How to Apply for a PAN Card Online

A lot of people keep asking about reliable agents who can help them apply for a PAN card. While I disapprove of taking the help of agents in general, the process of applying for a PAN card is so easy that it is criminal to still go through an agent for the same! So I decided to write this article to show everyone just how easy it actually is to apply for a PAN card yourself without anyone’s help.

A Permanent Account Number, or PAN, is an Indian taxpayer’s unique identity. Every taxpayer, be it an individual or a company, must have a PAN in order to be able to pay their taxes to the Government. And nowadays, it has become mandatory to provide one’s PAN number when applying for or investing in any kind of financial instruments, be it a credit card, personal/home/auto loan, mutual fund, shares, etc. Even when you get a job, your employer will surely ask for your PAN details. All this makes it almost impossible to not have a PAN card.

PAN card

A PAN card is a plastic card that shows the taxpayer’s name, photo and PAN. Apart from being a reference for your PAN number, it can also be used as a proof of identity while applying for other Government documents, such as a Passport, Ration card, Driving License, etc. PAN cards are issued by NSDL on behalf of the Dept. of Income Tax, Ministry of Finance, Govt. of India.

To be eligible for a PAN card, you need to have a valid proof of identity and a proof of address. The list of documents that are accepted as identity and address proof are given on this link.

NOTE: For the purpose of this article, I will assume that the applicant is an individual taxpayer.

To apply for a PAN card, you need to go to the NSDL online PAN application site at and click on “New PAN for Indian Citizens”. Foreign citizens need to click on “New PAN for Foreign Citizens”.

PAN online application form

This will open a pop-up page. Click on “Online application for new PAN (Form 49A)”. On the next page, review the instructions for applying and then scroll down to the bottom and choose “Individual” from the applicant category drop-down list.

PAN applicant category

This brings us to the online Form 49A, which is the application form for allotment of new PAN number. Most of the fields are quite self-explanatory. Below are some important points to remember when filling the application form.

How to fill AO details

To find out Assessing Officer (AO) details (Area Code, AO Type, Range Code & AO Number), click on the appropriate link under “Don’t know AO details?” based on your source of income (Indian/foreign). Indian citizens living and earning income in India must click on link highlighted below:

AO selection in PAN application

This will take you to the AO code search page. Ordinary Indian citizens (non-defence personnel) are covered under Table II. Click on the alphabet corresponding to your city, then on the next page choose your specific city from the list.

AO code search

Finally, select the appropriate AO from the list. Since the list is rather huge, you can narrow down by following the below steps:

  • Type (Ctrl+F) to bring up the browser search form.
  • In this, enter your area of residence (e.g. Koramangala) to short-list the entries specific to your area.
  • Next, read the description of each entry and identify which is applicable to you based on your income, first letter of your name and/or your office address. The description is self-explanatory although verbose. For more help, refer to this guide.

You can also refer to the following Excel files which have the entire list of AO codes:

Other details

1. You can choose to print an abbreviated version of your name on the PAN card, if you so desire. Provide your full name in the “Full name” field, and type your name as you would like it printed on the PAN card in the “Name you would like printed on the card” field.
If you were previously known by another name, provide the same.

2. Provide your residential and office addresses, and choose the desired address for communication. It is preferable to keep the residential address as the communication address, unless you are staying in a rented house and are likely to shift often. If choosing office address for communication, you will need to provide address proof for office address too.

3. Most importantly, please select carefully from the drop-down list the documents you are going to provide as address and identity proofs. Do not make a mistake here, as this cannot be changed after submitting the form. If you have specified your Aadhaar number, you need to provide a copy of Aadhaar card as well.

4. Lastly, choose the method of payment. You can pay by Demand Draft, Cheque or online instantly via Credit Card. Paying by Credit Card is by far the simplest and preferred option. The fees, of course, are quite minimal.

Click here for a detailed list of instructions for filling up the form. Once you have filled in all the fields, click on “Submit”.

On the next page, you will be asked to review the filled-in information, and you can make changes if required. After verifying that everything is correct, you may proceed to choose the mode of payment of fees for PAN application.

If you selected credit card mode of payment in the application form, you will now be transferred to a third-party merchant website, where you need to make the payment towards the fees for the PAN application. If you selected DD or Cheque options, this step will be skipped and the application will be submitted directly.

Once the application is submitted, you will be shown an acknowledgement page, which will have an Acknowledgement Number along with a summary of your details. It will also list the mode of payment and the documents to be submitted as address and identity proof, as chosen by you. You need to take a print-out of this acknowledgement page and affix a recent Passport-size photograph and sign in the box below using a black pen only. Please retain a copy of the acknowledgement page for your reference.

