PAN Card - What is PAN Card, Overview, Importance, Types and Eligibility

By Mayashree Acharya


Updated on: Jun 24th, 2024


9 min read

PAN (Permanent Account Number) is a 10-digit identification number assigned to all taxpayers in India. PAN is an electronic system that records all tax-related information for a person/company against a single PAN number. This acts as the primary key for the storage of information and is shared across the country. Hence no two tax-paying entities can have the same PAN. 

PAN Card Image

PAN Card Overview

Authority Issuing PANIncome Tax Department, Govt. of India
PAN Customer Care Number020 – 27218080
Inception of PAN Card1972
Validity Of PAN CardLife Time
Cost of PAN CardRs. 66 - Rs. 1,017
PAN Card Application ModeOnline and Offline

What is PAN Card?

The Income Tax Department issues a PAN card containing a unique 10-digit PAN (Permanent Account Number). The PAN acts as an identity proof of an individual or entity for various purposes. All tax-related information of a person is recorded against that person’s PAN.

PAN is a unique 10-digit alphanumeric character, while the PAN card is a physical or digital card containing the PAN and other important information about the person.

As per the new format of PAN cards introduced by the Income Tax Department on 1 January 2017, all PAN cards will contain a Quick Response (QR) code carrying the cardholder’s details. This code can also be used for data verification. It will also contain the cardholder's name, father's name, date of birth, and signature.

PAN Card Contents

PAN card contains various information, which are as follows:

  • Name of the cardholder – Name of the individual, partnership firm, LLP or company.
  • Name of the father of the cardholder – Applicable for only individual cardholders. The father’s or mother’s name (in case of single parent) will be printed.
  • Date of birth – The cardholder’s date of birth in the case of an individual or the date of registration in the case of a company or firm.
  • PAN Number – It is a 10-digit alpha-numeric number. Each character represents information about the cardholder.
  • Signature – Applicable for only individual cardholders. PAN card also acts as proof of the individual’s signature required for financial transactions.
  • Photograph of the individual – PAN acts as a photo identity proof of the individual. In the case of companies and firms, no photograph is present on the card.

Structure of Permanent Account Number (PAN)

It is a 10-digit alphanumeric number and each character represents distinct information of the cardholder.

  • The first 3 letters – These are purely alphabetical in nature and contain three-letter of the alphabet from A to Z.
  • The 4 letter – The fourth letter is an alphabet that represents the category of the taxpayer. The various entities and their respective characters are as follows:
    • A – Association of Persons
    • B – Body of Individuals
    • C – Company
    • F – Firms
    • G – Government
    • H – Hindu Undivided Family
    • L – Local Authority
    • J – Artificial Judicial Person
    • P – Individual
    • T – Association of Persons for a Trust
  • The 5 letter – The fifth letter is the first letter of the individual’s surname
  • The next 4 letters – The next 4 characters are purely numerical in nature and are numbers between 0-9. 
  • The last letter – The last one letter is an alphabet.

Types of PAN

These are the different types of PAN card issued to tax-paying entities in India:

PAN Card Forms

There are 3 types of PAN card applications, which are as follows:

  • Form 49A - Indian citizens, including minors, NRIs, citizens located outside India, Indian companies, Indian firms and Indian BOI/ AOP who do not have a PAN card must fill out this form to get a PAN.
  • Form 49AA - All foreign citizens who require a PAN must file this form.
  • Changes or Corrections in existing PAN/ Reprint of PAN card - People who already have a existing PAN but need to make changes or corrections in their PAN card data must apply this form. However, people who want to reprint the existing PAN card without any changes can apply for reprint of PAN card application.  

PAN Card Eligibility

All Indian citizens and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) are eligible to apply for a PAN card. All artificial entities, such as companies, firms, association persons, Hindu undivided families, etc., are also eligible to apply for a PAN card. However, a PAN card is mandatory for all persons who pay taxes in India and carry out financial transactions in India. 

