Post Office Address proof card- all you need to know

Getting a proper address proof is a headache for everyone, particularly when they move cities, shift homes and so on. Almost every service you want to avail hinges on you having proper address proof.
The most basic form of address proof is the rental agreement. However this is not acceptable for various major/serious/critical services, who insist on a govt issued ID card with address proof. For example, you may be able to get a phone connection with a rental agreement copy, but you can’t get adhaar card with it.

Thus next stage will be to get some proper ID proof for yourself.

Passport: Passport is the most popular and unquestionable proof of address but passport address may not be changed using rental agreement. (It appears as one of the proofs in the website drop down) but officials often insist on some additional proof. Plus, a passport costs at least INR 2000 + a visit to passport seva kendra, police verification and so on.

Driving license is also equally expensive and takes time (first LL, then DL etc)

The easiest and least complicated form of address proof is to get one from Post office. Yes, Postal department issues an ID Card with address, which serves as a proof of address. This is cheap and convenient to get.
Cost of Postal Department Address Proof ID card: Rs 270+ for normal, 600+ for Tatkal.
Postal department address card processing time: Upto 3 months for normal, 15-20 days for Tatkal.
Note that Tatkal option may only be available at regional/main post offices and not small ones.

Process:
1. Application form: Some post offices sell the application form for Rs 20, while others ask you to download from website, fill it up and bring. Downloading from online and printing (about 4 pages) will be convenient if you have easy access to printer. Else you can check if hard copy is available at the post office near you.
2. Photo: Two recent stamp size photo will be needed
3. Address proof: Rental agreement or any other address proof is needed that matches with the current address for which postal ID card is needed.
Permanent address, if different from current address needs to be specified, along with proof (for permanent address)
4. For salaried people: Employee ID card photocopy, name of employer & office address is needed
5. Personal identifiable mark- this is mandatory- note down any mole, cuts or unique identification marks on your body.

Once you have all these arranged, go to nearest post office, ask for right counter to submit this and submit the documents to the satisfaction of the staff- they might ask for extra paperwork or clarification. They will enter your application details in the system and will give you a receipt for the payment (around INR 270).

After this you’ve to wait. Depending on tatkal/normal and the workload, you should get it in few weeks to few months by speed post.

Validity-Post office address proof ID card is valid for 3 years from date of issue. (point reminded by Pavanaja sir)  This is a bit short duration, given that Passport gets 10 years, DL usually 20, Adhar has no expiry date. But then, main purpose of Postal ID card is to give you some kind of ID proof when you don't have other more acceptable ones. So within 3 years you should aim to get an Adhaar card or passport or DL for your new address.

The postal address card is NOT listed as one of the address proof documents on passport website. But when I spoke to passport helpline, they said this is acceptable.

Even if you have a more popular address proof like Passport, having a second address proof comes handy in case you don’t want to reveal passport details to everyone or when your passport is away-say for visa processing.

Hope this helps.

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