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How to identify a fake PAN card

To curb misuse and duplicity of PAN, the Income Tax Department introduced Enhanced Quick Response (QR) code for PAN cards. Starting July 2018, all the PAN cards feature a unique QR code that contains information about the taxpayer.

How to identify a fake PAN card

The Enhanced QR code printed on the PAN card contains details like a photograph, signature of PAN applicant and generic information such as PAN image, name, father/mother’s name, DoB, etc.

To read that QR code, users will need to scan the QR code using a dedicated app, available on Google Play Store called Enhanced PAN QR Code Reader.

The tool allows users to use their smartphones to scan the Enhanced QR Code on anyone’s PAN and verify the information printed on the card in real-time and verify the authenticity of the PAN.

If you are wondering how to go about it, here are the steps you need to follow:

Steps to verify PAN card authenticity using smartphone

Make sure to download the one by developer ‘NSDL e-Governance Infrastructure Limited’.
  • Click Next
  • A camera-like viewfinder will open with a green dot at the centre of the screen.
  • Point the camera towards the PAN QR code and ensure that the green icon is at the centre of the QR code
  • Once scanned, it will fetch all the details linked to the scanned QR code.
Common things you should keep in mind while using the app

  • To use the app, you’ll need a smartphone with at least a 12MP sensor with autofocus.
  • Maintain a distance of around 10 cm between the camera and QR code
  • Avoid flash or external light glare from falling directly on the QR code
  • Keep the smartphone steady while scanning the QR code
  • Clean the PAN card properly and ensure there’s no smudges or damage on the QR code.
  • Ensure there’s sufficient light in the surrounding
  • Scan horizontally for better capture


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