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Does everyone need to apply for a PAN Card?

Yes, every adult living in India will need a PAN card to carry out their everyday business, even though having one isn’t a legal requirement.

If you want to open a bank account in India, buy a property, transfer money between bank accounts or receive payments from overseas, you will need a PAN card to do so. Only a few categories of people are exempt from the PAN card system. The main group of people who can’t apply for a PAN card are children, but people who are legally classed as lacking capacity to manage their own financial affairs, wards of court or other minors can’t get a PAN card either. In order to manage money on behalf of a minor, their representative or legal guardian will use their own PAN details.

It might sound obvious, but the other group of people who don’t need a PAN card are people who have one already. It’s illegal to have more than one PAN allocated to you, so when you change addresses or your name you just update your file with the new details and get a new card issued rather than applying again from scratch.

People who were born and raised in India but who are now living overseas with no financial links to India may not need to apply for a PAN card either.