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What is a PAN card?

Permanent Account Number usually known as PAN card number is a unique ten-character alpha-numeric code issued under Section 139A of the Income Tax Act by the Indian income tax department. It isn’t acknowledged as proof of Indian citizenship as it can be issued to anyone who applies for it even the foreign nationals. It is a mandatory document while making any kind of monetary exchanges in order to eliminate tax evasion. Other procedures like opening a bank account, purchase and sale of properties, vehicles, getting a new landline connection or mobile connection also consider pan card as a significant document. Foreign nationals who wish to invest in India can also apply for the pan card.

Eligibility for PAN card

  • Eligibility criteria for Indian citizens – Individuals who are Indian citizens can apply for a pan card just by providing legitimate proof of identity, address, and date of birth. A representative on behalf of mentally challenged individuals can apply by providing the required details of both the applicant and the representative. If a company wants to apply for a pan card they should be enlisted with the Registrar of Companies.
  • Eligibility criteria for citizens with foreign nationality – Foreign citizens with valid identity and address proofs are eligible to apply for a pan card. Similar to Indian companies, foreign companies with proper registration can get pan card.

Documents required for PAN card –

  • Indian citizens – Individuals who have citizenship of India can provide their Aadhaar card, driving permit, voter’s ID card, etc. as proof of identity and for validation of date of birth. They can use their electricity bills, statements of bank account, etc. for proof of address.
  • Foreign nationals – They need to provide their passport, visa granted by any other foreign country, copy of Person of Indian Origin (POI) card issued by the government of India, etc. as a proof for identity and address.

How to apply for a PAN card?

You can apply for a pan card using the online portals or by visiting any PAN agencies in your district. Indian citizens or companies can apply by filling out Form 49A. Similarly, Form 49AA can be used by foreign citizens or entities to apply for a pan card.

  • Online Portals – You can apply for a pan card using either NSDL (National Securities Depository Limited) or UTIITSL (UTI Infrastructure Technology and Services Limited) portal. You can get both the above-mentioned forms on these portals. Use the following steps to get a pan card online using NSDL or UTIITSL portal.
  1. Click on PAN under the Services tab. Then click on apply in the PAN section.
  2. You will find both types of form there. Select the one which is applicable for you. You can also go through the guidelines for more clarity.
  3. After filling out the required form you will be taken to the payment page where you will be asked to pay the mandatory processing fees.
  4. Next, you will get a page with a 16 digit acknowledgment number which is important while you track your pan card status. Print that page and attach two passport sized photographs along with the required documents as discussed earlier.
  5. Within 15 days after submitting the online application you need to send the above to the NSDL office by post.
  6. After completion of the procedure pan card will be sent to the address provided by you within 15 working days.
  • Offline Procedure –
  1. In the offline procedure, you need to download the form applicable for you from any of the websites.
  2. Similar to the online procedure you need to fill the hardcopy of the form and attach the required documents along with the photographs.
  3. Go to the NSDL office submit the form along with the payment of processing fees.
  4. After completion of the procedure pan card will be sent to the address provided by you within 15 working days.

How to track PAN card status?

Once you apply you can also track your pan card application status easily. In order to get information about the pan card status, you need to use the acknowledgment number you received after submitting the form on NSDL or UTI portal. Use the following simple steps to track the status of your pan card application process.

  • Track PAN card status using UTIITSL portal –
  1. You need to visit
  2. Enter your application coupon number.
  3. Enter the captcha code and submit.
  4. Once you hit submit you will get your pan card status.
  • Track PAN card status using UTIITSL portal –
  1. Visit to track your pan card status.
  2. In the application type drop down select “PAN – New/ Change Request”
  3. Enter the acknowledge number you received previously.
  4. Enter the captcha code and submit.
  5. Once you hit submit you will get your pan card status.

Kindly make a note that a person can track the pan card status only after 7 days of filling their application using the NSDL or UTI portal.

Even though pan card is not proof of Indian citizenship still it is quite mandatory in required places. So if you don’t have one you can easily apply for it as discussed above.

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