Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari announced that FASTags would be mandatory for all the vehicles, be it private or commercial, from January 15, 2020, onwards.

The vehicles without FASTag will have to pay double the normal toll gates tax across the country. Therefore, you need to know what FASTag is and how to get it.

What is FASTag?

FASTag is a prepaid instrument that is rechargeable. It is used for toll collection. FASTag allows the automatic deduction of the toll tax as it is affixed on the windscreen of the vehicle.

It facilitates the toll collection system as well as helps the vehicle owners as they don’t need to stop the vehicles at the toll plaza to pay the tax. As the vehicle reaches the toll plaza, the tax is deducted automatically from the prepaid wallet/bank account linked with the FASTag. 

Notably, a FASTag uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology that allows the users to pay the tax directly from their savings account. In addition, the FASTags don’t have any expiry date, and they can be used for as long as they are readable and tampered.

The first FASTag was set up in 2014 between Mumbai and Ahmedabad highway. The technology has been incorporated at more than 420 national highway toll plazas as of now. Also, it has become mandatory for all the newly sold vehicles in India to have a FASTag since December 2017.

Why is FASTag Important? 

As per a report by TCI (Transport Corporation of India) along with IIM Kolkata, India incurs a loss of approximately USD 6.6 billion every year due to delays in transportation.

To rectify this deficit, the Indian government has introduced Electronic Toll Collection (ETC). The digitisation of toll plaza tax is expected to improve the country’s economic progress.

How does FASTag Work?

The FASTag is affixed on the windscreen of the vehicle and is directly linked to the prepaid wallet, which can be saved or current account. The FASTag recharge can be done easily through the linked bank account.

When the car passes by the toll plaza, the tax is deducted from the bank account linked with the wallet. This, thus, enables cashless transactions in the toll plaza as well.

The FASTag eliminates the need to halt at the plaza to make the payment as it records the information from the FASTags. 

Is FASTag a Good Idea?

One of the main reasons for FASTags is too ensure that the traffic flow remains smooth at the toll plazas and to prevent congestion. However, there are numerous other benefits of FASTags as well:

  • Individuals commuting from the highway toll plazas regularly will not have to waste their time searching for change to pay toll tax.
  • FASTag eliminates the requirement for human effort, thus making the process more efficient and effective.
  • It facilitates smooth movement on state and national highways, which in turn reduces carbon footprints and vehicular emissions as there no vehicle idling at the booths.
  • Lack of long queues and no traffic reduce the anxiety among drivers.
  • FASTags users can get a cashback of up to 2.5% on the transactions on national toll plazas. This means increased savings.

Is FASTag compulsory?

Yes, FASTag is compulsory for the vehicle owners from January 15, 2020. And most important one vehicle will have only one FASTag, you can’t use it on two vehicles. 

What is the deadline of FASTag?

It is compulsory for all the vehicles to have FASTag from January 15, 2020. Any vehicle without FASTag will have to pay double the toll tax.

How to Get FASTag?

Over 22 certified banks issue FASTags through numerous channels, such as online and Point-of-Sale (POS). Besides, they are available on e-commerce platforms like Amazon and Flipkart. FASTag stickers reached approximately 37.37 lakhs as of December 2018. Here are the steps on how to get FASTag online:

  • Log on to the bank website and visit the FASTag login page.
  • Select the login option for FASTag registration as per your comfort.
  • Click on the first-time user and fill in the details to buy FASTag.
  • Fill in your bank details to purchase FASTag and make the payment.
  • The FASTag card will be delivered to your doorstep.

Here is the detailed list of certified banks providing FASTags

S.No. Issuing Bank Customer Care Helpline No
1 Axis Bank 1800-419-8585
2 ICICI Bank 1800-2100-104
3 IDFC Bank 1800-266-9970
4 State Bank of India 1800-11-0018
5 HDFC Bank 1800-120-1243
6 Karur Vysya Bank 1800-102-1916
7 EQUITAS Small Finance Bank 1800-419-1996
8 PayTM Payments Bank Ltd 1800-102-6480
9 Kotak Mahindra Bank 1800-419-6606
10 Syndicate Bank 1800-425-0585
11 Federal Bank 1800-266-9520
12 South Indian Bank 1800-425-1809
13 Punjab National Bank 080-67295310
14 Punjab & Maharashtra Co-op Bank 1800-223-993
15 Saraswat Bank 1800-266-9545
16 Fino Payments Bank 1860-266-3466
17 City Union Bank 1800-2587200
18 Bank of Baroda 1800-1034568
19 IndusInd Bank 1860-5005004
20 Yes Bank 1800-1200
21 Union Bank 1800-222244
22 Nagpur Nagarik Sahakari Bank Ltd 1800-2667183

Source: IHMCL

The tag is valid until it is tampered or not readable. Thus, there is no need to worry about its monthly or yearly renewal. Besides, the user gets SMS notification for every toll tax deduction and the FASTag account balance. So, what are you waiting for go and buy FASTag online now!