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As aware by all, there are toll booths at every checkpoint across the country that are built by the government to maintain and sustain the Indian roads. However, these toll booths cause immense traffic and you end up spending most of your precious time in the line of these toll booths. Also, you have to keep the cash ready each time you cross the toll. So, how can you get this minimal job of paying a toll and crossing the line done faster and easier. The answer is FASTag. The Indian government introduced FASTag in 2017 to make payments and passing through tolls an automatic and seamless task.
FASTag is a Radio Frequency Identification Technology -RFID initiated by the Government of India by the Ministry of road transport and highway. It is a step taken to lessen the inconveniences for drivers. As per statistics, there is too much fuel wastage, exhaustion of human resources and above all excessive air pollution as vehicles await at toll booths to make the payment in line. Hence to make the system automatic and reduce traffic at these checkpoints, FASTag came in existence.
Once you purchase FASTag, a RFID enabled sticker is fixed to your vehicle’s windshield. When you cross a toll booth next time, a reader at the toll booth can scan this card instantly and wirelessly. Thereby automatically processing the payment. Thereafter as well, as you pass a FASTag-enabled toll booth, you won’t have to stop your vehicle to make a cash payment. You just need to keep driving and the toll fee gets paid automatically. These toll readers scan the FASTagsticker while the vehicle is in motion by emitting a signal to the FASTag card and the payment immediately gets deducted. Keep in mind though, it is essential that a FASTagsticker is linked with a digital wallet or savings account to guarantee that toll fee payment goes through. These FASTag cards got made mandatory in all new vehicles sold after 2017as a way to encourage digital payments as well as free up congestion at toll booths. According to the Ministry of road transport and highways statistics, over 34 lakh FASTagsgot issued in 2018, and more than 11.5 million FASTag cards were dispensedby end of 2019.
The National Highways Authority of India -NHAI has declared to make the use of FASTags mandatory from 2021 for all four-wheelers. All the toll booth lanes have been stated as ‘FASTag lanes and all vehicles must have FASTag card or will have to face the relevant penalties.
Now if you pass a FASTag-enabled toll booth, and your vehicle does not sufficient balance in FASTag card or does not even have a FASTag sticker. In that case you will have to pay double the toll fee in cash to go through. Moreover, from mid-year 2021, it has become mandatory that your vehicle must have a valid FASTag if you want to get it covered by a new third-party motor insurance policy.
The National Highway Authority of India -NHAI has sanctioned 22 banks in India to provide FASTag cards. These banks and common service centres, petrol pumps, even transport hubs have set up more than 28000 point-of-sale terminals across the country. You can avail your FASTag card from the websites of any of the banks even without being an existing customer with the issuing bank. There are several other options like NHAI plazas, digital platforms like Paytm and Amazon, who provide these cards online as well. You can also choose to get a FASTagcard by visiting your nearest POS terminal.
To apply for a FASTag card, you would need to submit your KYC documents along with your identity proof and residential proof. Additionally, you also need to submit your vehicle’s registration certificate -RC and your passport size photo. The payment for purchasing a FASTag card is distributed into three components namely issuance fee, refundable security deposit and minimum balance which you need to credit to your digital wallet linked with your FASTagsticker. Though the issuing fee can be separate as per the authorized entity you are purchasing the FASTag card from, the Government of India has set a cap on the maximum issuance fee at rupees 200. The issuing fee is only a one-time charge.
FASTag Activation is the registration of the card with your vehicle along with a linked payment method. This payment method can either be a digital wallet or any bank account such as savings or current account. In case you buy FASTag card from say Amazon, you will be provided with a blank FASTag sticker. Next step is to register the card with your vehicle. Then you need to add a payment method to it. You can download the “My FASTag” app and activate FASTag card online after providing details of your vehicle including your vehicle registration number and type. Subsequently, you can link a payment method to your FASTag card. And you are good to go! Following activation, the toll booth payments will get deducted from the payment method you have linked with –on your FASTag card.
If you have linked your FASTag with your savings account or current account, there is no need to recharge it as long as you have sufficient balance in that account. In case you have linked the card with any prepaid digital wallet, you need to recharge it through UPI, debit or credit card, NEFT ornet banking. The recharge limit set on the FASTag card is rupees 20,000 for limited KYC accountholder. Limited KYC is when you register with a Virtual ID -VID without disclosing your original Aadhaar number. For full KYC account holders, the recharge limit is rupees 1 lakh.
The top benefits of FASTag include:
With the advancement in technology that has been upgrading systems and processes across. It has also made FASTagthat ensures driving on Indian roads via toll booths a hassle-free and automated experience. It is easy and quick in use and is also highly better for our environment.
Let's take a look at some frequent queries onFASTag;
Ans. Yes, banks generally give different benefits with their FASTags including cashback and even discounts.
Ans. No, FASTag can be bought from ecommerce websites, common service centres, petrol pumps, even transport hubs apart from banks.
Ans. No, one single FASTag card is only applicable to one vehicle. It cannot be used to make payment of toll fees for any other vehicle.
Ans. No, when you sell a vehicle, it is ideal to destroy the card before delivering it to the buyer.
Ans. Yes, you will get an SMS in your registered mobile number along with relevant details whenever the FASTag card is utilised to pay any toll fees.
Ans. No, the FASTag sticker is affixed in the windscreen of the vehicle so as the toll gate sensor can read it and scan easily.
Ans. Yes, FASTag works on all enabled toll booths. In the event of change in city, you just need to inform the issuer of the card.
Ans. Yes, you can get a new FASTag sticker by approaching the issuer of card who would then issue a replacement.