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PAN Card- What is PAN, How to apply Pan card online

Updated on: 27 Mar, 2024 12:20 PM

A Permanent Account Number (PAN) card is a unique 10-character alphanumeric identifier issued by the Income Tax Department in India. It serves as a vital proof of identification and is necessary for various financial transactions, such as filing income tax returns, opening a bank account, buying or selling assets, and more.This is shared across the country and hence no two people on tax-paying entities can have the same PAN.

PAN Card

What is a PAN Card?

A PAN card (Permanent Account Number) is a unique 10-character alphanumeric digit issued by the Income Tax Department of India to individuals, companies, HUF and other entities. It is used for tracking financial transactions and to help prevent tax evasion. The PAN card includes basic personal details like:-

  1. Your Full Name
  2. Photograph of the cardholder
  3. Father's Name (Mother's name in case of a single parent)
  4. Date of Birth
  5. PAN Number
  6. Your Signature

Through your PAN number, the Income Tax Department keeps an eye on all your transactions that require your PAN Card, like depositing money in your Fixed deposit account over Rs 50,000 once, buying, selling, or renting a property in India, etc. The PAN card is also required for opening a new bank account, filing income tax returns, and conducting financial transactions above a certain limit. The PAN card is valid for a lifetime and is unique to each individual, company, HUF, or other entity that holds it.

PAN Card – Overview

Topic Information
Authority issuing PAN Income Tax Department, Govt. of India
PAN Customer Care Number 020 – 27218080
Inception of PAN Card 1972
Validity Of PAN Card Life Time
Cost of PAN Card Rs. 110
Number Of Enrolments 25 crore (approximate)

What is the significance of each character in your PAN card?

To understand the significance of each character in your PAN card, let’s take an example—ABCPP1234F.

Breaking it down:

  • First 3 characters: "ABC" - This represents the alphabetic series currently running.
  • 4th character represents the status of the cardholder. Like, "P" - is an individual. C’’ stands for Company, ‘F’ stands for firm/limited liability partnership, ‘H’ stands for Hindu Undivided Family (HUF), etc.
  • The 5th character(P) represents the first letter of the last name of the individual and the first letter of the name in case of non-individual.
  • Next 4 characters: "1234" - Sequential numbers.
  • 10th character(F) - The alphabetic check digit.

Who is eligible to apply for a PAN card?

Individuals, companies, non-resident Indians, or anyone in India are eligible to apply for a PAN card.

What is the importance of a PAN Card?

PAN number creates your identity in front of the Income Tax Department. The department identifies you with a 10-digit number mentioned on your PAN Card. From filing returns to paying taxes to get refunds and for all the communications with the Income Tax Department, PAN is a prerequisite. The Income Tax Department mandates you to have PAN Card in the following circumstances-

  • When you are liable to pay income tax, i.e., if your income exceeds Rs. 2,50,000/- in a financial year;
  • When TDS is deducted from your income;
  • Where you are a professional or businessman and your gross receipts exceed Rs. 5 lakhs in a year;
  • Where you are an importer or exporter, who is required to obtain Import Export Code;
  • Where you are a charitable trust who is required to furnish return under Section 139(4A); and
  • When you intend to enter into any specified financial transactions in which quoting of PAN is mandatory

Well, not only the Income Tax Department but other institutions also require quoting of pan mandatorily in the following specified transactions:

1. Opening:

  • A New Bank Account;
  • A new DEMAT Account

2. Applying for:

  • A credit card or debit card;

3. Payments to:

  • Life insurance premium when the total amount paid during the year exceeds Rs.50000
  • Mutual fund/company / RBI for acquiring units/debentures/bonds issued by it when the total amount paid during the year exceeds Rs.50000.

4. Sale or purchase of

  • Immovable property for an amount exceeding Rs. 10,00,000
  • Securities or shares for an amount exceeding Rs. 1 lakh per transaction;
  • Motor vehicle or vehicle other than two-wheeled vehicles (inclusive of any detachable side-car having an extra wheel);
  • Goods and services of any nature other than those mentioned above for an amount exceeding Rs. 2 lakhs per transaction.

