With a completely digitized system, FASTag has made it easier and faster to pass through toll plazas located on state and national highways. As compared to time consuming cash transactions, FASTag debits the toll instantly from your linked bank account or digital wallet by reading the Radio-frequency Identification (RFID) tag affixed on the windscreen of your vehicle. FASTag system has helped to significantly reduce the length of queues at toll plazas. It is also playing an important role in saving fuel and curbing corruption at toll plazas.
FASTag will become mandatory from December 1, 2019, so make sure you get one for your vehicle. You will need it if you use any of the state or national highways that have toll plazas. New cars are already equipped with FASTag and you just need to get it activated. If you are using an old car, you need to get the FASTag from government certified service providers such as HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Paytm, and Equitas. You can get your FASTag from any of these service providers.
Just like changing your telecom operator, you can also change your FASTag provider anytime you want. For example, if you are not satisfied with the services of a particular FASTag provider, you can switch to another one. In such case, you will have to discard the old FASTag and affix the new one on the windscreen of your car. You can have only one FASTag on a car at any given point of time.
FASTag system works great most times, but there may be occasions when you may experience some issues. For example, if the toll gate sensor is not working properly, it may fail to read your FASTag. In such cases, the toll attendant will use a manual scanner to scan the FASTag. Problems can also occur if you are using other RFID tags in your car. Make sure your FASTag is affixed at a prominent place on the windscreen where it can be easily read by the toll gate sensor.
FASTag system is operational at all gates of most toll plazas. However, there may be some that have only a few lanes dedicated to FASTag. Usually, the FASTag sign will be displayed in the lane, so you will know where to go. In some cases, the FASTag lane will have an attendant who will manually check the tag and open the barrier. The second sensor placed near to the toll ticket window will then deduct the required toll amount.
Most toll gates have FASTag sensors located next to the toll ticket window. You may have to move your car close to the sensor to make it work. The entire process may take a few seconds, so be patient. Sometimes, you may have to request the attendant to check the system and open the gate manually.
In case the sensors are not working at a toll gate, you have the right to pass. It is the duty of toll plazas to maintain the sensors in working condition. NHAI (National Highways Authority of India) has instructed all toll plazas to allow vehicles to pass in case the sensors are not working. This will become applicable when even the handheld scanners stop working. However, such instances are quite rare.
If you have a valid FASTag, you should never pay cash at any toll booth that is equipped with FASTag system. Also note that FASTag system is controlled entirely by your service provider and NHAI. Toll booths are just facilitators in the process. So, if you have any issues related to FASTag transaction, you need to approach your service provider or NHAI and not the toll gate operator.
Make sure you have adequate money in your bank account or digital wallet that is linked to your FASTag. You can access your FASTag account online and also via the FASTag app. You can access your transaction history and load money as needed. You will also be getting SMS and email alerts for all your FASTag transactions. To encourage FASTag deployment, government is currently offering a cashback of 2.5%. This is applicable for all National Toll payments done using FASTag in FY 2019-20.
FASTag has been implemented across the nation, which makes it a massive system to manage. You may encounter bugs and glitches sometimes, but rest assured that it is definitely a revolutionary and highly efficient toll collection system.
* With inputs from HV Kumar Group on Facebook.