Digital Signature Certificate (DSC)

Last Updated at: Jul 06, 2021
Digital Signature Certificate (DSC)
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI ) has issued a circular on extending the use of digital signature certifications (DSC) till 31st December 2020. DSC is used for authentication/certification of filings/submissions made under the SEBI Regulations, 2015 to the Stock Exchanges.  This relaxation was in view of the COVID-19 disruption.
  1. What is a Digital Signature Certificate?

  2. What are the benefits of a Digital Signature Certificate?

  3. DSC Application

  4. What are the classes of the Digital Signature Certificate?

  5. What are the components of the Digital Signature Certificate?

  6. Who can get the Digital Signature Certificate?

  7. What is the validity of the Digital Signature Certificate?


The Employees Provident Fund Organisation, the retirement fund body has also simplified regulations for employees by enabling them to use emails to receive electronic signatures in case they are having trouble using digital or Aadhaar based e-signs.


What is a Digital Signature Certificate?

A digital signature certificate is a secured digital key, issued by the certifying authorities. Its purpose is to validate and certify the identity of a person holding this certificate. The certificate contains information about the holder`s name, pin code, email address, country, date of issuance of the certificate and name of the certifying authority. A digital signature certificate is presented electronically to access information or service on the internet or to sign particular documents digitally.

These certificates use public key infrastructure for data that has been digitally encrypted or signed by a private key. Besides, the certificate also works as authentication that establishes an individual`s credentials when conducting business online.

What are the benefits of a DSC?

DSC helps authenticate the personal information details of an individual when conducting business online. However, some of the amazing benefits of the digital signature certificate are as follows.

  • Reduces cost and time

The digital signature certificate saves a lot of time. Instead of signing the hard copy of documents physically, one can digitally sign the PDF files and send them quickly. The DSC holder does not have to be present physically on the spot to authorize or conduct business. Therefore, documents can be signed instantly, from anywhere in the world.

  • Data integrity

The documents that are signed digitally cannot be edited or altered once it is signed. It makes the data secure and safe. