Frequently Asked Questions About Ration Card (Ration Card FAQ)

Indian Ration Card lets you not only obtaining rationing articles from ration shop but it uses as a proof of identity and address proof. In some occasions, it acts as an income proof too. Here we mainly look into the Ration Card FAQs over type of ration cards and rationing articles from Fair Price Shops.

FAQ-1. What are the classification of Ration Card?

There are five types of ration card:

  1. APL ration card (Replaced with Non-Priority House Hold as per NFSA)
  2. BPL ration card (Replaced with Priority House Hold as per NFSA)
  3. Antordoy Anna Yojna card
  4. Annapurna Anna Yojna card
  5. Nirashrit Antordoy Anna Yojna card

Upto age of 12 years, a half unit ration card is issued and full unit ration card is issued in case of age more than 12 years.

FAQ-2. What are the Documents Required for Applying Ration Cards in Various States of India?

The required enclosures for an APL ration card are: a proof of residence (the person's name must be enlisted in Passport / Voter list / Bank pass book / Land registry copy / Telephone bill/ Electric bill / Aadhaar), birth certificate (for family member of half unit) and two copies of photograph of the Head of the family.

In case a person applies for a BPL/Antordoy Anna Yojna ration card, then the required enclosures are BPL certificate and two copies of photograph of the Head of the family.

For Annapurna Anna Yojna ration card, every ward member sends a list of people who are eligible, in his/her ward to RMC's ration department.

In case a person applies for a Nirashrit Antordoy Anna Yojna ration card, then the required enclosures are proof of nirashrit (the bank pass book for getting the nirashrit pension) and two copies of photograph of the Head of the family. (if the person is under BPL, BPL certificate is also required).

For obtaining a new ration card of any of the above type, the applicant has to produce a "No Objection Certificate" from the respective ration shop of his/her ward, certifying that he/she does not have any ration card in that shop.

FAQ-3. What are the methods available for applying Ration card in Indian States?

Application for the ration card can be submitted either directly to your Taluk Supply office / District Supply office (TSO/DSO office) OR online submission. Detailed information and step by step procedure for both online application and offline (direct) application for obtaining ration cards are found here.

FAQ-4. What are the services provided by the Department Of Civil Supplies, Government Kerala?

Rice, Wheat, Levy Sugar and Kerosene are the rationed articles supplied through the ration shops to the card holders in the state under the Public Distribution System (PDS).

FAQ-5. How Does the Distribution of Rationed Rice and Wheat Taken Place?

The family ration card is issued on the basis of house to house enumeration of the details of families. One Unit per day is allowed to a non-adult and two Units per day is allowed for an adult.

Under the Rationing System every month the Government of India allocate Rice, Wheat, Sugar and Kerosene to the State Government. The Rice and Wheat so allocated by the Government of India are stored in the various godowns in the state by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) in the state.

The Food Corporation of India is having their 22 Sub depots in 14 Districts and they distribute Rice and Wheat directly to the Wholesale Distributors who will supply the stock lifted to retail depot in accordance with the authority list issued by the Taluk/City Rationing Officers.

The Authorized Wholesale Distributors are appointed by the District Collectors while the Retail Distributors are appointed by the District Supply officers.

The Authorized Retail Distributors distribute to the cardholders the rationed articles on production of the ration cards issued by the Taluk Supply officers/City Rationing Officers at the scale and price fixed by the Government from time to time.

FAQ-6. How does Levy Sugar distributed to Ration Card Holders?

The Levy Sugar allotted by the Government of India is lifted by the Civil Supplies Corporation and made available for distribution to the ARDs at their Taluk levels Depots. The ARDs lift the levy sugar from the Taluk Depot of the Corporation and distribute it to the card holders.

FAQ-7. How does Kerosene distributed to Ration Card holders?

The whole operation of distribution of kerosene is governed by the Kerala Kerosene Control Order, 1968, promulgated by the State Government under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.

As per this order, sufficient number of kerosene Wholesale Dealers (KWDs) for a Taluk are appointed by the District Collector concerned and these KWDs lift the stock of kerosene allotted to them every month by the Departmental Officers from the respective Oil Companies, I.O.C., B.P.C., and H.P.C., and make it available for distribution to the ARDs who in turn lift the stock allotted to them and distribute it to card holders.

FAQ-8. What does it mean 1 unit in Ration card?

At present one unit ration is defined as 1 Kg.

