A Digital Signature Certificate is issued by the certifying authorities in India for the purpose of verifying and authenticating the identity of the individual holding the certificate. DSC is a secured digital key. A digital signature is required while filing income tax, e-tenders, company filings, etc. In this blog, we shall discuss the benefits of DSC, classes of DSC, and how to apply for DSC.

What is Digital Signature Certificate?

Digital Signature Certificate

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Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) is issued by certifying authorities and it is a secure digital key used for various online business transactions. DSC contains the certificate holder’s name, pin code and country, email address, the date on which it was issued, and the digital certificate providers’ name (authority).

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Notably, it is issued for 1 or 2 years and has to be renewed after their validity is expired. Also, an individual can have two DSCs – for personal and professional purpose each. And all digitally signed documents are acceptable as proof or evidence for legal purpose.

What are the Benefits of Digital Signature Certificate?

Digital Signature Certificate

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DSCs are helpful in validating personal details of the certificate holder when he conducts business online. The following are the benefits of DSC:

  • Reduced Time & Cost: The certificate holder is no more required to sign the physical documents and later scan them to send via e-mail. He can simply digital sign the PDF which saves time and cost. In addition, there is no need for the certificate holder to be physically present to conduct business.
  • Data Integrity: A document cannot be changed or altered once it is digitally signed. So, the data is secured.
  • Authenticity of Documents: Since the digitally signed documents cannot be changed, the receiver of documents is assured of their authenticity.

Who can Authorize DSC?

Digital Signature Certificate

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EMudhra is authorized by the Controller of Certifying Authority for authorizing DSCs in India. The other authorized authorities include the National Informatics Centre, Code Solutions, Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology, and Safescrypt.

What are the Classes of DSC?

 Classes of DSC

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The DSC classes are dependent on the type of applicant and the purpose for which DSC is obtained. There are three types of Digital Signature Certificate issued by the authority in India:

  • Class 1 DSC: The class 1 digital signature certificate is issued to individual and private subscribers. These are used to confirm the names and e-mail contact details of the certificate holder.

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  • Class 2 DSC: The class 2 digital signature certificate is issued to the companies for the purpose of e-filing with the ROC (Registrar of Companies). Notably, DSC class 2 is mandatory to obtain for individuals who have to sign manual documents while filing returns with Registrar of Companies.
  • Class 3 DSC: The class 3 digital signature certificate is issued to vendors who participate in online tenders and e-auction.

How to Apply for Digital Signature Certificate?

Digital Signature Certificate

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Follow the following steps to obtain a digital signature certificate online:

  1. Submit duly filled digital signature certificate subscription form to the issuing authority.
  2. Produce photo ID proof of the applicant along with the address proof.
  3. Upon submitting all the required documents, you will be allotted digital signature certificate.

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