5. Time deposits with a banking company, post office, Nidhi Company or any NBFC of the amount exceeding Rs. 50,000 in a day or Rs. 5 lakhs in a year

6. Payments in cash:

  • To hotels and restaurants for bills exceeding Rs. 50,000;
  • For purchase of bank drafts / pay orders/banker's cheques from a banking company or a co-operative bank an amount exceeding Rs. 50,000 during a day

7. A cash deposit of Rs. 50,000 or more with any bank during one day;

8. Payment for travel to any foreign country or purchase of foreign currency for an amount exceeding Rs. 50,000;

What is the importance of a PAN Card for a non-resident individual?

  • Applying for a credit card or debit card;
  • Payments in cash to hotels and restaurants for bills exceeding Rs. 50,000;
  • Payment in connection with travel to any foreign country or for purchase of foreign currency for an amount exceeding Rs. 50,000;
  • Payment in cash for an amount exceeding Rs. 50,000 during any one day for the purchase of bank drafts / pay orders / banker's cheques from a banking company or a co-operative bank;
  • Payment of an amount exceeding Rs. 50,000/- to RBI for acquiring the bonds issued by it;
  • Sale or purchase of goods and services of any nature other than those mentioned above exceeding an amount of Rs. 2 lakhs per transaction;
  • Payment in cash or by way of a bank draft / pay order/banker's cheque of an amount exceeding Rs. 50,000 in a financial year for one or more pre-paid
  • payment instruments issued by RBI to a banking company or a co-operative bank or to any other company or institution.

Documents for PAN

Here's a list of commonly accepted documents:

  • Proof of Identity (POI):
    • Aadhaar Card issued by the UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India)
    • Voter ID card
    • Passport
    • Driving License
    • Ration card having a photograph of the applicant
    • Arm's License
    • Pensioner Card with photograph
    • Photo identity card issued by the Central Government or State Government or Public Sector Undertaking
    • Central Government Health Service Scheme Card or Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme photo card
    • Certificate of identity in original signed by a Member of Parliament or Member of Legislative Assembly or Municipal Councillor or a Gazetted Officer, as per Annexure I in the PAN application form.
  • Proof of Address (POA):
    • Aadhaar Card issued by the UIDAI
    • Voter ID card
    • Passport
    • Driving License
    • Electricity bill
    • Landline telephone bill
    • Water bill
    • Bank account statement
    • Depository account statement
    • Credit card statement
    • Employer certificate (in case of government employees, public limited companies, and scheduled banks)
  • Proof of Date of Birth (DOB):
    • Birth certificate issued by the Municipal Authority or any office authorized to issue Birth and Death Certificate by the Registrar of Birth and Deaths
    • Passport
    • Matriculation certificate
    • Pension payment order
    • Marriage certificate issued by the Registrar of Marriages
    • Driving License
    • Domicile certificate issued by the government
    • Affidavit sworn before a magistrate stating the date of birth

Please note that you need to submit self-attested copies of these documents along with your PAN card application form. Additionally, the originals should be available for verification at the time of submission.

How to apply for a PAN?

You can apply for a PAN card either online or offline. Here are the steps for both methods:
Online Application: Online application cne be made by both NSDL website or UTIITSL website.

Steps to apply for a PAN card online via the NSDL website:-

  1. On the official website of NSDL, select the PAN card application- - 'New PAN Indian Citizen (Form 49A)'
  2. Fill in the required personal and contact details such as name, address, phone number, email ID, etc.
  3. Pay the application fee through credit/debit card, demand draft, or net banking. An acknowledgment will be displayed once the payment is successful. You will receive the same via email id too.
  4. Send the required documents through courier/post to the NSDL office, in Pune. Once the documents are received, the PAN application would be processed by NSDL. Once the NSDL verifies the application and documents, it will issue the PAN card in 15 days.

Steps to apply for PAN card online via UTIITSL website:-

  1. Fill the PAN card application available on the website.
  2. Pay the application fee. An acknowledgment will be displayed, once the payment is successful. It will also be sent to your email ID.
  3. Send the documents to the UTIITSL office by courier within 15 days of online submission of Form 49A.
  4. The UTIITSL will process the application and documents and issue the PAN card within 15 days.

