PAN contains ten alphanumeric characters. A typical PAN is AKKPK8264K, where the first three characters i.e. "AKK" in the above PAN are alphabetic series running from AAA to ZZZ, fourth character of PAN i.e. "P" in the above PAN represents the status of the PAN holder. "P" stands for Individual, "F" stands for Firm, "C" stands for Company, "H" stands for HUF, "A" stands for AOP, "T" stands for TRUST etc. Fifth character i.e. "K" in the above PAN represents first character of the PAN holder's last name/ surname.
Next four characters i.e. "8264" in the above PAN are sequential number running from 0001 to 9999. Last character i.e. "K" in the above PAN is an alphabetic check digit.
It is useful to check the fourth character and fifth character of your PAN as they represent your status and surname. In case of any discrepancy, it should be immediately brought to the notice of the issuing authority.