PAN Card Apply

A PAN card application can be submitted either online or offline in simple steps.

PAN card apply

Process to Apply PAN Card on NSDL 

  • Visit the official NSDL portal
  • Select the application type, category, enter the details and click ‘Submit’.
  • A message with a Token Number will be displayed which will also be sent to your email ID. Click on the ‘Continue with PAN Application Form’ button.
  • Select the mode of submission of documents and if physical PAN card is required. Fill out the form and upload the required documents.
  • Pay the processing fee and take the printout of the acknowledgement number or reference number.
  • If you have selected to send documents physically, you need to send the documents and filled out application to the Income Tax PAN Services Unit of the Protean eGov Technologies Limited. 

The PAN card will be dispatched within 15-20 days of submitting the application online or to the Income Tax PAN Services Unit office.

Process to Apply PAN Card on UTIITSL

  • Visit the UTIITSL website.
  • Click on the ‘Click to Appy’ option under the ‘PAN Card for Indian citizen/ NRI’ or ‘PAN Card for foreign citizen’ tab.
  • Select the ‘Apply for New PAN Card’ tab.
  • Select the mode of submission of documents, status of applicant, PAN card mode and click ‘Submit’.
  • You will receive a reference number. Click on ‘OK’.
  • Enter the personal details, document details, contact and parents details, address details and other details and click ‘Next Step’.
  • Upload the required documents and click ‘Submit’. 
  • Verify the details on the form and click on the ‘Make Payment’ button to pay the fees.
  • Once the payment is successfully made, take the print out of the form. You need to send the form and the documents to the UTIITSL PAN PDC Incharge offices in Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai or New Delhi when you have selected to send documents physically.

Once the application is submitted online or reaches the UTIITSL office, PAN card will be processed and dispatched by 15 days.

Process to Apply for PAN Card Offline

  • Get the PAN card application from PAN centres. You can also download the ‘Form 49A for Indian citizens' or ‘Form 49AA for foreign citizens’ and the take the print out of the form. 
  • Enter the details on the form, affix the recent colour photo and signature.
  • Attach the required documents with the application.
  • Visit the nearest PAN centre, submit the form along with all the documents and pay the required fees. 

PAN Card Documents

The documents to be submitted along with PAN application for different types of applicants are as follows:

PersonsDocuments Required
Individual ApplicantProof of Identity - Aadhaar, Passport, Voter ID, Driving Licence, Ration Card,  Arm’s license, Pensioner card, Government photo identity card, Central Government Health Scheme Card
Proof of Address - Aadhaar, Passport of self/spouse, Voter ID, Driving Licence, Post Office or bank passbook, utility bills, property tax order, Domicile certificate, Property registration document, Employer certificate
Proof of Date of Birth - Aadhaar, Passport, Voter ID, Driving Licence, Matriculation certificate or marksheet, Birth certificate, Government photo identity card, Domicile certificate, Marriage certificate
Hindu Undivided FamilyAn affidavit of the HUF issued by the head of HUF along with POI/POA details
Company registered in IndiaCertificate of Registration issued by Registrar of Companies
Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)Certificate of Registration issued by the Registrar of Companies.
Partnership FirmsCertificate of Registration issued by the Registrar of Firms or Partnership Deed.
TrustCopy of Trust Deed or a copy of the Certificate of Registration Number issued by a Charity Commissioner.
AOP, BOI, Local Authority, or Artificial Juridical PersonCopy of agreement or copy of Certificate of Registration Number issued by Charity Commissioner or Registrar of Cooperative Society or any other competent authority.
ForeignersProof of Identity - Passport, PIO/ OCI card, Citizenship Identification Number or Taxpayer Identification Number duly attested by “Apostille” or the Indian Embassy or High Commission or Consulate
Proof of Address - Passport, PIO/ OCI card, Bank account statement, Certificate of Residence in India, Registration certificate issued by the Foreigner's Registration Office or visa granted and copy of appointment letter from Indian Company

