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What is a PAN Card?

The full form of PAN in PAN card is Permanent Account Number, which contains a mix of alphabets and numbers. This 10-digit number is issued by the Income Tax Department and is mandatory for all taxpayers to get one.


Your PAN card serves as a crucial identifier for numerous purposes. With a PAN card, you can get a loan, file your tax returns, open a bank account, get credit for TDS and more. 


A PAN number serves as a tool against tax evasion. 


You can submit the PAN card in the electronic or physical format.


Components of a PAN Card

A PAN card contains several components that each offers essential information about the cardholder. If you already have a PAN card, or if you are going to apply for one, you need to know what details your card will contain. Check out the key components you can find on a PAN card. 

  • The Permanent Account Number

  • The name of the cardholder (first name, middle name and last name)

  • The name of the cardholder’s father (first name, middle name and last name)

  • The date of birth of the cardholder in DD/MM/YYYY format

  • The signature of the cardholder

  • The cardholder’s photograph


Nowadays, PAN cards are being printed with an Enhanced Quick Response (QR) Code to make verification easier. In the case of PAN cards of persons other than individuals (such as partnership firms, Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs), companies etc.), the PAN card will not have any father’s name or signature. 


The PAN itself can give you many insights into the person who owns the card. The string of digits used in making up the Permanent Account Number consists of the following alphanumeric characters: ABCPD1234Z


Let’s decode what each of these characters represent.

  • The first 3 characters are always alphabets in any random order from AAA to ZZZ. 

  • The fourth character is also an alphabet, and it represents the category of the PAN cardholder, as follows:

  • P represents a person or individual 

  • A represents an Association of Persons (AOP)

  • B represents a Body of Individuals (BOI)

  • C represents a company

  • F represents a Partnership Firm

  • G represents a government body

  • H represents a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF)

  • J represents an Artificial Judicial Person

  • L represents a Local Authority

  • T represents a Trust

  • The fifth character represents the first letter of the cardholder’s name. 

  • The next four characters are numbers in any random order, from the sequence 0001 to 9999.

  • The tenth and last character is an alphabet that is used as a check digit. It is generated by an algorithm that takes the previous nine characters into account, and it makes the PAN unique by ensuring that no two Permanent Account Numbers are the same. 

How to Apply for a PAN Card

In India, there are two entities that are authorised to issue PAN cards, namely the NSDL (now renamed as Protean eGov) and the UTI Infrastructure Technology And Services Limited (UTIITSL). You can apply for your PAN card online or offline through any of these authorities. 

Here is an overview of how you can apply for your PAN card from the Income Tax Department using these channels. 

1. PAN Card Application on NSDL - Online

  • Step 1: Visit the NSDL website and choose the type of PAN application. 

  • Step 2: Select the category of persons you belong to and fill in the details required in the ‘Applicant Information’ section. 

  • Step 3: Check the box to accept the terms and conditions and enter the captcha code shown on the page. 

  • Step 4: Click on ‘Submit’ and then select the ‘Continue with the PAN Application Form’ option on the next page.

  • Step 5: Choose whether you want to submit your PAN application documents digitally through e-KYC or e-Sign, or forward the application with the documents physically. 

  • Step 6: Enter the details required in the online form. 

  • Step 7: Click on ‘Submit’ to proceed.

  • Step 8: On the new page, choose to pay for your PAN card application either through a demand draft or through online payment modes like net banking, a debit card or a credit card.

  • Step 9: After making the payment, you will get a receipt. 

  • Step 10: Courier a copy of the supporting documents, the payment receipt along with two recent photographs to the issuing authority.

2. PAN Card Application on UTIITSL - Online

  • Step 1: Visit the UTIITSL website and choose the mode of PAN card application, namely physical or digital. 

  • Step 2: Select the category of persons you belong to and choose whether you want a  physical PAN Card and e-PAN, or just an e-PAN. 

  • Step 3: Fill in the details required in the online form, like your personal details, document details, address and other relevant information.

  • Step 4: Upload the documents necessary, verify the details entered in the form and click on ‘Submit’.

  • Step 5: Then, pay for your PAN card application online via different modes like netbanking, credit card or debit card, using any of the payment gateways supported, such as PayU India or BillDesk.

  • Step 6: Save the acknowledgement or receipt that will be generated for your payment.

