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A digital signature is nothing but the electronic format of a physical signature. It is used to validate the authenticity of the signatories. A DS Certificate is provided as a proof of identity like driving license, passport, etc. A DSC can be provided as a proof of identity to access information online.


Why Digital Signature?
Digital signature can be used as proof in legal matters.
  • To ensure security and authenticity of the documents submitted online, the government requires digital signatures.
  • Unlike physical/handwritten signature, Digital Signature is significantly more difficult to forge.
  • It is time saving and takes less effort.
  • It can be used in online transactions such as filing Annual Return, Company or LLP Incorporation, Income Tax e-Filing, e-Tenders, etc.
  • For signing daily used documents such as MS-Word, MS-Excel, etc.

    Highlights of Digital Signature
    A DSC contains user’s information such as name, physical address, email address, country, date of issued certificate, etc. A DSC is explicitly associated with the owner’s identity with two keys – private keys and public keys. The authentication is possible and successful only if both the keys are available and match. The private key is stored on the user's computer hard disk or on an external memory device. The user retains control of the private key; it can only be used with the issued password. The public key is diffused with the encrypted information. This means that the encrypted data cannot be decrypted and therefore, is inaccessible to unauthorized parties.


    Digital Signatures are of three types:
  • Class I – This certificate is issued to individuals. These validate the name and email address of the user and hence are used in securing email communications.
  • Class II – This certificate is issued for both personal and private use of an individual. These validate the information of the user in the application does not conflict with the information of the user in various customer databases. It is used for company registrations, IT Return E-filing, Obtaining DIN, DPIN etc.
  • Class III – This certificate is issued for individuals as well as organizations. These are high assurance certificates and hence used in ecommerce such as e-auctions and e-tendering.

    Documents required for Digital Signature
  • Applicant’s identity proof such as PAN card
  • Applicant’s address proof such as Aadhaar card, Voter ID card, etc.
  • Passport size photograph
  • Digital Signature Registration Process
    Certification Agencies are appointed by the office of the Controller of Certification Agencies (CCA). There are a total of 8 Certification Agencies authorized by the CCA to issue Digital Signature Certificates. A licensed Certifying Authority (CA) issues digital signatures.
    DSC can be acquired by directly approaching government-listed agencies such as TCS, IDBRT, MTNL, SAFESCRYPT, etc. by providing the required documents.
  • A letter/certificate issued by a Bank containing the DSC applicant’s information as retained in the Bank database can be accepted. The Bank Manager should certify such letter/certificate.
    Digital Signature is an electronic format of a physical signature
    Digital Signature is an electronic format of a physical signature
    Digital Signatures are valid for 1-2 years only. It can be renewed once the validity period expires.
    It takes about 1-3 working days from the date of application to obtain a Digital Signature.
    The following documents are required for registration of Digital Signature:
  • Applicant’s identity proof
  • Applicant’s address proof
  • Passport size photograph
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