As we all know we are living in a Digital India and online documentation, application and other task we are performing online. Most of the time we have to sign a few of our documents that are encrypted in nature. So, to keep them safe Digital Signature Certificates were enforced. 

A Digital Signature Certificate is one of the best legal or electronic alternatives for a wet signature. You can use this to submit your various documents online to the government of India. You can use DSC to sign various electronic documents such as emails, and other digitally transmitted documents. The DSC use encrypted technology to increase security. 

What is a Digital Signature?

A Digital Signature is a digital form of your wet signature. You can use this to sign your legal documents and other applications online. In this digital era, it is one of the best ways to encrypt your all legal documents. 

Overview of Digital Signature Certificate

A Digital Signature Certificate is a digital key that is issued by a particular Certifying Authorities. The purpose of the DSC is to validate and certify the identity of the person. It is a highly secure file that contains the signer’s personal information. 

The DSC is issued by the certifying authority & the authority is licensed by the Controller of Certifying Authority (CCA). 

Why Do We Need DSC (Digital Signature Certificate)?

A digital signature is an electronic signature that is equal to a handwritten signature or stamped seal. It is used to authenticate the identity of the holder and ensure the integrity of electronic documents. Here you will get to understand why you need a Digital Signature Certificate.

  • Security – DSCs use encryption technology to provide a high level of security for electronic transactions. They are extremely difficult to forge, ensuring that documents are not tampered with.
  • Authenticity – This is very beneficial for legal and financial documents. It verifies the identity of the signers & confirms that the document he signed by the authorized person.
  • Integrity – DSC ensures that the content of the documents is not altered once it has been signed. If anyone made any changes in the signed documents then this will invalidate the signature.
  • Non-Repudiation – This is crucial for enforcing contracts and agreements. DSCs prevent signatories from denying that they signed a document.
  • Legal Validity – Including India in many countries, digitally signed documents have the same legal validity as paper documents and handwritten signatures.
  • Convenience – DSCs make it easier and faster to sign and exchange electronic documents, eliminating the need for physical paperwork.

Where You Can Use DSC (Digital Signature Certificate)?

You are allowed to use DSC in a wide range of applications:-

  • E-filing of tax returns and other government forms – In India, DSCs are mandatory for e-filing income tax returns for certain categories of taxpayers.
  • Company/LLP filings – DSC is required in various filings under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) in India.
  • E-tendering – DCS is used for online bidding and submission of tenders.
  • E-banking and online transactions – DSC is used to secure financial and other online transactions.
  • E-commerce – DSCs are used for secure online shopping and other e-commerce transactions.

Overall, DSCs play a vital role in ensuring the security, authenticity, and integrity of electronic documents and transactions.

Who Issues Digital Signature Certificates?

The controller of Certifying Authorities (CCA) is appointed by the certified authorities to issue the DSC in India. The CCA grant the authority to 15 CAs to issue the DSC to persons. Click Here For The The List Of Certified Authorities

Types of DSCs

The DSC are of three types:-

  • Sign – It is the most common type of DSC used to sign all electronic documents. It ensures the authenticity and integrity of the document, proving that it was indeed signed by the authorized person and has not been tampered with. Sign DSCs are widely used for e-filing tax returns, company filings, and other legal documents.
  • Encrypt – This type of DSC is used to encrypt all digital or electronic documents. This ensures that only the intended recipient can read and access them. It is used to secure communication of confidential information, such as financial data or sensitive business documents.
  • Sign & Encrypt – This type of DSC is the combination of both types of DSCs sign & encrypt. This will contain the functionality of both the DSCs. It allows users to both sign and encrypt documents, providing a high level of security for both authentication and confidentiality. Sign & Encrypt DSCs are used for applications where both security and privacy are crucial, such as online banking transactions or e-commerce.

Classes of DSC

The classes of DSCs are divided into three categories based on their level of security and the verification process:-

  1. Class 1 DSC – This one is the most basic type of DSC. It provides low-level security & typically used for ensuring email communication and verifying online identities. The verification process involves confirming the applicant’s email address and other basic information. However, Class 1 DSCs have been discontinued in India since January 1, 2021, and are no longer issued.
  2. Class 2 DSC – This Class 2 DSC was used for the filing of various income tax returns, MCA e-filings, etc. Its verification process involves submitting identity proof and address proof online. However, Class 2 DSCs have also been discontinued in India since January 1, 2021.
  3. Class 3 DSC – This is the highest class of DSC that offers a high level of security. This DSC is used for e-auctions, e-tendering, e-procurement, and other high-value transactions. The verification process of this DSC includes physical verification of the applicant’s identity before a Registration Authority (RA). Class 3 DSCs are now the standard for most e-filing and e-transaction purposes in India.

How To Apply For a Digital Signature Certificate?

To obtain a DSC just follow the below-mentioned steps. Through this you can apply for the Digital Signature Certificate:-

Step 1 – Go the The Certifying Authorities Website

Simply select the CA website and apply for the Class 3 DSC.

Step 2 – Fill the necessary details

With the all documents, you must add your recent photograph and e-sign declaration. Before filing check the whole form first. We recommend you download the form and preserve it. You need to fill in all the below-mentioned details.

  • Class of the DSC.
  • Validity.
  • Type: Only Sign or Sign & Encrypt.
  • Applicant Name and Contact Details.
  • Residential Address.
  • GST Number & Identity Details of Proof Documents.
  • Declaration.
  • Document as proof of identity.
  • Document as proof of address.
  • Attestation Officer.
  • Payment Details.

Step 3 – Proof of identity and address

Attach your address proof such as an Aadhar card or PAN or you can choose and option of the AAdhar KYC so you do not need to upload any address proof document.

Step 4 – Make The Payment

Make the payment for the issuance of the DSC and submit the form.

Step 5 – Issuance Of DSC

The CA will verify the documents and issue the DSC electronically.

Documents Required For Digital Signature Certificate

To apply it is mandatory to attach the following documents:-

  • Aadhaar card
  • PAN card
  • Passport-sized photo
  • Address proof

How To Check The Validity Of A Digital Signature Certificate?

  • Open the USB token tools. 
  • Click on the ‘Login’ button.
  • Enter the token password.
  • Click on your certificate name.
  • The certificate will open. Click on the ‘Details’ tab. 
  • The details of your certificate will be displayed, including the validity details of the certificate.

How Long Will It Take For The DSC Application To Be Processed?

The issuance of DSC will take 5 business days from the date of application.

Conclusion – Digital Signature Certificate (DSC)

DSC is a digital signature that is used in multiple documents that you can file online. It is mandatory to have for an organization to make financial transactions & e-filling. If you are willing to apply for the DSC registration then we will help you and let you know about the DSC application or we can file an application on your behalf for the DSC.