Offline Application:

  1. Download Form 49A or 49AA from the official website of NSDL or UTI or collect a physical copy from any authorized PAN agency.
  2. Fill in the form with the required personal and contact details.
  3. Attach the necessary documents, including proof of identity, address, and date of birth.
  4. Pay the application fee through demand draft or by cash (at authorized PAN agencies only).
  5. Submit the application form along with the documents and fee at any authorized PAN agency or send it by post to the nearest NSDL or UTI office.
  6. Note down the acknowledgment number given by the authorized agency for future reference.

After applying for a PAN card, you can track the status of your application online through the NSDL or UTI website by using the acknowledgment number. It typically takes around 15 to 20 days to receive your PAN card.

Furthermore, the Finance Minister had officially launched the "Instant PAN" facility. It is now possible to get an instant PAN card by quoting your Aadhaar number in just a few minutes. This facility can be availed free of cost. Read more here.

Types of PAN Card forms

People can apply for a PAN card by filling out Form 49A or Form 49AA.

  • Form 49A – Application for allotment of PAN to be filled by the Indian citizens / Application of request for new PAN Card or/and changes or corrections in PAN
  • Form 49AA - Application for allotment of PAN to be filled by foreign citizens.

In the case of a company that has not been registered under the Companies Act, 2013, the application for allotment of Permanent Account Number (PAN) may be made in FormNo.INC-7 specified u/s 7(1) of the said Act for company incorporation.

How to Update/Edit PAN Details?

How to Update PAN Card Online?

To update your PAN card details online via the NSDL (Protean) portal, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Visit the official website of NSDL E-Governance:
  • Step 2: Under the Services section, click on "PAN".
  • Step 3: Click on "Apply" under the "Change/Correction in PAN Data" section.
  • Step 4: From the ‘Application Type’ dropdown menu, select ‘Changes or Correction in existing PAN data/Reprint of PAN Card (No changes in Existing PAN Data)’.
  • Step 5: Choose the correct category of the assessee from the ‘Category’ dropdown menu. For example, if the PAN is registered in your name, select ‘Individual’ from the list.
  • Step 6: Enter your name, date of birth, email address, and mobile number.
  • Step 7: Fill the Captcha and click on “Submit”.
  • Step 8: Your request will be registered, and a Token Number will be sent to the email ID provided by you. Proceed by clicking the button given below it.
  • Step 9: You will be redirected to the PAN card update form. Choose the option to submit scanned images through e-Sign on NSDL e-gov.
  • Step 10: Fill in all necessary details such as your father’s name, mother’s name (optional), your Aadhaar number, and click "Next".
  • Step 11: You will be redirected to a new page to update your address.
  • Step 12: Upload all necessary documents such as proof of address, proof of age, proof of identity, and PAN.
  • Step 13: Sign the declaration and click “Submit”.
  • Step 14: You will be directed to the payment page. Choose your preferred payment method and complete the payment.
  • Step 15: Upon successful payment, an acknowledgement slip will be generated. Print it and send it to the NSDL e-gov office along with physical proof of documents. Affix two photographs and sign across them. Write ‘Application for PAN Change’ on top of the envelope along with the acknowledgement number.

NSDL Mailing Address:

NSDL e-Gov at Income Tax PAN Services Unit,
NSDL e-Governance Infrastructure Limited,
5th Floor, Mantri Sterling, Plot No. 341,
Survey No. 997/8, Model Colony,
Near Deep Bungalow Chowk, Pune – 411 016

Note: Fees for the correction or update of PAN details are applicable.

For PAN card update via the UTIITSL portal, follow the steps below:-

To update your PAN card details online via the UTIITSL portal, here are the steps with some additional information:

  • Step 1: Visit the UTIITSL website.
  • Step 2: Under the PAN Card Services section, click on “Apply PAN Card”.
  • Step 3: Select the “Change/Correction in PAN Card” tab, then click on “Click to Apply”.
  • Step 4: Choose “Apply for Change/Correction in PAN Card Details”.
  • Step 5: Select the mode of document submission, enter your PAN, choose the PAN card mode, and then click on the “Submit” button.
  • Step 6: Re-enter your PAN and click on “Ok”.
  • Step 7: After your request is registered, you will receive a reference number. Click on “Ok” to proceed.
  • Step 8: Enter your name, address, and other necessary details, then click on the “Next Step” button.
  • Step 9: Verify your PAN and proceed to the next step by clicking on the “Next Step” button.
  • Step 10: Upload the required documents and click on the “Submit” button.

