Next month, all major expressways in Luzon will go fully cashless... or so they say.

All motorists that want (or need) to use the expressway network will need to have radio frequency identification (RFID) tags fitted to their vehicles. No vehicle type is exempt from this rule, be it a small passenger car or big SUV under Class 1, or larger buses and trucks that are Class 2 or 3.

Lately, there has been some confusion as to which RFID tag applies to which highway. Two major companies handle the country's key expressways: San Miguel Corporation and Metro Pacific Investments Corporation. But who handles what? We'll sort it out for you.

SMC is the parent of the companies that operate the following expressways and toll roads:

1. SLEX - South Luzon Expressway

2. STARTOLL - Southern Tagalog Arterial Road Tollway

3. SKYWAY – Elevated expressway

4 TPLEX - Tarlac Pangasinan La Union Expressway

5. MCX – Muntinlupa Cavite Expressway

6. NAIAX – NAIA Expressway

RFID 101: Your guide to AutoSweep and EasyTrip installation sites image

MPIC is the parent of the companies that operate the following expressways and toll roads:

1. NLEX - North Luzon Expressway

2. NLEX Harbor Link

3. SCTEX - Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway

4. CALAX - Cavite Laguna Expressway

5. C5 LINK

6. CAVITEX – Cavite Expressway

The list doesn't include upcoming expressways yet, but those will fall under San Miguel or Metro Pacific. For instance, the Skyway Stage 3 (elevated road linking SLEX to NLEX) will be under San Miguel. That's not to be confused will be another under-construction (or planned) elevated road that will link both those expressways called the NLEX-SLEX Connector, and that will be under Metro Pacific. The latter will be rated more for trucks and will be essential for imports and exports as it will connect directly to the NLEX Harbor Link.

Here's where it gets interesting: San Miguel uses a system called AutoSweep RFID, while Metro Pacific calls their version EasyTrip RFID. However, those two systems are not interconnected in terms of payments, and that complicates things a little bit. That means motorists will have to affix two RFID tags to their vehicles, either on the headlights or on the windshield, depending on the installation guidelines.

RFID 101: Your guide to AutoSweep and EasyTrip installation sites image

That will be the new normal once the cashless system goes through. But let's try a few examples.

A motorist driving from Quezon City to Baguio will need an EasyTrip for NLEX and SCTEX but will need an AutoSweep for the TPLEX. A motorist coming from Bulacan going to Tagaytay will need EasyTrip for NLEX, then AutoSweep for Skyway (if Stage 3 is open) and SLEX, then EasyTrip again for CALAX.

So yes, all motorists that intend to take expressways will need both, just to be sure. Thankfully, these tags are easy to load at places like 7-11 or even via online banking, among many other over the counter methods.

Now we've come to the long bit: where to have these installed? Initially, some offered to sell DIY installation kits for these RFID tags, but they stopped that arrangement because some customers didn't follow the instructions, leading to issues at the toll gate and complaints. So, the installation will now be done only by authorized representatives.

For your convenience, here's the full list (so far) of installation sites (and reload sites) for RFID tags and accounts. We've also listed down their operating hours for your convenience.

