NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Drivers with E-ZPass can get a discount on tolls, but it’s not as easy as one might think.

As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported Wednesday, many drivers do not realize that if they cross state lines, the discount might just disappear.

At the Staten Island Customer Center, Clark McQueen installed his new E-ZPass, and assumed it would get him a discount on his many trips on the nearby New Jersey Turnpike.

“We’re going down to New Jersey to spend some money. New Jersey, look out for us please, please! You know?” said McQueen, of Stapleton, Staten Island.

But McQueen was making a very common mistake. It turns out that since 2011, an E-ZPass issued in New York state does not qualify for toll discounts on the New Jersey Turnpike.

Drive the entire length at midday, and a New York E-ZPass will be charged $13.85.

The same trip for a New Jersey-issued E-ZPass will cost $10.40.

“That’s a punch in the gut right there,” McQueen said.

It also works the same vice versa. Since 2009, a New Jersey issued E-ZPass will not get you a discount at any of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority bridges or tunnels in New York.

“Nobody realized that they were getting the short end of the stick,” said Brooklyn City Councilman Alan Maisel (D-46th.)

Maisel worked on the issue two year ago when he was an assemblyman in Albany, sponsoring a bill to restore E-ZPass discounts to New Jersey drivers and encouraging New Jersey to return the favor.

“The argument was, ‘Well, if we get it passed in New York, they would put pressure on New Jersey,’” Maisel said. “And it’s fair. It’s reasonable.”

But the bill died, in part because the MTA and the Turnpike Authority said they cannot afford to offer additional discounts.

Those who drive a lot and really want an E-ZPass discount at all tolls in both New York and New Jersey have one option. They can get two E-ZPasses — one from each state.

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