Finally, you need to post the hard copies of the acknowledgement page along with your self-attested address and identity proofs (and DD/Cheque if applicable) to the address given on the acknowledgement page. Please follow the simple instructions at the bottom of the acknowledgement page to ensure that your documents are not misplaced or rejected on technical grounds.

You may send the documents to NSDL via courier, speed post, etc. Note that the documents must reach them within 15 days from the online application.

If you have made the payment via credit card, you should receive your PAN number within one week or so via email. The PAN card will arrive later, in about two weeks. If you chose to pay via Cheque/DD, then the processing of your application will begin only once the Cheque/DD and documents reach NSDL.

Once you submit the documents, you may track the status of your PAN application online via this link.

Changes in PAN card or reprint of card

If you already have a PAN card and have lost it or need to make corrections (e.g. change of name, address, phone number, etc.), you need to select the appropriate option on DO NOT apply for a fresh PAN number, as this is illegal.

  • To update your personal information in PAN database, select “Changes or Correction in PAN details”
  • To request for duplicate PAN card due to loss or damage of existing card, select “Reprint of PAN card”

Either way, you will be taken to the same form. On this form, select applicant category as “Individual” to open the actual application form.

On this form, select your citizenship status (Indian/foreign) and enter your PAN number. Note that the remaining fields are all optional. You need to tick the boxes on the left for which you wish to make any changes. For all entries in which there is no change, leave the box unchecked.

If you are just applying for duplicate PAN card, you can leave all boxes unchecked and there is no need to fill any details. Duplicate PAN card will be reissued on basis of existing details, to same correspondence address.

Lastly, as above, select the payment method and submit the form. Review your changes on the next page and proceed for payment and submission of details.

Useful Links

About the Author

Vijay PadiyarI'm a friendly guy with a witty sense of humor. I was born in Baroda, Gujarat and am currently settled in Bangalore, Karnataka. I'm a Leo by birth and certainly by character! So pick up any good book on zodiac signs, flip to the Leo section, and you'll know me rather well!View all posts by Vijay Padiyar →


  1. konicakonica10-19-2014

    sir i need to apply for pan wch catogory i need to select.i am not a govt employee.. plss help me soon.. thanks.

  2. swethaswetha10-09-2014

    sir,can i get pan card with in 5 days.please reply

  3. Prashant KumarPrashant Kumar09-06-2014

    What to chosse category if anyone is in army service man

    • Vijay PadiyarVijay Padiyar09-08-2014

      Select “Individual” and then on the Form 49A select Army, Navy or Air Force for the AO Details.

  4. Sanjay Kumar RamSanjay Kumar Ram08-29-2014

    Respected Sir,
    I have applied for New Pan card for my mother and my sister. I applied through agent on 25th July 2014 and got the coupon number 554733465 and 554733466. But sir, till now I have not got PAN card or any SMS. When I Checked the status of my PAN card using Coupon number it says “invalid coupon number”.
    Sir, I also checked the coupon numbers beyond the above mentioned numbers, I saw that the people who applied for PAN after me got the PAN card within 20 days. But I have not received the PAN till now.
    Please Help, if You can Sir…. Please…

  5. Jain TanyaJain Tanya06-02-2014

    Hello Vijay,
    The Government has made it very easy for the applicants. Anybody who is interested can apply for PAN. You have mentioned the whole process step by step. This is extremely helpful for the newbies. Thanks.

  6. Srihari SeshadriSrihari Seshadri04-06-2014

    If I use debit card payment, will I really get the pan number within a week?
    As for the name on the pan card, it will be my full name right? In bold letters? (SRIHARI SESHADRI)
    Please respond.

    • Vijay PadiyarVijay Padiyar04-06-2014

      You will get the PAN number within a week of them receiving your address/ID proof documents. Name will be printed on PAN card in bold letters. You can choose a different display name than your full name.

  7. vibinvibin03-22-2014

    Hi i am a student
    pls help me to find the AO type
    i am living in thrissur kerala

  8. MathewMathew12-31-2013

    HOW TO FILL IN PAN CARD APPLICATION FORM 49A *If you are a Defence Personnel select the appropriate category but I am not in any of these category. Since there is a asterisk mark I am not able to proceed for payment. Pls advise.

  9. Kumar GullaKumar Gulla11-28-2013

    Hi sir
    I applied for pan card through the website but I didn’t get any address for post hard copies please help me and I paid the money in net banking

  10. NehaNeha11-07-2013


    I singed on both photographs by mistake while submitting documents and acknowledgement and have posted it through speed post. The sign is on lower side and in no way is affecting visibility of face. Will they accept the application or do I need to apply again?