PAN Card Fees

The following table provides the fees for PAN card application:

Mode of application submissionMode of Dispatch of PAN cardFees (Including GST)
PAN application submitted offline or online using physical mode of document submissionDispatch of physical PAN card in IndiaRs. 107
Dispatch of physical PAN card outside IndiaRs. 1,017
PAN application submitted online through paperless mode Dispatch of physical PAN card in IndiaRs. 101
Dispatch of physical PAN card in IndiaRs. 1,011
PAN application submitted offline or online using physical mode of document submissionDispatch of e-PAN card to the email IDRs. 72
PAN application submitted through paperless modeDispatch of e-PAN card to the email IDRs. 66

PAN Card Status

Once you submit the PAN card application, you can track the PAN application status by following the below process:

  • Visit the NSDL or the UTIITSL website.
  • Enter the acknowledgement number or the application number and captcha code and click 'Submit'.
  • The status of the PAN card application will be displayed on the screen.

PAN Card Download

When the PAN card is processed and generated, you can download the PAN card in digital form, i.e., e-PAN card, by following the below process:

  • Visit the NSDL or the UTIITSL website.
  • Enter the required details, such as acknowledgement number or PAN, date of birth, etc.
  • Enter the OTP, pay the fees (applicable for downloading e-PAN after 30 days of its allotment) and click ‘Download e-PAN’.

PAN Card Update/ Corrections 

The details of your PAN can be updated by the following process: 

  • Go to the NSDL portal or UTIITSL website.
  • Select the application type as “Changes or Corrections in existing PAN/ Reprint of PAN card".
  • Enter the details which needs to be changed, upload the documents and click on the “Submit” button.
  • Pay the processing fee.
  • PAN will be dispatched within 15 days.

Do's and Don'ts for Filling up PAN Form

  • Fill out the form only in English.
  • Make sure the form is filled only with current and relevant details.
  • Make sure that the full and complete address is filled for the PAN to be dispatched to the address.
  • Do not enter abbreviations in the First Name and the Last Name section. If your first name or surname has abbreviations, you must write the full name of the abbreviations. 
  • Applicants other than individuals need not fill in the gender, details of parents, and residence address section.
  • Individuals need not fill out the office address if their source of income is not salary, business or profession.
  • Individuals must leave the registration number section blank.
  • Attach relevant documents with your signature or thumbprints when self-attesting supporting documents.
  • Incorrect information and lack of support documents will cause the application to be rejected.

Duplicate PAN card

If you have lost your PAN card, you can apply for a duplicate PAN card online. The process to apply for a duplicate PAN card is as follows:

  • Visit the NSDL or the UTIITSL website.
  • Enter the required details, such as PAN, Aadhaar number, date of birth, GSTIN (if applicable) and captcha code and submit it.
  • Enter the OTP, pay the required fees and submit it.
  • The printed PAN card will be sent to the applicant's address.

Why do You Need PAN?

PAN card is required for various identity and financial purposes. It is a unique identification number that enables each tax-paying entity of India with the following:

  • Proof of Identity
  • Proof of Address
  • Mandatory for filing taxes
  • Registration of business
  • Eligibility to open and operate bank accounts
  • For phone connection and gas connection
  • Beneficial to complete e-KYC for mutual fund investments
  • Mandatory of bank deposits above Rs. 50,000 in a day
  • Mandatory for purchase of property and vehicles (except 2 wheeler)
  • Mandatory for all bank transactions more than Rs. 10,000

PAN for e-KYC (Know Your Customer)

PAN to Aadhaar linking is mandatory for e-KYC and verification to avail services and benefits from respective service providers. PAN for e-KYC is a large service requirement from many service providers and has huge benefits for the end-user and government as well. Here’s why :

  • The e-KYC process is paperless enabling a service provider to manage documents easily and efficiently.
  • PAN card holders can share information with a service provider through a secure channel within minutes, thus eliminating long waiting periods that physical documents would normally require.
  • Information shared between user and service provider is tamper-proof digital documents sent through secured channels, thereby protecting the holder’s information. These documents cannot be forged, nor can they be used without the consent of both the service provider and the PAN card holder.
  • Information shared by e-KYC contains authenticated data making it legal and acceptable for the parties involved in the transaction.
  • The entire system is paperless and online eliminating the physical movement of information making it a cost-effective and time-saving process.

