A Digital Signature Certificate is a safe digital key issued by the certifying authorities to authenticate the identity of the certificate holder. They are like physical certificates; the difference is DSC is in digital or electronic form and Physical certificate is in paper form.
A certificate-based digital signature is a type of e-signature that complies with the strictest legal regulations - and provides the highest level of assurance of a signer’s identity.
Reduced cost and time: Instead of signing the hard copy documents physically and scanning them to send them via e-mail, you can digitally sign the PDF files and send them much more quickly. A Digital Signature certificate holder does not have to be physically present to conduct or authorize a business.
Data integrity: Documents that are signed digitally cannot be altered or edited after signing, which makes the data safe and secure. The government agencies often ask for these certificates to cross-check and verify the business transaction.
Authentication: Helpful in authenticating the personal information details of the individual holder when conducting business online.
Authenticity of documents: Digitally signed documents give confidence to the receiver to be assured of the signer’s authenticity. They can take action on the basis of such documents without getting worried about the documents being forged.
The type of applicant and the purpose for which the Digital Signature Certificate is obtained defines the kind of DSC one must apply for depending on the need. There are three types of Digital Signature certificates issued by the certifying authorities.
Class 1 Certificates: These are issued to individual/private subscribers and are used to confirm that the user’s name and email contact details from the clearly defined subject lie within the database of the certifying authority.
Class 2 Certificates: These are issued to the director/signatory authorities of the companies for the purpose of e-filing with the Registrar of Companies (ROC). Class 2 certificate is mandatory for individuals who have to sign manual documents while filing returns with the ROC. 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 Certificates: These certificates are used in online participation/bidding in e-auctions and online tenders anywhere in India. The vendors who wish to participate in the online tenders must have a Class 3 digital signature certificate.
STEP 1: Log on and select your type of entity
Log on to the website of a Certifying Authority licensed to issue Digital Certificates in India. Having accessed the page, you will be guided to the Digital Certification Services? section. Now under the ?Digital Certification Services? section, click on the type of entity for which you want to obtain the DSC:? individual or organization?, etc. In case you are applying for an individual DSC, click on ?individual?. A new tab containing the DSC Registration Form will appear. Download the DSC Registration Form on your PC.
STEP 2: Fill the necessary details
Once you have downloaded the form, fill in all the necessary details as required in the form:
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.
STEP 3: Proof of identity and address
The supporting document provided as proof of identity and address must be attested by an attesting officer. Ensure the sign and seal of the attesting officer is visibly clear on the supporting proof documents.
STEP 4: Payment for DSC
A demand draft or cheque must be obtained towards payment for application of DSC in the name of the Local Registration Authority where you are going to submit your application for verification. You can find the details of the Local Registration Authority according to your city of residence by searching for a Certifying Authority licensed to issue Digital Certificates online.
STEP 5: Post the required documents
Enclose the following in an envelope:
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.
Yes, as per Information Technology Act in India, Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) are legally valid in India. Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) are issued by licensed Certifying Authorities under the Ministry of Information Technology, Government of India as per the Information Technology Act.
For sending and receiving digitally signed and encrypted emails /documents. For carrying out secure web-based transactions. In eTendering, eProcurement, for Registrar of Companies e-filing, Income Tax for e-filing income tax returns and also in many other applications. For signing documents like MS Word, MS Excel and PDFs.
A Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) Certificate authenticates your identity electronically. DSC also provides you with a high level of security for your online transactions by ensuring absolute privacy of the information exchanged using a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC). You can use certificates to sign / encrypt information such that only the intended recipient can read it. You can digitally sign information to assure the recipient that it has not been changed in transit, and also verify your identity as the sender of the message.
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