Digital Signature (DSC) is a signature in an electronic format. Digital Signatures are used in India for online transactions such as Filing Annual Return, Company or LLP Incorporation, Income Tax E-Filing, E-Tenders, etc. There are 3 types of Digital Signatures – Class I, Class II and Class III. Class I digital signature is used for securing email communications. Class II digital signature is utilized for company registrations, IT Return, E-filing, obtaining DIN, DPIN, etc. Class III digital signature is used for E-tendering and participating in E-auctions.
Steps to apply for a DSC
On filling up all the necessary details you must affix your recent photograph and put your signature under the declaration. Check thoroughly for completion of the form. Take a print of the completed form and preserve it.
Address the enclosed envelope to the Local Registration Authority (LRA) and post it to the designated address of the LRA for further processing.
On completion of the above-mentioned steps by filling in the DSC Form and providing necessary documents and payment, you have successfully completed the application process for your Digital Signature Certificate.
Rectifying Mistake in Digital Signature Certificate
To change the details or rectify mistakes in the Digital Signature Certificate (DSC), an organization needs to follow the following procedure:
Select the renewed/Changed DSC.
Benefits of DSC
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Ans. Digital Signature Certificates (DSC) are the digital equivalent (that is electronic format) of physical or paper certificates. Few Examples of physical certificates are drivers’ licenses, passports or membership cards. Certificates serve as proof of identity of an individual for a certain purpose; for example, a driver’s license identifies someone who can legally drive in a particular country. Likewise, a digital certificate can be presented electronically to prove one’s identity, to access information or services on the Internet or to sign certain documents digitally.
Ans. A Digital Signature can be obtained by any person (Indian Citizen and Foreign Nationals) and any type of business entity (Partnership, LLP, Company, Trust and others).
Ans. Digital signature can be obtained within 1-3 working days from date of submitting the application along with the required documents.
Ans. No, physical verification is not required for issuing a Digital Signature.
Ans. To obtain a Digital Signature, application form for the Digital Signature must be submitted along with a self-attested copy of the applicant’s identity proof and address proof and also along with photograph of applicant.
Ans. With the e-commerce boom, government agencies have adopted digital signature, and it is also a statutory requirement for many e-forms to be digitally signed by the authorised signatory. So individuals and entities need to obtain the digital signature. A digital signature certificate establishes the identity of the holder. It is like a PAN card or a passport and enables the holder to prove his identity.
Ans, A digital signature certificate is a valid legal instrument and can be used for digitally signing various documents. It can be used for filing income tax returns, e-tenders, for various regulatory company filings.
Ans. While applying for the certificate, the individual or company must purposely select the class. The different classes of digital signature certificates are as follows:
Class 1: This cannot be used by companies. It only verifies the name and email address of individuals.
Class 2: This is needed by companies and other entities. It can be used for filing tax returns. A Class 2 digital signature certificate verifies the identity of a person against a pre-verified, trusted database. However, from 01.01.2021, the Controller of Certifying Authority has instructed to discontinue Class 2 Certificates and Class 3 Certificates will be issued in place of Class 2 Certificates.
Class 3: This is needed for individuals or entities who would like to participate in online auctions or tenders. It is the highest and most secure form of a digital signature certificate. To obtain this, the applicant must present himself or herself in front of a registration authority.
Ans. Most certifying authorities take between three to seven days to issue a digital certificate in India.
Ans. The Certifying Authorities are authorized to issue a certificate with validity of 1 or 2 years depending upon the class of DSC being procured. The holder must be well aware of the validity of the certificate to avoid any business loss.
Ans. Yes. An individual can hold a separate digital signature for personal and professional purposes. As far as holding separate certificates for authorizing varied documents is concerned, an individual can apply for a Class 3 certificate and use it for all documents, as it is the highest level and most secure.
Ans. Yes, the digital signature certificate can be renewed within 7 days prior to the expiry of the existing certificate. However, the renewal must be in the existing name. If the holder applies in a different name, it will be considered as a new application. Changes allowable are changes to the postal address and contact details. In case the renewal is not executed within the time frame, the holder will have to apply for a new DSC.