Frequently Asked Questions

About MACPASS

What is MACPASS?

MACPASS is the electronic tolling system of Halifax Harbour Bridges (HHB). Since it was introduced in 1998, the majority of frequent bridge users have become MACPASS customers. MACPASS allows users to pass through the toll lanes of the two metro bridges without stopping.

For more information visit our dedicated MACPASS page.

How does MACPASS work?

The MACPASS transponder is a small electronic device that attaches to the windshield of your vehicle and contains information that identifies your account. As you approach a toll lane, on either the MacKay or Macdonald Bridges, an overhead antenna identifies your MACPASS transponder and deducts the toll.

How is my toll determined?

Axle based tolling is the North American industry standard for tolling systems. It charges tolls based on the number of axles on a vehicle rather than registered gross vehicle weight classification. For a vehicle with two axles and a single rear wheel (including motorcycles) the MACPASS charge remains $0.80 ($1.00 if paying with cash).

Please see the chart below to determine how axle-based tolling impacts you.

Vehicle Type MACPASS Cash
Automobiles, light trucks, motorcycles $0.80 $1.00
when towing a single axle trailer $1.07 $1.25
when towing a double axle trailer $1.33 $1.75
when towing a triaxle trailer $1.60 $2.00
Buses with seating capacity of 16+ $1.20 $2.50
Access-A-Bus Vehicles $0.60 $0.75
The following classifications are for vehicles with dual tires detected on any one axle based for the following:    
Commercial Vehicles    
2 axles $2.33 $2.75
3 axles $3.49 $4.00
4 axles $4.66 $5.25
5 axles $5.82 $6.75
6 axles $6.98 $8.00
7 axles $8.15 $9.25
8 axles $9.31 $10.75

In which lanes can I use MACPASS?

You can use MACPASS in ALL lanes on the Macdonald and MacKay Bridges. For added convenience, there are designated “MACPASS Only” lanes on both bridges.

Does MACPASS work in any type of vehicle?

The transponder works in most vehicles with standard windshields. There are some vehicles that have windshields with metal content such as heated windshields, windshields with chromium oxide for UV protection, or windshields with a built in antenna that prevent the MACPASS transponder from being read in the standard location. In this case please contact our MACPASS Customer Service at (902 463-3100) to see if the transponder can be moved to an alternative location on the windshield.

Can I use my MACPASS transponder at other toll facilities?

Presently the only way you can use MACPASS with the other toll facilities in the Maritimes is if you set up an account with them. The Cobequid Pass E-Pass and the Confederation Bridge Strait Pass systems use the same transponder as the MACPASS system.

If you are applying for a MACPASS account and you already have an E-Pass or a STRAIT Pass, indicate your transponder serial number (located on the lower left hand corner of your transponder (i.e. CAHD ########) on your MACPASS application. If you have a commercial account with several transponders, you should attach a list of the transponder serial numbers to your MACPASS application.

Account applications are available at the MACPASS Customer Service Centre, or call:
Cobequid Pass: 1-877-727-7104
Confederation Bridge: (902) 437-7300

Please note: You should not have more than one transponder in your vehicle.

What is MACPASS plus?

The Halifax Harbour Bridges and the Halifax Stanfield International Airport are working together to make travelling easy for the people of Nova Scotia. The new MACPASS plus service allows you to use your MACPASS to pay for short and long-term parking in the new parkade at the airport. MACPASSplus provides drivers the convenience of reduced wait times with MACPASS plus express payment lanes and cashless parking.

For more information visit our page dedicated to MACPASS plus.

Where can I read the terms and conditions that apply to MACPASS?

Why can’t I use Windows XP or Windows Vista to access any HHB sites including www.hdbc.ca and www.mymacpass.com?

Windows XP and Windows Vista use the outdated encryption protocol TLS 1.0 which has been disabled by HHB.

Why is this happening?
Data security and integrity are top priorities for Halifax Harbour Bridges (HHB). As part of our ongoing commitment to ensuring all HHB sites are secure, TLS 1.0 is being disabled and either TLS 1.1 or TLS 1.2 will be required when accessing remote resources.

This follows the decision by the PCI security standards council to declare TLS 1.0 as insecure as a result of potential vulnerabilities that have been identified. HHB has taken a similar decision to many other companies in disabling the use of TLS 1.0.

When will this happen?
HHB will disable TLS 1.0 on mymacpass.com on Monday November 21, 2016.

Maintaining your MACPASS

How can I get information on my MACPASS account?

There are two ways to access up-to-date information on your MACPASS account:
Access your account information on-line in the account login area.

or

Call our customer service line at (902) 463-3100. You will need to know your account number and your personal identification number (PIN), which will be provided when you subscribe. You should change your PIN on-line when you login to your account for the first time.

How do I pay for my MACPASS?

You can choose from the following payment options:

Automatic credit-card replenishment :
The convenient credit-card replenishment option is the easiest way to make MACPASS payments. When you use a valid VISA, MasterCard or American Express card, your MACPASS account will be replenished automatically. For automatic replenishment the amount we request varies depending on how much you use the MACPASS. The usage is based on a three-month average. When your account reaches 1/3 of your average monthly amount (low balance threshold) your credit card will be charged that amount.

Pre-authorized debit (PAD):
To make payments using pre-authorized debit you must provide your banking information, as well as the preferred date during the month you would like your account debited for MACPASS usage. Debit replenishment occurs monthly on the PAD charge date that you selected. This is a once per month payment type.

Please contact customer service at (902) 463-3100 to confirm the day of the month and adjust the payment amount if needed.

Please note: If the account balance on the payment date is above your monthly payment amount, no debit payment will be processed for that month.

Manual replenishment at Customer Service Centre
For this option there is a $1.00 monthly administration charge and there is a minimum $15.00 payment required. To make a payment you must visit the MACPASS Customer Service Centre located at 471 Princess Margaret Blvd, Dartmouth between 8:30 and 5:30 Monday through Friday.

Manual replenishment via ONLINE Banking
For this option there is a $1.00 monthly administration charge and there is a minimum $15.00 payment required. Add Halifax Dartmouth Bridge Commission as a Payee along with your 7-digit MACPASS account number. Please allow 2-3 business days for the funds to be posted to your MACPASS account. If you do not know your 7 digit account number please call Customer Service at 902-463-3100

Can I use more than one payment option?

Yes. You can use a combination of preauthorized debit or credit card payments. Credit cards will be used in the order you specify.

Can I have more than one MACPASS?

Yes. You may have as many transponders as you wish on one account. The MACPASS transponder can be used in any vehicle.

What will happen if my account balance reaches zero?

If you allow your account balance to reach zero, you will get a stop signal in the lane when you attempt to use your MACPASS. If this happens you will need to make arrangements to make a payment on your account or your MACPASS account will be suspended and you will be required to pay a $10.00 reactivation fee to use your MACPASS.

What happens if my MACPASS is lost or stolen?

As soon as you know your MACPASS transponder is lost or stolen, you should notify the MACPASS Customer Service Centre at (902) 463 – 3100 or log-in to your account on-line and report it lost or stolen. You should have your account number and PIN ready. Once you report the loss or theft, you will not be responsible for any further charges. Your MACPASS transponder will be de-activated. There is a $25.00 fee for transponders that are lost, stolen or are not returned in good working condition.
If you have linked your transponder with other tolling facilities you must contact them individually to advise any changes to your pass.
Cobequid 1-877-727-7104 PEI 1-888-437-6565

Are there any fees associated with MACPASS beyond my monthly usage charges?

Most people will not have to pay additional charges for using their MACPASS. However, fees will apply for the following reasons:

a) If you use the manual replenishment option there is a monthly $1.00 administration fee.
b) If your account is suspended for any reason there is a reactivation fee of $10.00.
c) The minimum payment on an account is $15.00.
d) If you require a monthly statement, there is a fee of $0.50 per page with a minimum charge of $3.00.
e) If your transponder is lost, stolen or not returned in good working condition, there is a fee of $25.00.
f) If during an electronic funds transfer on your account you have non-sufficient funds there will be a fee of $10.00. After two non-sufficient funds transfers, we will deny electronic funds transfer as a payment option.

How do I cancel my MACPASS account?

If you decide to cancel your MACPASS, simply return the transponder to the Customer Service Centre in good working condition. Any funds remaining on your account will be refunded. A $25.00 penalty will apply if your transponder is not returned, or is damaged.

Unused MACPASS transponders should be returned to:
471 Princess Margaret Blvd
Dartmouth
NS, B2Y 3Y2

If you have linked your transponder to other tolling facilities and have a separate account with other tolling facilities you must contact them individually to cancel those accounts also.
Cobequid 1-877-727-7104 PEI 1-888-437-6565

Is it safe to enter my credit card online with HHB?

HHB does not store your credit card data within its systems. HHB has partnered with Chase Paymentech to use the Orbital Payment Gateway and Orbital Customer Profile Management to securely store customer credit card data with Chase Paymentech. This arrangement supports our Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance initiatives, further enhancing security.

Commercial vs. Personal Accounts

What is the difference between a personal account and a commercial account?

Commercial accounts are required for vehicles over 3200 kg (Class 2, 3, 4 and 5), or if you wish to make account payments using a company cheque. Personal accounts are used for personal travel for vehicles under 3200 kg.

