lose connectivity, the MOTION screen will display the message “Follow Road Signs” if you are utilizing the MOTION app only. However, if you also have a PrePass transponder, you will receive a red or green light signal from your transponder and you should follow the transponder alert.
No. Electronic toll payment is not currently available via cellular systems. Tolling requires a compatible RFID tolling or PrePass transponder to ensure reliability and accuracy.
There will be no changes to your PrePass billing statement. You will not receive a separate bill and all bypass transactions will appear the same when using MOTION and the PrePass transponder.
Yes. When a driver logs into MOTION, they must identify the driver and the truck.
A driver does not have to log out of the MOTION app when not driving. However if the application is left in ‘driving’ mode, the application will continue to use device battery and power while running. Therefore, it is advisable to exit the ‘driving’ mode if the driver remains logged in when vehicle is not in use.
PrePass sites that are equipped with transponder technology (RFID readers) will signal your transponder with the appropriate decision (green or red light). In this case, MOTION will alert you that you are approaching a weigh station as well as notify you to ‘Follow in-cab transponder’. At weigh stations not equipped with transponder technology and offering MOTION bypassing only, you will not be signaled on your transponder and MOTION will provide the appropriate decision on the device screen.
NORPASS and Oregon Green Light are RFID transponder-based bypass programs and are not compatible with the MOTION application. PrePass can enroll your PrePass transponder in the NORPASS and Oregon Green Light programs on your behalf. Or, you can enroll your NORPASS or Green Light transponder in the PrePass program for transponder-based bypassing.
Yes. Auto transport vehicles often must position the transponder in a position readable by the reader pole. MOTION is not affected by the configuration of the truck.