Union minister Nitin Gakdari on Thursday stated that FASTags will be mandatory for vehicles from January 1, 2021.FASTags, which facilitate electronic payment of fee at toll plazas, was introduced in 2016. Making the tags compulsory would also help in ensuring that vehicles pass seamlessly through the toll plazas as fee payment would be done electronically.Addressing a virtual function on Thursday, he also said that FASTag will be useful for commuters as they will not have to stop at toll plazas for cash payments. Besides, it will also help save time and fuel, he added.FASTag was launched in 2016 and four banks together issued nearly a lakh of them. By 2017, their numbers went up to seven lakh and more than 34 lakh FASTags were issued in 2018.In November this year, the ministry issued a notification also making FASTag mandatory from January 1, 2021 for old vehicles or that were sold before December 1, 2017.
As per the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, since December 1, 2017, FASTag had been made mandatory for registration of new four-wheelers. It was also mandated that the renewal of fitness certificate of a transport vehicle will be done only after the vehicle concerned has a FASTag.For National Permit vehicles, the fitment of FASTag was mandated since October 1, and 2019.A valid FASTag would be made compulsory for getting new third party insurance. This would come into force from April 1; 2021.The ministry said that steps for ensuring availability of FASTag through multiple channels are being taken. They would be available at physical locations as well as online, The National Toll Collection (NETC) programme has been implemented on a pan-India basis in order to remove bottlenecks and ensure seamless movement of traffic and collection of user fee as per the notified rates using passive Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology.