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[Rajya Sabha TV – In-Depth] – FasTAG: No More Queues




fastag rstv debate


            Starting December 15th, all four-wheelers in India must have FASTag Radio Frequency Identification stickers on their windscreen to make payments at toll plazas on all national highways across the country. This means that from next month onwards, toll payments will be made only through FASTags under the National Electronic Toll Collection programme. The pan-India programme is intended to remove bottlenecks and ensure seamless movement of traffic. In case of non-compliance, double the toll amount will be charged for traveling through FASTag lanes without tags. There will of course be a hybrid lane as well, where the usual toll will be charged from non-FASTag vehicles.



  • FASTag is a simple to use, reloadable tag which enables automatic deduction of toll charges and lets you pass through the toll plaza without stopping for the cash transaction.
  • FASTag is linked to a prepaid account from which the applicable toll amount is deducted. The tag employs Radio-frequency Identification (RFID) technology and is affixed on the vehicle’s windscreen after the tag account is active.
  • FASTag is a perfect solution for a hassle free trip on national highways. FASTag is presently operational at 450 toll plazas across national and state highways.
  • More toll plazas will be brought under the FASTag program in the future.


What is Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) / FASTag?

  • NHAI has rolled out program for Electronic Toll Collection on Toll Plazas on National Highways to be called FASTag.
  • FASTag is a device that employs Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology for making toll payments directly from the prepaid account linked to it. It is affixed on the windscreen of your vehicle and enables you to drive through toll plazas.
  • FASTag has a validity of 5 years and after purchasing it, you only need to recharge/ top up the FASTag as per your requirement.
  • FASTag offers near non-stop movement of vehicles through toll plazas and the convenience of cashless payment of toll fee with nation-wide interoperable Electronic Toll Collection Services.


What are the benefits of using FASTag?

  • Ease of payment – No need to carry cash for the toll transactions, saves time
  • Near non-stop movement of vehicles leading to lower fuel cost.
  • Online Recharge – FASTag can be recharged online through Credit Card / Debit Card / NEFT/ RTGS or Net banking
  • SMS alerts for toll transactions, low balance, etc.
  • Online Portal for customers
  • Validity of 5 Years
  • Environmental benefit
  • Reduced air pollution
  • Reduced use of paper
  • Social benefit
  • Reduced toll payment hassles
  • Analytics for better highway management                               


On which highways / roads FASTag can be used?

FASTag is presently operational at 240+ toll plazas across National Highways. More toll plazas will be brought under the FASTag program in the future.

What are the charges for FASTag?

FASTag has a one time Fee of ₹ 200. The refundable security deposit depends on the vehicle type.

How will I get to know if and how much toll has been debited?

The customer will receive an SMS with requisite details to his registered mobile number as soon as the toll transaction takes place. Periodic statement of account may also be obtained on website of the Issuer Agency after registration by the customer.

I have two vehicles, can I use one FASTag for two vehicles?

You will need to take two separate FASTags for the two vehicles.

Can a FASTag bought for my one vehicle be used for another vehicle?

No, FASTag is issued to each vehicle based on KYC documents submitted. If a FASTag for instance bought for one Car is used for a Truck then such FASTag shall get blacklisted resulting into denial of vehicle passage from FASTag lanes on Toll Plazas. FASTag users are advised to desist from such practice.

What do I have to do if I lost my FASTag? What will happen to the account balance?

You will need to call customer care number of the issuer agency to block your FASTag. Once you take a new account, the issuer agency will transfer the balance to the new account.

How would I know that the correct user fee has been deducted from my FASTag account?

Customer will receive an SMS alert in your registered phone number each time an amount is deducted from your FASTag account. Fee payable on each toll plaza may be seen on in addition to displayed at concerned toll plazas.

What if I relocate to another City?

FASTag will work on all enabled toll plazas. In case of change in city or address, the customer should inform only the Issuer Agency.

Can one vehicle use more than one FASTag?

It is strictly prohibited to purchase two FASTag for one vehicle. In case of multiple FASTag, customer will be responsible for operational issues.


How does FASTag work?

  • The device employs Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology for payments directly from the prepaid or savings account linked to it.
  • It is affixed on the windscreen, so the vehicle can drive through plazas without stopping. RFID technology is similar to that used in transport access-control systems, like Metro smart card.
  • If the tag is linked to a prepaid account like a wallet, or a debit/credit card, then owners need to recharge/top up the tag. If it is linked to a savings account, then money will get deducted automatically after the balance goes below a pre-defined threshold.
  • Once a vehicle crosses the toll, the owner will get an SMS alert on the deduction. In that it is like a prepaid e-wallet.
  • A FASTag is valid for five years, and can be recharged as and when required.


What is RFID?

  • Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) is the use of radio waves to read and capture information stored on a tag attached to an object. 
  • A tag can be read from up to several feet away and does not need to be within direct line-of-sight of the reader to be tracked. 


How does a RFID system work?

  • A RFID system is made up of two parts: a tag or label and a reader.
  • RFID tags or labels are embedded with a transmitter and a receiver.
  • The RFID component on the tags have two parts: a microchip that stores and processes information, and an antenna to receive and transmit a signal.
  • The tag contains the specific serial number for one specific object. 
  • To read the information encoded on a tag, a two-way radio transmitter-receiver called an interrogator or reader emits a signal to the tag using an antenna.
  • The tag responds with the information written in its memory bank. The interrogator will then transmit the read results to an RFID computer program.
  • There are two types of RFID tags: passive and battery powered
  • A passive RFID tag will use the interrogator’s radio wave energy to relay its stored information back to the interrogator. 
  • A batter powered RFID tag is embedded with a small battery that powers the relay of information. 
  • In a retail setting, RFID tags may be attached to articles of clothing.
  • When an inventory associate uses a handheld RFID reader to scan a shelf of jeans, the associate is able to differentiate between two pairs of identical jeans based upon the information stored on the RFID tag. 
  • Each pair will have its own serial number.  
  • With one pass of the handheld RFID reader, the associate can not only find a specific pair, but they can tell how many of each pair are on the shelf and which pairs need to be replenished. 
  • The associate can learn all of this information without having to scan each individual item.

If you love RSTV debates, watch Frank Rausan Pereira’s Video below – where he is giving atalk of foreign relations at InsightsIAS Bangalore offline centre: