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Issue of Pan Card
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Permanent Account Number (PAN) is a mode of an Individual's identification in India. It is a unique alphanumeric identification number. It is an information store for all the citizens of the country. The structure of PAN is ABCDE1234F- where the first five characters are letters; next four characters are numbers and the last character is a letter.

The nature of PAN usage is similar to the National Insurance Number in UK. The National Insurance number in UK is an 10-digit numeric code that is a mandatory identification requirement for working in UK. It can also help the owner to gain additional benefits.

An interesting feature of PAN is its validity. A PAN card is valid till lifetime. So even if you change your residential address, your PAN card will be valid.

Structure of Pan Card

PAN is a unique 10-digit alphanumeric code that provides the details regarding the identity of a person by tracking all their financial transactions. PAN is generally in the format ABCDE1234F.

But, did you know that your PAN number encloses details to your identity?

The first three characters are random alphabetic combinations from AAA to ZZZ. The total number of possible combinations is 17,576. So the first three alphabets of your PAN are chosen from a pool of 17,576 combinations of three alphabets.

The fourth character represents the PAN owner's status. So, if the fourth character is P, it means that the PAN is alloted to an individual/person. Similarly, here's a list of what the fourth alphabet of your PAN card could mean.

  1. Association of Persons
  2. Body of Individuals
  3. Company
  4. Firm
  5. Government
  6. Hindu Undivided Family
  7. Local Authority
  8. Artificial Juridical Person
  9. Trust

The fifth character is the first letter of your surname. So, if your surname is Reddy, then the fifth character on you PAN would be R.

Just like the first three characters, the sixth to ninth characters are also the sequential combinations from 0001 to 9999. The number of possible combinations is 10,000.

The tenth character is worked out by applying a formula to the predetermined nine characters.


Issuing of PAN Card

PAN issuing authority

PAN can be issued to an individual/entity by the authorised PAN agencies in all the districts. You can visit the authorised agency in your district and apply for PAN. Alternatively PAN can also be issued by the National Securities Depository Limited(NSDL). You can apply for PAN online at the NSDL website.

PAN Allotment

PAN is alloted to the applicants after the assessment procedure is completed by the Assessing Officers.

The Assessing Officers/AOs use the AIS(Automatic Identification System) to verify the personal and residential details provided by the applicant. After the basic round of verification by using the AIS, the application is sent to the centers where the Officers use IPAN system to fill in the date on which the individual/entity had applied for PAN. When the process of verification is finished the application is forwarded to the Central Data System in Delhi.The National Computer Center has all the data regarding individuals registered. The Central Data System verifies the details of the individual/entity against the pre-existing PAN data to discover if the applicant already owns a PAN. If the data suggests that the applicant already owns a PAN, the application gets rejected. If it's established that the applicant doesn't own a PAN, the PAN is alloted. This procedure of PAN allotment is called the batch allocation of PAN. The batch allocation of PAN is worked out through AIS.

After the verification process is completed in the Central Data System, the PAN details are sent to the Assessing Officer, who forwards the PAN details to be printed and sent to the applicant's address.

Operating Model

PAN system operates on the PPP or Public Private Partnership Model. The reason for choosing this operating model is solely due to efficiency. PPP model is known for being effective and economic, which helps the Income Tax Department to competently issue PAN to the applicants.

Two reputed entities, NSDL and UTIITSL have partnered with the Income Tax Department for the processing of PAN applications and handling and verifying of documents submitted by the PAN applicants.