FASTags were introduced for easier inter-city travel as the tag allowed automatic payment of toll tax at each toll plaza. Although the government promoted the use of FASTags and in some cases made them mandatory, many vehicle owners ignored them. However, in a recent draft released on 1 September by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, the government stated its intention to make FASTags compulsory for vehicles. But before we come to the new proposal, let’s have a quick understanding of what a fastag is.
What is FASTag?
FASTags is a prepaid tag affixed to the windshield of vehicles. The tag is brought in either through a bank or mobile wallet and attached to the same. Once you recharge FASTag, it has a balance just like your mobile wallet. Subsequently, whenever you cross any of the toll plazas, the FASTag will be scanned and the applicable toll will be deducted from the balance in the FASTag. You can recharge FASTag at any time and by any amount and the tag is a valid lifetime. Every vehicle requires an independent FASTag. FASTag allows you to drive easily without having to wait in line for payment of toll tax.
What were the earlier rules on FASTags?
After the FASTags were introduced, the government made them compulsory for four-wheelers for the purpose of registration. This mandate became effective from 2017. The government asked vehicle manufacturers or their dealers to supply new vehicle owners with the required FASTags. In addition, for transport vehicles that renewed their fitness certificates, vehicles were allowed to renew only after the FASTags fitted on them. For national permit vehicles, FASTags were made mandatory from 1 October 2019.
What change does the government want?
In the circular issued by the Ministry, the following changes were proposed by the government to promote the use of FASTag –
- When they purchase a third party insurance policy, FASTags become necessary for new vehicles. This mandate will be effective from April 1, 2021. Festag details will be recorded in third party insurance policy
- From 1 January 2021, FASTags will be made mandatory for vehicles sold before December 2017
What does it mean to you?
If you are planning to buy a new vehicle in the next financial year, after the rule is passed you will have to opt for FASTag to insure the vehicle. In addition, for vehicle owners who have purchased their vehicles before 2017, it will be necessary to have FASTag. Both of these changes will have a positive effect on you when you are traveling inter-city. The payment of toll tax will become easy and you will not have to pay the required tax in cash.
The government has introduced this rule to ease traffic flow on highways and to ensure that payment of toll tax is still not avoided. Once the proposed change becomes the rule, travel will become easier and convenient. However, you should fit your vehicle with FASTag whether the proposed change becomes a rule for your own convenience or not.