FAQ-9. What are the types of Ration Cards Available?

There are mainly two types of cards available. APL (Above Poverty Line) Ration Cards for the families of above Poverty Line and BPL (Below Poverty Line) Ration Cards for those families belonging to Below Poverty Line.

Other cards coming under the BPL category were the AAY (Anthyodaya Anna Yojana Scheme) Ration Cards for the poorest families among the BPL families and ANP (Annapurna Scheme) Ration Card meant for the senior citizens above the age of 65 in BPL families.

FAQ-10. What does it mean temporary ration Card?

Temporary Ration Cards are issued to those who stay temporarily in any part of the state.

FAQ-11. What are the uses of a Ration Card?

Ration Card is the basic document for the purchase of rationed articles under the Targeted Public Distribution System. The Taluk Supply Officer (TSO) / Assistant Taluk Supply Officer (ATSO) is the Officer empowered to issue Ration Cards and to make available the food grains for distribution through FPS (Fair Price Shops).

Though Ration Cards are permitted to be used for drawing rationed articles only, it is widely recognized and used as identity card, for exercise of franchise, obtaining passport, Bank loans, LPG connection, telephone connection, driving license etc. The Ration cards should not be used for any purpose other than for the issue of food-grain under TPDS.

Question-1. How Does Expatriate Apply for Ration Card?

I and my Family is living in outside of India, How to apply for Ration Card? Can I apply online, and how I can get Ration Card and How I will pay the expense money for the ration card?

Answer: Online Ration Card Application for Expatriates - Expatriates can apply for ration card but to be personally appeared for verification of the documents at Supply office.

Question-2. How to Renew and Add New Members in Unused Ration Card?

My family's ration card has not been renewed since the year 2000. Therefore, it is of the old type (no bar code, etc.). I would like to apply for a new ration card (the present type) and as my ration card hasn't been renewed for a long time, I'm unsure of what to do. Should I apply by saying that I don't have a ration card or that I have an old one and would like a new card? Also, I would like to include some new members (my children). Could you please inform me about the required procedure to do the above?

Answer: You are advised to apply for adding new members to your existing card. After completing all formalities, you will receive new ration card with current and updated member's details along with bar-code. You can use either online application or direct using paper application form.


Question-3. How to Cancel Members From Ration Card and Obtain LPG Connection?

My ration card was issued in 2008. That time, my uncle and my brother were included in our ration card. Currently, my uncle and brother have shifted to their house. They are now abroad and will not come back within 2 years. Using my ration card, my brother has taken gas connection in his name but to be stayed in his house. What should I do to cut their name from ration card as well as to get gas connection in my name?

Answer: First of all tell your brother either transfer LPG connection to your name or surrender it. Then get reduction certificate for your brother and uncle. It will allow them to get their own ration card. Hence your card will be holding only your family members.


Question-4. Are APL Card Holders in Kerala Eligible For Sugar From PDS? If So, How Many Units/Month?

Answer: It happens occasionally as special distribution for festival seasons, like Onam, Vishu etc.


Question-5. How to Cancel Names From Existing Ration Card and Obtain New Ration Card?

I used to live with my family (parents, wife & children). Now I with wife and children have shifted to a rented house. How can I delete my name along with wife and children. How to apply for new ration card (temporary or permanent). Can I do all this online. Will I require permission from landlord of present residence for issuing new card. Both houses are in the same locality. My new house is under construction in another locality.

Answer: Deduct Names From Parent's Ration Card and Apply for New Card - It's known as splitting the ration card. Details are given below:

1. You wanted to deduct your name along with your wife and kids from existing card which is issued in the name of your Father / Mother. You can do it by collecting a deduction certificate if you provide necessary documentation along with application.

2. Then you want to apply for a fresh card using your new rented house address. Since you have started construction of your house, is it legitimate to have it right now? If you want to have new ration card, additional details are agreement from the house owner and ward member's recommendation.

3. Besides your new house is under construction and after some months, you will shift to your new permanent address. If you will shift within a few months it is better to have your card after shifting it.


Question-6. How To Obtain Ration Card For Separated Woman After Marriage?

I am and my daughter of 7 years old staying in Ernakulam for past 3 years. I got separated from my husband almost 6 years over. Can I take a ration card only for me and my daughter?

Answer: Separated women and her children will get ration card. You may require to submit additional documents such as affidavit from ward member and sometimes NOC from your husband. Otherwise you should have divorce certificate to prove that you have legally done it. Complete details can be had from your City rationing Officer / DSO.


