From December 1, 2019, FASTag is mandatory for all toll payments at National Highway toll plazas.
What is it?
Love road travel? Improvements in road infrastructure has made long-distance driving less tiring and more enjoyable. At the same time, keeping, finding or getting the exact change at toll booths — which collect payments for the usage of these roads — is a big hassle. FASTags address this problem. A FASTag is a sticker containing an embedded chip and antenna. It is affixed on a vehicle’s windscreen to enable automatic collection of toll charges when the vehicle passes through a toll plaza, without the need to stop at the toll booth. At the front-end, the FASTag employs radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology to help recognise the passing of a vehicle along with details such as the vehicle class and the status of the tag. At the back-end, it is connected to your bank account or wallet to enable automatic deduction of charges.
Why is it important?
From December 1, the government has made it compulsory for all cars, jeeps, vans , buses, trucks and off-road vehicles (commercial and private), passing through toll booths on national highways, to pay toll using FASTag. FASTag-enabled payment is currently available at over 450 toll plazas across national and state highways. A complete list of FAStag-enabled toll plazas is available on the National Payments Corporation of India website — npci.org.in/netc. More toll plazas will be added to this list in the future. A cash-back scheme of 2.5 per cent until March 31, 2020, is available on FASTag payments at national highways for eligible customers.
FASTag is important for the government in a few ways. It promotes digital payments and makes it easier to keep tabs on vehicles and the toll booths. Cost of storage and transportation of cash as well as manpower at the toll booths comes down. It helps avoid traffic build-up at toll booths and save fuel expended by vehicles during the wait. Reports indicate that the government plans to use data from the devices used in electronic toll collection to monitor traffic and rework its toll policy as well.
Why should I care?
If you own one or more four-wheelers, you need to obtain your FASTag soon. From December 1, all lanes at fee plazas barring one in each direction will be designated as FASTag lanes on national highways. Any vehicle entering into a FASTag lane without a tag will have to pay two times the applicable fee for that category of vehicle.
FASTags are issued by 23 certified banks including some small finance banks, payments banks and co-operative banks . The list of banks is available in the NPCI website. FAStags can also be obtained from select toll plazas, petrol pumps, RTOs, or online at Amazon. Another way to get it is to download the MyFASTag app (available for Android and iPhone) and then proceed to either buy from the banks or at Amazon through the app.
Charges vary depending on the seller as well as the type of vehicle. At ICICI Bank, for instance, you need to pay ₹499.12 if you own a car. This includes a tag deposit of ₹200, a minimum recharge amount of ₹200 and a joining fee of ₹99.12 including GST. The documents required include Registration Certificate of the vehicle, passport size photo of the owner and KYC documents (ID and address proof).
Depending on where you purchase the FASTag from, you can either link it directly to your bank account or use a pre-paid wallet and recharge it from time to time. A FASTag account will capture all the transactions related to the vehicle. SMS alerts for each transaction, low balance, and so on, are available. FASTag is vehicle specific and once affixed, cannot be transferred. When you sell your vehicle, you can close your FASTag account related to that vehicle.
Fastrack your FASTag application to add zing to your trips.
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