Boston – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is pleased to announce it has provided Santa Claus of the North Pole with a “universal” transponder, the first of its kind issued by MassDOT. This will allow the North Pole resident to travel state to state when necessary and also allow international travel without having to open an E-ZPass account in each state or country. While E-ZPass MA transponders are available at any customer service center and RMV, and can be obtained via www.ezdrivema.com, MassDOT was pleased to hand-deliver a transponder to Mr. Claus while he was visiting The Shops at Prudential Center in Boston. (See photos below.)

Submitted photo

MassDOT officials worked with Mr. Claus’s employees in mounting the transponder on his vehicle as in most circumstances a transponder is required to be mounted to a windshield, just to the right of the arm holding a rear view mirror, and below any tinting. As Mr. Claus requires the full attention of Rudolph on “Foggy Christmas Eves,” the decision was made not to attach the E-ZPass to the lead reindeer.

Mr. Claus’s vehicle will have its transponder attached instead with the transponder arrows pointed upward as instructions suggest and the plastic film on the fastener straps have been tested to see that they successfully will adhere to the sleigh even while traveling at high altitudes and during inclement weather.

While Massachusetts transponder guidelines state that a license plate must be based with an E–ZPass account and a vehicle towing another conveyance must have that conveyance’s license plate registered with the account, MassDOT has waived this requirement for Mr. Claus.

Because of the public service Mr. Claus provides year in and year out, MassDOT has pre-loaded his account in such a way as that Mr. Claus will incur no expense. In general, it is anticipated that the transponder used by Mr. Claus would only be necessary if weather conditions force his vehicle to travel at low altitudes and beneath gantries on I-90. His regularly scheduled routes each December do not include toll roads in Massachusetts.

MassDOT advises travelers that residents of any state, (and continent), are eligible to receive a free E-ZPass MA transponder and receive a discounted toll rate by visiting www.ezdrivema.com.