Here is the topic on how to set up the transponders and usage in the DC area.Toll Transponders EZPass/EZPassFlex Express Lanes/ICC/Etc
Waze will only route you on the HOV lanes during HOV hours if you tell Waze that you meet the HOV rules (2+ or 3+ depending on the road.
Waze will only route you on the Express Lanes (I-395, 95, 495, and 66 (4 hrs/day each direction M-F)) if you have EZPass or EZPassFlex. It is treated as a toll road. If you have EZPassFlex and use ROUTES and select the HOV-3+ (HOV-2+ for I-66) then you will be routed toll free on the roads.
Only exception is Motorcycle will always be routed on the HOV lanes and Express Lanes since they qualify for HOV by Federal Law and don't need to have a EZPass or EZPassFlex set in their settings.
The I-395 HOV lanes from the Pentagon to DC and from DC to the Pentagon, are actually open to all 24/7 so you will get routed on them if they are faster. Just like the I-270 HOV lanes are open to all during non HOV hours.
Understand that usa_u2rksjfo and jwieczerzak are frustrated and don't like their routing but we need to know some more specifics to help in troubleshooting.
1) What type of vehicle do you have selected in Waze (Private, taxi, motorcycle, or electric)?
2) What toll transponder do you have set in Waze (EZPass, EZPassFlex, I-Pass, etc)?
3) What is the status of avoid tolls in your Waze settings?
4) What is the status of avoid freeways in your Waze settings?
5) What road are you being routed on that has HOV restrictions and you haven't told Waze that you meet the requirements?
6) What is the origin and destination?'
7) What day and time of travel was involved?
Thanks, understand it is a lot of information but to figure out what is going on having as much of the above as possible will help us help you get rid of the problem.