RFID 101: Your guide to AutoSweep and EasyTrip installation sites image

AutoSweep RFID – For SLEX, SKYWAY, NAIAX, TPLEX, MCX, STARTOLL

1. SLEX Calamba toll plaza (Open 24 hours)

2. SLEX Southwoods NB toll plaza (Open 24 hours)

3. SLEX Eton NB toll plaza (Open 24 hours)

4. SLEX Southwoods CSC NB (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM)

5. SLEX Southwoods CSC SB (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM)

6. SLEX Ayala Greenfield CSC (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM)

7. SLEX Santa Rosa CSC NB (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM)

8. SLEX Santa Rosa SB (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM)

9. SLEX MaTES Office Silangan NB (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM)

10. SLEX Shell Mamplasan NB (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM)

11. SLEX Petron San Pedro (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM)

12. SLEX Shell Putatan SB (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM)

13. SLEX Filinvest toll plaza (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM)

14. SLEX Mamplasan NB toll plaza (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM)

15. SLEX Mamplasan SB toll plaza (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM)

16. SLEX Susana Heights SB toll plaza (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM)

17. SLEX Cabuyao SB toll plaza (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM)

18. STARTOLL Lipa CSC Tambo Exit (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM)

19. STARTOLL Petron Lipa (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM)

20. STAR TOLL Petron Malvar (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM)

21. STARTOLL Batangas Drive-Thru NB (6:00 AM to 6:00 PM)

22. STARTOLL Santo Tomas Drive-Thru NB (6:00 AM to 6:00 PM)

23. STARTOLL Lipa Drive-Thru SB (6:00 AM to 6:00 PM)

24. TPLEX Tarlac Main Office NB (Open 24 hours)

25. TPLEX Petron Pura Northbound (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM)

26. TPLEX Peron Pura Southbound (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM)

27. TPLEX Carmen toll plaza (7:00 AM to 4:00 PM)

28. TPLEX Pura toll plaza (7:00 AM to 4:00 PM)

29. TPLEX Rosario toll plaza (7:00 AM to 4:00 PM)

30. TPLEX Tarlac toll plaza (7:00 AM to 4:00 PM)

31. TPLEX Urdaneta toll plaza (7:00 AM to 4:00 PM)

32. TPLEX Victoria toll plaza (7:00 AM to 4:00 PM)

33. SKYWAY SOMCO Main Office (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM)

34. Petron NAIA (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM)

35. Petron Evia Daang Hari (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM)

36. Petron Dasmarinas EDSA (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM)

37. Petron C5 Taguig NB (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM)

38. Petron Valle Verde (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM)

39. Petron Commerce Avenue (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM)

40. Shell Magallanes (8:00 AM to 7:00 PM)

RFID 101: Your guide to AutoSweep and EasyTrip installation sites image

EasyTrip RFID – For NLEX, NLEX Harbor Link, SCTEX, CALAX, C5-LINK, CAVITEX

1. NLEX Petron Marilao NB (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Mon-Sat)

2. NLEX Shell Balagtas NB (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Mon-Sat)

3. NLEX Petron Balagtas SB (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Mon-Sat)

4. NLEX Drive & Dine SB (8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, Mon-Sat)

5. NLEX Petron Lakeshore NB (9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Mon-Sat)

6. NLEX Balintawak CSC (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM)

7. NLEX Balintaway AOVP (8:30 AM to 5:30 PM)

8. NLEX Bocaue AOVP (8:30 AM to 5:30 PM)

9. NLEX San Fernando (6:30 AM to 8:00 PM, Mon-Sat)

10. NLEX Tabang CSC (6:30 AM to 8:00 PM, Mon-Sat)

11. NLEX Mindanao POS (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Mon-Sat)

12. NLEX Balagtas Lane (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Mon-Sat)

13. NLEX Balagtas Tent (6:00 AM to 10:00 PM)

14. NLEX Marilao Lane SB (8:30 AM to 5:30 PM)

15. NLEX Karuhatan Lane (6:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Mon-Sat)

16. NLEX Angeles Tent (10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Mon-Sat)

17. NLEX Philippine Arena SB (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Mon-Sat)

18. NLEX Philippine Arena NB (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM)

19. NLEX Angeles Exit (8:30 AM to 5:30 PM)

20. SCTEX Tarlac toll plaza (9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Mon-Sat)

21. SCTEX Tipo toll plaza (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM)

22. CAVITEX CIC NB/Manila-bound (5:00 AM to 8:00 PM)

23. CAVITEX CIC SB/Cavite-bound (5:00 AM to 8:00 PM)

24. CAVITEX Kawit NB/Manila-bound (6:00 AM to 3:00 PM)

25. Shell C5/Heritage Park (10:00 AM to 7:00 PM)

26. Shell Magallanes (7:00 AM to 10:00 PM)

27. C5 Customer Service (8:30 AM to 5:30 PM, Mon-Sat)

28. CALAX Santa Rosa toll plaza (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM)

29. CALAX CSC Mamplasan (8:00AM to 5:00PM)

30. CALAX Mamplasan toll plaza entry (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM)

RFID 101: Your guide to AutoSweep and EasyTrip installation sites image

So far, these are all the ones we can track down, and some may have changed already or closed momentarily due to disinfection or other reasons. EasyTrip is a bit proactive and setting up some mobile caravans for motorists at selected malls for a few days at a time. You can check out their social media pages for such announcements.

Here's the interesting thing, though: if you need to get both an EasyTrip RFID and an AutoSweep RFID at the same time, the perfect place for you to go will be Shell Magallanes.

Both EasyTrip and AutoSweep have set up outlets there, making it a veritable one-stop-shop for your RFID tagging needs for all the major expressways. That also means this location might have long queues for customers.