Question-7. Can a Citizen Opt-out of the Ration Card System?

I have an APL ration card. Is it a mandatory requirement to obtain a ration card? As Aadhar or Passport is available for ID purposes, would any Govt. or private authorities insist to produce the ration card for any purposes? I am able to sustain with out depending the PDS or not being an additional burden to the Govt in TPDS. Please advise what difficulties one would face having no ration card.

Answer: Citizen can opt-out from rationing system if they don't want anything from PDS. Offices like bank, village, Panchayat etc. will ask ration card for address proof but if you have aadhaar cad, it will be enough for it. Even if you don't want ration card, it is advisable to keep it as an authenticated document which may be useful in an unexpected moment! Who knows what can't be happened. If you think, it will be a burden, forget it.


Question-8. Required New Ration Card, But Difficult to Get Deduction Certificate. How to Overcome this kind of Situations?

I am from Tamil Nadu and my wife is from Kerala. And we were purchased a house in Trivandrum. We are staying over there. We are looking for a new ration card. I don't have a good touch with my family. So i can't provide the details of "removal of name from old card is not possible to submit". How can I get a card in this situation?

Answer: Your name is already there in your parent's ration card but due to family issues, you are unable to communicate with them for deducting your name from it. You wait until completion of the renewal process and try to find whether your name has been deducted from the new card. Most probably, your parents or the current holder of your parent's ration card omitted your name from it. If it is not, you can apply for a fresh card with out difficulties. Otherwise, you contact your parents through a mediator and get the deduction certificate for applying new one. Why can't you have a discussion with your DSO/TSO?

Question-9. How to Change APL Ration Card Into AAY Ration Card?

My last ration card was a Antyoday Anna Yojna (AAY) but at time of renewal they converted my ration card into Above Poverty Line (APL), so I want Antyoday Anna Yojna (AAY) type card. How can I apply for that?

Answer: According to new rationing system, you cannot request for a particular type ration card. It depends on the eligibility calculated based on the documents and proof you submitted. If there is any mistakes happened, you can request for an apeal or reconsideration along with the proof and evidences.

Question-10. What Will Happen If A Ration Card Is Unused For A Long Time?

Hello, my mother used to purchase from ration shop every month and in future due to some personal reasons she will be moving outside India for some months and the card will not be used for some months, can she be able to use the same card even though it is not expired or does that needs to be renewed due to not in use? And also my question is in case if the ration card is not used to purchase in ration shop for a long period, will it be expired or that can be used in future for purchasing of goods as before without any kind of renewals?

Answer: Nothing will happen even if you are not using your ration card for one year. Once you have obtained ration card, as of now, it is your decision whether rationing articles to be purchased or not. No one will ask you why don't you use it. Buy or not to buy, it is your discretion.

Question-11. Will Ration Card Be Expired If Some Months Not Used?

Answer: No, It won't be expired. If you found no use, you can surrender it so that your allotment of the rationing articles will be reduced from the system else there are chances to misuse it by retailers.

Question-12. How Do Bachelors Apply for Ration Card? Is Marriage Compulsory For Obtaining Ration Card?

I just want to confirm that whether marriage is compulsory if we are applying for a new ration card? I went to Bhandup (Mumbai) Ration card office one month before. They told me that you can't apply for a new ration card if you are not married.

Answer: In some States, ration card is restricted to Single persons specifically for Single / Unmarried males. Please contact your Rationing officer to know exact rule. As far as my knowledge is concerned there is provision to obtain rations cards for single / unmarried male in Maharashtra.

Question-13. What Is The Procedure To Get Ration Card For Single Unmarried Female?

I am single unmarried female. My parents have passed away and I am residing separately from last three years. I would like to apply for a ration card. Can you please tell me what is the procedure?

Answer: Procedure depends State you are residing. Contact your nearest rationing officer for more details.

Question-14. How To Combine Two Ration Cards Into One After Reunited Family Members?

Initially we have a single ration card. Now my parents and my ration card are individual. We want to make a single ration card on the name of my parents i.e add our name in parents ration card. Please suggest me is it possible again makes a single ration card and what is the procedure.

Answer: Combining two ration cards is possible if both parties are staying together. Make a request for cancelling one ration card and include those members to other card. Contact your TSO / DSO / CRO for application form and further guidance.