How to get Digital Signature Certificate, what are the charges


A DSC is the digital equivalent of a physical or paper certificate. It can be presented electronically to prove one’s identity, access information or services on the Internet, or sign certain documents digitally. A DSC may be required for e-filing of income tax return, GST-related filing, government online tendering, etc.

Who can issue DSC?

A licensed Certifying Authority can issue a DSC. The list of licensed authorities is available on the MCA portal and can be accessed at https://www.mca.gov.in/MinistryV2/certifyingauthorities.html.

Types of DSC

The different types of Digital Signature Certificates are: Class 2: Here, the identity of a person is verified against a trusted, pre-verified database. Class 3: This is the highest level where the person needs to present himself or herself in front of a Registration Authority (RA) and prove his/her identity.

Charges

The cost of obtaining a digital signature certificate varies as there are many entities issuing DSCs and their charges may differ.

Process to obtain DSC

One can obtain a DSC by filling up a form and submitting self-attested identification and address proofs. One can also opt for Aadhaar and PAN-based online application. After payment of the prescribed fee, the applicant needs to complete an e-KYC by submitting a recorded video to the certifying authority. A DSC is issued electronically while an encrypted pen drive is also sent to the applicant.

Points to note

  • Nowadays, DSC 2 is not issued and/or renewed, while DSC 3, which is a highly secure signature, is issued to applicants.
  • Digital signatures are legally admissible in a court of law, as provided under the provisions of the IT Act, 2000.

Content on this page is courtesy Centre for Investment Education and Learning (CIEL).
Contributions by Girija Gadre, Arti Bhargava and Labdhi Mehta.



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