With the Federal Trunk Road Toll Act of 12 July 2011, lawmakers decided to also apply tolls to federal highways with four or more lanes if they exhibit certain criteria, such as being connected to the motorway network or having a minimum length of 4 km. The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure was authorized to make a statutory instrument stipulating the time at which tolling was to start on these federal highways. The adoption of this statutory instrument, stating that tolling was to commence on federal highways on 1 August 2012, was published in the Federal Gazette on 4 July 2012. Tolling on 84 sections of federal highway (around 1,100 km) of near motorway standard started punctually. Since the statutory instrument was adopted, further sections of federal highway have been made subject to tolling. The uniform toll rates for federal highways and federal motorways mean that the charging system is user-friendly and transparent.
With the entry into force of the Third Federal Trunk Road Toll (Amendment) Act on 1 July 2015, tolls are now charged on a further approximately 1,100 km of federal highway sections. The Act makes provision for the following criteria for the new sections of road:
In addition to all federal motorways, tolls are charged on federal highways or sections of federal highway
- for which the Federal Government is responsible in terms of construction and maintenance,
- that are not roads passing through built-up areas,
- that have two or more lanes in each direction of traffic,
- that have carriageways for the two directions of traffic separated over their entire length – except at at-grade junctions– by a central reservation or other structures and
- are directly connected to a federal motorway, irrespective of a minimum length or
- are indirectly connected to a federal motorway via another tolled federal highway, irrespective of a minimum length or
- have a minimum length of 4 kilometres without being connected to a tolled section of road.
One new feature is that a break in the separation of carriageways for the two directions of traffic at at-grade junctions no longer means that a federal highway is not subject to tolling. In addition, a minimum length is no longer prescribed for federal highways directly or indirectly connected to the motorway network (previously 4 km) A minimum length of 4 km applies to federal highways not connected to the motorway network that meet the aforementioned criteria (so-called "island locations").
A list of the federal highways affected ("Die Mauttabelle") is publicly accessible and can be downloaded from the websites of the Federal Office for Goods Transport, the Federal Highway Research Institute and Toll Collect GmbH. Moreover, the list of additional federal highways on which tolling was introduced as of 1 July 2015 is also published in the electronic Federal Gazette.
Toll enforcement on the federal highways subject to tolling as of 1 July 2015 takes the form of mobile and stationary checks carried out by the Federal Office for Goods Transport (BAG), in other words in exactly the same manner as on the federal highways that have been tolled since 2012.
The Federal Office for Goods Transport has, among other things, portable enforcement gantries that are stowed as a compact units in official BAG vehicles. The portable enforcement unit can be deployed on suitable bridges over federal motorways or federal highways. The transportable enforcement unit supports flexible and demand-responsive operations by the toll enforcement service and helps to enhance the effectiveness of toll enforcement.
Users who pay no toll or the incorrect toll are committing an administrative offence and must pay an on-the spot fine or penalty charge (depending on the seriousness of the offence). In addition, they have to pay the toll in arrears.