On Monday night, your ride on the Spaulding Turnpike will change forever.

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation will no longer accept cash as toll payment at the Rochester and Dover toll plazas starting at 10 p.m., when the last of the state's daytime toll plazas are closed.

Drivers will instead drive through the toll lanes without stopping as their E-Z Pass transponder is scanned for payment. Drivers without E-Z Pass will be billed after a picture is taken of their license plate.

"We're really encouraging people to sign up for the E-Z Pass accounts. It's 75 cents to drive through the toll, but if you have an account and a transponder, you get a 30% discount, and it's only 53 cents," DOT spokesman Richard Arcand told Seacoast Current.

It's also a safer ride, according to Arcand.

"People don't have to slow down. We've had too many accidents where people hit the toll booth plazas," Arcand said.

85% of riders in cars and 96% of trucks use E-Z Pass on New Hampshire highways, according to the DOT Bureau of Turnpikes.

It's the first of three phases of the transition to cashless tolls. The second phase is the construction of gantries within the next two months near the current toll plaza, according to Arcand. Once they are tested and ready, tolls will then be collected at the gantries, which allow drivers to pass underneath at highway speed while their transponder is read.

"Over the winter, we'll do the demo work to take down the old toll booths. That will be finished in the spring," Arcand said. The final part of the project is the repaving of the area where the tolls once stood.

A temporary E-Z Pass customer service center will be built just off Exit 16 in Rochester to sign up for an account, accept payments, and answer questions.

The office will be open Monday through Friday, 10am-6pm. Motorists can also use the website, ezpassnh.com, or call NH E-ZPass customer service at 1-877-643-9727.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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