The world has gone online and with that, the imminent threat of frauds, hacking, and whatnot. The world needed something to secure and then came the invention of the Digital Signature certificate. With the arrival of the online transaction, the world became connected and a lot of important information was being uploaded on the internet. In order to secure the files, DSC (Digital signature certificate) became a method of signing the files and securing the files from false information.
A digital signature is a mathematical technique that is used to validate the authenticity and integrity of software, message, and Digital document. In comparison to the handwritten signature or stamped seal, A digital signature offers far more security and also helps to solve the problem of tampering and impersonation in digital communications.
A digital signature certificate is a secure digital key issued by the certifying authorities for the purpose of certifying and validating the identity of a person holding the certificate. It contains information about the user's name, country, pin code, email address and date of issue of the certificate as well as the name of certifying authority.
The Digital signature certificate uses the class 5 encryption techniques to secure the available information on its card and loaded into the memory. However, there is another way that was introduced to protect the information or an extension of the safety and that was smart cards. This double encryption is currently the latest and more secure way of signing the documents digitally.
Although, with the help of double encryption technique DSC (Digital signature certificate) became hard to hack but you have to be careful with the use of DSC even though all the steps are taken carefully to ensure no transaction is hacked. You should take all measures steps to prevent the loss of DSC.
The certificate provides the following security benefits:
It contains personal information which helps to identify and trace the owner
It contains information that is required to identify and contact the issuing authority.
In case the card is stolen or misused the issuing authority can revoke the identification card at any time.
It can be checked for revocation by contacting the issuing authority.
Difficult to copy and designed to be tamper-resistant.
DSC (Digital signature certificate) is an electronic document that contains a digital signature that contains the digital signature of a certificate issuing right, binds together a public with a character and can be used to validate a public key belongs to an individual person or entity. You must only use it with the third party account and never share the DSC password with anyone under any circumstances. It can be easily generated by paying a small fee to the competent authority.
Reduces cost and time
Signing the hardcopy documents physically and scanning them before sending is much more time-consuming process instead of that you can digitally sign the PDF files and send them more quickly.
Digitally signed documents cannot be altered or edited after signing that can help to make the data safe and secure. Government agencies can also ask for these certificates to verify and cross-check the business transaction.
Authenticity of documents
Documents that are digitally signed give confidence to the receiver to be assured of the signer's authenticity. They can take action based on such documents without getting worried about the documents being copied fraudulently.
Proof of Identification (Passport, PAN card, Driving license, Post office ID card)
Proof of address (Aadhar card, Voter ID card, Water bill, Electricity bill, Driving license, latest bank statement, service tax/VAT tax/sales Tax registration certificate)
Passport size photograph
Brief about the need for DSC
1. Log on and select your entity type
To issue the digital certificate in India you must log on to the website of certifying authority. Under the ‘Digital Certification services’ section select the type of entity for which you want to obtain DSC i.e. Individual or organization If you are applying for individual DSC click on Individual. A new tab will appear which will contain the DSC Registration form.
2. Fill the Required details
Once the form is downloaded, fill in all the necessary details such as Validity, Class of the DSC, Applicant name, contact details, Residental address, GST number, Documents for the identity proof, Documents for the proof of address, payment details. On filling up all these necessary details you must attach your recent passport size photograph and also put your signature under the declaration.
3. Identity proof and address proof
Documents for the proof of identity and address must be served as clear evidence by an attesting officer. Make sure sign and seal of the attested officer are clearly visible on the supporting proof documents.
4. Payment for DSC
You can make the payment of DSC by a demand draft or a check in the name of the Local registration authority where you are going to submit your application for verification. Details for local registration authority can be found according to your city of residence by searching for certifying authority to issue the certificate online.
5. Post the required documents
a. DSC Registration form duly completed
Documents required for the proof of identity and address must be attested by the attesting officer.
b. Demand draft/Cheque for the payment
Post these to the designated address of the Local Registration authority for further processing.
Once all the above-mentioned steps are completed by filling the DSC Form and providing necessary documents and payment. You have completed the application process for your digital signature certificate.
Q1. What is a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC)?
Digital Signature Certificate basically refers to the electronic format of Physical and paper certificate, for example, driving license, passport, etc. Certificates serve as proof of an organization or an individual for a certain purpose. DSC (Digital signature certificate) is used to present your proof of identity electronically to access information or services on the internet or to sign a particular document digitally.
Q2. Why do we need a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC)?
Digital Signature Certificate gives tight security for your online transaction by safeguarding the absolute privacy of the information which is exchanged using a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC). You can use the certificate to encrypt the information in the way you need so that the authorized user can only read it. You can sign the information digitally to assure the recipient that it has not altered in transit and also verify your identity as the sender of a message.
Q3 What is the process to acquire DSC?
An applicant for Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) can directly approach to Certifying Authority with the documents consisting of self-attested copies and original supporting documents
DSCs can also be obtained using Aadhar eKYC based authentication and all the other supporting documents are not required in this case.
A letter or certificate issued by a bank containing the applicant information as there in the bank database can be accepted and that letter or certificate should be certified by a bank manager.
Q4. Are DSCs (Digital signature certificate) legally valid in India?
Yes, they are legally valid in India as per the information technology act 2000 passed by the Indian constitution. DSC (Digital signature certificate) is issued by license certifying authorities Under the ministry of Information Technology.
Q5. Who issues the DSC(Digital signature certificate)?
A certifying authority issues the DSC(Digital signature certificate). Certifying Authority (CA) is a person who has been given a right to issue a digital signature certificate under Section 24 of the Indian-IT-Act 2000.
Q6. Where can we use Digital signature certificate (DSC)?
For Sending a Receiving digitally signed as well as encrypted emails and documents.
For carrying out a secure-web based application.
In eProcurement, eTendering, Registrar of companies e-filling, Income tax returns, Income-tax for e-filling and also in many other applications.
For signing documents like MS Excel, MS Word, and PDFs.
Q7. What is the validity period of the Digital Signature Certificate(DSC)?
The certifying authority (CA) is authorized to issue a Digital Signature certificate with the validity of a maximum of one or two years.
Q8) What are the different classes of DSC (Digital Signature Certificate)?
Class 0 certificate- This certificate is issued only for Test purposes/Demonstration.
Class 1 certification- This certificate is issued to individual/Private subscribers. These certificates will confirm that the user's Email address and User's name form an unambiguous subject within the certifying authority's database.
Class 2 certificate- This certificate will be issued for both private individuals and business personnel. This certificate ensures that information in the application provided by the subscriber does not conflict with the information stored in the well- recognized consumer database.
Class 3 certificate- This certificate will be issued to the organization as well as the individual. As these are high assurance certificates, they shall be issued only on the physical appearance of an individual before the certifying Authorities.
Q9. What type of Digital Signature Certificate is required for Importers-Exporters?
Class 3 DGFT digital signature certificate is required for Importers-Exporters. It is valid for 1 year or 2 years. Users can save time by using the DGFT Digital signature certificate.
Q10. What is the cost of obtaining a DSC (Digital Signature Certificate)?
The cost of obtaining DSC (Digital Signature certificate) Varies as many entities are issuing DSCs and their charges may be different. Kindly check the certifying authority directly for the charges.