What's a FASTag, how to get one, and other details
Starting today, the government has enforced the system of electronic toll collection on national highways using FASTags. Under the National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) program, all toll plaza lanes (barring some) have been converted into FASTag-only lanes. Drive through any of these lanes without a FASTag and you will have to pay twice the amount of toll. Here's everything to know about FASTags.
What is a FASTag and how does it work?
A FASTag is a device that would make toll payments cashless and hassle-free using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. The device has to be stuck to the windscreen of your vehicle. So, when you pass through a toll booth, it automatically deducts the toll fare from your account linked to the FASTag, without you having to stop. This ensures a seamless traffic movement.
Where does one get a FASTag?
Getting a FASTag is fairly easy and if you're buying a new vehicle, chances are, you're going to get one by default. You can also buy a FASTag from point-of-sale (POS) locations established at all national highways. If that doesn't suit you, FASTags can also be purchased from 23 certified banks (SBI, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, etc.) You can get it on Amazon, too.
You can check the complete list of 23 banks here
What are the documents required for getting a FASTag?
For FASTag, you should produce a vehicle registration copy (RC) and your KYC documents for ID/address proof (PAN Card/Driving License/Passport/Voter ID/Aadhaar Card). You can then choose to open a FASTag account in two categories—limited KYC holder's account or full KYC holders account—based on your requirements.
How much does a FASTag cost?
The practical cost of FASTags may vary depending on where you get one. If you get one from SBI, you need to pay Rs. 400, which includes Rs. 100 for the tag, security deposit (Rs. 200), and one-time joining fee (Rs. 100). On Paytm, it would cost you Rs. 500: including tag price (Rs. 100), security deposit (Rs. 250), and minimum balance (Rs. 150).
How can one recharge their FASTag?
After you activate your FASTag by entering details onto the MY FASTag app, you can continue recharging it through multiple modes of payment, including debit/credit card, internet banking, UPI, etc. You can also link it to your bank account. Further, when you pass through a toll and the fare is deducted, you will get an SMS alert, so you know when you're running low.
What if you don't have a FASTag?
In case you don't have a FASTag and drive through a FASTag-only lane, you will have to pay twice the fare as penalty. Alternatively, the government has mandated that one lane be converted into a "hybrid lane" which allows FASTag and other modes of payments—such as cash—penalty-free. Further, until January 15, at most 25% of all toll plaza lanes will accept cash payment, too.
But getting a FASTag is your best bet since, till March 2020, commuters will also be offered a 2.5% cashback. To help commuters get accustomed to these new changes, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has deployed marshals at all the plazas across India. You can also call the '1033' helpline to seek assistance with any FASTag-related queries you may have.