As of December 1, 2019, the Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways has made the FASTag—a prepaid tag facility which debits the toll amount from one’s bank account —mandatory for all vehicles, private and public.
Under the National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) programme, from December 1 all collection will happen only via the FASTag.
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Additionally, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will provide FASTags free of cost until from November 22-December 1 at toll plazas, to encourage vehicle owners to get it installed. RTO offices and other transport hubs will also have these FASTags.
While the security deposit for the tag is between Rs 100 to 400 depending on the size of the vehicle, NHAI has claimed that it will waive off this charge during the above-mentioned time period.
What is a FASTag?
• It is a rechargeable prepaid vehicles tag that is radio-frequency identification (RFID) enabled.
• Vehicles possessing the tag can pass through toll plazas as they automatically scan the FASTag to collect toll digitally.
• According to the ministry, toll plazas across the country have been upgraded with necessary arrangements to enable the automatic deduction of toll.
• Furthermore, the ministry also highlighted that since September, more than 6 million FASTags have been issued.
• To offer an incentive for users, the government is also planning on a 2.5 per cent cashback offer for the year 2019-2020, for those using this FASTag
• Your FASTag account can be recharged using a debit card, credit card, netbanking, etc.
Why this move?
With this move, the government aims to achieve a cashless toll collection. It will also enable the fast movement of vehicles across the toll plazas and ensure that the congestion that vehicles cause is reduced considerably.
While this will apply to all the National highways and a selected few State highways, to begin with, by March 2020, it will apply to all State highways.
Where can one get the FASTag?
• If your vehicle was manufactured and purchased after December 1, 2017, then it would already be fitted with the FASTag.
• There are 22 certified banks from where one can buy the FASTag.
• Some of the National highways will also allow people the option of purchasing the FASTags.
• They are also available on e-commerce platforms such as Amazon.
What documents do you need to submit?
If you are planning on purchasing the FASTag, remember that you will need the following documents:
• A copy of the Registration Certificate of the vehicle
• Two passport size photographs
• Other KYC documents necessary for address and ID proof such as PAN card, Voter ID, Driver’s License, Passport or Aadhaar
FASTags have unlimited validity and need to be changed only if they become unreadable due to wear and tear. In such a case, fresh FASTags need to be purchased. In case you lose your FASTag, it must be reported immediately to the place where it was purchased from. Do remember that each vehicle you own must have its own FASTag.
As mentioned above, the security deposit depends on the size of the vehicle. As per the Indian Highways Management Company Limited (IHMCL) website, “If you reside within a range of 10 km from the toll plaza, you can avail a concession on toll to be paid via your FASTag. In such a case, you need to submit the required documents – proof of residence at the bank, nearest Point Of Sale (POS) location to validate that your residential address is within 10 km of a particular toll plaza. Once the address is verified, you can avail a concession on the toll paid via FASTag assigned to your vehicle.”
What happens if your vehicle doesn’t have a FASTag?
If you enter a FASTag-enabled lane without getting a FASTag active, you will be charged double the amount of toll fee and will have to pay by cash. Those who have the FASTag enabled in their vehicle, once your vehicle crosses a FASTag-enabled lane on a toll plaza, an automatic deduction from your bank account will take place, and you will receive an SMS alert on your registered mobile number.
So, if your vehicle doesn’t have a FASTag yet, don’t wait, get yours today!
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)