Digital Signature Certificate or popularly known as DSC are basically the softcopy (electronic format) of a physical signed copy of a certificate such as Aadhar card, Voter Id card, Driving license, and so on. These are usually in pdf format and can be stored in smartphones or PCs. This method reduces the necessity of carry the physical document everywhere and lower the chances of losing the documents. With the advance of technology around the globe, this electronic method of storing certificates has been adopted by governments as well as anonymous bodies all over the world.
Types of Digital Signature Certificates
- Sign- It is a certificate of proving the integrity and authenticity by signing the DSC. Mostly these types of certificates are issued by educational institutions, Tax return, and many more.
- Encrypt- These types of certificates are mainly used by the company to encrypt certificates and upload for tender portal, legal documents, etc. This method maintains the confidentially of the certificate.
- Sign and encrypt- These certificates contain both sign and encryption from the certifying authority. It maintains both the authenticity and confidentiality.
Therefore, there are mainly three classes of DSC used in everyday lives:
- Class 1 certificates: These certificates shall verify the username and e-mail address of an individual/private subscriber from the Certifying Authority’s database.
- Class 2 Certificate: These certificates will confirm that the information in the application given by the business personnel or the private individual subscriber does not match with the information of the consumer’s database.
- Class 3 Certificate: This certificate can be issued to an individual as well as to an organization. These holds high quantity of assurance, primarily intended for e-commercial applications. These types of certificates can also be issued to an individual only on in physical format before the Certifying Authorities.
Furthermore, apart from the above-mentioned classes, the certifying authority can create more types of DSC only with a proper reason for the creation and the purpose of the new certificate.
Purpose of DSC
In this modern era, from government office to private firms, every individual is trying to carry their activities online, while rejecting the old methods. Hence, the main purpose of a Digital Signature Certificate is to save time while maintaining the safety. For instant, an individual or entities requires a digital signature to file their income tax return. Furthermore, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has made a compulsory use of digital signature in their files or documents to maintain the authenticity.
Process of obtaining a DSC
- STEP 1: Applicant should login to the website of a Certifying Authority licensed to issue Digital Certificates in India. After logging, navigate to the Digital Certification Services’ section. Now under the ‘Digital Certification Services’ section, choose the type of entity for which you want to obtain the DSC. A new tb with the DSC registration form will appear. Download it.
- STEP 2: Once you have downloaded the form, fill in all the necessary details as required in the form. Once should only use recent photograph and add signature to it.
- STEP 3: Photocopy of the supporting documents such as address prove or ID prove should be sealed and attested by an attested officer.
- STEP 4: A call for a draft or a cheque needs to be drawn toward payment for the application of DSC in the name of the Local Registration Authority in which you’re going to post your application for verification. You can discover more information about the Local Registration Authority of your city from the official website.
- STEP 5: Post the filled-up form along with the supporting documents (attested) and the demand draft/cheque. Address it to the Local Registration Authority (LRA).
Validity of a signature
The validity of a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) is managed through the law, and also you can’t purchase a certificate that’s valid for more than 3 years or less than one year.
Advantages of DSC
- The Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) is a sign of authentication of the documents. This document not only provide confidence to the receiver, but also show as a medium of honesty and transparency.
- It reduces time and cost.
- Documents which are signed digitally, cannot be edited or altered by anyone. Therefore, it creates a data integrity.
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