FASTag mandatory from Jan 1: Which one should you buy?

FASTag mandatory from January 1: Which FASTag should you buy?

Here is all you need to know about what is FASTag and which one should you buy

Representative image/Credit: PTI Photo

With FASTag being mandatory for vehicles from January 1, 2021, the NHAI has made all necessary arrangements to provide seamless movement of vehicles at toll plazas, according to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. FASTag, an inclusive technological tool for toll collection on highways, is ensuring safety of commuters during Covid-19 times, the NHAI said.

Here is all you need to know about what is FASTag and which one should you buy:

What is FASTag? How does it work?

FASTag is a brand name owned by Indian Highways Management Company Ltd (IHMCL), which carries out electronic tolling and other ancillary projects of National Highway Authorities of India (NHAI). The Ministry of Road and Highways said that National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), IHMCL and NHAI are working together to make state and national highway toll payments completely digital.

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said that FASTag will be useful for commuters as they will not have to stop at toll plazas for cash payments. Besides, it will also help save time and fuel, he added.

Also read: How to recharge FASTag and maintain the wallet

Are FASTags compulsory?

FASTags will be mandatory for vehicles from January 1, 2021, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said on Dec 24.

As per Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, the FASTag had been made mandatory for registration of new four-wheeler vehicles since December 1, 2017 and is being supplied by the vehicle manufacturers or their dealers.

FASTags, which facilitate electronic payment of fee at toll plazas, was introduced in 2016. Making the tags compulsory would also help in ensuring that vehicles pass seamlessly through the toll plazas as fee payment would be done electronically.

The government also said that a valid FASTag is mandatory while getting a new third party insurance through an amendment in FORM 51 (certificate of Insurance), wherein the details of FASTag ID shall be captured. This shall be applicable w.e.f. April 1, 2021.

How do you buy FasTags?

There are two different types of FASTags, NHAI tags and bank-specific tags. FASTag is pre-fitted in automobiles produced and sold after December 1, 2017, that comes with the registration. If you own a vehicle, which is older than this period, you can get the FASTag with a linked payment method.

Once bought, the FASTags can be activated at the nearest point of sale counter by logging on to the IHMCL's official website.

What is My FASTag App?

NHAI's mobile app ‘My FASTag App’ enables users to purchase FASTags for their vehicles. The service is bank-neutral and not connected to any government or private bank. The NHAI updated the app with a new feature to ‘Check Balance Status’ by simply entering the vehicle number," NHAI said in a statement. KYC documents will not be needed as they will be linked to the existing bank account the vehicle is registered with.

What are the bank-specific FASTags?

As for bank-specific FASTags, 22 banks at designated branches and toll plazas provide the required services. The opted issuer banks connect the purchased FASTags to a prepaid wallet service.

ICICI Bank on Monday announced its collaboration with Google Pay for issuance of FASTag through UPI on the payments app. "This initiative ensures the safety of the applicants as they do not have to visit merchants or toll locations to buy a FASTag. With this, ICICI Bank becomes the first bank to join hands with Google Pay for issuance of FASTag," according to a statement.

Other banks that offer the service include: Axis Bank, IDFC Bank, SBI, HDFC Bank, Karur Vysya Bank, EQUITAS Small Finance Bank, PayTM Payments Bank Ltd, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Syndicate Bank, Federal Bank, South Indian Bank, Punjab National Bank, Punjab & Maharashtra Co-op Bank, Saraswat Bank, City Union Bank, Bank of Baroda, Induslnd Bank, Yes Bank, Union Bank, Nagpur Nagarik Sahakari Bank Ltd.

What are the documents required to register for FasTag?

The four-wheeler vehicle owners should submit these documents mentioned to buy FASTags:

1. A xerox copy of their vehicle's Registration Certificate

2. Two passport size photographs of the owner

3. For ID and address proof, produce KYC documents such as: Driver's License, PAN card, Voter ID, Passport or Aadhaar card

Can I buy them on other online services?

FASTag can also be purchased online through e-commerce website Amazon and on Paytm. The service will also be bank-neutral and may not require KYC documents.

What are the advantages of FASTag?

FASTag uses radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology, which provides the users with a smooth crossover at toll plazas without halting. The payment is made digitally through the FASTag linked to the bank wallet.

NHAI said that as social distancing has become the new norm, commuters are increasingly looking at FASTag as a toll payment option since it is contactless.

(With inputs from PTI)