Our government has never been more digitally savvy than it is today, and that means that many important government functions can be carried out online.

The government even launched a website to let all of us track the attendance of central government employees, and to see if they were arriving to work on time.

With so many government services going digital, we feel that it’s important that our readers also know what can be done online, and how.

To start with, we’re taking you through the process of applying for a PAN card. In India, most significant financial transactions require you to have a PAN card – it is used when opening a bank account, filing tax returns, or for financial transactions above Rs. 50,000. Having one of these cards is pretty much essential if you’re working and managing your finances.

Applying for a PAN is simple, and you can fill the forms online, but you’ll have to mail your documents to the Income Tax PAN services offices to finalize the process. Once you fill up the form on the site and send your papers, the application is processed, and the card shipped directly to your residential address.

In case you get stuck and need more information, then the helpline number (18001801961) is an excellent resource – when we got stuck on some of the details of the application, we gave them a call and found the service extremely helpful.

Step one is to get copies of the different documents you need to submit on your application.

Documents Required

To submit the application, you need to upload several documents to the PAN Services Unit website. You will need to upload a proof of identity, address, and date of birth, along with a scanned passport photograph. Start by making a scan of any one document per section, for each chapter below:1. Proof of identity
A copy of any one of these documents are acceptable as ID proof for a PAN card:

  • Aadhaar Card issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India
  • Elector’s Photo identity card
  • Driving licence
  • Passport
  • Ration card having photograph of the applicant
  • Arms license
  • Photo identification card issued by the Central Government or State Government or Public Sector Undertaking
  • Pensioner card having photograph of the applicant
  • Central Government Health Service Scheme Card or Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health 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
  • Bank certificate in original on letterhead from the branch (along with name and stamp of the issuing officer) containing attested photograph and bank account number of the applicant

2. Address proof

Along with your photo ID, you’ll also have to enclose an address proof in your application. Any of the following documents can be included with your form:

  • Aadhaar Card issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India
  • Elector’s Photo identity card
  • Driving licence
  • Passport
  • Passport of the spouse
  • Post office passbook having address of the applicant
  • Latest property tax assessment order
  • Domicile certificate issued by the government
  • Allotment letter of accommodation issued by Central or State Government of not more than three years old
  • Property registration
  • Certificate of address in original signed by a Member of Parliament or Member of Legislative Assembly or Municipal Councillor or a Gazetted Officer
  • Employer certificates in original

You can also use one of the following documents, if it is less 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

3. Proof of date of birth

A copy of any one of these documents should suffice as proof of date of birth:

  • Birth Certificate issued by the Municipal Authority or any office authorized 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
  • Passport
  • Driving licence
  • Domicile certificate issued by the government
  • Affidavit was sworn before a magistrate stating the date of birth

4. Photographs

You will need two recent passport sized photographs for the PAN card application.

Once you have scans of all these documents ready, simply do the following:

  1. Go to this page on the NSDL website.
  2. Scroll to the bottom and select Individual in the Apply for a new PAN Card drop down menu. Click on Select.
  3. Now you can start filling the form. In case you have any doubts, visit this page for form filling guidelines.
  4. The first field is AO Code, which you can look up here. You can also call the Income Tax department helpline at 18001801961 to find out about your AO code.
  5. The other fields like name, gender, address, etc. are pretty self-explanatory, but remember to select the correct documents you will be submitting along with the application, from the drop-down window in point 15 on the form.
  6. Once you’ve filled in all the details, select a payment method at the end of the form. The PAN card application fee is Rs. 105, but additional bank charges may apply depending on the payment method. If you want the PAN card sent outside India, the fee is Rs. 971. You can pay via demand draft, cheque, credit/debit card or net banking.
  7. Click Submit when done.
  8. Review all the details in your form. Make sure all spellings are correct and enter the captcha code, then click Confirm.
  9. Now you’ll see a page with payment terms and conditions. Note down the transaction number at the top of the page and click Agree.
  10. Complete the payment.
  11. You’ll now see an acknowledgment form. This has a unique 15-digit acknowledgment number. Print this page.
  12. Paste the two photographs on the printout of the acknowledgment (in the space provided).
  13. Sign within the box on the acknowledgment form.
  14. Put this form in an envelope with the cheque or DD (if you haven’t paid online), and the required documents mentioned earlier.
  15. On the envelope, write APPLICATION FOR PAN – ____. Fill in the blank with your unique 15-digit acknowledgment number.
  16. Post it to NSDL at 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.
  17. Your application must reach NSDL within 15 days from the date of online application. They’ll send the PAN card to your address after processing