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PAN card: Your complete guide to its uses and application process

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Check out our guide on PAN, an identity card issued to all taxpayers in India.

A PAN card is an identity proof issued by the Income-Tax Department to all taxpayers in India. A PAN card carries a 10-digit alpha-numeric PAN number of the person in whose name it has been issued. The PAN number is mandatory for performing any tax-related tasks in the country.

The PAN card is also a valid photo identification, accepted by all government and non-government institutions in the country. All the financial information about an individual or entity is recorded against their PAN card number.

Providing your PAN number is compulsory for any Income Tax Department transaction or other financial transactions, such as opening a bank account, depositing cash in a bank account, opening a Demat account, selling and purchase of immovable properties and dealing in securities.


PAN card: Your complete guide to its uses and application process PAN card format

The first five digits in a PAN card are letters, the next four digits are numbers and the last digit is again a letter. A typical PAN card number would look something like this:

PAN number structure

The first three characters in your PAN are random letters from A to Z.

The fourth character in your PAN reveals your status, which could be:

  1. P: Person
  2. H: HUF
  3. C: Company
  4. F: Firm
  5. A: Association
  6. T: Trusts
  7. G: Government
  8. L: Local authority
  9. J: Artificial judicial person
  10. B: Body of individuals

The fifth character in your PAN card represents the first letter of your surname.

The remaining characters are random.

E-PAN card: What is an ePAN?

An ePAN is a digitally signed, electronic PAN card. It is proof of allotment of your PAN card. In other words, an ePAN is a PAN card provided in a PDF format.

An ePAN carries the demographic details of the cardholder, including name, date of birth and picture. The details of the ePAN are recognised by a QR code scanner.

Once you apply for your e PAN card online, it will be sent to your registered email ID. The charges for an e PAN card are different from a physical PAN card. Unless you specifically mention that you also require a physical copy of the PAN card in your PAN application, you will receive only the e PAN card in your mail.

PAN card eligibility

All taxpayers in India are eligible to apply for a PAN card.

PAN card types

  1. Individual
  2. Hindu Undivided Family (HUF)
  3. Non-resident Indians (NRIs)
  4. Society
  5. Trusts
  6. Partnerships
  7. Firm
  8. Company
  9. Foreigners

PAN card forms

Form 49A: Indians have to submit Form 49A to apply for a PAN card.

Form 49AA: Foreign nationals have to submit Form 49AA to apply for a PAN card.

PAN card fee

You have to pay Rs 93 (excluding GST), to apply for a PAN card in India. Those applying for a PAN card from outside the country have to pay Rs 864, excluding GST. You can pay these charges by credit/debit card, demand draft or internet banking.

Can I have more than one PAN?

No, keeping more than one PAN is against the law and may attract a penalty of up to Rs 10,000.

What should I do if I have more than one PAN?

Submit a PAN change request application and mention the PAN that you are using at the top of the form. All other PANs allotted to you should be mentioned in ‘Item 11’ of the form. Copies of these PANs should be submitted for cancellation, along with the form.

Is it compulsory to link Aadhaar with a PAN card?

Under Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act, anyone who possesses a PAN card as of July 1, 2017, must link their PAN with their Aadhaar number. Section 139AA also mandates quoting of Aadhaar while applying for a new PAN and filing a tax return.

PAN card: Key facts
Introduced in: 1972
Issuing authority: Income-Tax Department
Issuing charges: Rs 93
Validity: Lifetime

PAN card customer care

NSDL e-Gov / Protean

PAN call centre : +91 020 27218080


Phone: +91 33 40802999

Email: utiitsl.gsd@utiitsl.com

PAN card: Did you know?

  • A PAN card is not proof of Indian citizenship.
  • Father’s name is not needed to apply for a PAN card.
  • You have to quote your PAN card for transactions above Rs 2 lakhs.

Documents needed for PAN card application

Your PAN card application must be submitted with one identity proof, one address proof and proof of your date of birth.

Documents for Indian citizens

Identity proof Address proof Date of birth proof
One of these documents: Aadhaar card, Voter ID, driving licence, passport, Ration card, arm’s licence, photo ID issued by a central or state public sector unit, pension card, Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) card or Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) photo card One of these documents: Aadhaar card, Voter ID, driving licence, passport of self or spouse, post office passbook, domicile certificate, allotment letter of accommodation issued by the central/state government (not more than three years old), latest property tax assessment order, property registration document One of these documents: Aadhaar card, Voter ID, driving licence, passport, matriculation certificate or mark sheet of recognised board, birth certificate, photo identity card issued by central or state PSBs, domicile certificate, Central Government Health Service (CGHS) scheme photo card or Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) photo card, pension payment order, marriage certificate, an affidavit sworn before a magistrate stating the date of birth
Certificate of identity in original, signed by a member of parliament (MP) or a member of legislative assembly (MLA) or municipal councillor or a gazetted officer Copy of the following documents (not more than three months old):(a) Electricity bill

(b) Landline telephone or broadband connection bill

(c) Water bill

(d) Consumer gas connection book or card or piped gas bill

(e) Bank account statement

(f) Depository account statement

(g) Credit card statement

Bank certificate in Original on letterhead from the branch (along with name and stamp of the issuing officer), containing a duly attested photograph and bank account number of the applicant Certificate of address signed by a member of parliament (MP) or a member of legislative assembly (MLA) or a municipal councillor or a gazetted officer
Employer certificate in original


List of documents for firms, BOI, AOP, AOP (Trust), local authority, company, LLP, artificial juridical person

Company Copy of registration certificate issued by the Registrar of Companies
Partnership firm Copy of partnership deed or copy of registration certificate issued by the Registrar of Firms
LLP Copy of registration certificate issued by the Registrar of LLPs
Association of Persons (Trust) Copy of registration certificate number or copy of trust deed issued by Charity Commissioner
Body of Individuals, Association of Person, Local Authority, or Artificial Juridical Person Copy of the agreement or copy of the registration certificate number issued by Charity Commissioner or Registrar of Cooperative Societies or any other competent authority or any other document from any central/state government department, establishing the identity and address of such person

How to apply for a PAN card?

Online PAN card application

  • Go to the NSDL or UTI portals.
  • Fill out the form, attach the relevant documents and pay the fee online.
  • Submit the form.


  • Buy the application form from an authorised centre.
  • Fill out the form and attach the relevant documents. Keep the processing fee handy.
  • Submit the form.

In either case, your PAN card will be dispatched to your address within 15 days of submitting your online PAN card application. Your PAN card comes to you in the form of a laminated plastic card.


How to apply for a correction on a PAN card?

For any change in your PAN card, intimate the Income Tax Department, by furnishing the details in the form of ‘Request for New PAN Card Or/And Changes Or Correction in PAN Data. This can be done online, as well as offline. To do it offline, you have to submit the request form at the nearest PAN facilitation centre.

You can also download the PDF form from https://www.incometaxindia.gov.in/Documents/form-for-changes-in-pan.pdf.


To do so online, through NSDL, visit https://www.onlineservices.nsdl.com/paam/endUserRegisterContact.html


 Online, through UTIITSL, visit  https://www.pan.utiitsl.com/panonline_ipg/forms/csfPan.html/csfPreForm


What is instant PAN?

Holders of Aadhaar cards can apply for an instant PAN or ePAN on the Income Tax Department portal. However, you have to meet the following conditions to apply for an instant PAN:

  1. You should never have been allotted a PAN.
  2. Your mobile number should be linked with your Aadhaar number.
  3. Your date of birth should be available on your Aadhaar card.
  4.   You should not be a minor on the date of application for PAN.


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