By December 1st, the tollways will officially make the shift to cashless transaction, which means you will not be able to use any of the expressways if your car doesn’t have a legit RFID sticker or tag. Predictably, as the date draws nearer, countless motorists are panicking. In fact, we just got a message from a province-based reader who was fretting about his trip to Metro Manila by the second week of next month.
Good news: The Department of Transportation doesn’t want people to panic. The agency has sent us a fresh batch of answered questions for everyone’s peace of mind (if you missed the first one, read it here).
QUESTION #1: Does the installation of RFID tags end by December 1?
No, it doesn’t. December 1 is not the deadline for RFID installation. It is, however, the date when toll operators start implementing 100% cashless transaction. Installation of RFID stickers will continue for first-time toll users and new-car owners.
QUESTION #2: How and where to get an RFID sticker?
There are several ways to do this:
- Book an RFID sticker appointment online and then go to the installation site on the appointed date;
- Visit an installation site that is not covered by the online appointment system;
- Request an off-site RFID sticker installation schedule in your area; or
- Have the RFID sticker installed at the tollgate (or at an installation site near the tollbooth).
QUESTION #3: There are motorists who are now panicking since the online appointment schedule is now mostly full. What should they do?
If the slots in the online appointment system are full, there’s no need to panic. If you don’t have RFID by December 1, then you may have an RFID tag installed at the tollgate. There will be dedicated RFID installation lanes for this, and there are tollgate personnel who will assist you.
If necessary, all toll lanes may be converted to stickering lanes after December 1. This means those cars without RFID can line up at any lane they choose. From December 1 until January 11, RFID stickering will be conducted around the clock (24 hours) at the tollgates.
QUESTION #4: Will the authorities apprehend owners of cars without RFID stickers beginning December 1?
From December 1 up to January 11, no such citations will take place. After January 11, however, not all lanes will offer RFID installation. After that date, we will only have just one or two lanes that will give motorists the opportunity to receive an RFID sticker. Now, if a car without RFID lines up for a tollbooth that doesn’t offer RFID installation, said vehicle will receive a citation.
QUESTION #5: For those who live in faraway provinces and don’t really use the expressways, are they also required to have an RFID tag installed on their cars?
Yes, if they intend to use the expressway. They can time their RFID installation with their trip schedule. The expressways will always have a dedicated RFID stickering lane even after the transition phase (or after January 11, 2021).
QUESTION #6: What happens if your RFID tag doesn’t have sufficient load or amount?
During the transition phase (from December 1 to January 11), you may load up at the tollbooth and the barrier will be lifted after this. Or they may lead you to the side so a tollgate staff member can top you up using a loading device.
QUESTION #7: Does the RFID load have an expiration date?
No, it doesn’t.
QUESTION #8: Where can you complain if you have a problem with your RFID?
Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation
- Phone: 8-555-7575 and 1-35000
- E-mail: [email protected]; [email protected]
- Facebook: NLEX Corporation (nlexexpressways); Easytrip Services Corporation (easytripph)
San Miguel Corporation
- Autosweep: (02) 5-318-8655 (TOLL)
- Website: www.autosweeprfid.com
Toll Regulatory Board
- Phone: (02) 8631-5901
- Smart: (0919) 560-9527
- Globe: (0915) 163-6468
QUESTION #9: After the transition period (or after January 11, 2021), what will be the traffic violation imposed upon a car that doesn’t have an RFID sticker but lines up in an “RFID ONLY LANE”?
It’s either “Disregarding Traffic Sign” or “Obstruction,” depending on whether there are other vehicles that are inconvenienced.
QUESTION #10: Does DOTr have a plan to integrate the RFID stickers used on different tollways?
As previously answered, the integration of all RFID systems is a project called “Toll Interoperability.” It has been an ongoing project since 2017. This has three phases:
- Phase 1 – Cashless payments
- Phase 2 – One RFID and two wallets (the single RFID will be readable both on north and south expressways, but you still need to maintain two wallets, meaning you have to purchase load for each toll system)
- Phase 3 – One RFID and one wallet