Ration Card in India| Types of Ration Cards, Application Process for Tamil Nadu Smart Ration Card Online| Name Change, Ration Card Transfers

A Vital Document for Subsidized Essentials:

Ration cards hold significant importance in India, serving as both an address and identity proof. These cards grant Indian households access to subsidized food grains through the Public Distribution System. With the advent of technology, several state governments have introduced an e-ration card facility, making it easier for households to obtain and manage their ration cards.

What is a Ration Card?

A ration card, issued by state governments, plays a dual role. It serves as proof of nationality and offers insights into an individual’s economic status. While obtaining a ration card isn’t mandatory, many opt for it because of its broad acceptance as an identity proof and its potential to unlock various government benefits.

Ration cards come in different categories, each determined by an individual’s earning capacity. These categories vary from state to state but are generally based on annual income. The card’s category dictates the entitlement to certain rationed goods, ensuring that those with higher incomes do not benefit from subsidized rates.

How to Apply for a New Ration Card:

If you’re looking to acquire a new ration card, the process typically involves the following steps:

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Applicant must be an Indian citizen.
  • The applicant should not possess a ration card from another state.
  • The applicant and family members must reside and cook separately.
  • No other family card should be held in the same state.

Required Documents:

To initiate the application, you will need the following documents:

  • A completed and signed application form.
  • An identity proof, which can include an Election photo ID card, driving license, passport, or any other government-issued ID card.
  • Current residence proof, such as an electricity bill, telephone bill, LPG receipt, bank passbook, rental agreement, or rent paid receipt.
  • A photograph of the head of the family.
  • Details about the applicant’s annual income.
  • The old canceled or surrendered ration card (if applicable).

Application Process:

Upon submitting the application form along with the required documents and a basic fee, the file is sent for field verification. Within 30 days, an officer conducts an inspection to verify the details provided by the applicant.


If all details are confirmed, a ration card is issued based on the applicant’s annual income. In case of rejection, the applicant receives a letter detailing the reasons. Providing false or misleading information can lead to criminal prosecution as per the law.

Ration cards remain a vital part of India’s social and economic landscape, ensuring that essential food items reach those who need them the most while preventing misuse by higher-income groups. Obtaining and maintaining a ration card through both traditional and e-ration card facilities continues to make a significant impact on the lives of millions of Indian households

Seamless Ration Card Transfers:

Relocating to a new city or transitioning from one state to another can sometimes necessitate the transfer of your ration card. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make this process smooth and hassle-free:

  • Visit the Nearest Ration Office: Head over to the nearest ration office in your new jurisdiction. Make sure you take along all necessary documents to support your application.
  • Submit a Written Application: Prepare a written application that requests the transfer of your ration card. Clearly, state the reasons for the transfer, including your relocation details. This application serves as your formal request for the transfer.
  • Proof of New Address: Include documents that validate your new address in the application. These can be documents like an electricity bill, telephone bill, rental agreement, or any other proof recognized by your new state’s government. These documents provide evidence of your new place of residence.
  • Application Fee: Be prepared to pay the application fee associated with the transfer. This fee can vary, so it’s best to check with the local ration office for the precise amount.
  • Processing the Transfer: Once you’ve submitted your application, your request for the transfer will be processed. This may take some time, so be patient during this period.

For Name Change After Marriage:

If a woman in your family is getting married and moving to her husband’s home, you’ll need to update the ration card. To do this, you’ll need to:

  • Submit an application to remove her name from her parent’s ration card.
  • Apply to add her name to her husband’s family card. This typically requires submitting a marriage certificate to complete the procedure.

E-Ration Cards:

Several state governments have introduced e-ration cards through the Electronic Public Distribution System (EPDS). This technology-based system enhances the overall public distribution system. It allows the public to access details of rationed goods online through the EPDS platform, offering greater transparency and convenience.

These steps ensure that your ration card transitions with you when you move to a new location or when family dynamics change. Ration cards remain an important part of accessing subsidized essentials, and a smooth transfer process ensures that your family’s food security isn’t compromised during significant life changes.

In the era of digitalization, the Indian government is striving to make essential services more accessible and efficient. The public distribution system (PDS), which provides essentials such as rice, pulses, and sugar through fair-price shops, is no exception. Tamil Nadu, in its quest for efficiency, has introduced a smart ration card to replace traditional ones, offering enhanced security and reliability.

The primary objective of this smart card is to provide a secure and seamless gateway for its citizens. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of applying for a Tamil Nadu smart ration card online and explore related services.

