Everything About FASTag System in India
Updated On Oct 15, 2023
The Indian government introduced FASTag in 2017. This article will help you know everything about it.
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Most of us must have experienced the long and tedious waits at the toll booths during a road trip or any journey. It could have made you and your family members suffer different types of hassles. But now, gone are the days when you had to wait for long in queues at the toll-booths as the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has now introduced the FASTag technology in India and made it compulsory for all vehicles from December 1, 2019.
What Is FASTag?
FASTag is an advanced toll collection system based on the electronic system, which is operated by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). The system is based on radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to enable toll payments while the car or any other vehicle is running. FASTag, which is an (RFID Tag), is affixed on the windscreen of vehicles to make the customer pay at the tolls directly from their account that is linked to FASTag.
The facility of FASTags can be understood as prepaid as well as rechargeable tags designed for toll collection. It does not hold any expiry date, therefore, they can be utilised till they are not fudged and are easily readable at the toll stations.
How Does the FASTag System Work?
FASTag technology functions in a similar manner like any other radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. Under this system, the RFID enabled sticker, which is stuck on the windshield of a vehicle, is scanned by the electronic reader machine fixed at the toll booth. Once the scan is done, the payment process is initiated and completed automatically through the wireless network.
Due to this facility, vehicles enabled with FASTag facility are not required to take a halt at toll plaza as the toll charges are electronically deducted, under the National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) programme, from the prepaid account or bank account of the customer while the vehicle is moving.
Is FASTag Mandatory?
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has made the use of FASTags compulsory from February 15, 2021 for all four-wheelers. However, since December, 2019, all national highways toll plazas lanes were announced to be “FASTag lanes'. Now all vehicle owners should hold the FASTag on their vehicles, otherwise they will have to face penalties.
On this note, from now on, if a vehicle without having a FASTag passes through a toll-booth which is FASTag-enabled or the card of the vehicle owner does not hold sufficient balance, in such a case, the vehicle owner will be fined with double the amount of the toll fee in cash. Also, from April 1, 2021, every vehicle owner should own a valid FASTag to get it insured by a new third party insurance policy.
How to Purchase a FASTag?
The government has authorised 22 banks in India to offer FASTag cards. The recognised 22 banks have established 28,000+ point-of-sale terminals across the nation along with NHAI plazas, petrol pumps, transport hubs, and common service centres. People can get FASTag cards from the authorised bank’s website for which you need not to be an existing customer of the bank. Also, online platforms like Paytm, Amazon, Flipkart, etc., are allowed to offer the FASTag cards online. You can visit your nearest POS terminal to opt for a card.
Documents You Need to Submit During Application
To apply for a FASTag card, you will have to submit your KYC documents which may comprise identity proof as well as residential proof. However, the KYC documents may vary from one bank to another. You are also required to present the registration certificate (RC) of your vehicle along with your passport size photo. These documents will be needed in both the cases whether you are opting for the card through an online or an offline mode.
What Is The Charge To Avail A FASTag Card?
People will have to pay a specified amount of fee to get your FASTag card, irrespective of the issuing institution or body. The payment for a FASTag card is divided into three major components which are as follows:
- Issuance Charge
- Security Deposit
- FASTag Card Linked Digital Wallet Balance
The charge for the FASTag depends on the recognised entity from where you are purchasing or availing it. However, the issuing fee is a one-time charge for which the government has set a limit on the maximum fee of Rs. 200 for its issuance that financial institutions can charge from you.
Benefits of Using The FASTag System
When it comes to the FASTag facility, the toll collection system holds several benefits which are as follow:
- It helps reduce the waiting time at toll-booth
- Controls the traffic without additional lanes
- Eliminates the harmful vehicular emissions
- Provides flexibility to customers to pay toll bill
- Saves fuel that reduces the operating cost of vehicles
- Improves the data collection like vehicle count of the day
FASTag is a compulsory and innovative facility designed to facilitate and expedite the payment process at the toll-booths. It helps reduce the waiting time at the tolls, which ultimately lessens the traffic and pollution. In this article, we have tried to cover most of the points related to the FASTag system and hope that it will help you understand its benefits and the procedure to own it.
Disclaimer: This article is issued in the general public interest and meant for general information purposes only. Readers are advised not to rely on the contents of the article as conclusive in nature and should research further or consult an expert in this regard.