Golden Gate Bridge passage now free for eligible veterans; toll penalty to be waived for some Californians

Military veterans do not currently need to have a FasTrak electronic toll payment account to qualify for free passage.|

Eligible military veterans can now pass through the Golden Gate Bridge free of charge thanks to a new state law that went into effect Jan. 1, according to the Bay Area Toll Authority and the Golden Gate Bridge District.

This free passage applies to all California toll bridges, including the state-owned Antioch, Benicia-Martinez, Carquinez, Dumbarton, Richmond-San Rafael, San Francisco-Oakland Bay and San Mateo-Hayward bridges.

Express lanes are not included, according to a news release.

The assistance program was announced last week, along with a second program starting in July that will waive some toll penalty fees for lower-income households acquired over the past two years.

In order to qualify for the free passage, military veterans must have a license plate with one of the following designations: Congressional Medal of Honor, Purple Heart, disabled veteran, Legend of Valor, Pearl Harbor survivor or ex-prisoner of war.

Eligible veterans do not need a FasTrak electronic payment account, but an enrollment requirement will be added in the future. The release did not specify when this change will occur.

To avoid being charged a toll, veterans already enrolled in FasTrak need to place their tag in a mylar bag when going through bridge toll locations.

Customers can request a free mylar bag by calling the FasTrak customer service center at 877-BAY-TOLL (877-229-8655) or by logging into their FasTrak account, clicking “Vehicles and Tags” and then “Request Toll Tag Supplies.”

The second program, created by another state law, will allow toll bridge customers with lower household incomes to receive a waiver of any penalties gained for late or missed toll payments for crossings made between March 20, 2020, and Jan. 1.

Eligible households can make no more than 200% of the federal poverty level ― which would be $27,180 for individuals and $55,500 for a family of four. They can request the waiver from FasTrak starting July 1.

Qualifying drivers will be required to pay tolls and any fees charged by the Department of Motor Vehicles for vehicle registration holds due to penalties not being paid.

The waiver applies to the same bridges as the veterans’ free-passage program.

You can reach Staff Writer Madison Smalstig at On Twitter @madi.smals.

UPDATED: Please read and follow our commenting policy:

  • This is a family newspaper, please use a kind and respectful tone.
  • No profanity, hate speech or personal attacks. No off-topic remarks.
  • No disinformation about current events.
  • We will remove any comments — or commenters — that do not follow this commenting policy.