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Everything You Need to Know About FASTag & RFID Technology

  • Akansha Sharma
  • Feb 12, 2024
  • RFID
FASTag and RFID Technology

"FASTags and RFID tags both use radio frequency-based identification however FASTag windshield tags work on UHF 865-867 MHz frequency, and are mandated for electronic toll collection in India, unlike LF and HF RFID tags. "

Highways & Expressways are necessary to improve roadway connectivity for most of the population between different cities and states. In order to maintain these infrastructures, the government charges the citizens a nominal fee for traveling on them. This charge is known as a toll, you may have seen big tool plazas while traveling on these roads. In the last couple of years, the government of India has introduced the FASTag system to automate toll booths.

Let’s explore what exactly is a FASTag and what is its relation to RFID technology.

What is a FASTag?

FASTag is the latest in toll plaza technology used by the government of India and operated by the NHAI (National Highway Authority of India). As the name suggests, this technology uses a system of smart tags to automate toll booths and plazas. The FASTag system uses radio waves to identify vehicles & automatically deduct toll charges. This provides many benefits over the traditional toll systems, such as:

1. Creates minimum disruption to the flow of traffic

2. Decreases the number of employees needed at the toll plaza, and provides better allocation of human resources

3. Decreases the cost of tolls, by decreasing the operation cost of toll booths

4. Reduces the reliance on physical currency while traveling

Everything You Need to Know About FASTag & RFID Technology

RFID Tag vs FASTag: How an RFID Tag is different than a FASTag?

The RFID technology uses a smart tag and an RFID Reader to perform the automatic data capture and identification. An RFID tag is designed with a microchip to store the unique identifier which is accessed using an RFID reader. 

FASTag uses the same technology. There is no difference between a FASTag and an RFID tag except that FASTags are UHF RFID labels that are used on vehicle windshields whereas RFID tags are of various kinds namely LF RFID labels, HF RFID labels, and UHF RFID labels as well as battery-powered active RFID tags. 

FASTag is a type of Windshield RFID tag used to provide access control to vehicles past a toll plaza. It is now mandated (w.e.f. January 1st, 2021) by the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways for all class M and N vehicles (four-wheelers and above with goods/passengers), used for electronic toll collection in India, same as FasTrak. 

Every FASTag contains a passive RFID inlay inside it, and every tool booth has an individual RFID reader. While mounting the tag, it is encoded with your vehicle identification data that is linked to a FASTag account.

The reader at the toll booth reads your tag and then accesses the database in the system to deduct the toll charge automatically from your account. This Electronic toll collection system in India also stores information regarding your vehicle, such as the plate number, time stamp, toll charge amount, and a picture of the vehicle and occupants.


The introduction of the FASTag system in India has significantly improved highway traffic between states. It has helped improve traffic congestion at toll plazas and overall improved the flow of national highway traffic. It also reduces any dependency on hard cash and helps maintain a transparent record of toll collection by the government. This system is easy to implement and is the next step in traffic/travel automation.

Frequently Asked Questions about FASTag

Q1. I have an RFID tag fixed on my new car, should I still buy a FASTag?

Ans - Although FASTag is a type of vehicle identification RFID tag, different tags store different information and may not have the same use. The tag can be a parking tag for your office, society, High-Security Registration Stickers, etc. 

A FASTag is different than any other RFID tag due to its unique use in toll collection and you will have to get a new FASTag on your car that is programmed with your unique vehicle information.

Q2. Why do I have to use one FASTag for one vehicle only?

Ans - A single FASTag can only be used on a particular vehicle because the chip is encoded with the identification information of the vehicle and vehicle owner. Therefore, every tag will have different information, even if it is owned by the same person.

Q3. Can RFID transfer to a new car?

Ans - No, most RFID tags that we use in vehicles are one-time use and programmed with vehicle ID information. Since, every vehicle has a different VIN Number, Number Plate, Vehicle Class, Vehicle Weight, FASTag ID, and Wheelbase, you need a new tag for each vehicle.

Q4. Can I pay in cash while crossing a FASTag toll lane?

Ans - Yes, there are a few scenarios when using a FASTag is not possible, like a damaged tag, low balance, lack of connectivity, lack of a FASTag, etc. In such scenarios, the government allows a person to use cash at toll booths. However, the cash toll charge is double that of the tag, so, you’re better off using the FASTag.

Disclaimer: The information presented here is for general information purposes only and true to best of our understanding. Users are requested to use any information as per their own understanding and knowledge. Before using any of the information, please refer to our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.

  • Created on May 22, 2023

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