Permanent Account Number or PAN is a code that acts as identification for individuals, families and corporations, especially those who pay Income Tax. It is a unique, 10-character alpha-numeric identifier, issued to all judicial entities identifiable under the Indian Income Tax Act, 1961. It is essential for conducting the simplest of financial transactions like opening a bank account, applying for credit or debit card etc. 

It is also issued to foreign nationals (such as investors) subject to a valid visa, and hence that PAN is not acceptable as proof of Indian citizenship

Structure of PAN

  • under Section 139A of the Income Tax Act, PAN is issued
  • The PAN structure is as follows: GGGQP4231J: The five (5) first characters are letters, followed by four (4) numerals, and the last (10th) character is a letter.
  • The three (3) first characters of the code are 3 letters forming a sequence of alphabets letters from AAA to ZZZ
  • The fourth (4th) character informs about the holder of the card. Each holder is uniquely defined by a type of holder defined by a letter from the list below:
  1. A — Association of Persons (AOP)
  2. B — Body of Individuals (BOI)
  3. C — Company
  4. F — Firm
  5. G — Government
  6. H — HUF (Hindu Undivided Family)
  7. L — Local Authority
  8. J — Artificial Juridical Person
  9. P — Individual (PROPRIETOR)
  10. T — Trust (AOP)
  11. E – LLP (Limited Liability Partnership)
  • The fifth (5th) character of the PAN is the first (1st) character of either:
    • (a) of the surname or last name of the person, in the case of a “Personal” PAN card, where the fourth (4th) character is “P” or
    • (b) of the name of the Entity, Trust, society, or organisation in the case of Company/ HUF/ Firm/ AOP/ Trust/ BOI/ Local Authority/ Artificial Judicial Person/ Govt, where the fourth character is “C”,”H”,”F”,”A”,”T”,”B”,”L”,”J”,”G”.
  • The last (10th) character is an alphabetic digit used as a check-sum to verify the validity of that current code.

PAN Card Application

Before digitization, PAN application was quite a tedious task. Form 49A is required to be filled accompanied with supporting documents including address, identity, and DOB proof.

Now on, online application has revolutionized the application making it handy and easier. Although, the whole process has not been digitized but still covers a major portion. The complete docket needs to be sent to the National Securities Depository (NSDL) or UTI Infrastructure Technology (UTIITL) – agencies authorized by the income tax department to facilitate PAN applications on its behalf along with acknowledgment receipt.

Note: Provision of Aadhar details while applying is now a mandate. Also know how to link Aadhar number to Pan card

Application Requirements/Points to Remember

  1. The surname is filled before the first name in the application form while on the card the sequence is First Name then Surname. 
  2. e-KYC is an online facility which allows you to fill in Aadhar details into PAN application. You need not upload any picture or signature. The same will be used as in Aadhar card.
  3. There is a second method which is a standalone e-sign facility where you are required to upload your photograph, signature (in black ink) and specified supporting documents in a prescribed format, unlike in the e-KYC and e-Sign option. 

Steps to apply for PAN Online

  1. Visit the NSDL website 
  2. Click on ‘Application Type’ and select the form applicable to you – – form 49A for resident individuals and form 49AA for non-resident individuals (NRIs) and foreign nationals. 
  3. Select the category: ‘Individual’ and fill in rest of the information (name, DOB etc). 
  4. Token number is generated upon successful submission.

Continue with your application by following the link provided.

  1. A new page with 3 options asking you how you want to proceed with your application will appear. The options would be
      1. Submit digitally through e-KYC and e-sign (Paperless)
      2. Submit scanned images through e-Sign
      3. Forward application documents physically. 
  1. Enter the required details. Also there a provision to get father’s or mother’s name printed on the PAN card. 
  2. Click ‘Next’ once details are filled. A new page will appear asking you to fill in additional personal details such as a source of income, address, contact details and click ‘Next’.
  3. In the next step, you will be required to enter your area code, AO (assessing officer) type, range code, and AO number. You can find these details in this window itself and click ‘Next’.
  4. At the last step, you will be asked to choose and upload the supporting documents along with your photograph and signature. 

Rs 115.90 (excluding additional bank charges, if any) need to be paid for completion of the form.

Once you have made the payment, you will be required to undergo the Aadhaar authentication process. An OTP will be sent to the mobile/email linked to your Aadhaar. 

If your Aadhaar authentication process is successful, then take a print out of the receipt with the 15-digit unique acknowledgment number, sign it and send it to the NSDL office.

In case your Aadhaar authentication process is not successful or your mobile number is not linked to Aadhaar, according to NSDL helpline, then take a print out of acknowledgment receipt, paste your photograph and sign the receipt. You will also have to send a photocopy of the documents uploaded by you. 

Offline application

  1. Arrange for passport size photograph, ID proof and Address proof photocopies. You can use Passport and Voter ID as your ID proof and Address proof can be any one of the following documents – Passport, Bank Account Statement(6 months should be fine) or an Address Proof Letter from your Employer, Telephone Bills (landline or postpaid), Electricity bill.
  2. Download the PAN Application form from ( and print it
  3. Use only a BLACK BALL POINT PEN to fill in the details.
  4. Affix your photograph & sign in the box available below the photograph. Also, attach copies of your ID and address proof.
  5. Submit the application at the nearest PAN Services office along with the fee of Rs.94.

It takes nearly 15-30 days for the process to complete.

Making changes or corrections in PAN

In case you want to make any changes in the credentials displayed on your PAN card like name, date of birth, address etc., you can make the changes online through an application.

In addition to the similar procedure as in the case on new PAN application, a few more support documents need to be uploaded.

Follow these steps to make the changes;

Step 1: On the NSDL website, fill in the online application form to make correction or changes. Go through the instruction manual in case you need any assistance.

Step 2: Please note that there are certain charges to make changes in your PAN details which are as follows:

— Rs. 93 + taxes for Indian communication address

— Rs. 864 + taxes for foreign communication address.

Debit/Credit cards, net-banking or demand draft can be used to make the payment for the application fee. Once the payment is made successfully, the acknowledgment receipt will reflect on screen. Make a note of the displayed acknowledgment number. Also, you would need a print out of the same to be sent along with other documents.


Step 3: On successful submission of application and payment, the further process will take place of making alterations in the credentials. The supporting documents and application need to be sent physically through post or courier to NSDL. Necessary support documents need to be tagged along in the courier.

Let us take an example of a change in name in the PAN card, for this following set of documents will be required;


A certificate issued by Registrar of Companies (ROC) required for a change in name under the Administration and Regulation of Companies Act, 1965.


In case of a name change on account of marriage-

  1. Wedding invitation card
  2. Marriage certificate
  3. Gazette publication of name-change
  4. A certificate stating name change attested by gazetted officer
  5. Photocopy of passport reflecting husband’s name


  1. Gazette publication of name-change
  2. A certificate stating name change attested by gazetted officer


Revised partnership deed copy


Revised agreement/deed/registration.