The Indian Central Government has made FASTags mandatory for all vehicles since early 2021. Now, when you purchase a new car, they already come with a registered FASTag on the windshield. It is now an important part of the new car buying process for getting your vehicle registered.
While some consumers may crib about making the buying process even longer, it makes more sense in the long term. FASTag ensures the reduction of long waiting time at toll booths along state and national highways, but what is it exactly and how does it work? Today we take an in-depth look.
FASTag: What is it?
It is essentially an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Technology) tag that was introduced by the Government of India in late 2017. FASTag was developed specifically to reduce the waiting time for vehicles crossing the toll booths. You can recharge it through your digital wallet and bank account at any time, meaning you no longer have to wait to pay the designated amount every time as it will get automatically deducted once you pass the toll booth.
FASTag: How to buy and activate?
One can purchase FASTag by visiting any of the 38 authorized banks. You can also buy it from eCommerce sites such as Amazon. Once purchased, you have to get the chip activated at the toll booth.
You can activate your FASTag in two ways -
- You can visit your bank’s branch to purchase and activate your FASTag. The bank will link it with your existing account. You will also have to provide your KYC documents and the vehicle’s RC for the same.
- FASTag can also be DIY (Do It Yourself) - activated. Owners can download the FASTag app on their smartphones, which offers the option of linking the tag with any of their existing bank accounts.
FASTag: How to recharge?
Once you have successfully linked and activated your FASTag with your bank account, you do not have to actively recharge it. If your connected bank has a sufficient balance, the toll charge will be automatically deducted.
If your FASTag is linked to a prepaid wallet instead, there are multiple methods to recharge it like credit/debit cards, NEFT, UPI, and more. Do note that different payment methods will have different charges.
FASTag: Maximum Balance
The government has also implemented a maximum cap on the prepaid wallet. On a full KYC account, you can recharge a maximum balance of Rs 1 lakh and no limit on monthly reload. On a limited KYC account, you can recharge up to only Rs 20,000 in the prepaid wallet.