Ration card is an essential document issued by the government of India which helps the cardholder to avail items at subsidized rates. These items generally include food grains, kerosene, etc. This card may not have made any substantial impact on those who stand to be doing well enough for themselves in the nation, however, it is proven to be a boon for those below the poverty line and falling under the BPL sector. 

More importantly, a ration card also acts like a proof of identity and address and therefore, it can be used for purposes like applying for other documents like domicile certificate, voter ID, and several others. 

Types of Ration card you should know about

If you do not have a ration card and are aiming to get one for yourself, here are the types of ration card you should know about, so that you apply for the right one. 

  1. White ration card: this card is issued if you are above the poverty line. The white colour indicates that you are a citizen of India who is above the poverty line. 
  2. Blue/red/green/yellow ration card: this difference in color signifies that the cardholder is below the poverty line and would be eligible for subsidized rates on food grains, kerosene, etc. 

What is the eligibility criteria for the Ration card?

In order to issue a ration card for yourself, you would have to fulfill the following requirements:

  1. There is no person who has applied for a ration card on your behalf
  2. No member of your family has applied for a ration card
  3. Should be a citizen of India. 

These mandates are in place solely to avoid the illegal procurement of more than one ration card per family. The ration card is a family oriented document and is therefore issued one per family. 

What are the list of documents needed for the Ration card?

In case you are applying for a ration card after checking your eligibility as stated above, here is a list of documents that may come in handy when you apply for the ration card. 

  1. State application form
  2. Identity proof – Election ID, Driving license, passport, government ID card, etc)
  3. Proof of residence – the electricity bill, telephone bill, LPG receipt, bank passbook, rental agreement
  4. Photograph of the head of the family
  5. The annual income of the applicant
  6. Canceled or surrendered ration card if any. 

How to apply for a ration card?

Online procedure:

  1. You can visit the official website of the Food, Civil supplies and Consumer affairs department (note: this link varies from state to state, so ensure you apply on your state of residence) of the state in which you have your residence. You can directly apply by providing the required documents and filling the application form that comes up in front of you. Once you have filled in all the information correctly, you can then submit the form. 
  2. Upon submitting, a representative from the Department of Food, Civil Supplies, and Consumer affairs will get in touch with you. The representative will assist you with the process. 
  3. If the documents that you have submitted stand to be correct after verification, then the ration card will be sent to you on the address you have provided. 

There are various third party websites also that assist you in filling out the ration card form by explaining the process to you and by helping you upload the necessary documents. You can even visit the website and once you submit the form, upload the necessary documents you can expect the ration card couriered to you in a matter of days. 

Offline procedure:

  1. There also is an offline platform available to those who are not so technically advanced and who find doing things manually a whole lot safer and comfortable. 
  2. For those wanting an offline procedure first need to send an SMS to Food, Civil supplies and Consumer affairs department of the state in which the applicant resides. 
  3. There will be a reply to the message which will have the instructions to follow regarding the procedure of applying for the ration card in your state government. 
  4. You can also find the toll-free number or the customer care number on the state government website. You can used this number to know the process which is ideal in order to apply for the ration card
  5. You can also visit the Food, Civil supplies and Consumer affairs department office in your state with all the necessary documents needed for the application and then apply physically for a ration card by submitting the application form and all the copies of the documents you carried along. 

How to check the status of your ration card?

Now that you have applied for the ration card, you now wait for your ration card to reach you. But let this not be a matter of uncertainty to you. You can follow up on the application and check up on the status of your ration card. Wondering how?

Here is how you can go about it

  1. You can check the status of your ration card online by visiting the Food, Civil supplies and Consumer affairs website. 
  2. Under the e-services option on the website, you will find the option reading ‘checking ration card status’. 
  3. Either you will shown a list of names of people who have recently applied for a ration card and the status, or you will have to enter your credentials and log in. Once you have successfully logged in, you will be able to check the application status of your ration card. 

Download and print ration card online

You will get an approval on your ration card after you have applied for it online. Once approved, you can download the ration card and print it out for future use. The process stands to be the same. 

  1. Login with your credentials
  2. Find the option to download or print the ration card

This printed version will have all the details of your card and you can use this to avail food grains and other items at subsidized rates.