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PAN Card – What is PAN, Eligibility, & How to apply for a PAN card Online?

Written by - Akshatha Sajumon

February 17, 2022 9 minutes

All taxpayers in India must furnish their Permanent Account Number (PAN) while filing income tax returns. It is mandatory for every taxpayer to obtain a PAN card since it is required to be quoted in all communications with the Income Tax Department in India.

What is PAN card?

The income tax department of India issues a card with a unique Permanent Account Number (PAN) and other identity details of the individual who has applied for a PAN card.

A PAN number is a unique, 10 digit alphanumeric code used to combine all transactions of an individual with the IT department. Some of the transactions could involve tax payments, TDS/TCS credits, etc.

Who can get a PAN card?

PAN card is issued to individuals, companies and partnership firms. It is mandatory for such entities to have a PAN number at the time of filing their income tax returns. Individuals, minors, students and Non-Resident Indians can also apply for a PAN card.

How to apply for a PAN card online and offline

A PAN card can be obtained in two ways. One can apply for it online or use the offline mode. Here, we will discuss the methods that can be used to apply for and get a PAN card:

Online PAN Card Application Process –

Here are the steps which are to be followed when applying for the PAN Card using the online mode of application and PAN card registration:

  1. Go to the NSDL or UTIITSL website for making an online application for a PAN card.
  2. Select the option ‘New PAN’ on the home page.
  3. Applicants must select the new PAN card form, which is, 49A. This is applicable for individuals irrespective of whether they are Indian Citizens, NRE/NRI or OCI Individuals.
  4. Fill the form with relevant details about the applicant.
  5. Applicants also have to pay the processing fee online or through a Demand Draft post submitting the form. This will initiate processing of the form.
  6. After paying the fees and submitting the PAN card Form 49A, a form containing the 15-digit acknowledgement number is provided.
  7. The acknowledgement form should be sent to the NSDL PAN office by courier within 15 working days of online submission of Form 49A. This has to be sent along with the relevant documents.

Once the acknowledgment form is couriered to the NSDL office, PAN number verification will be done, and the card gets generated after the NSDL PAN verification. The physical PAN card is sent within 15 days to the applicant’s address as mentioned on the form. 

Offline PAN Card Application Process –

An applicant can also apply for a PAN Card offline at any district-level PAN agency. Here is the process to be followed:

  • Download the PAN card application form from the NSDL or UTIISL websites or request a copy from UTIISL agents.
  • Fill in the form and attach relevant documents (proof of identity, address and photographs)
  • Submit the form along with documents to the NSDL office along with the processing fee.
  • The PAN card will be sent to the address stated on the form within 15 working days.

Documents required for a PAN card

While applying for a PAN Card, applicants must furnish some documents along with the PAN Card application form (Form 49A or Form 49AA) or the acknowledgment form (for those applying online) to complete the PAN card verification process. 

The document requirements may vary depending on the applicant category. Mentioned below is a list of documents required for PAN card application as per applicant category:

For an individual applicant:

  • Identity Proof – Copy of one among the following documents:
    • Any govt. issued ID–Aadhaar, DL, Voter ID, etc.
    • Arm’s License
    • Pensioner Card, which contains the applicant’s photograph
    • A photo ID card which is issued by Central Government, State Government or a Public Sector Undertaking
    • Central Government’s Health Scheme Card or Ex-Servicemen’s Contributory Health Scheme Photo Card
    • An original bank certificate which is issued on the bank’s letterhead from the branch of the bank and attested by the issuing officer. Such a certificate should contain an attested photograph of the applicant along with the bank account number.
  • An address proof which can be a copy of any one of the following:
    • Electricity, landline or broadband connection bill
    • Postpaid mobile phone bill
    • Water bill
    • LPG or piped gas connection bill or Gas Connection book
    • Bank account statement
    • Credit card statement
    • Deposit account statement
    • Post Office account Passbook
    • Passport
    • Voter’s ID Card
    • Driving License
    • Property registration document
    • Domicile certificate issued by the Indian Government
    • Aadhar Card
    • Original certificate from the employer provided that the employer is a reputed public or private corporation
  • Date of birth proof which can be a copy of any one of the following:
    • Birth certificate which is issued by the Municipal Authority or any authorized authority
    • Matriculation certificate
    • Pension Payment order
    • Passport
    • Marriage certificate issued by Registrar of Marriages
    • Driving license
    • Domicile certificate issued by the Indian Government
    • An affidavit sworn before a magistrate stating the applicant’s date of birth

For a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF),

  • An affidavit issued by the Karta of the HUF stating the name, address and the father’s name of every coparcener as on the date on which the application is made.
  • Identity proof, address proof and date of birth proof as in case of an individual for the Karta of the HUF.

