Legal documents essential for every citizen of India

Legal documents are essential for every citizen of India, as they serve as proof of identity, rights, obligations, and transactions. They can also help in resolving disputes, protecting interests, and ensuring compliance with the law. However, many people are unaware of the types and importance of legal documents in India, and how to create them. In this article, we will discuss some of the most common and important legal documents that every Indian should have, and how to use them.

Birth Certificate

A birth certificate is the first and foremost legal document that every Indian citizen should have. It records the date, time, and place of birth, as well as the name and gender of the child, and the name and nationality of the parents. A birth certificate is required for various purposes, such as obtaining a passport, Aadhaar card, PAN card, voter ID card, driving license, education certificate, marriage certificate, etc. It also helps in proving one’s age, nationality, and domicile.

A birth certificate can be obtained from the municipal corporation or panchayat office where the birth took place, within 21 days of the birth. If the registration is delayed beyond 21 days, a penalty fee may be charged. The application form for a birth certificate can be downloaded from the website of the respective state government or obtained from the local office. The application form should be filled with accurate details and submitted along with the required documents, such as proof of birth (hospital discharge summary or delivery report), proof of identity and address of the parents (Aadhaar card, voter ID card, etc.), and an affidavit if there is any correction or change in the name.

Aadhaar Card

An Aadhaar card is a 12-digit unique identification number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to every resident of India. It is linked to one’s biometric (fingerprint and iris scan) and demographic (name, address, date of birth, gender) data. An Aadhaar card serves as proof of identity and address for various purposes, such as opening a bank account, filing income tax returns, availing subsidies and benefits from government schemes, etc. It also helps in verifying one’s identity online through e-KYC (electronic know your customer) services.

An Aadhaar card can be obtained by visiting any Aadhaar enrolment center near one’s place of residence or work. The enrolment process involves filling out an application form with personal details and providing biometric and demographic data. The enrolment is free of cost and takes about 10-15 minutes. After the enrolment, one can download an e-Aadhaar card from the UIDAI website or receive a physical Aadhaar card by post within 90 days.

PAN Card

A PAN card is a 10-digit alphanumeric number issued by the Income Tax Department to every taxpayer in India. It serves as a unique identifier for tax purposes and helps in tracking one’s income, tax payments, and returns. A PAN card is mandatory for various financial transactions, such as opening a bank account, applying for a loan or credit card, buying or selling property or shares, etc. It also helps in preventing tax evasion and fraud.

A PAN card can be obtained by applying online through the NSDL (National Securities Depository Limited) or UTIITSL (UTI Infrastructure Technology And Services Limited) websites or offline through any designated PAN service center. The application form should be filled with correct details and submitted along with the required documents,

 

of birth (Aadhaar card, voter ID card, passport, etc.), and a photograph. The application fee is Rs. 93 for Indian citizens and Rs. 864 for foreign citizens. The PAN card is usually delivered within 15-20 days of the application.

Passport

A passport is a travel document issued by the Ministry of External Affairs to every Indian citizen who wishes to travel abroad. It contains personal details, such as name, date of birth, place of birth, nationality, photograph, and signature, as well as a unique passport number and a machine-readable zone. A passport serves as proof of identity and citizenship for international travel and also enables one to obtain visas from foreign countries.

A passport can be obtained by applying online through the Passport Seva website or offline through any Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) or Post Office Passport Seva Kendra (POPSK). The application form should be filled with accurate details and submitted along with the required documents, such as proof of identity, address, date of birth, educational qualification, etc. (Aadhaar card, voter ID card, PAN card, etc.), and a photograph. The application fee varies depending on the type and validity of the passport. For example, a normal passport with 10 years of validity costs Rs. 1500 for adults and Rs. 1000 for minors. The passport is usually issued within 30-45 days of the application.

Driving License

A driving license is a legal document issued by the Regional Transport Office (RTO) to every person who wants to drive a motor vehicle on public roads in India. It contains personal details, such as name, address, date of birth, photograph, and signature, as well as a unique license number and a QR code. A driving license serves as proof of identity and address for various purposes, such as opening a bank account, applying for a loan or credit card, etc. It also helps in ensuring road safety and traffic rules compliance.