Upon completion of these steps, your PAN correction/update request will be processed. Typically, it takes around 15 days for the PAN correction/update process to be completed. You will receive a text message on your registered mobile number once your updated PAN card is dispatched via post.

How to Update PAN Card Offline?

  • Step 1: Download the PAN card correction form PDF from the respective websites of NSDL (Protean) or UTIITSL.
  • Step 2: Fill out all the mandatory fields in the form carefully. Ensure that the information provided matches the details you want to update on your PAN card.
  • Step 3: Attach the supporting documents required for the update, such as proof of identity, proof of address, and passport size photographs. Make sure these documents are valid and up-to-date.
  • Step 4: Once you have completed the form and attached the necessary documents, visit the nearest NSDL collection center or PAN center.
  • Step 5: Submit the filled-out PAN card update form along with the supporting documents to the authorized personnel at the center.
  • Step 6: Pay the applicable charges for the PAN card update or correction. The charges may vary depending on the type of update required.
  • Step 7: After the submission, you will receive a 15-digit acknowledgement number. Keep this number safe as it will be used to track the status of your PAN card application.

Note: Make sure to double-check all the information provided in the form before submission to avoid any delays or errors in the update process. It's also advisable to retain a copy of the filled-out form and the documents submitted for your records.

By following these steps, you can update your PAN card offline through either NSDL (Protean) or UTIITSL.

What happens in case of any contravention relating to PAN?

In case, if you contravene any provision relating to Section 139A i.e. PAN, then you will be liable for a penalty amounting to Rs. 10,000/- per default u/s 272B of the Income Tax Act, 1961. The contraventions can be any of the following:

  • Not obtaining a PAN when you are liable to obtain one;
  • Knowingly quoting an incorrect PAN in any documents;
  • Intimating an incorrect PAN to the person who is liable to deduct tax at source (TDS);
  • Intimating an incorrect PAN to the person who is liable to collect tax at source (TCS);
  • Obtaining two PAN's.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q- Can we file ITR if PAN is inoperative?

If your PAN is inoperative because you missed linking it with Aadhaar by the deadline i.e. June 2023, you can still proceed with filing your income tax return. However, the verification process will not be done using Aadhaar OTP. Instead, you can use alternative options such as generating Electronic Verification Code (EVC) via net banking, ATM, or other prescribed methods.

It's essential to note that the process of filing income tax returns remains the same even if your PAN is inoperative. You can simply log in to your account on the income tax e-filing portal and follow the steps outlined for filing income tax returns. This typically involves navigating to the e-file section, selecting the option for income tax return filing, and proceeding with the necessary details and documentation. However, ITR filed with an inoperative PAN will not be eligible to claim refund or interest on such refunds. For claiming refund, aadhar and PAN linking is mandatory.

Q- I applied for a PAN some time ago and haven't received it yet; what to do?

In any such case, where you have applied for a PAN card and wondering where it is, simply just track the status of your PAN card with the help of the acknowledgment number issued at the time of applying for a PAN or consult our experts.

Q- Can I have two PAN cards?

No if you have more than one PAN, surrender it immediately to the income tax department. A penalty of Rs. 10,000 can be imposed or legal action can be taken in such a case.

Q- Can I apply for a PAN on behalf of someone else?

Yes, you can apply for a PAN on behalf of the following persons:

  • A minor
  • A lunatic or mentally unstable person;
  • A deceased person; or
  • Such other persons who are required to be represented by an Authorized Representative.

Q- I have lost my PAN card, how to get it re-issued?

In case you have lost your PAN card, you need to apply for re-issuing or re-printing of your PAN card by submitting a valid ID, address, and DOB proof along with an attested photocopy of the old PAN card. Remember, do not apply for a new PAN card altogether.

