How Do I Become a Toll Collector?

Toll collectors take payment for drivers who want passage on certain roads.
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  • Written By: J. Leach
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 30 July 2014
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To become a toll collector, an applicant usually must first determine what type of job to apply for. Positions in this field can include collectors of road, bridge, tunnel and ferry tolls. Typically, those who wish to become a toll collector must meet a minimum age requirement, possess a valid driver’s license, and have graduated or attained an equivalency, like a General Education Development (GED) certificate. Other requirements may vary depending on the area where the toll collecting job is located.

Many toll collecting positions in the United States, for instance, require that applicants be at least 18 years old, have taken and passed a civil service examination, and be eligible to be bonded. To be bonded means that the employer is able to take out insurance against the loss of property and money. Employees who are bonded cannot have a criminal background.

This work involves collecting fees, or tolls, from people who make use of a toll road, bridge, tunnel, ferry. These fees are often used to pay for the construction and maintenance of infrastructure, like roads. The job normally requires the employee to spend hours in a booth — often called a toll booth — taking money from people and making change, if necessary. Toll collectors may also be responsible for keeping their area free of debris, stalled vehicles, snow, and anything else that may impede the flow of traffic.


Most toll collectors in the United States are employees of the city or state that they work in. As such, toll collector applicants must usually meet the requirements outlined for all such workers, such as successfully completing civil service examinations. Typically, the first step to become a toll collector is to complete a job application. Today, many employers encourage applicants to apply online.

After the application has been submitted and civil service testing is done, some employers may require more pre-screening exams. In New Jersey, for example, applicants must pass two such tests. Most of these screenings test an applicant's basic math and English language skills. Some may be more advanced and include complicated math and word problems designed to test an applicant's ability to handle money.

Once a prospective collector has submitted an application and passed any exams, the employer may require a drug test. If the applicant passes this screening, he may undergo a background check. It is important for employers to make sure that prospective employees do not have a criminal background or a drug problem, because they may be responsible for handling large sums of money.

An applicant who does not pass a required drug or background test is not usually hired because he may be deemed a liability. Most insurance companies will not bond an employer or employee that is thought to be such a risk. If the applicant meets all of the necessary criteria, however, he has an excellent chance to become a toll collector.


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