A survey revealed that around 39% of Indians have suffered from identity theft at some point in their lives. Such cases can hamper not only one’s reputation but also an individual’s financial stability due to increased possibility of identity duplication and compromised rights.
- The same survey showed that of the individuals who suffered from identity theft, 10% faced it in the previous year alone.
- Alarmingly, 63% of respondents in the survey did not have any idea regarding the steps to take in case of identity theft.
A compromise of sensitive details from any of the government-issued cards would imply a threat to one’s individual identity and other repercussions. For instance, PAN cards are one of the identifying documents issued by the Indian government. Legally, every individual should only hold one such card to his/her name. While, some may need to apply for a duplicate PAN card online in some cases, applying for one while the previous card is still in possession is not legally allowed.
The legality of owning more than one PAN card
Owning two or more PAN cards in one’s name is illegal in India since this card is a way of determining an individual’s yearly tax liabilities. However, one may need to apply for a duplicate PAN card in some instances. Listed below are some cases when an individual can safely apply for another card without drawing immediate ire from the authorities.
- Due to a late arrival of the card
A duplicate PAN card application is acceptable if the cardholder applies for the second time when the first card fails to arrive at the address within the stipulated time. This confusion generally results in the allotment of two PAN cards to a single individual.
- Applying for a PAN card after losing the other one
In cases of loss or theft, one would need to apply for a duplicate PAN card online. However, they may recover the older card after the new card arrives. In such a case, the individual would be left with two PAN cards. Nevertheless, it requires the individual to submit either of the two cards and continue usage of only one card.
A Wallet Care plan offered by Bajaj Finserv under its Pocket Insurance & Subscriptions can help one acquire a replacement PAN card after loss, without needing to spend any application fee.
- Duplicate PAN card online application after marriage
Women often apply for a fresh PAN card after marriage in case they opt to change their surnames. Although the correct procedure is to choose correction of the existing PAN card details instead of a fresh application, lack of knowledge may cause one to avail a duplicate document.
- Applying for a second card when changing details
In some cases, individuals may undergo profound changes in their appearance over time. The change may be to such an extent that the individual no longer resembles the photo on his/her PAN card. In these cases, one must select the ‘Changes or Correction in Existing PAN Data’ option when applying for a duplicate PAN card online. However, some may select a fresh application instead. Doing so will lead to the issue of an additional PAN card.
- NRIs after returning to India for business purpose
Non-Resident Indians will already possess a PAN card in India if they hold taxable income in the country. Nevertheless, some NRIs may apply for a duplicate PAN card online upon returning to India to engage in business. While this is a mistake, initiating such a process leads to card duplication.
Besides these five instances, an individual can own a PAN card against copied identity with malicious intent only. The primary reason for owning multiple PAN cards knowingly would be to steal valuable data of the individual impersonated.
How to resolve the issue of multiple PAN cards to your name?
Individuals can follow the steps mentioned below to surrender any duplicate PAN card they have to their name –
Step 1: Visit the NSDL website and click on the ‘Application Type’ option.
Step 2: Next choose changes or correction option for an existing card.
Step 3: Enter your personal details on the form that is displayed, complete the captcha code, and submit.
Step 4: In the next page, select ‘Submit Scanned Images through e-Sign’.
Step 5: Fill in the PAN number of the card you want to retain and click on ‘Next.’
Step 6: In the next page, fill up the section ‘Mention Other Permanent Account Numbers Allotted to You’ with the details of your additional PAN cards.
Step 7: After clicking on next, you will need to complete the documentation process and sign a declaration form before submitting the same.
It is the entire process of surrendering a duplicate PAN card online if you have acquired one by mistake. In case of identity theft, opting for insurance covers like the identity assure plan can help claim financial losses incurred due to such incidents. Nevertheless, apart from PAN card, individuals should safeguard their payment cards as well.
- Between October and December 2019, Rs.128 crore worth of internet banking, credit, and debit card frauds were reported.
- In total, more than 21,000 such cases were reported in that duration.
Availing an ATM safeguard insurance plan can also ensure financial protection when using such cards to withdraw cash from these ATM machines.