What is PAN Card: Eligibility, Type & How to Apply

what is pan card

Ever stumbled upon a “PAN card” while filing taxes or opening a bank account? Felt a pang of confusion, wondering what exactly it is and why you need it? Worry not! This blog will help you navigate what is PAN card, and why you need one.

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What is a PAN Card?

Issued by the Income Tax Department, a PAN card is a unique 10-digit alphanumeric code assigned to individuals, entities, and businesses. It serves as a universal identification key for tracking financial transactions it’s your personal alphanumeric identifier, the secret code that links all your financial activities – taxes, bank accounts, investments, the whole shebang.

Key Features/Points of PAN Card:

1. Universal Identification: Every PAN card has a unique code, ensuring individual identification for financial transactions and dealings.

2. Mandatory for Financial Transactions: From opening a bank account to filing taxes, a PAN card is crucial for various financial activities.

3. Validity and Permanence: Once allotted, the PAN remains unchanged throughout the holder’s lifetime.

4. Free (mostly): Applying for a PAN card is free, but expedited delivery might cost a bit extra.

Structure of PAN Card:

The PAN Card has a unique 10-character code, and each part holds important details. Here’s a breakdown:

First Five Characters: Always uppercase letters, like ‘AAA XX123 4B’.
First Three Characters: These show where you’re from.
Fourth Character: Tells if it’s for a person or an entity, like a company or government.

  • A: Stands for Association of Persons (AOP).
  • B: Represents Body of Individuals (BOI).
  • C: Indicates a Company.
  • F: Stands for Firm.
  • G: Represents Government.
  • H: Indicates a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF).
  • L: Indicates a Local Authority.
  • J: Stands for Artificial Juridical Person.
  • P: Represents an Individual or a Person.
  • T: Indicates a Trust (AOP).

Fifth Character: For personal cards, it’s often the last name. For others, it can be the organization’s name.
Tenth (Final) Character: An alphabet used for checking the PAN’s correctness, calculated based on other characters.

Types of PAN Card?

There are quite some types of PAN Cards, which are:

1. Individual: An individual PAN card is specifically for a person, like you or me. It’s used to identify individuals for their financial transactions, taxes, and various official purposes. The PAN for individuals usually has the fourth character as ‘P’, indicating it belongs to a person.

2. Hindu Undivided Family (HUF): For those with a joint family.

3. Company/Firm/LLP: For your business ventures, big or small.

4. Trust: For managing those inherited riches or charitable endeavors.

How and Where to Apply for a PAN Card?

Choosing the Application Platform:

Two designated platforms handle PAN card applications:

1. Protean eGov Technologies Limited (Formerly NSDL e-Gov): Accessible through https://www.protean-tinpan.com/

2. UTI Infrastructure Technology Services Limited (UTIITSL): Accessible through https://www.pan.utiitsl.com/newA.html

Also, Read: How to Apply for Pan Card Correction Online?

Selecting the Appropriate Form:

Form 49A: This form caters to individual applicants and Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs).
Specific Forms: For firms, companies, Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs), and trusts, consult the respective websites for designated forms.

Diligently Completing the Application Form:

Accuracy and comprehensiveness are paramount. Provide the following details meticulously:

1. Personal Information: Name, father’s name, date of birth, and category (individual, HUF, etc.)

2. Contact Information: Phone number and email address

3. Address Information: Permanent and communication addresses with supporting proof documents (Aadhaar card, voter ID, passport, etc.)

4. Photographs: Two recent passport-sized photographs

Settlement of Application Fees:

The application fee varies depending on the chosen delivery method (regular or expedited). Online payment options utilizing debit/credit cards or net banking are readily available.

Form Submission and Tracking:

Once you have verified the information’s accuracy, submit the application online. You will receive an acknowledgment receipt and can track your application’s status through the chosen platform.

Delivery and Collection:

Within a few weeks, your PAN card will be delivered to your registered address. Ensure the safekeeping of your PAN card and treat it as a confidential document.

Additional Considerations:

Double-check all information before submitting the application to avoid delays or processing errors.
Retain the application receipt and acknowledgment for future reference.

Consider linking your Aadhaar card with your PAN for fast-track processing and enhanced convenience.

Also, Read: How to Download e-PAN Card Online from NSDL and UTIITSL

Uses of PAN Card:

1. Tax Purposes: PAN is essential for filing income tax returns and for various tax-related transactions.

2. Financial Transactions: It’s required for opening bank accounts, buying/selling properties, or making large transactions.

3. Identification: PAN serves as an identity proof and is often required in official procedures.

4. Investing in Mutual Funds and Shares: Enables confident forays into the stock market through investments in mutual funds and shares.

5. Preventing Financial Fraud: PAN card functions as a shield against potential financial malpractices, ensuring a secure financial environment for individuals.

The PAN card is more than a mere document; it’s a key element in India’s financial landscape. Its significance in conducting various financial transactions and establishing identity cannot be overstated. Knowing its importance and acquiring one is essential for every individual and entity aiming for a hassle-free financial journey in India.


1. Is it necessary to Link PAN with Aadhaar?

Yes, linking PAN with Aadhaar is mandatory and facilitates easy verification and validation.

2. Can I Apply for a PAN Card if I’m an NRI?

Absolutely, NRIs can apply for a PAN card and it’s beneficial for various financial activities in India.

3. How long does it take to get a PAN Card?

Typically, once you’ve applied, it takes around 15-20 working days to receive your PAN card.

4. Can I have multiple PAN Cards?

No, it’s illegal to possess multiple PAN cards. One person/entity can have only one PAN card.

5. Can I change the details on my PAN Card?

Absolutely! Just update your information with the Income Tax Department.

Also, Read: How to Download e-PAN Card Online from NSDL and UTIITSL

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