A Permanent Account Number or PAN card is an important document in India. You’ll need it to file income tax returns, to make payments above Rs. 50,000, and even to open a bank account. A PAN card is a valid proof of identity in India and it can be issued to citizens of India (including minors), non-resident Indians (NRIs), and even foreign citizens. The procedure for application varies for these categories of people but if you are an Indian citizen and wondering how you can apply for PAN card online, we will give an answer in this guide.
These steps are for individuals only, and not for other categories under which a PAN card can be issued, such as an association of persons, body of individuals, company, trust, limited liability partnership, firm, government, Hindu undivided family, artificial juridical person, or local authority.
Documents required to apply for a PAN card online
Indian citizens need three types of documents to apply for a PAN card. These are an identity proof, an age proof, and a proof of date of birth.
Identity proof documents (one of):
- Elector's photo identity card
- Ration card having photograph of the applicant
- Driving licence
- Arm's license
- Aadhaar card issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India
- Photo identity card issued by the Central Government or State Government or a Public Sector Undertaking
- Pensioner Card having photograph of the applicant
- Central Government Health Scheme Card or Ex-servicemen Contributory Heath 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 the case may be
- Bank certificate in original on letter head from the branch (along with name and stamp of the issuing officer) containing duly attested photograph and bank account number of the applicant
Address proof document (one of)
- copy of the following documents of not more than three months old
- electricity bill
- landline telephone or broadband connection bill
- water bill
- consumer gas connection card or book or piped gas bill
- bank account statement
- depository account statement
- credit card statement
- copy of post office pass book having address of the applicant
- passport of the spouse
- voter ID card
- latest property tax assessment order
- driving licence
- domicile certificate issued by the Government
- Aadhaar card issued by the UIDAI
- allotment letter of accommodation issued by the Central Government or State Government of not more than three years old
- property registration document
- certificate of address signed by a Member of Parliament or Member of Legislative Assembly or Municipal Councillor or a Gazetted Officer
- employer’s certificate in original
Proof of date of birth (one of):
- birth certificate issued by the Municipal Authority or any office authorised to issue Birth and Death Certificate by the Registrar of Birth and Deaths or the Indian Consulate as defined in clause (d) of sub section (1) of section 2 of the Citizenship Act, 1955 (57 of 1955)
- pension payment order
- marriage certificate issued by Registrar of Marriages
- matriculation certificate
- driving licence
- domicile certificate issued by the Government
- affidavit sworn before a magistrate stating the date of birth
If you are looking to get a PAN card for any category other than individual, the full list of valid documents for a PAN card is on the Income tax department’s website.
How much does it cost to apply for a PAN card online
For Indian citizens, applying for a new PAN card costs Rs. 116 (plus online payment charges or around Rs. 5). The fee is Rs. 1,020 for foreign citizens (with around Rs. 5 as online payment charges).
How to apply for PAN Card online
Follow these steps to apply for a PAN card online in India:
You can apply for a PAN card online either via NSDL or UTITSL websites. Both have been authorised to issue PAN cards in India. For this tutorial, we will show you how to apply for a PAN card via the NSDL website.
On the page linked in the previous step, you will see a form titled Online PAN application. Under Application Type select New PAN - Indian Citizen (Form 49A). If you’re a foreign national, select New PAN - Foreign Citizen (Form 49AA).
Select the category of PAN card you need. For most people, this will be Individual.
Now fill in your personal details such as name, date of birth, mobile number, etc., enter the captcha code and click Submit.
Now you have three choices — authenticate via Aadhaar to avoid sending any documents, scan documents and upload them via e-sign, or to physically submit documents.
We chose to authenticate via Aadhaar as all it needs is an OTP and payment. If you don’t want that option, the steps for the other two are similar except the part where you have to send documents.
Enter all details such as Aadhaar number (optional) as requested on screen, and click Next.
This step requires you to fill in your name, date of birth, address, etc. Do that, and click Next.
Now you will hit the banana skin that’s the AO code (Assessing Officer code). This looks complicated but is actually quite simple. Just select one of the four choices at the top — Indian Citizens, NRI and Foreign Citizens, Defence Employees, or Government Category.
Then under Choose AO Code, select your state and area of residence. Wait for a few seconds and you will see a full list of AO codes in the box below. Carefully scroll and look for the category that applies best to you. There are different categories for companies, non-salaried people, government servants, private sector employees, etc. If you don’t know which category you fall under, contact a chartered accountant to find out. Click on the correct AO code and it’ll be auto-filled in the form above. Click Next.
Select the documents you have submitted as proof of age and residence from the drop-down menu, fill in required details, and then click Submit.
Now you will be redirected to the payment page and you can choose one of many common online payment methods. The fee for PAN card applications for Indian citizens is Rs. 115.90 inclusive of all taxes. A small fee is added to this as online payment charges so the total works out to around Rs. 120.
Once you have paid, you will be asked to authenticate via Aadhaar OTP, or submit documents via e-sign, or to physically send the documents to NSDL. You will also receive an email acknowledgement from NSDL about your application and your PAN card will be couriered to you once the application has been processed. Keep the acknowledgement number handy, we recommend that you either save it somewhere safe or print it.
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