What is a FASTag scanner and how does it work?

Team Ackodrive6, Jun, 2022

FASTag enables cashless toll tax payment at toll booths through the RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology. With the electronic toll payment system, vehicles can quickly go across toll booths instead of waiting in long queues. 

Since 16 February 2021, it has been made mandatory for all four-wheeled vehicles to have a FASTag while crossing toll plazas on national highways. The FASTag scanner at a toll booth automatically detects the tag on a vehicle and deducts the required toll tax. 

Below are some of the key things you should know about the FASTag barcode scanner.

FASTag scanner

What is a FASTag scanner?

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has equipped toll plazas with FASTag scanners to enable electronic toll collection. So, you don’t have to use cash to make payments at toll plazas. Instead, you can keep on driving through the toll gate while the FASTag scanner detects the tag on your car to automatically deduct the toll amount. 

As your vehicle moves through the toll gate, the FASTag barcode scanner emits a signal to get a reading back from the FASTag on your car’s windshield. Upon successful reading of the tag, the scanner initiates the instant toll amount deduction via a digital wallet linked to your FASTag. However, you must ensure that your digital FASTag wallet has enough balance for successful payment deduction.

How does the FASTag scanner work?

To become eligible for automatic toll payments, you need to buy a FASTag for your car and install it on the car’s windshield. Also, you must keep enough balance in the digital wallet linked to your FASTag for a smooth experience while driving across toll plazas.

Here is how the FASTag barcode scanner works.

  • The NHAI has installed FASTag scanners at almost every toll booth situated on Indian highways.

  • The scanners use RFID technology to scan the FASTag on the windscreen of a vehicle passing through the toll gate. 

  • The scanner sends a signal to the FASTag on a vehicle to automatically deduct the required toll payment from the FASTag wallet. 

  • This toll payment system is swift, so one doesn’t have to wait at toll gates. The toll tax is collected while a vehicle passes through the toll booth with a brief moment of stop and go. 

Also, read: How To Buy FASTags Online?

What if the FASTag scanner doesn’t work at a toll booth?

Since the Government has made FASTags mandatory for four-wheelers in the country, the payments at toll booths are accepted through this automated system only. 

However, in the following situations, a scanner may be unable to deduct the toll payment via FASTag.

Damaged or expired FASTag

A scanner may not be able to read a FASTag if it is damaged or expired. The validity of a FASTag is 5 years after its activation. So, if you don’t renew it on time or it gets damaged, automatic toll payment won’t be possible.

In this condition, you will have to pay double the regular toll amount in cash at toll booths as per the Government guidelines. 

Damaged scanner

If a FASTag scanner at a toll booth doesn’t work, then you can cross the toll plaza without paying any money, given that there’s nothing wrong with your FASTag and you have enough balance in the FASTag wallet.

FASTag scanner isn’t working: situations and consequences

In a nutshell, the following two situations are possible if a FASTag scanner isn’t working.

Situation Consequence
Your FASTag is damaged or expired. You have to pay double the toll amount in cash.
There’s something wrong with the FASTag scanner at the toll booth. You can cross the toll plaza without paying the toll amount.

Can you track FASTag with mobile?

You can use a FASTag scanner app to buy FASTag, check balance, recharge, and track your expenditure at toll plazas via mobile. The NHAI has launched two mobile applications called My FASTag and FASTag Partner for such purposes.

  • My FASTag: This app is available for iOS and Android mobile users. It allows you to buy FASTags and manage FASTag accounts as well. One can track all transactions, recharge FASTags and submit any complaints.

  • FASTag Partner: NHAI has made this app available for partners who sell FASTags. Issuer banks, vehicle dealers and other agencies can use this app to sell FASTags and enrol users. 

ACKO Drive also offers all the FASTag services via its mobile app/website. You can download the ACKO Drive app/visit the website to buy your FASTag instantly. The same app/website lets you check your balance in the wallet and recharge your FASTag.

Frequently asked questions

Below are some of the frequently asked questions about FASTag.

What if I don’t get a FASTag for my car?

As the FASTag system of toll payments are mandatory, you must get a FASTag for your vehicle. In case you don’t buy a FASTag for your vehicle, crossing toll plazas will cost you more than usual. 

According to the Government guidelines, four-wheelers with no FASTag need to pay twice the regular toll charges at every toll booth across the national highways in the country.

What are the ways to recharge a FASTag?

There are both online and offline facilities available to recharge a FASTag. You can use cash to recharge at toll plazas. Most toll plazas have booths present with an executive available to top up your FASTag account. 

Apart from the offline method, you can also recharge your FASTag online via the My FASTag app using digital payment methods such as net banking, debit/credit card, and UPI. 

Can I check my FASTag wallet balance on the My FASTag app?

Yes, you can use the My FASTag app on your mobile phone to check your FASTag wallet balance. Below are the steps you can follow for the FASTag balance check.

  • Step 1: Download the My FASTag app on your mobile phone.

  • Step 2: Use your credentials to log in to the app.

  • Step 3: Select the ‘FASTag balance’ option to check the amount available in your wallet.

Can I activate my FASTag using the My FASTag app?

Yes, you can follow these steps to activate your FASTag via the My FASTag app.

  • Step 1: Download the application on your mobile phone.

  • Step 2: Enter details such as your RFID number, vehicle registration number, etc.

  • Step 3: Click on the ‘Activate’ button to activate your FASTag.

Is it possible to use one FASTag for two cars?

Each FASTag is assigned to a particular registration number. Hence, you can use one FASTag for the same vehicle you registered it for. Thus, one FASTag can’t be used for two cars at once.

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