How to Apply for a Digital Signature Certificate?
Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) is affixed on documents submitted in electronic form by the authorised person. It ensures the security and authenticity of the documents submitted electronically. DSC is affixed on all the documents filed on the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) portal. Online transactions such as Incorporation of company or LLP, Income Tax e-filing is validated using DSC.
The Controller of Certifying Authority (CCA) has appointed Certifying Authority (CA) for issuing DSC. CA’s have the licence to issue Class 3 DSC
Requirements for applying for a Digital Signature Certificate
To fill in the Application form the please log in to the website of the Certifying Authority.
Steps to apply for a 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:
- Class of the DSC.
- Type: Only Sign or Sign & Encrypt.
- Applicant Name & Contact Details.
- Residential Address.
- GST Number & Identity Details of Proof Documents.
- Document as proof of identity.
- Document as proof of address.
- Attestation Officer.
- Payment Details.
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 documents required
Enclose the following in an envelope:
- DSC Registration Form duly completed -Supporting document for Proof of Identity and proof of address attested by the attesting officer.
- Demand Draft/Cheque for payment.
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.
Rectifying Mistake in Digital Signature Certificate
To change the details or rectify mistakes in the Digital Signature Certificate (DSC), an organization needs to follow the following procedure:
- Log in with the existing user-id.
- Go to ‘Change DSC details’ option.
- Fill the requisite details of the DSC.
- Select the renewed/Changed DSC.
Frequently Asked Questions
With the e-commerce boom, government agencies have adopted digital signature, and it is also a statutory requirement for many e-forms to be digitally signed by the authorised signatory. So individuals and entities need to obtain the digital signature. A digital signature certificate establishes the identity of the holder. It is like a PAN card or a passport and enables the holder to prove his identity.
A digital signature certificate is a valid legal instrument and can be used for digitally signing various documents. It can be used for filing income tax returns, e-tenders, for various regulatory company filings.
While applying for the certificate, the individual or company must purposely select the class. The different classes of digital signature certificates are as follows:
Class 1: This cannot be used by companies. It only verifies the name and email address of individuals.
Class 2: This is needed by companies and other entities. It can be used for filing tax returns. A Class 2 digital signature certificate verifies the identity of a person against a pre-verified, trusted database. 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: This is needed for individuals or entities who would like to participate in online auctions or tenders. It is the highest and most secure form of a digital signature certificate. To obtain this, the applicant must present himself or herself in front of a registration authority.
Most certifying authorities take between three to seven days to issue a digital certificate in India
The Certifying Authorities are authorized to issue a certificate with validity of 1 or 2 years depending upon the class of DSC being procured. The holder must be well aware of the validity of the certificate to avoid any business loss.
Yes. An individual can hold a separate digital signature for personal and professional purposes. As far as holding separate certificates for authorizing varied documents is concerned, an individual can apply for a Class 3 certificate and use it for all documents, as it is the highest level and most secure.
Yes, the digital signature certificate can be renewed within 7 days prior to the expiry of the existing certificate. However, the renewal must be in the existing name. If the holder applies in a different name, it will be considered as a new application. Changes allowable are changes to the postal address and contact details. In case the renewal is not executed within the time frame, the holder will have to apply for a new DSC.