A driving license can be obtained by applying online through the Parivahan Sewa website or offline through any RTO office near one’s place of residence or work. The application process involves filling out an application form with personal details and vehicle details, submitting the required documents, such as proof of identity, address, age, and educational qualification (Aadhaar card, voter ID card, PAN card, etc.), a photograph and a medical certificate if applicable, paying the application fee (Rs. 200 for learner’s license and Rs. 300 for permanent license), passing a written test and a driving test. The learner’s license is valid for six months and the permanent license is valid for 20 years or until the age of 50 years, whichever is earlier.

Marriage Certificate

A marriage certificate is a legal document that records the marriage between two persons in India. It contains personal details of the bride and groom, such as name,date of birth, religion, nationality, photograph, and signature, as well as the date and place of marriage, the name and address of the witnesses, and the officiating authority. A marriage certificate serves as proof of marital status and relationship for various purposes, such as applying for a passport, visa, joint bank account, insurance, etc. It also helps in protecting the rights and interests of the spouses and their children in case of divorce, separation, inheritance, etc.

A marriage certificate can be obtained by registering the marriage online through the website of the respective state government or offline through any sub-registrar office where the marriage took place or where the bride or groom resides. The registration process involves filling out an application form with personal details and marriage details, submitting the required documents, such as proof of identity, address, age, and marital status (Aadhaar card, voter ID card, PAN card, etc.), a photograph of the couple and a wedding invitation card or a religious certificate if applicable, paying the registration fee (Rs. 100 for Hindu marriages and Rs. 150 for other marriages), and obtaining the marriage certificate after verification by the sub-registrar.

Ration Card

A ration card is a legal document that entitles a household to obtain subsidized food grains and other essential commodities from the Public Distribution System (PDS) in India. It contains personal details of the head of the household and the family members, such as name, age, gender, photograph, and biometric data, as well as a unique ration card number and a barcode. A ration card serves as proof of identity and address for various purposes, such as applying for a passport, Aadhaar card, voter ID card, etc. It also helps in availing benefits from various government schemes, such as MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act), PMAY (Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana), etc.

A ration card can be obtained by applying online through the National Food Security Portal or offline through any fair price shop or ration office near one’s place of residence. The application process involves filling out an application form with personal details and family details, submitting the required documents,

 

such as proof of identity, address, income, and family size (Aadhaar card, voter ID card, PAN card, etc.), a photograph of the head of the household and a declaration form if applicable, paying the application fee (Rs. 5 for BPL (Below Poverty Line) ration card and Rs. 10 for APL (Above Poverty Line) ration card), and obtaining the ration card after verification by the ration office.

Bank Passbook

A bank passbook is a legal document that records the transactions and balance of a bank account in India. It contains the personal details of the account holder, such as name, address, photograph, and signature, as well as the account number, branch name, and IFSC code. A bank passbook serves as proof of identity and address for various purposes, such as applying for a passport, Aadhaar card, voter ID card, etc. It also helps in keeping track of one’s income and expenditure and managing one’s finances.

A bank passbook can be obtained by opening a bank account online through the website or app of any bank or offline through any bank branch near one’s place of residence or work. The account opening process involves filling out an application form with personal details and KYC (know your customer) details, submitting the required documents, such as proof of identity, address, and income (Aadhaar card, voter ID card, PAN card, etc.), a photograph and a cheque or cash for initial deposit, paying the account opening fee (Rs. 0 for zero balance account and Rs. 500 for regular savings account), and obtaining the bank passbook after activation of the account.

These are some of the most common and important legal documents that every Indian should have. They can help in proving one’s identity and citizenship, availing various benefits and services from the government and private sectors, protecting one’s rights and interests, and ensuring legal compliance. Therefore, one should make sure to obtain these documents as soon as possible and keep them safe and updated.

 

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