  • Step 7: Print the form, add 2 passport-size photographs, and affix your signature in the relevant fields. 

  • Step 8: Submit the form and the copies of the documents online. 

  • Step 9: Your PAN card will be issued after your documents are processed.

3. PAN Card Application - Offline

  • Step 1: Go to the Protean eGov Technologies Limited’s website and select the ‘PAN’ option in the ‘Downloads’ section. 

  • Step 2: Select the relevant form for PAN application and download the same. 

  • Step 3: Then, fill in the details required in the PAN application form accurately and completely.

  • Step 4: Include copies of all the documents required, as well as two recent passport size photographs.

  • Step 5: You should also include a demand draft for the fee payable and mention the details of the acknowledgement number on your envelope. 

  • Step 6: Once you have affixed all the necessary documents and photos, send them all along with the form to the following address:


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 – 411016

Who Can Apply for a PAN Card?

According to the Income Tax Act, 1961, the following individuals and entities can apply for a PAN card in India.

  • An individual who is liable to pay taxes to the Income Tax Department. 

  • Any individual whose annual turnover from their business or profession is at least ₹5 Lakhs or more. 

  • A minor individual, if any investments are made in their name or if they’re listed as a nominee for a property. 

  • All entities classified as trusts, associations, charitable organisations.

  • Other tax paying entities like limited liability partnerships, partnership firms, Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs), limited companies, and local authorities. 

  • Importers and exporters who are required to pay any kind of taxes under the Income Tax Act, 1961 or other laws.  

Documents Required to Apply for a PAN Card

To apply for a PAN card, you’re required to submit a filled in PAN application form along with a set of documents. Here’s a quick overview of what they are. 

  • Individuals: Identity proof and address proof such as Aadhaar, Voter’s ID, or Passport 

  • Companies: Incorporation certificate issued by the Registrar of Companies 

  • Partnership Firms and LLPs: Partnership deed or Incorporation certificate issued by the Registrar

  • Associations or Trusts: Trust deed or registration certificate issued by the Charity Commissioner, Registrar of Cooperative Societies, or any other competent authority 

  • Hindu Undivided Families: An affidavit from the Karta with all the details of the coparceners 

  • Foreign Applicants: Passport, Person of Indian Origin (PIO) card, or Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card. 

Types of PAN Cards

Depending on the category of person, PAN cards from the Income Tax Department can be of different types, such as those listed below.

  • Individual PAN card

  • PAN cards for Hindu Undivided Family (HUF)

  • Company PAN card

  • PAN cards for partnership firms

  • PAN cards for trusts

  • PAN cards for societies

  • PAN card for foreigners 

  • Minor PAN card

Uses of a PAN Card

A PAN card has many beneficial uses. You need a PAN card for the following purposes in India.

  • Opening a bank account

  • Filing your Income Tax Returns (ITRs)

  • Applying for a debit or a credit card

  • Submitting a proof of identity for various purposes

  • Buying or selling a vehicle

  • Purchasing jewellery and bullion

  • Converting money from one currency to another

  • Availing a loan

  • Opening a fixed deposit

Link Your PAN Card with Aadhaar & Banks

According to the directives of the government of India, individuals with Aadhaar were required to link their PAN on or before 31st March, 2023. A small fee of ₹1,000 will be levied for this linking from 1st July, 2022. Similarly, all bank accounts are also required to be linked with the PAN of the account holder. Here’s the step by step process that you would have to follow to link your PAN with Aadhaar and bank accounts.  

1. Linking PAN with Aadhaar 

  • Step 1: Visit the following link - https://www.incometax.gov.in/iec/foportal/

  • Step 2: Click on the ‘Link Aadhaar’ option under ‘Quick Links’. 

  • Step 3: Enter your PAN and your Aadhaar number in the relevant fields and click ‘Validate’. 

  • Step 4: You will be required to enter details such as your name as per Aadhaar and your mobile number. Enter it and click on ‘Link Aadhaar’.  
  • Step 5: You will receive an OTP on the mobile number linked with your Aadhaar. Enter it in the relevant field and click ‘Validate’. 

  • Step 6: That’s it. Your PAN and Aadhaar will be linked after validation from UIDAI. 

2. Linking PAN with a Bank Account 

  • Step 1: Log into your bank’s internet banking portal. 

