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Deciphering your 10-digit PAN

Vivina Vishwanathan , Hindustan Times   May 04, 2012
First Published: 20:59 IST(4/5/2012) | Last Updated: 21:01 IST(4/5/2012)

Your permanent account number (PAN) is a 10-digit alphanumeric number, which is used as your identity proof. Have you ever wondered how the combination is made unique for you? 


The classification

The 10 characters of your PAN can be divided into five parts.

First three characters: The first three characters are alphabetic series between AAA to ZZZ. For instance, the beginning of your PAN could be BEP or APZ; the selection is random.

Fourth character: The fourth character always represents your status. For a majority of PAN holders, it is the letter “P”, which stands for “person”. The other nine letters that can represent the fourth character are C, H, F, A, T, B, L, J, and G. C stands for company. H represents Hindu Undivided Family, F stands for partnership firm, A is for association of persons, T stands for trust, B for body of individuals, L represents local authority, J means artificial judicial  person and G stands for government.

Fifth character: The fifth character represents the first alphabet of your last name or surname.

Sixth to ninth characters: The next four characters are sequential numbers between 0001 to 9999. The selection is random.

Tenth character: The last and tenth character is an alphabetic check digit. Alphabetic check digit is generated by applying a formula to the preceding nine letters and numbers.

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