Obtaining a duplicate copy of your documents

ET 9/8/09

Have lost your NSC, FD, Form 16, Pan Card, MF scheme, insurance policy or home loan papers & don’t know how to go about it? Sunday ET guides you through the processes of obtaining a duplicate copy of the documents
Carelessness is one’s greatest enemy. Yet we take things easy and then find ourselves in a spot. Nimisha Gupta, a 27-year-old computer engineer’s case, was no exception. A busy professional, Gupta never cared for financial planning, leave alone caring for what she had in hand. Whatever her parents who lived in another city advised for tax planning, she would buy.

But laziness is a sin! Others may plan on your behalf but responsibility of keeping your financial documents safely cannot be disowned. To Gupta’s horror, she realised one day that her National Savings Certificate, which has become due for redemption, was missing from her cupboard. She remembered her parents’ advise to keep a photocopy of the NSC as a precaution in case of loss of document, but all that was too late to ponder over. To make sure you don’t have to dig deep in such a situation, here’s a guide on the process you can follow to get a duplicate copy of key documents such as NSC, FD, Form 16, Pan Card, mutual fund scheme, insurance policy and home loan papers.

File a report
Before going ahead with the process to get a duplicate copy, it is advisable that you search all your papers thoroughly. More often than not, it has been observed that people keep documents in a ‘safe place’ and then forget all about it. “If the papers, however, cannot be traced after reasonable efforts and you suspect they may have been stolen, a report at the nearest police station must be filed immediately,” advises Amitabh Singh, partner — tax & regulatory services at Ernst & Young. To ensure there is no misuse, instantly inform the respective departments about the loss of original papers/document/policy. The next procedure should be to apply for a duplicate. As a policy, most financial schemes allow for issuance of duplicates on payment of a nominal fees.

National Savings certificate
According to post office regulations, you can get a duplicate certificate issued if loss of the certificate has arisen out of theft, mutilation, defacement. You would be required to send an application to the post office where the NSC was issued. The application should carry as many details that can be furnished by you (name, certificate number, amount, date of issue etc) and also the circumstances leading to the loss of the certificate.

“You are also supposed to submit the FIR copy and furnish an indemnity bond/ declaration/ bank verification as a fulfilment condition to the post with form NC 29. Once a satisfactory verification of the application is done, a duplicate certificate is issued within 45-60 days,” says Zankhana Shah, head of Moneycare Financial Planning. For starters, an indemnity bond can be obtained by registering a FIR and then submitting it in notary public.

Pan Card & FD
To get a duplicate PAN Card, you need to fill a form named ‘Request for new PAN card or/and changes or correction in PAN data’. The form once completed should be sent to NSDL at — National Securities Depository Limited, 3rd floor, Sapphire Chambers, Near Baner Telephone Exchange, Baner, Pune: 411045. You should make sure that all other relevant documents, including the acknowledgement duly signed, demand draft/ cheque, if any, copy of PAN card, proof of identity and address as specified in the application, are be enclosed in the envelope along with the application. A nominal fee of less than Rs 100 is charged for re-issuance of a PAN Card.

The process to get a duplicate fixed deposit paper is a rather simple one. If the FD is with a bank where you have your regular bank account, you just need to call your relationship manager and request for duplicate FD slips to be issued. “Normally, FDs, upon their maturity, are either rolled forward or the proceeds are credited to your savings account and thus the risk is limited,” says Singh.

However, if you have your FD with a bank with whom you have no other banking relationship, you would need to approach the bank, provide them

details of the date of FD, amount etc. along with proof of your identity. On being satisfied with the information, the bank will issue a duplicate FD slip. Usually there are no charges for issue of duplicate FDs from banks and companies. Application on plain paper is sufficient.

MF Scheme & Insurance policy
In case of a loss of mutual fund, you would have to write a letter or mail to respective AMCs mentioning folio number of the scheme and requesting for duplicate documents (account statement). Since most mutual funds provide monthly statements by e-mail or post, it is regarded a good enough document for all purposes. Duplicate statements, however, can be issued upon request to the designated office of the fund.

For obtaining a duplicate insurance policy, however, you need to submit the receipt of premium paid during the year or previous years along with a letter to manager requesting for duplicate policy. But you need to make sure the policy is not one that has already been pledged with any other financial institution for availing a loan by you. “If the policy bond is partially destroyed due to a natural calamity like fire or flood, the remaining portion should be returned as evidence of loss of policy to insurance company, while applying for a duplicate policy,” says Mukesh Gupta, director of Wealthcare Securities.

If the reasons are other, you may be required to insert an ad in any one English daily in the state where the loss has occurred. Then a copy of the newspaper in which the ad appeared has to be sent to the servicing office one month after its appearance. “If no objection has been lodged with insurance company, a duplicate policy will be issued after complying further requirements, that is indemnity bond and payment of charges for preparing duplicate policy and stamp fee,” adds Gupta.

However, the requirement of ad and indemnity bond may be done away with or modified in certain circumstances such as loss of policy by theft, destruction of policy by fire, loss of policy in custody of an office of government, mutilated or damaged policy, policy in torn and a part of it is missing, or policy partially destroyed by ants.

Form 16 & home loan paper
In the event of a loss of Form 16, the employer is authorised to issue duplicate Form 16 on plain paper with ‘Duplicate’ written prominently on the form. “The tax officer may seek an indemnity bond from the tax payer and also get the duplicate Form 16 duly verified by a designated officer in the department before allowing credit for the taxes,” informs Singh. Going forward, since Form 16 is going to be dematerialised, Singh believes loss of Form 16 will not be much of an issue.

Home loan original papers are generally kept with the lender. Hence all you need to in case you misplace the photocopy of the registration paper is ask the bank/housing finance institution for a fresh copy. Usually, unless the loan is very old, a copy is made available without too much difficulty. A nominal fee of Rs 500 or above is generally charged for retrieval of documents.

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