Photo Credit: Twitter/ IHMCL
FASTag, the system that uses radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to enable cashless toll payments, is set to become mandatory in India starting tomorrow, December 15. Initially debuted as a pilot project back in 2014, FASTag is designed to bring a seamless experience for Indian commuters. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in March this year implemented electronic toll collection (ETC) infrastructure to start supporting FASTag-equipped vehicles. Also, the government has partnered with 23 certified banks to make easy availability of FASTag in the country. Branches of Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, and Karur Vysya Bank are additionally enabled to sell FASTag across various places.
The government has brought the National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) programme to make FASTag mainstream across over 500 toll plazas in India. Similarly, the technology that is touted to be the Aadhaar for vehicles in the country recently piloted for parking purposes at Hyderabad airport to expand the scope of FASTag.
Originally, FASTag was planned to become mandatory from December 1. The government, however, recently extended the deadline until tomorrow to give enough time to vehicle owners and toll plaza authorities to cope with the changes. But now, from where you can buy a FASTag for your vehicle? Is there a process to apply for a FASTag? Also, how can you recharge your existing FASTag? We are here to make all this easier for you.
Major automobile companies in India are by default offering FASTag RFID tag on new vehicles. However, if you aren't among those who have purchased a brand new car or jeep recently, you can purchase a FASTag from various sources.
As per a tweet posted by the Indian Highways Management Company, FASTag is made available through point-of-sale (POS) locations set up at toll plazas at all national highways, 23 certified banks, Regional Transport Offices (RTOs), and transport hubs. One of the easiest ways to purchase a FASTag is visiting a nearby branch of banks such as Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, or Karur Vysya Bank. For vehicle class 4 that includes cars, jeeps, and vans, a FASTag can be bought online through portals of banks such as Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, or State Bank of India (SBI). Airtel Payments Bank, Amazon, and Paytm are also selling FASTag online. Furthermore, you can avail some cashback for purchasing a FASTag online.
In case of purchasing a FASTag online, you need to provide your vehicle's registration number and upload the photos of its Registration Certificate (RC).
Airtel Payments Bank is offering FASTag through the Airtel Thanks app at Rs. 450 that includes a refundable security deposit worth Rs. 200 alongside a one-time tag cost of Rs. 100, and a minimum balance of Rs. 150. There is also a cashback up to Rs. 150.
Similarly, Paytm is selling the FASTag at Rs. 500, including the tag price of Rs. 100, refundable security deposit worth Rs. 250, and a minimum balance of Rs. 150.
You can also dial one of the toll-free helpline numbers of certified issuer banks to know the nearly POS location for purchasing a FASTag offline.
Once you have bought a FASTag, you need to apply it to the windscreen of your vehicle and then link it to your existing bank account to enable automatic deduction of toll payments upon crossing a compatible toll plaza. For linking the account, you can use the MyFASTag app on any supported Android device. The MyFASTag app also allows you to recharge your existing FASTag account through a UPI payment method.
If you don't want to link your bank account with FASTag, you can use apps such as Airtel Thanks and Payment. You need to enter your FASTag Wallet ID to perform the recharge. Further, banks such as Axis Bank, HDFC, and ICICI Bank give a way to recharge your FASTag account online.
The government claims that it will offer a cashback of 2.5 percent for the current fiscal year for all toll payment transactions taking place through FASTag. Also, it considers that the new technology would help reduce long queues for toll collection and save fuel for vehicle owners.
Having said that, highways across India will continue to have a hybrid lane for cash payments, though non-FASTag vehicles would be charged double the fee if they pass through FASTag-only lanes.