  11. RajeevRajeev09-09-2013

    Hi Vijay,

    I have applied for the PAN card to correct certain details and I will be submitting Passport copy as identity as well as address proof. Do I need to send the photocopies of all the pages of my passport as we do while applying for a Visa or just the first 2 and last two pages will be sufficient?

    Please advise. Thank you.

    • Vijay PadiyarVijay Padiyar09-09-2013

      Just the first and last page (for identity and address respectively) should be adequate.

  12. Sayed mohamedSayed mohamed06-16-2013

    Dear vijay

    I’ve lost my pan card
    I’ve applied for duplicate one thru online and paid Rs. 96/- by debit card
    Now where to send the application with documents, I mean which address I have to send the documents


  13. nareshnaresh06-05-2013

    Dear Sir,
    How to send the ID and Address Proof while applying the pan card

  14. shymashyma06-03-2013

    Hi Vijay,
    I was trying to apply online for PAN card. The 49A form as shown on my screen has a row on the top asking ‘*If you are a Defence Personnel select the appropriate category’ and is marked amndatory. What is a normal individual supposed to choose for this?


  15. AfradaAfrada05-27-2013

    Hi. I wanted to apply online for my pan card but not sure about the AO TYPE
    Well i’ll b an engg graduate by july. My current status is a student
    I reside in rajarajeswari nagar bangalore
    My parmanent residence is kerala
    Please help me with the ao type

  16. ShuvamShuvam03-21-2013

    pls help me by seeing this image
    Tell me how do i write my name in that section.should i start with first name or start with last.
    Should i fill the form in Block letters even the address

    • Vijay PadiyarVijay Padiyar03-21-2013

      Unable to open the image. On the PAN application form there are separate sections for First & Last name.

  17. Khalid SHARIEFKhalid SHARIEF03-01-2013

    Very useful information posted by Vijay.
    Thanks Vijay.

  18. ShuvamShuvam02-28-2013

    what to put in 16 number column in the form.
    I,We_____________the applicant in the capacity of [Himself/herself or Assessing officer] do hereby declare that what is stated above is true and what to put in PLACE _______verified on 01/03/2013

    What to put in ‘Name u would like to printed in the card’
    I mean should i start with last name or first name

    should i fill the form in block letters

    • Vijay PadiyarVijay Padiyar03-01-2013

      It’s your choice. What you write here is exactly what will be printed on the card.



  20. narasimhareddynarasimhareddy02-04-2013

    i hav a pan card ,but in the place of photograph it printed minor and instead of my signature,my father’s signature is printed. can i apply for correction to get my signature and photo? if so wat is d procedure.

    • Vijay PadiyarVijay Padiyar02-04-2013

      Please follow the procedure given in blog post for correction of PAN details.

  21. saratchandra mvsaratchandra mv12-30-2012

    I filled the PAN application and did the payment through net banking. But i did not send it. And it has been more than 15 days now. So, can i still send it or should i have to re-pay the amount and resend?

    • Vijay PadiyarVijay Padiyar12-31-2012

      You can try sending it still. If it gets rejected, reapply afresh.

  22. venkatvenkat12-21-2012

    I applied for Pan card online and found the mistakes later(address proof was little mistake) and paid the money online.I HAVE NOT SEND THE DOCUMENTS YET(TIME IS THERE STILL). NOW I WANT TO CHANGE THE MISTAKES THROUGH ACKNOWLEDGMENT NUMBER..IS IT POSSIBLE OR NOT? Is money will be refunded back to my account if i dont send my application?

  23. raksharaksha12-16-2012

    I applied for PAN card online last week, but later realized that it had a few mistakes. I have already paid for it n I submitted the application. but i haven’t yet sent any documents by post. What can i do to make the changes?

    • Vijay PadiyarVijay Padiyar12-17-2012

      You need to reapply afresh. You can’t do anything about the current application.

  24. imamimam12-08-2012

    dear sir

    which address i have to send my application after fill it print it

  25. TarunTarun11-05-2012

    I have applied for pan on 12 – 09 – 2012,on nsdl website online,paid through net banking,sent the acknowledgeement with the supporrting documents the next day itself through post,yet status of the application is showing that the documents are not yet recieved,i mailed tinnsdl about this issue several times,yet i haven’t heared anything from them,today i called the call centre and spoke to one of the executive regarding this issue,he just told me that sir we have not recevied the documents ,send the concern is we should send the documents within 15 days of application,if i resend the documents now will they issue me the pan or not please help very urgent.

    • Vijay PadiyarVijay Padiyar11-05-2012

      You can send it again through courier. If again same result, then reapply for PAN card and send documents through Registered Speed Post.

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