How to deal with Aadhaar, PAN, Voter ID and other official documents when the holder dies?

How to deal with Aadhaar, PAN, Voter ID and other official documents when the holder dies?

We actually have no idea how we should be treating these important official documents after the holder's death.
aadhar pan

No one knows what should be done with the mandatory documents or cards that every citizens posseses. 

Whether these documents must be surrendered or whether they should be discarded or whether they need to be kept safely for further important usage!!

Almost every citizen possesses government IDs and other official documents. These documents and IDs are of crucial importance for a lot of banking works and in many other walks of life. However, one does not know what should be done with these important documents and government IDs once the holder of these dies.

Aadhar Card, Voter-ID, driving license, passport, PAN card etc. are those important documents and IDs regarding which every heir of the deceased gets confused…whether to keep or to dispose or surrender.

Let us take a look at the details given here below about these important documents which will help you understand how to deal with them.


Aadhar Card is one such government ID that serves a lot of purposes. It serves as proof of identity and residence everywhere. It is mandatory to either quote the Aadhar number or provide a copy of the same while opening bank accounts, availing LPG subsidy, getting a new mobile sim etc. Since Aadhar card is actually a unique identification number, it continues to exist even after the demise of the holder. It is not automatically linked with death registries;  hence it does not automatically update to reflect the demise of the person. Also since UIDAI does not have any process of deactivating the Aadhar card of a deceased person, the legal heirs must make note of having the biometrics locked for safety. Locking of biometrics can be done on the site of UIDAI.


PAN card is mandatory for various purposes such as bank accounts, demat accounts, filing of income tax return (ITR) of the deceased. Thus, the PAN must be retained till all such accounts, where quoting the PAN is mandatory, are closed. In case of filing ITRs, the PAN must be held till the tax return has been filed and processed by the I-T department. Remember that the I-T department has the right to re-open assessments up to 4 years including the current assessment years. Further, if any income tax refund is due to the deceased, then ensure that such amount has been credited into his/her bank account. Once matters related to closing of accounts, income tax returns etc. have been adequately taken care of, then the representative or the legal heir can surrender the PAN of the deceased person to the income tax department.


The legal heir of the deceased must visit the local election office; fill form no. 7 under Electoral Rules along with death certificate for the cancellation of the person’s name from voters list.


There is no provision of surrender of driving license, so state specific regulations need to be confirmed in this respect. The RTO office can be visited for this purpose. The legal heir must also confirm the specific vehicle transfer rules in his/her name if the vehicle was registered in the name of the deceased.


In case of passport, there is no provision of cancellation and also no procedure of intimation to the respective authorities. The passport will become invalid by default once it crosses the expiry date.


Apart from the above, it has also been advised by experts that the above mentioned documents be not discarded but kept along with the death certificate.

(inputs from ET)

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