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Digital Signature Certificate Overview
Due to digitization across major areas, the need for digitally authenticated documents has increased globally. This has lead to a major reduction in manually signed documents. Digital Signature Certificates or DSC or Digital Signature are being adopted by various government agencies and now is a statutory requirement in various applications. The platforms like Income tax, GST, RBI, etc. mandate the use of DSC while filing any applications or returns on their platforms. In some cases, the govt. authorities have completely done away with manual signature and rely solely on DSC for authentication purposes. The DSC come in the form of USB tokens and look like pen drives. These tokens are password protected and often linked to the PAN or Aadhar of the user.
What is Digital Signature Certificate?
A Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) is a secure digital key that certifies the identity of the holder. It is issued by a Certifying Authority (CA) and is valid across different govt. platforms. It typically contains your identity (name, email, country and your public key). Digital Certificates use Public Key Infrastructure meaning data that has been digitally signed or encrypted by a private key can only be decrypted by its corresponding public key. A Digital Signature is a secure key (USB E-Token) that contains the signature in digital format and is issued for the purpose of validating & verifying a particular person or entity. These tokens are often issued with a validity of 1-2 years and are required to be re-made thereafter.
Types of Digital Signature Certificate
There are 3 classes of DSC which are issued by the Certifying authority. Out of these, Class 3 DSCs are most widely used due to their applicability in various govt. forms. The three classes of DSC are summarized below:
Class 1 certificates are issued to individuals/private subscribers. These certificates will confirm that user's name (or alias) and E-mail address form an unambiguous subject within the Certifying Authorities database. Due to the nature and limited data they authenticate, the usage of this class is limited. These are no longer accepted at various Govt. websites. Accordingly, they are generally not used these days.
Class 2 Digital Signature (DSC) are generally issued to individuals and organizations for both Indian and foreign applicant. The main function of this certificate is to authenticate the details of the signer. It re-affirms the already mentioned data of the user. These certificates will confirm that the information in the application provided by the subscriber does not conflict with the information in well-recognized consumer databases like PAN or Aadhar. These are now discontinued. Any new DSC made post January 1, 2021 would only be Class 3 DSC. However, any Class 2 DSC made prior to January 1, 2021, would continue to be valid until there expiry.
Class 3 digital signature certificate, according to IVG guideline, is more secure in comparison to class 2 certificate, this certificate provides the highest level of safety as compared to the other classes mentioned above. As per the CAA’s new regulation, only the Class 3 DSC will be available for any sort of paperless signature utilization in India. It is generally used in the compliances of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) & Registrar of Companies (ROC), Income Tax filing, Business Incorporation, GST registration and return, Business License Registration, e-tendering / e-bidding, Trademark e-filing, DGFT Compliances, etc.
Process/steps for Digital Signature Certificate
In recent times, the application for Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) has been completely digitized. Thereby, removing any hard copy flow of documents like signing of application form, self attestation of documents etc. This has resulted in faster processing of application. The new process of paperless DSC is explained below in detail.
Paperless DSC- Under this method the manual form filling can be avoided and the complete process is online for ease of the applicant. Various methods under Paperless DSC are covered below. The Aadhar based DSC is the fastest process for getting a new DSC.
- Aadhar-based e-KYC Verification DSC
Aadhaar based Paperless DSC is an easy and fastest way to make DSC. The whole process of Paperless DSC will save your time, money, efforts and it is totally authenticated. Aadhaar Paperless DSC is based on "Aadhaar Paperless Offline e-KYC".
- PAN-based e-KYC Verification DSC
By opting for Paperless PAN-based E-KYC DSC, the applicant is able to significantly reduce costs. The greatest advantage of this Pan-based E-KYC is that one can apply for this type of DSC anytime or anywhere, giving the applicant the gift of global convenience.
Documents Required For DSC
The following documents would be required to apply for DSC:
- Passport Size Photograph
- PAN Card
- Any one of the following:
- Aadhaar (eKYC Service)
- Telephone Bill
- Electricity Bill
- Water Bill
- Gas connection
- Bank Statements signed by the bank
- Service Tax/VAT Tax/Sales Tax registration certificate.
- Driving License (DL)/ Registration certificate (RC)
- Voter ID Card
- Property Tax/ Corporation/ Municipal Corporation Receipt
Benefits Of DSC
- Time Saving as it allows documents to be signed remotely
- Cost Saving as it reduces need for document printing and courier
- Security and encryption of documents
- Efficiency as it allows people to get documents authenticated at a click of a button
- Reduces carbon foot print to digitization of the process
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FAQs on DSC
How can I get a Digital Signature Certificate
Swiffybusiness can assist you with obtaining a DSC for yourself. We are authorized providers for DSC and provide hassle free services all over India.
When is Class 3 DSC used?
Class 3 Digital Signature is generally used in following Govt. portals:
- Income tax filing,
- incorporation of a Pvt Ltd company or LLP,
- Filing of Annual returns and other compliances with MCA
- RBI and related filings
- GST portal
How soon can I get my DSC?
It generally takes 1 working day for applying a DSC and completing all verification. Post this, the DSC is couriered to your address.
Is Physical presence is required for DSC
Our process is completely automated and can verification can be done through recording of videos and OTPs. No physical presence is required for the process.
How is video verification done ?
You will receive a link on your registered email ID. Once received, you will need to start the recording and read the text which is shown on the screen. Our executives will guide you throughout the process.
If my Aadhar is not linked with mobile number,
can I still get a new DSC?
you can apply for a new DSC even if your Aadhar is not linked with your mobile number.
Is Aadhar mandatory for the applying DSC ?
You can apply for DSC even if you do not have Aadhar number.
Can DSC be applied if I do not have PAN number
No, PAN card is mandatory to apply for DSC if you a resident of India. However, for a foreign national, PAN will not be required. In such cases identity proof like Passport can be used.