How do I make monthly payments on a commercial account?

With a commercial account, you have all the same payment options as a personal account, or you may make payments using a company cheque. Company cheques should be made payable to the Halifax Harbour Bridges, and can be mailed or delivered to the MACPASS Customer Service Centre. Low Balance email notification including a remittance slip will be emailed to the contact person when the account balance gets low.

Using MACPASS for Motorcycles and Mopeds

I drive a motorcycle/moped/scooter. What is the best way to use my MACPASS?

Your safety is our number one concern. Unlike cars, motorcycles, mopeds and scooters do not have a standard location to mount a MACPASS to ensure maximum reliability. Therefore, all motorcycle, moped and scooter drivers are encouraged to avoid the MACPASS only lanes and swipe their MACPASS in front of the MACPASS reader to lift the toll gate.

MACPASS readers are located above the coin basket in all cash lanes.

Why should motorcycle, moped and scooter drivers not use MACPASS only lanes?

To ensure your safe crossing, motorcycle, moped and scooter drivers must come to a complete stop and swipe their MACPASS in front of the MACPASS reader located above the coin basket in all cash lanes. Vehicles using the MACPASS only lanes are required to reduce speeds to 25 km/h during ideal conditions. Because motorcycles, mopeds and scooters do not have a standard, reliable location to mount a MACPASS, there is a chance that the toll gate may not lift, requiring the driver to make a sudden stop. Any vehicle that stops in the MACPASS only lane is risking injury against themselves and their vehicle.

Reduce risk of injury to you and your vehicle by avoiding the MACPASS only lanes, coming to a complete stop and swiping your MACPASS transponder across the MACPASS reader located in all cash lanes.

Is HHB looking at other methods of payment for motorcycles, mopeds and scooters?

Halifax Harbour Bridges is always researching new technologies being developed to help reduce congestion and ensure ease of travel for all bridge users. Currently, MACPASS is the method of choice. However, new options are always evaluated and considered as they become available.

Sometimes the toll gate does not lift. Why?

Most commonly, the toll gate does not lift when:

  • Users let their account balance reach zero
  • Users do not use the transponder correctly

If you allow your account balance to reach zero, you will get a stop signal in the lane when you attempt to use your MACPASS. If this happens you will need to make arrangements to make a payment or your account may be suspended and a $10.00 reactivation fee will be applied.

Please note: As your account balance nears zero, a low balance message will appear under the “GO” sign as you travel through the toll lane.

Other reasons why the toll gate may not lift are:

Speeding through the tolls: Motorcycle, moped and scooter drivers are encouraged to come to a complete stop and swipe their MACPASS in front of the MACPASS reader located above the coin basket in all cash lanes. All other vehicles must reduce speed to 25 km/h to ensure that the MACPASS transponder will work correctly. All vehicles should be prepared to stop at any time while going through the tolls.

Defective transponder: Unfortunately, it is possible that your transponder may be defective. To get a new transponder just log onto your account at www.myMACPASS.com or visit the MACPASS customer service centre between 8:30am – 5:30pm, Monday to Friday. Report and return your defective transponder in person or by mail at PO Box 39, 471 Princess Margaret Blvd, Dartmouth, NS, B2Y 3Y2.

Please note: A $25.00 fee will be applied to users who do not return transponders to the MACPASS customer service centre.

What happens if I do not use my MACPASS transponder correctly?

All customers that use MACPASS as the quickest and easiest means for crossing the bridges agree to use the MACPASS correctly. Failure to do so can result in the cancellation of the user`s privileges to use MACPASS.

Please refer to the MACPASS Customer Agreement for details regarding vehicle liability issues. This agreement can also be found by clicking the following link: Macpass Terms

Proper Use of MACPASS in Passenger and Commercial Vehicles

How do I properly install my MACPASS?

Instructions for proper installation and a mounting template are provided with your transponder. It is important that you follow these mounting instructions. If you do not have your MACPASS Installation Template, follow these instructions:

Step 1: Use the alcohol pad enclosed with your MACPASS to clean the area of the windshield where the MACPASS will be mounted. If you do not have the alcohol pad, you can use standard rubbing alcohol and a cotton pad to clean the area.

Step 2: Peel off the paper from the back of the Velcro tab on your MACPASS.

Step 3: Position your MACPASS on the inside of the windshield, behind the mirror. It is best to mount your MACPASS Transponder in the centre of the windshield where the rearview mirror hides it from view.

The MACPASS transponder must be mounted at least one inch in from the edge of the windshield and two inches from the antenna of a remote car starter. See diagram below.

