Digital Signature

Digital signature is a signature used on online documents or forms. It's an online signature which once applied on any document you cannot alter the very document. If any alteration is done in the document the signature vanishes. It is required when you sign online documents. Authorized persons of any business or company must have digital signatures registered.

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What is DSC?

The Digital Signature Certificate is a secure digital key issued by the certifying authority for the purpose of validating and certifying the identity of the person holding the certificate.Digital Signatures use public-key encryption to create signatures. The Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) contains information on the user's name, pin code, country, email address, date of issue of the certificate, and the name of the certifying authority.

Classes of DSC

The type of applicant and the purpose for which the Digital Signature Certificate is obtained shall define the type of DSC for which the applicant must apply, depending on the need. There are three types of digital signature certificates issued by the certifying authority.

Use of DSC

You will be using your digital signature for various reasons like filing a GST return, filing income tax return, etc. For security reasons, the Digital Signature Certificate is stored on a hardware device, a USB token, known as ePass. The USB token can only hold your Digital Signature Certificate. The USB token is also protected and incapable of storing any other documents or information.

To use your Digital Signature Certificate token, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Before plugging in the USB token, please download and install the e-pass 2003 token driver.

Step 2: After installation, plug the USB token into the USB port of your computer and enter the password. You can change the password on the token by selecting the option "CHANGE USER PIN".

Step 3: Once you have signed a document, unplug the USB token from your computer and store it in a safe place.

DSC Validity and DSC Renewal

Digital signatures are issued for a limited time period of its validity of 1 or 2 years. After completion of its validity, you must obtain a renewed DSC for which an application has to be made.

Documents required for DSC are

Identity Proof- PAN Card
One passport size photo
Address proof- Aadhar Card
Mobile Number
E-mail Id

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Why is Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) required?

A digital signature is a computerized form of a signature that can be used to authenticate the identity of the sender of a message or the signatory of a document and to ensure that the original content of the message or document that has been sent remains unchanged.

What is the validity of DSC?

Digital signatures shall be issued for 1 or 2 years. They need to be renewed after their validity has expired.

Who issues the DSC?

The Licensed Certifying Authority (CA) issues a digital signature certificate. CA is a person licensed to issue a DSC pursuant to Section 24 of the Indian IT-Act 2000.

What type of DSC is to be obtained for e-filing on the MCA portal?

While eFiling is on the portal of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, a Class 2 and Class 3 Digital Signature Certificate is required. A Class 2 Digital Signature Certificate is available for download on the basis of a trusted and pre-verified database.

Can a Director have more than one DSC?

A person may have different DSCs – one with an official purpose and the other for a personal purpose.

What are the different classes of Digital Signature Certificate?
  • DSC Class 1: These are issued to individual / private subscribers and are used to confirm that the name of the user and the contact details of the clearly defined subject are in the database of the certifying authority.
  • DSC Class 2: These are issued to the director / signatory authorities of the companies for the purpose of electronic filing with the Registrar of Companies (ROC). Class 2 certificates are mandatory for individuals who need to sign manual documents while filing returns with the ROC.
  • DSC Class 3: These certificates are used for online participation / bidding in e-auctions and online tenders anywhere in India. Vendors wishing to participate in online tenders must have a digital signature certificate of Class 3.
What type of DSC is required for E-Tendering?

Class 3 type Digital Signatures are mainly used for e-Tendering.


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