The Government of India just made an announcement to expedite the process of the FASTag system. From today, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will start providing FASTags free of cost at all the toll plazas and RTO offices in the country. The free distribution of FASTags will last until December 1, the last day of registration for the FASTag system.
A few days back, the Government of India announced that FASTag will be mandatory for all vehicle owners from December 1. The move was aimed at ensuring smooth flow of traffic through the toll plazas at all the state and national highways in India by facilitating cashless collection of toll through the FASTag Radio-frequency Identification (RFID) tag (measuring 10x 5 cm) system that vehicles owners need to buy and affix on the windscreen of the vehicles.
Post-December 1, vehicle owners without any FASTag affixed on their vehicles will be charged double the toll fee when they pass through the FASTag dedicated lanes. People having inadequate balance in the FASTag account will also get their vehicle blacklisted at the toll plazas or, in other cases, they might have to pay double the toll fee.
FASTag can be usually bought by the vehicle owners from the banks which are authorized by the government’s National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) program such as Syndicate Bank, Axis Bank, IDFC Bank, HDFC Bank, State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, and Equitas Bank. One can also buy a FASTag from Paytm.
However, buying the FASTag from the government authorized agents would entail a one-time charge of ₹100 as Tag Joining Fee and a security deposit amount starting from ₹200 for Car, Jeep, Van, Tata Ace, and similar light commercial vehicles. We are not yet sure about the Tag Joining Fee but the security deposit will be borne by NHAI as per the announcement, which will cost the government ₹150-200 crore.
Once the FASTag account is created free of cost, vehicle owners would still need to link it with his/her bank account. One can access his/her FASTag account online or via the FASTag app. The FASTag account can be recharged using Credit Card/Debit Card/NEFT/RTGS or Net Banking. The maximum amount that can be recharged is ₹1 lakh.
People also have the option to create a FASTag account online. Here is the guide to do that.