The Road Transport and Highways Ministry recently made it compulsory for drivers to own a FASTag for all toll payments which will be enforced from December 1, 2019. While the service was already in use before, this move is expected to cut down the waiting time for people at toll plazas.
What is FASTag?
A FASTag is a prepaid rechargeable tag service that allows the driver to make automatic payment for tolls, without having to stop or wait in a queue. This not only saves the time of the driver but also ensures that every vehicle that passes the toll is scanned and accounted for. An activated FASTag, which is installed on the car’s windshield, uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to communicate with the scanner which automatically deducts the amount from the user’s bank account.
Where to get a FASTag and how to activate it?
FASTags are issued by 22 certified banks and can be obtained from Points-of-Sale (POS) at toll plazas along the National Highway or select bank branches. Recently they were also made available on e-commerce platforms such as Amazon. These tags can be activated at the nearest toll plaza in the following ways.
The first option for activation of the tag is self-activation. Tags purchased at POS terminals or online platforms are neutral cards that can be activated by the users themselves.
This is made possible via the “My FASTag” mobile app, which can be downloaded on Android and iOS smartphones. This app also allows the user to link their existing bank account to the tag. This app also has a prepaid wallet facility from National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) where the user can load money which will be used to pay the toll, instead of deducting money directly from the bank account.
FASTags can also be activated at any branch of a certified bank, by linking the user’s bank account to the tag. The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has listed all the banks which have these services available, along with the 450+ toll plazas countrywide, where this program is currently live.
Users can also use these service points to recharge their existing FASTag, as it is mandatory for the tag to have sufficient balance to allow for toll payments.
How to recharge FASTag?
It can be recharged via cheque, UPI, debit card, credit card, NEFT or Net Banking. However, recharging the FASTag through a different medium will incur additional charges.
Though FASTag is meant to increase the productivity and decrease waiting time of its users, it has certain restrictions and limitations. For example, one FASTag cannot be used for multiple vehicles, indicating that each vehicle must have its own FASTag.
It is also advisable for the users to complete their KYC procedure for their FASTag, which increases their account from Rs 20,000 for limited KYC account holders, to Rs 1 lakh for full KYC account holders.Users with a residence within 10 km from the toll plaza can avail a concession for the toll being paid by submitting their proof of residence at the bank and the nearest POS to their residence. Verified users can then avail concessions on the toll for that particular area.