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FASTag, electronic-based highway toll collection tag has been made mandatory in India from January 2021. All vehicles going through the highway toll across the country need to have a valid FASTag for transactions.
Starting next year the highway tolls plazas will no longer accept cash as a mode of payment. All transactions will be made electronically using the FASTag. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways had issued a notification in November 2020 for making FASTag mandatory in 2021.
Apart from the toll collection, the FASTag has been made mandatory for vehicle's annual document renewals as well. This includes the third party insurance and the (PUC) Pollution Under Control emission certificate.
According to the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, the FASTag had been made mandatory for all registration of new four-wheeler vehicles. New vehicles will come with a FASTag fitted right from the factory. Customer looking to purchase a FASTag can get it from various online and offline options.
FASTag can be purchased from all national highway fee plazas, regional transport offices (RTOs), transport hubs, common service centres, as well as petrol pumps. Online options include bank portals such as HDFC Bank, State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Bank of Baroda, Axis Bank, City Union Bank. The tag is also available in PayTM and Amazon; among others.
Speaking about the FASTag itself, it uses an (RFID) Radio-frequency Identification technology that helps with vehicle identification and the account linked to the tag. The payment is made digitally through the FASTag linked to the bank wallet. FASTag will help with quick and easy transaction of toll collection and avoids any wait time at the toll plaza.
According to the latest report from (NHAI) National Highways Authority Of India, the toll collection through FASTag has crossed Rs 80 Crore on a single day. The milestone mark was achieved on December 24, 2020. Toll plazas across the country completed over 50 lakh transactions on the same day.
The FASTag has reached over 2.2 crore users since its inception in the country. There are several options included to recharge the FASTag. This includes Bharat Bill Payment System, UPI, online payments, My FASTag Mobile App, PayTM, Google Pay and more. Also, cash recharge facility is available near Toll Plazas for convenience of users.
Thoughts About The FASTag Becoming Mandatory For All Vehicles From January 2021
FASTag offers a simple and hassle-free form of toll payments across all national highways in the country. Due to the current trend of digitalization and contactless transactions, the Government has made the FASTag mandate. In addition to the toll payments, a valid FASTag is also needed for insurance and PUC certificate renewals.