Also, if you think it’s a long and tedious process, you can easily apply for a duplicate PAN card. Applicants can ask the Income Tax department, which is responsible for issuing PAN cards, for a duplicate copy in a virtual or physical form. Read more here.

Q- How can I download a PAN card?

You can download a PAN card soft copy (e-PAN card) through the NSDL portal with your Acknowledgement number as well as your PAN and date of birth

Q- How can I contact NSDL?

You can find the contact details here.

Q- Can we get PAN Card for minors?

ITR filing is mandatory for all including minors. And when the income of the minor child exceeds Rs 2,50,000, which is chargeable to Income Tax, he cannot quote PAN of his parents or guardian and will be required to have his own PAN card. The Income Tax (IT) department has not mentioned any age limit to apply for a PAN card. Thus, even minors are eligible to apply for a PAN card.

Q- What does 1st letter in PAN stands for?

The first three characters of PAN are alphabetic series between AAA to ZZZ. For instance, the beginning of your PAN could be BSN or AOZ; it is selected randomly.

Q- What does the 10th letter in the PAN card stand for?

The 10th letter in the PAN is the alphabetic check digit, and it is generated through a formula of other numbers.

Q- Is PAN id different from other ID proofs?

Yes, totally. Other ID proofs such as Aadhaar Number Cards, Driving License, Passport, etc., are issued to only Indian citizens. At the same time, a PAN card can be issued to non-citizens/foreigners too who have dealt in specified transactions stated above, as it is not proof of Indian Citizenship.

Q- Does the PAN card have a phone number?

No mobile number is not mentioned on the face of the PAN card. However, if you want to update the mobile number registered with the department, you can do so by logging into your account on the income tax website.

Q- How can I check my PAN card details?

Log onto the Income Tax Department e-Filing website. Click on the 'Verify Your PAN details 'hyperlink from the 'Quick Links' Section. Enter the PAN, Full Name (As per PAN), and Date of Birth, and Choose the 'Status' as applicable. Enter the Captcha as in the image and click on 'Submit' to verify your PAN details.

Q- How can I retrieve my PAN number?

If you want to know your Permanent Account Number (PAN) after the card is lost, the best thing to do is visit Click on ‘Know Your PAN’. Fill in the details asked for. Click on ‘Submit.’ Enter the OTP sent on the mobile number. Click on ‘Validate’, and then the screen will appear with all the details required.

Q- Will PAN cards become non-operational after the option to use Aadhaar for filing ITR?

The option to interchangeably use Aadhaar and PAN card for filing Income Tax Return is just an additional facility. It will facilitate those who do not have PAN cards but are willing/liable to file ITR. This new provision in no way will replace a PAN card with Aadhaar. Instead, the income tax department will suo moto (without receiving the application from the assessee) issue a PAN card in such cases.

Q- Is it legal to have two PAN cards?

As per the Income Tax law, holding two PAN is not allowed. Therefore, if you are holding Two PAN, you must surrender one PAN. PAN can be surrendered online or offline. Also, you must write a letter to your assessing officer regarding the surrender of the PAN.

Q- My address has changed, do I need to apply for a new PAN card?

No. A change in address is just a change in your jurisdiction and assessing officer, and no application for a new PAN is required in such a case. Only the change in address must be intimated to the income tax department for successful updation of their database for future correspondence.

Q- I am not a citizen of India, is the procedure for applying for PAN different for me?

No, the procedure for applying for a PAN is the same for every individual, whether an Indian citizen or a Foreign citizen. The only difference being Form 49AA is to be filled and submitted through an authorized representative at any authorized PAN center instead of Form 49A. However, you may find the online mode of application easier and more convenient, which provides for online payment of fees using various options.

CA Abhishek Soni
CA Abhishek Soni

Abhishek Soni is a Chartered Accountant by profession & entrepreneur by passion. He is the co-founder & CEO of Tax2win is amongst the top 25 emerging startups of Asia and authorized ERI by the Income Tax Department. In the past, he worked in EY and comes with wide industry experience from telecom, retail to manufacturing to entertainment where he has handled various national and international assignments.