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Who can Open a Demat Account?: Know the Eligibility Criteria


Stock Markets are an investment haven for millions. The apparent reason for this is its exponential growth over the years and the consequent abundant wealth creation opportunities that stocks offer. If you want to get aboard the share market wagon, too, you will need to open a Demat Account.

What is a Demat Account?

A Demat Account is a storage account that keeps your shares and securities in electronic mode. In the earlier time, physical share certificates were used while trading in the stock market, but that is no longer in practice. In this new-age era, shares are traded and stored electronically. The concept of Demat Account was introduced to convert your physical share certificates into digital form. If you want to invest in the stock markets now, a Demat Account is mandatory. More so, the physical format came with risks like theft, forgery, loss, etc. And since a Demat Account is digital, it eliminates these risks.

Additional Read: Features and benefits of a Demat Account

How does a Demat Account work?

Your Demat Account is assigned a unique ID that helps companies to identify you correctly when they have to credit and debit shares from your account.

Demat, Trading, and Bank Accounts are interlinked. The Trading Account transacts share trades using the funds from your Bank Account and shares from your Demat Account. Simply put, the shares you purchase through your Trading Account are credited into your Demat Account, and the funds to buy them are debited from your Bank Account. Similarly, when you sell shares, they are debited from your Demat Account, and the funds earned are credited to your Bank Account.

Additional Read: Is it possible to have two Demat Accounts?

Additional Read: Best Demat Account for beginners

Eligibility Criteria for opening a Demat Account

You can open a Demat Account only through a registered broker or brokerage firm. ICICI Direct is a registered broker that can quickly help you open a Demat Account online or offline. The process to open a Demat Account is similar to opening a Trading or Bank Account. Likewise, the eligibility criteria to open a Demat Account are also on the same lines of a Trading Account.


Anyone can have a Demat Account – minors as well as adults.

If you are a minor, your natural or appointed guardian can open the Demat Account for you. However, in this case, you cannot have any charge over this account till your turn 18 years old. Your natural or appointed guardians will function on your behalf.

PAN Card

A valid PAN Card is mandatory.

Additional Read: How to apply for a PAN card and what is its importance?

Trading Account

You need a functional Trading Account to buy and sell shares from your Demat Account. However, you can have a Demat Account without a Trading Account if you only hold the shares or securities and do not sell them. Even in the case of an IPO, you need a Demat Account to store the shares. A Trading Account is not necessary here.

Additional Read: Can I trade without a Demat Account?

Bank Account Proof

You need a functional Bank Account for opening a Demat Account. Submitting either one will serve as bank proof - A Cancelled cheque, Bank Passbook, latest 6-month Bank Statement.

Income Proof

You need income proof if you want to invest in Futures and Options. Submit any of these to prove your income – the latest 6-month Bank Statement, 3-month salary slip, ITR statement.

Address Proof

You can submit any of these as address proof - PAN card, Aadhaar Card, Driving License, Passport, Voter ID Card, up to 3-month old utility bill, or bank statement.


You need your passport photo and your PAN card matching signature on white paper to complete the documentation.

Additional Read: Can a student open a Demat Account?


The process to open your Demat Account in a hassle-free and quick manner requires having your documentation handy. Once your documents are in order, choose the best broker in terms of service quality and price to make your stint in shares a happy one.

Additional Read: How to invest without a Demat account?

Also Read: How to choose the Best Broker?

Additional Read: Maintenance Charges for a Demat Account


   1.  Who can hold a Demat account?

Anyone can hold a Demat Account age-wise – minors as well as adults. If you are a minor, your natural or appointed guardian can open the Demat Account for you and operate it till you turn 18 years old. After that, you can use it yourself.

You need to have a PAN card and other KYC documentation like valid address proof, bank account proof, a passport-sized photo, etc., to be eligible for holding a Demat account.

   2.  Can a 16-year-old open a Demat account?

No, while a 16-year-old can have a Demat account, they cannot open or operate their Demat account. You need to be a minimum of 18 years of age to open an account.

Your natural or appointed guardian can open the Demat Account for you and operate it till you turn 18 years old, on your behalf. Once you turn 18 years old, you can take charge of your account.

   3.  Can government employees open Demat?

Yes, government employees can open Demat accounts.

Though there are some restrictions on their trading and investment activity, government employees are permitted to open a Demat account, just like any other Indian citizen.

   4.  Can a housewife open a Demat account?

Yes, a homemaker can open a Demat account.

Anyone above 18 years of age is allowed to open a Demat account. You only need to fulfil the essential eligibility criteria to open a Demat account. As per the criteria, if you have a PAN card and some KYC documentation like valid address proof, bank account proof, and other miscellaneous documents, you are eligible to open a Demat account.

Disclaimer: ICICI Securities Ltd. (I-Sec). Registered office of I-Sec is at ICICI Securities Ltd. - ICICI Centre, H. T. Parekh Marg, Churchgate, Mumbai - 400020, India, Tel No: 022 - 2288 2460, 022 - 2288 2470.  The contents herein above shall not be considered as an invitation or persuasion to trade or invest. Investments in the securities market are subject to market risks, read all the related documents carefully before investing. I-Sec and affiliates accept no liabilities for any loss or damage of any kind arising out of any actions taken in reliance thereon. The contents are solely for informational and educational purposes.

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