What is Digital Signature Certificate?
A Digital Signature Certificate or DSC plays the role of the normal handwritten signature, but it serves as a certificate like a driving licenses or passport.
The DSCs serve as a proof of identity for a person or an organization for specific purpose online.
In simple language, Digital Signature Certificates serve as an electronic proof of your identity in the cases of accessing online information or online transactions.
How does it work?
A DSC is issued by the licensed Certifying Authority (CA). It means a person who is granted a licence to issue a Digital Signature Certificate under Section 24 of the Indian IT, Act 2000. You can check out the list of licensed CAs here
Now, there are three types of Digital Signature Certificate, which are called Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3 Certificate.
|Class 1||To be issued to individuals/ Private Subscribers.|
|Class 2||To be issued for Income Tax filing, ROC and MCA filing|
|Class 3||To be issued for the purpose of e-Tendering, e-Procurement, Trademark / Patent filing, etc.|
Uses of Digital Signature Certificate
The DSCs are used for…
How to Acquire a Digital Signature Certificate?
You can acquire a DSC at following websites:
Documents to be submitted along with application of the DSC may vary as per the applicant and the class of digital signature to be obtained.
In case of Individuals, following documents are to be attached along with an application form:
In case of Organizations, some of the documents required to be submitted along with the application are:
The above list is inclusive and not exclusive. The DSC provider may ask for additional documents as well.
A step-by-step guide to Get your Digital Signature Certificate
Government has come up with DSC Management Utility to simplify this entire process. Click here to see how!
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I require different DSCs for different banks?
Not if the DSC is under the same class.
One can sign a copy on paper without the person’s knowledge. Can the same happen with Digital Signature?
It all depends on how secure the owner has kept the key. If a traitor gains access to the key, he can access the signature.
If I’m transferred to another post or department in my job, will my Digital Signature change as well? Why?
Yes, it will.
If the owner of DSC is transferred to another post, and the proceedings require for it, his/her existing certificate will be revoked and new one will be issued. Even if the same key is used, the digital signature generated is different each time.
What is the cost of acquiring a DSC?
The charges may vary as there are many entities issuing DSC and they have different charges.
How much time does it take to get the DSC issued?
The Certifying Authority may take three to seven days to issue your DSC.
What is the validity period of DSC?
The validity period of Digital Signature Certificate may vary from one to two years.
If I want to eFile on the MCA portal, what type of DSC do I need?
DSC of Class 2 and Class 3 is required to eFile on MCA portal.
Can I have two Digital Signatures; one for official use and the other for personal use?
Yes, you can.