Everything you need to know about FASTag

Cruising through highways is a feeling which can’t be expressed in words. But the mood gets ruined with each toll booth where dozens of cars and other vehicles are lined up in a queue. This can be quite frustrating and results in wastage of time. Who wouldn’t want to just zoom past these toll booths and speed ahead on the highway? Well, the Indian government has taken note of this and has introduced FASTag. From December 1, 2019, it will be mandatory for all the vehicles to have FASTag.

You may have probably seen its banners or stickers on any toll plaza at someplace while you were waiting in a queue to pay your toll charges and feeling that time had come to a standstill. However, few of the people might now what FASTag is and how it actually works. In case you don’t know about this, then keep reading.

What Is FASTag?

It is an easy-to-use tag which facilitates the entire automation of the toll booth payments hence saving you from the irritating hassle of waiting in long queues to pay your toll booth charges in cash, going through your wallet to get the right amount while mumbling innovative curse worlds to actually describe that one individual ahead of you who is actually taking too much time just to pay his or her own toll charge. 

How Is FASTag Integrated To Your Vehicle?

Here is a simple step-by-step walkthrough of how you can easily integrate or stick your own FASTag onto your own vehicle. 

1. Simply take off the tag’s adhesive liner from its front face.

2. Now stick this FASTag (the adhesive side actually glued to the windshield), onto the top middle of the windshield from inside of your vehicle, below the rearview mirror.

3. In case the glue isn’t strong enough, don’t try to utilize tape or any other adhesive. Simply ask your tag issuer for a replacement instead.

4. Once it is affixed, don’t even try to reposition the FASTag as it may easily damage the RFID inside it.

How FASTag Functions

Through the Radio Frequency Identification or RFID technology of FASTag, automatic transactions are essentially enabled as you drive through any toll booth, which saves your valuable time since you don’t have to wait in a queue for your turn amidst dozens of vehicles. A reader which is installed at the toll plaza can read your FASTag from even a distance of 25 meters. 

Benefits of FASTag

There are a plethora of benefits of FASTag, which makes it a great solution for toll booth charges a payment for drivers.

1. It provides automation deduction of the corresponding toll charge of every vehicle as it passes by. It saves a considerable amount of time of the drivers, prevents hassles at toll booth and congestion.

2. SMS alerts on the registered mobile number of the driver is sent for every transaction done while passing through a toll booth.

3. It offers easy access to the web customer portal. 

4. It provides five-year validity which means that the drivers don’t have to keep on getting new or renewing their tags on a monthly or yearly basis.

5. Saves Fuel as when drivers are waiting at toll booths on long queues with their car engine “ON”, it leads to wastage of fuel. The longer the entire wait time is, the more fuel the car burns. This also leads to alarming levels of air pollution. And the worst part is that it isn’t under your control. The drivers have to stay in the queue, follow it and then approach the toll booth slowly, irrespective of how few or how many vehicles there are. Hence, FASTag can assist in saving fuel. Once it is fixed to the windscreen of the vehicle, the tag readers installed at the toll booth will read it whenever you pass through them which results in automation toll amount deduction from your own FASTag amount. Unlike the usual method to pay the toll charge in cash and getting a receipt, you don’t have to stop in between the journey to pay the required toll amount.

6. One of the most appealing advantages of FASTag is the impact it leaves on the environment by saving paper and hence trees. Whenever you pay your toll charge on the highways, you are giving a paper receipt. The receipt is hardly any use unless you have to get the taxes reimbursed or return back again for a return journey while on the same route. With the FASTag attached to the windscreen of your vehicle, you won’t receive any paper receipt, and you won’t even need them. You will simply receive an SMS as well as email alert every time you pass through a toll booth on your registered mobile number as well as an email address. Also, you can easily check the statements by simply logging into your own account at the customer portal of FASTag.

7.Just like recharging your mobile phones or your DTH connections online, you can easily recharge your own FASTag account online via different modes such as credit or debit card, RTGS, NEFT, or net-banking facility. 

Reason behind recent popularity of FASTag

The reason behind the growing popularity of FASTag is simple. The Indian government has decided to make FASTag mandatory from December 1, 2019. The objectives of this particular governmental move are to promote digital payments as well as decongest the national highways. 

How To Register for FASTag?

In case you are planning to apply to get your own FASTag through banks like ICICI and HDFC, the process is very simple.

1. GO to the website of the issuer and fill out the mentioned fields in their online form. Various details such as name, address, PAN card number, vehicle’s registration number etc. are collected via this form.

2. You can then simply upload a soft copy of your own ID proof. Once you have filled out the provided form, you can pay Rs.500 and then submit your application.

3. Your FASTag will arrive at your address within a week or maybe even in a couple of days. 

You can also get your own FASTag at any of the toll booths. Just carry your ID proof along with address proof, passport-size photo and vehicle registration document.

Costs Involved in FASTag

For a typical car which is used for personal purposes, the entire cost associated with obtaining a FASTag is just Rs. 500. In case you want details about the complete breakup of the entire cost, you can simply check the FASTag issuers’ web pages. The different banks or issuers of FASTag are: HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, SBI, IndusInd Bank, Axis Bank, Equitas Small Finance Bank. You can find more information regarding the entire application process on the websites of these issuers.

Where to buy FASTag?

You can either get it from any toll plaza or the banks mentioned above. 

Points to Note

In case you don’t get a FASTag after December 1, 2019, you will be asked to pay double the amount of the toll fee as you go through any toll both. Also, you will be waiting in the queue to pay in cash while all the FASTaggers will simply speed ahead of you. Hence, you will be wasting not only time but also money if you don’t get your own FASTag.

There are monthly passes which are specific to each toll plaza. In order to obtain additional details and information about it, you can simply get in touch with your bank or issuer. 

Recharge Process 

It is quite easy to recharge your FASTag. You can simply top up it on any of the bank or issuer websites by simply making an online payment through credit or debit card or wallet. You will receive SMS updates about the current account balance of your FASTag on your own registered mobile number.

Image credit: FASTag via mrinalpal/Shutterstock

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