FASTag mandatory from February 15 midnight: How it works, who is exempted, and other questions answered

In November 2020, the ministry had issued a notification making FASTag mandatory by January 1, 2021.

In November 2020, the ministry had issued a notification making FASTag mandatory by January 1, 2021.

The use of FASTag will be mandatory from February 15 midnight, said the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. Those vehicle users who fail to install FASTag on their vehicles would be charged double the toll amount on national highways, an official statement said.

“It has been decided that all the lanes in the fee plazas on national highways shall be declared as ‘FasTag lane of the fee plaza’ with effect from midnight of 15th /16th February 2021,” the statement said.

“Vehicles not fitted with FASTag or without valid/functional FASTag entering into the FASTag lane will pay two time equivalent fee of the fee applicable to that M and N category vehicles,” the ministry clarified.

Here are all your questions answered about the FASTag:

What is FASTag and how long is it valid?

It is a sticker that is attached to the windshield of your car from the inside. The FASTag also has an imprinted radio-frequency Identification (RFID) barcode that is linked to all the registration details of your vehicle. It is valid for a period of five years from the date of issuance.

How does it work?

While you pass through a toll plaza, there will be FASTag readers available that will read into your sticker and then deduct the required amount. This process will eliminate the need to stop, interact with a human being at a toll plaza and having to pay cash.

What documents do you need to buy it?

In order to purchase a FASTag, an applicant will need to furnish the vehicle registration document and personal identity for mandatory KYC process. Whereas, at banks, if you are already a customer, you will only need an RC report.If you are applying through other means such as Airtel and PayTM, you don’t need to produce a personal ID and all you need is the RC.

What are the advantages? 

According to Union Minister for Road, Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, the FASTag is useful for the commuters as they would no longer be required to stop at toll plazas for cash payments. The switch to automatic toll payments system would eventually save time and fuel.

Where can you get one?

The government has partnered with several agencies including banks and e-commerce channels to home-deliver a FASTag.As of now, banks that currently offer FASTags include HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, State Bank of India, Kotak Bank, Axis Bank, Bank of Baroda to name a few. Recently, ICICI Bank and Google announced a collaboration, which would allow applicants to pay for a FASTag via its payment service Google Pay. Some other options also are on Amazon, PayTM or Airtel Payment App.Traditional methods such as purchasing them at certain toll plazas across India are also available.

How do you check the balance and recharge a FASTag?

The issuing bank’s e-commerce partner will create a FASTag wallet for applicants. All that is required after that is to add money to the wallet.For example, if a person has purchased a FASTag through a bank, they will directly deduct money from your account and you need to maintain a balance in the bank account.In the case of mobile payment banks, the services will also let you recharge FASTag using debit card, credit card, UPI and other payment options. This is also similar if you are purchasing it through Airtel. You can recharge your FASTag via Airtel Payment.

Who’s exempt from getting a FASTag?

People who are exempted from paying toll don’t need to use FASTag. They include judges, lawmakers, ministers, top bureaucrats, top military officers and emergency service workers, among others.