Construction on Florida’s Turnpike began in the mid-1950s. The original 110-mile stretch of roadway was completed in 1957, when the Sunshine State’s landscape was mainly rural, and drivers needed to cover long distances. Now Florida’s Turnpike System is used daily by an average of more than 3 million customers.
Florida’s Turnpike was originally known as the Sunshine State Parkway and has since been designated as the Ronald Reagan Turnpike. Florida’s Turnpike is comprised of two sections. The Mainline, which also goes by the name State Road 91, extends from the Golden Glades interchange north of Miami to Wildwood. The Florida’s Turnpike Extension, which connects to the Mainline north of the Golden Glades interchange and ends near Homestead, is also known as State Road 821.
The Florida Turnpike Mainline runs 312 miles through 11 counties in the state’s peninsula, and the Turnpike Extension is 47 miles long. Florida’s Turnpike System includes those two roadways along with the Sawgrass Expressway, the Seminole Expressway, the Beachline Expressway, the Southern Connector Extension of the Central Florida GreeneWay, the Veterans Expressway, the Suncoast Parkway, the Polk Parkway, the Western Beltway, the I-4 Connector and the First Coast Expressway. With the addition of future facilities currently under construction or in planning, Florida’s Turnpike System will make up more than 500 miles of roadway.
Florida’s Turnpike is a north–south toll road that provides fast, convenient routes to many interstates, including I-4, I-75 and I-95. Exits are positioned to provide easy access to major state roadways. You can obtain a list of highway connections by referring to Florida’s Turnpike System Map.
Florida’s Turnpike System is operated by Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise (FTE), which acts as a separate business unit of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). FTE is responsible for all operations on every FDOT-owned and operated toll road and bridge.
The FTE five-year work program (2021-2025) contains more than $7.9 billion in capital improvements, which include widening the mainline roadway, new interchanges, safety improvements, resurfacing improvements and maintenance.
FDOT is an executive agency that reports directly to the Governor. FDOT’s primary responsibility is to coordinate the planning and development of a safe, viable, and balanced statewide transportation system. FTE is a separate business unit of FDOT that was formed in April 2002. FTE’s mission is to pursue innovation and best private-sector business practices, improve cost-effectiveness and timeliness in project delivery, increase revenues, and improve quality of service to its customers.
Tolls are user fees, not taxes, meaning only those who use Florida’s Turnpike System pay the tolls. Customers who use Florida’s Turnpike System are charged based on the numbers of axles on the vehicles they drive and the distances they travel. The tolls collected generate the revenue to build, operate and maintain the roadways. Since toll roads are primarily self-financed and are not funded with taxes, the customer is not paying twice to use the facility.
Highway infrastructure requires routine maintenance, updating and sometimes replacement. Tolls enable projects to be planned and built years before enough tax dollars could be collected to keep up with demand. All revenue from Florida’s Turnpike System is reinvested into projects like building new highways or making improvements to existing highways on a statewide basis.
SunPass is Florida’s Prepaid Toll Program and the preferred method of payment for tolls. Opening a SunPass account requires the purchase, activation and installation of a transponder as well as a prepaid balance for tolls. As your vehicle passes through SunPass-equipped lanes, the toll charges are electronically deducted from your prepaid toll account. Driving Florida’s toll roads with a SunPass transponder means no hassle no matter what toll road you drive.
SunPass transponders can be purchased at thousands of retailers throughout Florida. You can also purchase a SunPass online at SunPass.com or you can call the SunPass Customer Service Center at 1-888-TOLL-FLA (1-888-865-5352). For a complete list of retail locations, visit SunPass.com.
All-Electronic Tolling (AET) is an innovative technology that enables cashless toll collection through transponders or license plate readers, and eliminates the need for a vehicle to stop to pay a toll. Click here to learn more about AET.
Not all exit and entrance ramp toll plazas are staffed, so customers should be prepared to have exact change at these interchanges, especially after 7 p.m. or on weekends. Toll collection baskets do not make change, and drivers should not attempt to insert paper currency in the machinery. Toll plazas along Florida’s Turnpike Mainline feature at least one lane staffed by an attendant 24 hours per day. If you require change, receipts or even directions, look for an overhead green sign as you approach a tolling point. If you have exact change, proceed toward the lanes featuring overhead blue signs.
SunPass users never have to worry about carrying exact change, since tolls are collected automatically from their prepaid accounts.
The roads that are part of Florida’s Turnpike System are primary routes for emergency evacuations, so it is possible tolls may be suspended in the case of a state or national emergency such as a hurricane watch or warning. The state’s emergency operations center and county governments will make any necessary decisions to move the population quickly and safely. During toll suspensions, it is still a good idea to have cash available because even if tolls are suspended on one segment of Florida’s Turnpike System, it does not mean they are suspended on every road or bridge in the state.
Several different types of tolling methods are used on Florida Express Lanes, but toll amounts will be posted on the overhead signs well in advance of the express lane entrances to give drivers plenty of time to choose whether or not to use the express lanes.
SunPass is owned and operated by Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) / Florida Turnpike Enterprise (FTE), while E-PASS is owned and operated by the Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX). Both SunPass and E-PASS are prepaid toll programs that use interoperable transponders, meaning that customers have tolls automatically deducted from their accounts when they drive on toll roads in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina. The advantage of being a SunPass customer is that you always pay the lowest toll amount on all toll roads and most bridges in Florida.
