FASTags have been a great addition to the Indian domestic highway circuit. Earlier, both private and industrial vehicles needed to stand in long queues in toll booths. Now, they can simply pass through, thanks to the stickers. This has made passing through India’s toll stops much faster.
Naturally, industrial transport efficiency has benefited greatly and so has road transport of every other kind. Never again would you see an inter-state tourist bus idling at a long queue waiting for approval.
If you are a frequent domestic traveller by road, then getting a FASTag sticker can be a huge benefit for you. The same goes if you operate any kind of business which involves regular interstate travel. But before you go and get this sticker, here are some things you should know about FASTags:
What Are FASTags?
The FASTag electronic toll collection system was designed to speed up domestic travel across India. The system makes use of specially fabricated stickers with Radio Frequency Identification Technologies. The stickers are linked to a prepaid account from which the toll fee is deducted every time the vehicle passes through a booth. The sticker is pasted on the windscreen of the vehicle and there is a dedicated line for the stickers.
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The FASTag system was first proposed for testing at the Golden Quadrilateral highway stretch connecting Ahmedabad and Mumbai in 2014. After its success, the system was systematically implemented over then next few years.
Since 1st Oct 2017, all toll booths operating under National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) have begun to accepting FASTag stickers. According to a Central Government mandate, all new vehicles sold after 8th November 2018 must have a FASTag sticker.
Benefits of Using FASTags
As a newly introduced technology, FASTags are making significant improvements to the Indian interstate toll system. As such it can give vehicle owners many benefits:
- You do not need to pay at a toll booth in cash.
- Account-holders can use various rechange options like credit cards, debit cards, Net Banking and NEFT/ RTGS to add money their account online.
- Every FASTag sticker is valid for 5 years from the date of purchase.
- Account-holders are notified of toll payment deductions and low account balance via SMS.
- FASTag users also benefit from an automatic 10% cashback offer on all toll payments made through them.
How To Buy FASTags?
Vehicle owners can get FASTag stickers for their vehicles at toll booths as well as any joint ICICI Bank/Axis Bank. FASTag applicants will need KYC documentation for their vehicles and their respective owners. Here is a list of the documentation needed to successfully submit the FASTag application form:
- Vehicle registration certificate copy for which the applicant wants the FASTag.
- A recent colourized photograph of the vehicle owner.
- KYC documentation with personal identification like driver’s license, passport, Voter ID, PAN card, Aadhar card etc. This is subject to the vehicle category the application is for.
- A driver’s license with no outstanding challans is usually the most accepted proof of identity and address.
FASTag Charges by Vehicle Type
FASTag charges vary according to the specific vehicle for which the applicant is buying the sticker. This is aside from the one-time tag joining fee of INR 200 which is inclusive of service tax.
Also, the toll tax on different toll booths may vary and are subject to change. The exact price for each toll will be mentioned at the top of the FASTag lane at each toll booth. Specifically, the Tag Deposit and Threshold Amount are mentioned at the banner above each lane. This price does not include service tax unless stated otherwise.
If the account user closes the account, the Tag Deposit is refunded to their linked account. The following are the charges levied on vehicles based on type:
- Car/Jeep/Van: Rs. 200, Rs. 100
- Light Commercial Vehicle 2-axle/ 3-axle: Rs. 300, Rs. 140
- Bus 2-axle / 3-axle / Mini-Bus: Rs. 400, Rs. 300
- Truck 2-axle: Rs. 400, Rs. 300
- Trucks 3-axle and above: Rs. 500, Rs. 300
- Earth Moving / Heavy Construction Machinery: Rs. 500, Rs. 300
- Tractor / Tractor with Trailer: Rs. 500, Rs. 300
- Tata Ace and Similar Mini Light Commercial Vehicle: Rs. 200, Rs. 100
Important Facts about FASTags:
- All account recharging is done via the User Id.
- Users must create a User Id and password at the dedicated FASTag RFID portal after acquiring their sticker.
- FASTag is now mandatory on all new vehicles and over 500 toll booths have dedicated FASTag lanes now.
- FASTags can be modified to fit specific needs like be3ing eligible for passage only through specific toll plazas.
- The tags only work for one vehicle and they cannot be swapped for any other.
- If a FASTag is lost, then the vehicle owner will create a new account to get a new tag.
- The minimum recharge amount for a FASTag is INR 100. Also, users can recharge this account up to INR 1 lakh at one time.
- Buying 2 FASTag stickers for one vehicle is prohibited and may be punishable by a fine.
- The government is working on enabling fuel purchase on highways using the FASTag. Also, they might introduce a double cashback policy in the near future.
Are FASTags Really Better for Your Interstate Travel?
FASTags are a massive improvement on the toll system on Indian highways. They make passing through toll booths on the highway a breeze. Your vehicle does not need to stop at all when it arrives at the toll plaza. The RFID scanner will read your vehicle code, link it with the account and deduct the right toll.
This means that travelling gets easier and vehicles need not get delayed at toll congestion. In case, the RFID scanner is not working, the vehicle can still pass through the standard lanes. So, FASTag is a great technology which you should definitely get. Besides, it has been made mandatory by the government on most major toll booths and this technology can help you travel better.