For a company registered in India

  • A copy of the Certificate of Registration issued by the Registrar of Companies.

For firms and Limited Liability Partnerships formed or registered in India

  • A copy of the Certificate of Registration issued by the Registrar of Firms or Limited Liability Partnerships.
  • A copy of the Partnership Deed.

For Trust formed or registered in India

  • Copy of Trust Deed or a copy of the Certificate of Registration Number issued by a Charity Commissioner.

For an Association of Persons

  • Copy of Agreement/Certificate of Registration Number from Registrar of Co-operative Society or Charity Commissioner or other competent authority or any document issued by the Central/State Government which shows identity and address of applicant.

For individuals who are not Indian Citizens

  • A proof of identity which can be any one of the following:
    • Passport copy
    • Copy of PIO card issued by the Indian Government
    • Copy of OCI Card issued by the Indian Government
    • Copy of other national or citizenship Identification Number or TIN attested by applicable ‘Apostille’, Indian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate where the applicant is based.
  • Address proof can be any one of the following:
    • Passport copy
    • Copy of PIO card issued by the Indian Government
    • Copy of OCI Card issued by the Indian Government
    • Copy of other national or citizenship Identification Number or TIN attested by relevant ‘Apostille’, Indian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate
    • Copy of bank statement of the residential country
    • Copy of NRE bank statement in India
    • Copy of resident certificate or Residential permit
    • Copy of registration certificate issued by FRO
    • Copy of VISA granted and appointment letter from any Indian company

PAN card status

An applicant can track his/her PAN card application status online. This will help in knowing whether the card has been issued or not or whether it is under transit. The applicant can check PAN card status or the UTI PAN card status/NSDL PAN card status on the respective websites. PAN card status can be tracked online using the name, date of birth, and application acknowledgment number on the websites.

Requesting changes in a PAN card

Existing PAN cardholders can request changes in their existing PAN card details while retaining the PAN Number. Any changes in the details of a PAN card can be made by filling and submitting the correction form to the relevant authority.

Duplicate PAN card

In case of a lost PAN card, the applicant can request a duplicate card by submitting the required form and paying the applicable fee towards the application. 

What happens if you don’t have a PAN Card?

Here are some of the top reasons why one should have a PAN card:

  • Without a PAN card, one cannot make financial transactions above Rs. 50,000
  • PAN is mandatory for buying or selling an asset or property
  • PAN card is essential while filing Income Tax Returns
  • Application for credit card/loan will be rejected in absence of a PAN card.


Today, the PAN card has become one of the must-have documents in India, especially for taxpayers. Therefore, it is important to know some of the basic details of a PAN card along with aspects such as the application process, documents required, eligibility criteria, etc. 


  1. What are the charges for a PAN card application?
    The PAN card application form can be availed for free. For the PAN card application process, a charge of Rs. 107 is levied on applicants residing in India and Rs. 1,017 is applicable to those residing outside India.
  1. Can minors apply for a PAN card?
    Yes, minors can apply for a PAN card. A representative assessee can represent a minor in making an application.
  1. What happens if a citizen or tax-payer does not have a PAN Card?
    In absence of a PAN card, a flat 30% tax may be applicable on a taxpayer’s earnings and wealth. The applicant cannot purchase a vehicle, open a bank account, buy an immovable property above Rs. 10 lakhs etc. Businesses without a PAN card cannot conduct financial activities and procurement.
  1. How long is a PAN card valid?
    A PAN number is a unique identifier for a taxpayer and once allotted, it remains valid for a lifetime.
  1. Do mutual fund investments require a PAN number?
    Yes, it is important to furnish a PAN number while investing in any mutual fund. Since this is part of the KYC process, an investor cannot proceed with the investment without furnishing it.

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