I’ve received many reports about people getting payment errors when trying to pay for the TOEFL on the ETS website.   This is sometimes reported as “Error 481” or “Error 101” (or something else).  This also affects payment for the GRE, for what it’s worth.

Remember, this site is not affiliated with ETS.  I’m just trying to help.

Anyways, if you are having this problem, here’s what you should do:

  • Delete your cookies/browser history and try again.  This seems to be the advice given by ETS when people call their customer service line.
  • If you don’t know how to do that, just try another Internet browser (Chrome, Edge, Firefox, whatever).
  • If payment by credit card doesn’t work, try PayPal.  That uses a different payment system, so it might solve the problem.  Note that most people don’t need a “PayPal account” to use PayPal.  People from most countries just need to enter their name and credit card number.
  • Make sure the address in your ETS account matches the address of your credit card, if possible.

And, of course, you should call your bank in case they are blocking the payment for some reason.

If you can’t solve the problem you can possibly register (and pay) by phone for test centers in the USA by calling +1-443-751-4862.  To register for a test center outside of the USA, look up your country on this contact page.

As always, the general support numbers for ETS are: +1-609-771-7100 or 1-877-863-3546.  Expect to be on hold for a few hours.  Good luck, brother.

Leave a comment down below if you have any experience with this problem.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments