National highways were a sore sight with hundreds of vehicles waiting at toll plazas to pay toll charges before driving away. The entire process of drivers making payments with cash and receiving a ticket in return from toll keepers could be very slow and time-consuming most of the time. Considering this, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has rolled out an innovative technology that allows making toll payments fast and easy. FASTag by the NHAI is a reloadable tag that deducts toll charges for a vehicle automatically when the car passes through the toll gate.
Table of Contents:
- What is FASTag & When Was It Introduced?
- Benefits of FASTag
- How Does FASTag Work?
- Purchasing and Recharging FASTag
- Documents required for purchase of FASTag
- FAQs of FASTag
What is FASTag & when was it introduced?
FASTag is an easy to use, reloadable tag which allows automatic deduction of toll charges and helps you pass through the toll plaza without stopping for any cash transactions.
FASTag is a perfect solution for you to have hassle-free trips on national highways. FASTag is presently operating at 420+ toll plazas across national and state highways. More toll plazas are expected to be brought under the FASTag program in the future.
FASTag is linked to a prepaid account from which the applicable toll amount is deducted. The tag employs Radio-frequency Identification (RFID) technology and is affixed on the vehicle's windscreen after the tag account is active. The FASTag program ensures to keep adding on more toll plazas as time passes by and be genuinely cashless in functioning everywhere in India.
FASTag was initially set up as a pilot project in 2014 on the stretch of the Golden Quadrilateral between Ahmedabad and Mumbai. Considering its success in many such individual projects, on 19 October 2019, it was announced that FASTag will be mandatory on all National Highways and non-FASTag users will be charged double the toll amount.
Benefits of FASTag
Here are some of the key benefits of FASTag:
- Cashless Payments – FASTag users don’t need to carry cash for toll transactions, and don’t need to worry about collecting the exact change.
- Faster Transit – Auto-debit of exact amount through the FASTag allows for faster transit through the toll plazas and saves the time of the users.
- Online Recharge – FASTag can be recharged online through Credit Card / Debit Card / NEFT/ RTGS or Net banking.
- SMS alerts – Users can receive instant SMS alerts on a registered mobile number for toll transactions, low balance, etc.
- Validity - A FASTag would be functional for a period of 5 years.
- Exclusive FASTag Portal - A customer has the facility to access their statements for their Tag by merely logging on to the FASTag Customer Portal.
How to use FASTag?
Step 1: Buying a FASTag
The first step is to buy a FASTag for your car. You can physically buy one at certain toll plazas across India, by carrying your identification as well as the vehicle registration documents with you. FASTags can even be bought from banks and other portals like Paytm, etc. The banks that currently offer FASTags include HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, State Bank of India, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Axis Bank as well as the Airtel Payments Bank and Paytm Payments Bank. The advantage of buying the FASTag from the bank where you have your savings or salary account is that they can pre-link it with your bank account for easy recharge later.
Step 2: Loading FASTag balance
You then need to make payment for the FASTag. Different prices for the FASTag are applicable depending on which vendor you choose to buy from. If you buy it from Paytm for example, FASTag will cost you approximately Rs 500. This includes Rs 100 for the tag, Rs 250 as a refundable security deposit and Rs 150 as the first recharge for your FASTag.
The minimum threshold amount for the Paytm issued tag is also Rs 150. If, however, you decide to buy from HDFC Bank, the tag costs you Rs 400—this includes Rs 100 for the tag, Rs 100 as reissuance fee and Rs 200 as a security deposit. Incidentally, HDFC Bank has Rs 100 as the minimum threshold for your account to remain active. That is not all. There are cash backs as well every time you use this. FASTag issuers come up with these offers from time to time.
Step 3: Recharging FASTag Balance
Then comes recharging the balance on the FASTag. You can log in to the payment system of the bank which has issued the FASTag and make the recharge from your bank account.
Or if you bought it from Paytm, you recharge your linked Paytm account and the balance shall be deducted from that every time you pass through a toll plaza on a national highway. You can also download the ‘My FASTag’ app and recharge your FASTag via the unified payments interface (UPI) there.
Additional Reading: How Does FASTag Calculate Charges For Roundtrip
Purchasing and Recharging FASTag
- Online FASTags - FASTags can be purchased online from Issuer Banks websites / NHAI website / IHMCL website and will be delivered by courier at the doorstep of the purchaser.
- Mobile app - MyFASTag is a consumer App that can be downloaded from the App Store for both Android and iOS systems. A consumer can purchase or recharge FASTags on this App. The App also helps to keep track of transactions and provides for online grievance redressal.
- POS - Users can also visit any of the Point of Sale (POS) locations of the certified issuing banks at Toll Plazas or Banks’ sales offices to get tag accounts created. 23 Public and Private sector banks are authorized to issue FASTag. Alternatively, users can reach out to the Issuing Bank Customer Care numbers to identify the closest POS location. Users will need to carry original as well as a copy of your KYC documents at the POS / Sales office location. It is also important to get the vehicle to the POS / Sale office location to purchase the FASTag.
Documents required for purchase of FASTag
Since the FAS Tag is linked to an account, KYC documentation would be required as per the KYC policy of the Issuer Bank. Apart from the KYC documentation, users need to submit the Registration Certificate (RC) of the vehicle along with the application for FASTag.
FASTag has unlimited validity. The same FASTag can be used until the tag is legible to the reader and is not tampered with.
FASTag: The Convenient & Speedy Way to Zipping Through Toll Gates
A FASTag is essentially a Radio-frequency Identification (RFID) enabled tag that is attached to the windshield of your car, from the inside. It comes updated with the registration details of your vehicle. FASTag readers will soon have a separate queue at toll plazas where the RFID code is detected via overhead panel and the necessary amount is deducted from the prepaid balance and your journey through the toll plaza is authenticated. It is the future of toll fee payments that will help you save time, effort, and result in a lot of conveniences.
FAQs of FASTag:
- What is the cost of purchasing a FASTag?
You have to pay an initial Tag joining fee which is Rs.100. Then there is a security deposit that ranges from Rs.100 to Rs.500, based on the type of vehicle. Then you have to add the threshold amount, which ranges from Rs.200 to Rs.500 based on the type of vehicle too.
- Where can I purchase FASTag?
FASTags can be purchased through many channels. The most common channel that everybody uses is through their bank. You can also get FASTag via Paytm. Booths are set up at every toll plaza to enable purchases.
- What should I do if money is debited twice for my journey?
If you find that money has been debited twice from your account, you can contact FASTag customer care to request a reversal.
- Can I recharge my FASTag using a credit card?
Yes, you can recharge your FASTag using a credit/debit card, NetBanking or UPI.
- Can I transfer my existing FASTag to my new vehicle?
No, that is not possible. A FASTag is linked to one vehicle. When you get a new vehicle, you need to get a new FASTag.