There are eight service plazas on Florida’s Turnpike Mainline, located approximately every 45 miles. All plazas are open 24 hours a day and are located in the center median of the turnpike for easy access from both directions. Click here for a list of service plazas and the amenities offered at each location.
Customers cannot leave their vehicles overnight due to security reasons and limited parking availability at the service plazas. Free parking is available at all service plazas, and there are several Park & Ride lots along Florida’s Turnpike System for the purpose of daily commuting only and not for parking longer than 24 hours. Park & Ride lots are the only designated areas to park a vehicle long-term without receiving a citation from the Florida Highway Patrol. If a vehicle appears to have been abandoned, it will be reported and towed.
Florida’s Turnpike System is continuously monitored for incidents by the Traffic Management Center, who can dispatch roadside assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week. However, if you need immediate assistance, you can do any of the following:
- If at a Service Plaza, ask a gas station attendant or a cashier for help.
- Call *347 or use a Motorist Aid Call box to connect with the Florida Highway Patrol for dispatch of a State Farm Safety Patrol (Road Ranger), free of charge. If a Road Ranger is not available, a Specialty Towing and Roadside Repair (STARR) service vehicle can be dispatched, and charges would apply.
- Call 1-800-222-4357 for AAA certified repair shops, locksmith or other services. (You do not need to be an AAA member to call. Charges may apply.)
Operations and Enforcement
The speed limit for all vehicles traveling on Florida’s Turnpike System is typically 70 mph, except in construction zones or in other areas where reduced speed limits may be posted.
Yes, it is illegal to speed through tolling points. Please note that the speed limit for driving through SunPass Only lanes or any lane with a toll booth is 25 mph. Driving on the open road tolling SunPass lanes allows you to maintain your highway speed and not slow down for a toll booth, but always observe the posted speed limits.
Florida’s Turnpike has strategically placed electronic dynamic message signs (DMS) in locations where you may more likely to experience traffic or incidents. The signs provide real-time information about traffic delays, incidents, emergency operations and construction, allowing you to make better informed travel decisions. During major incidents, the first priority of the Traffic Management Center is to provide you with accurate information as quickly as possible. You can hear messages broadcast by the Traffic Management Center on the radio at 1640 AM. Real-time traffic updates are also available at My Florida 511.
Yes, the tolling equipment is designed to identify the number of axles on your vehicle, including any campers, trailers or boats you may be towing, and you will be charged accordingly.
Please be advised that U-Turns on Florida’s Turnpike System are only permitted at service plazas. Drivers who make a legal U-Turn at a service plaza, then exit the turnpike at the same place where they entered will be charged a special U-Turn rate. Drivers who attempt to make U-Turns at emergency vehicle turnarounds could be subject to traffic citations.
The Move Over Act was instituted in the State of Florida in 2002 to protect law enforcement officers and other emergency workers stopped alongside our highways. Drivers are required to approach cautiously when an emergency vehicle is stopped ahead with its lights flashing. Drivers must change lanes away from the emergency vehicle if they are on a multi-lane highway and can do so safely. If drivers are unable to change lanes safely, or if they are on a two-lane highway, they must slow down while maintaining a safe speed so as not to impede other traffic.
Tolls must be paid at the time you travel through a toll lane with either cash or a prepaid account such as SunPass, E-PASS, LeeWay or another interoperable transponder account. If you have a transponder with a prepaid account, your account must contain adequate funds to ensure you can pay your toll. If you do not have cash or a transponder when driving through the toll, the registered owner of the vehicle will receive a Toll Enforcement Invoice in the mail with a $2.50 administrative charge. Failure to pay for using a toll facility in Florida is considered a moving violation and may result in a $100 or more civil penalty, court costs, and suspension of your vehicle registration if the tolls are not paid.
As long as you have deposited the correct number of coins, even if the light stays red, you can continue through the lane. You will not receive a violation in the mail. It is possible a foreign coin or other object may have jammed the equipment. Please do not add more coins or deposit less than the required toll. Customers are never expected to pay more than the posted amount.
There are several reasons you may have received a notice as a SunPass account holder. Check your transponder to see if it is mounted properly in your vehicle. Also make sure that the vehicle information, credit card information and personal information listed on your SunPass account is current and that your account has available funds. If you believe you have received a toll enforcement invoice in error, please contact SunPass at 1-888-TOLL-FLA (1-888-865-5352) or at the phone number listed on the document you received.
Florida Express Lanes can only be used by customers with an active SunPass or other interoperable transponder. If you received a violation notice or an invoice, you used an express lane without a prepaid SunPass account and are being charged for the toll amount(s), administrative fees and a daily $25.00 violation charge. The daily violation charge is applied each day you use the express lane(s) without a valid SunPass account and transponder. To avoid the daily violation charge and any other additional fees, you can purchase a transponder and open a SunPass account.
SunPass does not share its customer list with outside marketers. SunPass account information is exempt from disclosure under Florida’s public records law, pursuant to Section 338.155(6), Florida Statutes, and accordingly, information concerning a SunPass account is provided only when required to comply with a subpoena or court order.