For commercial vehicles (windshield is split in the middle), place your MACPASS transponder to the right of the split in the lower middle of the windshield. See diagram below.

transponder

Please note: Sticker transponders are also available for a cost of $12.00 per transponder. These transponders cannot be moved from one vehicle to another and are ideal for convertibles and large vehicles such as buses.

Step 4: Press your MACPASS firmly against the glass.

What happens if I have more than one electronic transponder in my vehicle?

If you have a MACPASS transponder and a transponder from another toll agency on your windshield this may interfere with the ability to read the MACPASS transponder. You can register one transponder for use on all toll facilities in the Maritime provinces. A separate account is required for each agency.

What is the maximum speed when driving through the toll lanes?

The maximum speed for all drivers entering the toll lanes on both bridges is 25km/h. However, this speed is for ideal conditions and should be reduced during bridge maintenance, inclement weather or when other non-ideal conditions occur. All vehicles should be prepared to stop at any time while going through the tolls.

Please note: Halifax Harbour Bridges (HHB) use radar to monitor the speed of drivers on both bridges. The speed of each vehicle is also tracked along with each MACPASS transaction. For the safety of all bridge users please respect speed limits.

What do I do if my MACPASS comes off of my windshield?

The most common reason a MACPASS transponder may fall from the windshield is because the Velcro tabs become loose. You can receive new tabs at no charge at any open toll booth or by visiting the MACPASS customer service centre. To ensure the Velcro tabs stick to the windshield securely, please clean the glass area with an alcohol swab before sticking the Velcro tabs to the windshield. If the Velcro tabs are not the problem, please visit the MACPASS customer service centre or call 902-463-3100 from 8:30am to 5:30pm, Monday to Friday for assistance.

I own multiple vehicles, how can MACPASS work for me?

MACPASS makes it easy to have transponders in all vehicles without having to move your MACPASS from one vehicle to another. You can obtain multiple transponders under your account. The only cost is a minimum payment of $15.00 that is required for all transponders. This payment is applied to your MACPASS account and goes toward your bridge toll costs.

Sometimes the toll gate does not lift as I approach the toll booth. Why?

Most commonly, the toll gate does not lift when:

  • Users let their MACPASS account reach zero
  • Users have installed the transponder incorrectly

If you allow your account balance to reach zero, you will get a stop signal in the lane when you attempt to use your MACPASS. If this happens you will need to make arrangements to make a payment or your account may be suspended and a $10.00 reactivation fee will be applied.

Please note: As your account balance nears zero, a low balance message will appear under the “GO” sign as you travel through the toll plaza.

Other reasons why the toll gate may not lift:

Speeding through the tolls: Vehicles are to reduce speeds to 25km/h when traveling through the toll plaza to ensure that the MACPASS transponder will work correctly.

Type of windshield or vehicle: Vehicles with metalized windshields may encounter problems with the reading of their MACPASS transponder. Any metal that is located in the same area that your MACPASS is installed may cause interference with the reading. For a complete list of vehicles that may have metalized windshields contact the MACPASS customer service centre in person, by phone 902-463-3100, or click here www.transcore.com/pdf/0008950B%20Vehicle%20List.pdf

Interference from car starter: Sometimes the location of the automatic vehicle starter on the windshield or vehicle roof can interfere with the reading of the MACPASS transponder.

Defective transponder: Unfortunately, it is possible that your transponder may be defective. To report a defective transponder or to get a new one, just log onto your account at myMACPASS.com or visit the MACPASS customer service centre between 8:30am to 5:30pm, Monday to Friday. You can return your defective transponder in person or by mail at PO Box 39, 465 Princess Margaret Blvd, Dartmouth, NS, B2Y 3Y2.

Please note: A $25.00 fee will be applied to users who do not return transponders to the MACPASS customer service centre.

Overhead obstructions: Overhead obstructions such as ladders have been known to interfere in the reading of MACPASS transponders.

What happens if I do not install and use my MACPASS transponder correctly?

All customers that use MACPASS as the quickest and easiest means for crossing the bridges agree to install and use the MACPASS correctly. Failure to do so can result in the cancellation of the user’s privileges to use MACPASS.

Please refer to the MACPASS Customer Agreement for details regarding vehicle liability issues. This agreement can also be found by clicking the following link: Macpass Terms

User Guide

User Guide

MACPASS is the electronic tolling system for Halifax Harbour Bridges. Download the guide >

My MACPASS Account

My MACPASS Account

Access information on your Account, Vehicle, Transponder, Payment and Statement. Access my account >

Activate your MACPASS

Activate your MACPASS

If you are new to MACPASS, the way in which you obtained your first MACPASS will determine the best way to activate it. Activate your MACPASS >

macpass miles - sunday august 6

MACPASS Miles

After a two year hiatus, Halifax Harbour Bridges is thrilled to welcome back MACPASS Miles read more.