  • Step 2: Look for the PAN card updation option. You can usually find it under the service requests section of the portal. 

  • Step 3: Select your bank account and enter your PAN in the relevant field. 

  • Step 4: Submit the details online. Your PAN will be linked with your bank account within a few days. 

How to Make Changes or Corrections in a PAN Card

If you want to make any changes in your PAN card, you need to follow the steps listed below. 

  • Step 1: Visit the relevant web page to submit the request for a change in your PAN card by clicking the following link: 


  • Step 2: In the drop-down list under the ‘Application Type’ section, select ‘Changes or Correction in existing PAN Data/ Reprint of PAN Card (No changes in existing PAN Data)’. 

  • Step 3: Then, select the category of applicant and enter all the details required by the online form. 

  • Step 4: Enter the captcha code and click on the ‘Submit’ option. 

  • Step 5: Make the payment required to complete your application and submit your request. 

  • Step 6: The PAN with the corrected details will be dispatched to your address after your application has been processed.

What Happens if You Don't Have a PAN Card?

In case you do not have a PAN card, you may face the following consequences, depending on your total earnings and taxable income. 

  • TDS on salary will be deducted at 20% if you do not provide your PAN card number (provided your income is above the basic exemption limit).

  • You will not be able to open a bank account.

  • You cannot make daily cash deposits or withdrawal exceeding ₹50,000 without your PAN.

  • You may find it difficult or impossible to purchase movable or immovable property exceeding specified value limits without a PAN.

  • Making investments in mutual funds, equity, bonds and other such financial assets will also not be possible without your PAN details. 


To avoid the hassles listed above, it is best to apply for a PAN card if you do not already have one. Also, in case you have a PAN card but find that the details are incorrect, ensure that you get it rectified promptly.

FAQs on PAN Card

Is a PAN card mandatory?

A PAN card is mandatory for anyone who is liable to pay taxes or file their income tax returns. So, if your income exceeds the basic exemption limit, you need to get a PAN card.

Who issues a PAN card?

The PAN card is issued by the Income Tax Department. You can apply for it online via the NSDL website or the UTIITSL website. 

What are the charges required to apply for a PAN card?

If you’re residing within India, the PAN card fees that you will have to pay would be ₹110 (₹93 + 18% GST). Alternatively, if you’re residing outside India, the PAN card fees that you will have to pay would be ₹1,020 [₹93 + ₹771 (dispatch fee) + 18% GST]. 

How to find your nearest PAN card office?

You can quickly find the nearest branch of the PAN issuing authority by visiting the Tax Information Network (TIN) website. All that you need to do is enter a few details like your state and your location to get the relevant information.

Can PAN cards be linked to different bank accounts?

Yes. If you have multiple bank accounts, you can link your PAN to each and every single one of them. In fact, it is mandatory to do so. If you’re unsure of whether you’ve linked your bank account with your PAN, you can quickly check PAN card details by logging into your bank’s internet banking portal. 

Why is a PAN card important?

A PAN card is one of the most important pieces of document that every tax-paying individual must possess. It not only acts as proof of identity, but is also required to file your Income Tax Returns (ITRs). That’s not all. A PAN card is mandatory to perform certain monetary and business transactions as well.

Where should the PAN Card application form be submitted?

You will have to submit the filled and signed PAN card application along with the supporting documents at a branch of the relevant PAN issuing authority - Protean eGov Technologies Limited or UTIITSL.

Can a minor apply for a PAN card?

Yes. A minor can apply for a PAN card. As a matter of fact, it is mandatory if the minor is listed as a nominee to a property or has investments in their name.

Who should apply for a PAN card?

Individuals required to pay tax under the Income Tax Act, 1961 and individuals involved in a business or a profession with a turnover of more than ₹5 Lakhs in a financial year need to apply for a PAN card. Furthermore, importers and exporters who are required to pay any kind of tax in India also need to have a PAN card. 


Other entities like trusts, associations, charitable organisations and tax-paying entities like HUFs, limited companies, partnerships, limited liability partnerships, and body of individuals should also apply for a PAN.


What is the minimum age to apply for a PAN card?

There’s no minimum age requirement for applying for a PAN card. This effectively means that even minors and children can apply for one. 

Can a student apply for a PAN card?

Yes. A student can apply for a PAN card.

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