Applying for a Tamil Nadu Smart Ration Card Online:

  • Visit the Official Tamil Nadu Public Distribution System Website: To get started, head to the official website https://www.tnpds.gov.in/ of the Tamil Nadu Public Distribution System.
  • Access the Smart Ration Card Application: On the website’s homepage, you’ll find the “Apply for Electronic Card” option at the top right corner. Click on it to initiate the application process.
  • Choose the Application Type: You will be presented with two options at the top left corner: “Application for new electronic card” and “Old family card registration.” Select the one that matches your needs.
  • Complete the Application Form: Once you choose the relevant application type, you will be presented with a form. Fill in the required details. For instance, if you opt for “Old family card registration,” you will need to provide your Ration Card number and FPS Code.
  • Upload Your Photo: You’ll be prompted to upload a photo in JPEG, JPG, or PNG format, with a file size limit of 5.0 MB.
  • Head of the Family: Enter the details of the head of the family. Then, proceed to add the details of other family members one by one.
  • Add Family Members: To add family members, click on the “Add member” option, located on the right side of the page.
  • Complete the Member Details: Fill in the necessary information and upload the required documents, including a photo of the family member.
  • Card Selection: Select the type of card you require. Options include “No Commodity Card,” “Rice Card,” “Sugar Card,” and “Others.” If you choose “Others,” a further dropdown menu will appear with options such as “Police card,” “Prison card,” and “Forest card.”
  • Proof of Residence: Choose the type of proof of residence you wish to upload and submit the relevant document. Ensure that the document size is less than 1.0 MB.
  • LPG Gas Connection: If you have an LPG gas connection, enable the corresponding option and provide the requested details.
  • Confirmation and Submission: After filling in all the details and enabling the confirmation option, click on the “Register” button at the bottom of the form. By enabling confirmation, you certify that the information provided is accurate, and you accept responsibility for any cancellation due to errors.
  • Track Your Application: Upon successful submission, you will receive a reference number that allows you to track your application’s status.

With this seamless online process, applying for a Tamil Nadu smart ration card is now more convenient and accessible. The digital transition not only enhances efficiency but also ensures a more secure and reliable experience for citizens.

Tracking Your Smart Ration Card Application Status in Tamil Nadu:

Once you’ve applied for a smart ration card in Tamil Nadu, it’s essential to keep track of the application’s status. You can easily do this by following these steps:

  • Visit the Official Tamil Nadu Public Distribution System Website: To track your smart card application, head to the official website of the Tamil Nadu Public Distribution System
  • Access Application Status: On the website, locate and click on the “Status of electronic card application.” You’ll find this option at the top right corner of the page, just below the “Apply for Electronic Card” option.
  • Enter Your Reference Number: Once you click on the status option, you’ll be redirected to a page where you can check the status of your smart card application. Here, you’ll need to enter your reference number, which was provided after your application.
  • Check Your Application Status: By entering the reference number, you can now view the current status of your smart ration card application.
  • Need Assistance? If you have any questions or need assistance, you can call the toll-free number at 1967 or 1800-425-5901.

Types of Tamil Nadu Smart Ration Cards:

Tamil Nadu Public Distribution System offers various types of smart ration cards, each tailored to provide specific benefits. The type of card you hold determines the essential goods you can access. Here is the list of goods offered through TNPDS:

  • Sugar
  • Wheat
  • Rice
  • Kerosene
  • Palm Oil
  • Urid Dhall
  • Toor Dhall

There are five types of cards provided by TNPDS, categorized as PHH (Priority House Hold) and NPHH (Non-Priority House Hold):

  • PHH RICE Cardholders: These individuals receive all the goods at subsidized rates at the ration shop, including Sugar, Wheat, Rice, Kerosene, Palm Oil, Urid Dhall, and Toor Dhall.
  • PHHA Cardholders: This category includes all the goods provided to PHH RICE cardholders along with an additional 35 Kg of Rice.
  • NPHH Card Holders: For NPHH cardholders, only sugar is provided among all the goods.
  • NPHHNC Cardholders: In this category, no goods are provided.

Ration Card– FAQs

1.What Is the Purpose of a Ration Card in India?

A ration card in India serves as an essential document for identity and economic status, allowing households to purchase subsidized food grains through the Public Distribution System. It helps individuals access government benefits and necessities at affordable rates.

2.What Are the Different Types of Ration Cards in India?

Ration cards in India come in various categories, such as PHH RICE, PHAA, NPHH/NPHH-L, NPHHS, and NPHHNC. Each type determines the entitlement of individuals to specific rationed goods.

3.How Can I Apply for a New Ration Card in Tamil Nadu?

To apply for a new smart ration card in Tamil Nadu, you can use the online application process through the official website. You’ll need to meet eligibility criteria and submit the required documents.

4.What Are the Eligibility Criteria for Getting a Smart Ration Card in Tamil Nadu?

Eligibility for a smart ration card in Tamil Nadu includes being an Indian citizen, resident in Tamil Nadu, having an annual income below a specified limit, and meeting certain criteria related to land ownership, employment, and more.

5.How Can I Check the Status of My Tamil Nadu Smart Ration Card Application?

You can track the status of your smart ration card application in Tamil Nadu by using the reference number provided after your application. Visit the official Tamil Nadu Public Distribution System website and input your reference number to check the status.