Related PAN Content: 

  1. PAN Card Download
  2. Link Aadhaar to PAN
  3. Duplicate PAN Card
  4. Pan Card Status
  5. PAN Card Password
  6. Check PAN Card Status by Mobile Number
  7. Instant PAN Card Through Aadhaar
  8. PAN Card Apply Online
  9. PAN Card Customer Care Number
  10. PAN Card Fraud
  11. e PAN Card
  12. What to do if you have two PAN
  13. PAN Card Form 49A
  14. Aadhaar Card Pan Card Link Status
  15. PAN Aadhaar Link Penalty
  16. Minor PAN Card
  17. Landlord’s PAN Mandatory for HRA Exemption
  18. Link PAN Card with Bank Account Number
  19. PAN Card for Students
  20. Surrender PAN Card or PAN Card Cancellation
  21. Check PAN Active Or Inactive
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Frequently Asked Questions

Can a PAN card be made online?

Yes. PAN can be made online through the following steps:

  • Visiting the official PAN – NSDL/UTIITSL website.
  • Fill the form 49A or 49AA for (Indian/Foreigner) with your details.
  • Submit the required documents.
  • Pay the processing fee.
  • PAN will be dispatched within 15 days.
Where should the PAN card application be submitted?

The PAN card application with the affixed photograph and signature must submitted along with all relevant documents to the following address if it was applied online through the PAN-NSDL portal - 

Income Tax PAN Services Unit, 
Protean eGov Technologies Limited,
4th Floor, Sapphire Chambers,
Baner Road, Baner, Pune - 411045

If the PAN card application was filled out on the UTIITSL website, it must be submitted along with the documents to the UTIITSL's PAN PDC Incharge offices in Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, or New Delhi.

Can I correct the information on my PAN card?

Yes, you can get the information corrected on your PAN card by visiting the PAN-NSDL website or UTIITSL website and filling out the "Changes or Correction in existing PAN Data" form.

Is it an offence to have more than one PAN card?

Yes, having more than one PAN card is a punishable offence. If you have two PAN numbers, you will have to pay a penalty of Rs. 10,000. 

Can I apply for more than one PAN?

No, you cannot have more than one PAN number. Only one PAN is allotted to each individual or entity. 

Is it mandatory to link PAN-Aadhaar?

Yes, it is mandatory to link your PAN with your Aadhaar number. If your PAN is not linked with Aadhaar, your PAN number will become inoperative, and it cannot be used for financial transactions or filing income tax.

What is the fee for PAN card?

The PAN card fees vary depending on the mode of submission of documents (physical or paperless) and if physical or e-PAN is required. It varies from Rs. 66 to 1,017.

How to download PAN card easily?

You can easily download your PAN card by following the below process:

  • Go to the NSDL website or UTIITSL website.
  • Click on the ‘Download e-PAN' tab.
  • Enter the acknowledgement number or PAN. 
  • Enter the required details, captcha code and click the ‘Submit’ button.
  • Enter the OTP and click on the ‘Download PDF’ button.
About the Author

I am an advocate by profession and have a keen interest in writing. I write articles in various categories, from legal, business, personal finance, and investments to government schemes. I put words in a simplified manner and write easy-to-understand articles. Read more


Quick Summary

PAN is a 10-digit unique identification number for taxpayers in India, used for tax-related information and identity verification. PAN card contains personal details, is issued by the Income Tax Department, and comes in various types. Applications can be made online or offline, involving document submission. Fees vary based on the application mode and dispatch method. PAN is mandatory for tax payment, financial transactions, and other purposes.

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