The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has made FASTag mandatory from December 1. Non-FASTag users will be charged double the toll fee if they pass through FASTag-only lanes after December 1, 2019, as per the National Highway Fee (Determination of Rates and Collection) Rules, 2008. Also, the inadequate amount in your tag will get your vehicle blacklisted at the toll plaza and again, you may end up paying double charges. The move comes under the National Electronic Toll Collection Programme which aims to achieve fast movement of vehicles, reduction in congestion and cashless toll collection.
What is FASTag and how does it work?
FASTag is a vehicle tag that is equipped with radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip. The vehicles, in which the FASTag stickers are placed on the windshields, can pass through toll plazas as the vehicle's tag will automatically get scanned to collect toll digitally.
FASTag users will be provided with a 2.5 per cent cashback for 2019-2020 to incentivise more people to embrace the new system. Most of the toll plazas across the nation have been upgraded to enable cashless toll collection.
How to buy FASTag?
Vehicles manufactured and sold after December 1, 2017, already comes pre-fitted with FASTag. However, the owners of older vehicles must get the FASTag with a linked payment method to it. There are two different types of FASTags, NHAI tags and bank-specific tags.
Bank-specific FASTags are provided by 22 banks at designated branches, toll plazas operated by the assigned banks and at common service centres.
Vehicle-owners must submit the documents mentioned below for the purchase of FASTags:
- A copy of the vehicle's Registration Certificate
- Two photographs (passport size)
- KYC documents such as ID and address proof -- Driver's License, PAN card, Voter ID, Passport or Aadhaar
These FASTags are linked to a prepaid wallet by the issuer banks.
On the other hand, NHAI-FASTags are bank-neutral and are not linked to any bank. These FASTags have to be activated after the purchase. One can locate the nearest point of sale counter by visiting the official website of Indian Highways Management Company Limited (IHMCL).
FASTag can also be purchased online through e-commerce website Amazon and on Paytm. However, users must submit a copy of the vehicle's Registration Certificate at the time of activating FASTag. KYC documents are not necessary for bank-neutral FASTags as they will be linked to an existing bank account.
Validity and charges
All FASTags come with unlimited validity. But, if the FASTag is unreadable due to any wear-tear, users can obtain a fresh FASTag from the issuer. Loss of FASTag must be immediately reported to the issuer. Also, if a person owns more than one vehicle, then each vehicle must have a separate FASTag.
A refundable security deposit, depending on vehicle type, will be charged and will be refunded on the closure of FASTag account.
One-time charge of Rs 100 deducted is imposed for FASTag account activation. A convenience fee is charged for online recharges depending on the bank and payment method.
(Edited by Vivek Dubey)
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