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What is Digital Signature Certificate?


A Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) is a private digital key that verifies the holder's identity. It's certified by a Certifying Authority (CA) and can be used on a variety of government platforms. It usually contains your personal information (name, email, country, and your public key). Data that has been digitally signed or encrypted by a private key can only be decrypted by the corresponding public key because digital certificates use Public Key Infrastructure. A digital signature is a secure key (USB E-Token) that contains a digital signature and is used to validate and verify the identity of a specific individual or entity. These tokens are often issued with a validity of 1-2 years and must be re-made after that period.

Types of Digital Signature Certificate

The Certifying Authority issues three different classes of DSCs. Due to their applicability in a variety of government types, Class 3 DSCs are the most commonly used. Below is a summary of the three DSC classes:

  • Class 1

    Individuals/private subscribers are given Class 1 certificates. These certificates will verify that the user's name (or alias) and email address in the Certifying Authorities database form an unambiguous topic. The use of this class is restricted due to its existence and the limited data it authenticates. These are no longer recognized by different government agencies. online pages, As a result, they are seldom used nowadays.

  • Class 2

    Individuals and organizations, both Indian and international applicants, are usually given Class 2 Digital Signatures (DSC). The main purpose of this certificate is to verify the signer's information. It confirms the user's previously listed information. These certificates would verify that the subscriber's information in the application does not clash with information in well-known customer databases like PAN or Aadhar. All have now been phased out. Any new DSC created after January 1, 2021, will be a Class 3 DSC. Any Class 2 DSC issued before January 1, 2021, will remain valid until it expires.

  • Class 3

    According to IVG guidelines, class 3 digital signature certificates are more robust than class 2 certificates. This certificate offers the highest degree of security as compared to the other classes listed above. Only the Class 3 DSC will be eligible for any form of paperless signature use in India, according to the CAA's new regulation. It is commonly used in the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) and Registrar of Companies (ROC) compliances, income tax filing, business incorporation, GST registration, and return, business license registration, e-tendering / e-bidding, trademark e-filing, and DGFT compliances, among other things.

Documents Required for Digital Signature Certificate

The following documents would be expected to apply for DSC:

  • PAN Card
  • Passport Size Photograph
  • Any one of the following:

    • Aadhaar (eKYC Service)
    • Electricity Bill
    • Telephone Bill
    • Gas connection
    • Water Bill
    • Service Tax/VAT Tax/Sales Tax registration certificate.
    • Bank Statements signed by the bank
    • Driving License (DL)/ Registration certificate (RC)
    • Voter ID Card
    • Property Tax/ Corporation/ Municipal Corporation Receipt
    • Passport

Process for Digital Signature Certificate

The Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) program has been completely digitized in recent years. As a result, any hard copy paper movement, such as application form signatures, document self-attestation, and so on, is eliminated. As a consequence, the application has been processed faster. Below is a detailed explanation of the latest paperless DSC process.

Paperless DSC

This approach eliminates the need for manual form filling and allows the applicant to complete the entire process online. The methods covered under Paperless DSC are mentioned below. The Aadhar-based DSC is the quickest way to get a new DSC.

  • 01.
    Aadhar-based e-KYC Verification DSC

    Paperless DSC based on Aadhaar is a simple and quick way to get DSC. The whole method of Paperless DSC saves you time, money, and effort while still being authenticated. "Aadhaar Paperless Offline e-KYC" is the foundation for Aadhaar Paperless DSC.

  • 02.
    PAN-based e-KYC Verification DSC

    The applicant will save a lot of money by using a paperless PAN-based E-KYC DSC. The most significant benefit of this Pan-based E-KYC is that it can be applied for at any time and from any place, giving the applicant the gift of global convenience.

Process to Apply for a DSC Online

  • 01.
    Fill Out Your Application Form

    It’s important to get a DSC in case you have not applied for the one in recent times. You must complete your Digital Signature application form with the exact details and then submit the same.

  • 02.
    Form Submission and E-Verification

    After submitting the form, you must E-verify your statement online using the Aadhar eKYC-verification method. You can also have your electronic verification completed by contacting your bank manager.

  • 03.
    Make Necessary Payment

    Make the required payment in the form of consultation fees online. After you've completed all of these measures, you'll be able to apply for your DSC.

Benefits Of DSC

  • Time-Saving because documents can be signed remotely.
  • Cost Saving as it eliminates the need for paper printing and delivery.
  • Security, Document protection, and encryption.
  • Efficiency as People can get documents authenticated with a single click of a button.
  • Digitization of the process reduces the carbon footprint.

Why do we need DSC?

On various government platforms, DSC is needed as an authenticated signature tool. The following are some of the applications of DSC:

  • MCA Compliances
  • Company Incorporation
  • Director Identification Number Application
  • Income tax returns and compliances
  • TDS filing and compliances
  • GST filing and compliances
  • Filings about imports and exports
  • Provident Fund and ESI based Filings
  • E-tenders

Frequently Asked Questions ?

MeraLegal will assist you in obtaining your own DSC. We are DSC-certified providers and provide hassle-free services across India.

The following government portals use Class 3 Digital Signatures:

  • Income tax returns
  • Formation of a Pvt Ltd or LLP, and more
  • Filing of Annual returns and other compliances with MCA
  • GST Portal
  • e-tenders
  • e-procurement
  • Electronic auctions

Applying for a DSC and completing all verification usually takes 1 working day. The DSC is then delivered to your address via courier.

Our process is completely automated, and verification is accomplished by the use of recorded videos and one-time passwords (OTPs). The method does not necessitate your physical presence.

A link will be sent to your registered email address. Once you've received it, you'll need to start the recording and read the text on the computer. Our executives will assist you every step of the way.

Even if your Aadhar number is not connected to your mobile number, you can apply for a new DSC.

Even if you do not have an Aadhar number, you can apply for DSC.

No, if you are a citizen of India, you must have a PAN card to apply for DSC. However, for a foreign national, PAN will not be required. In such cases, identity proof like Passport can be used.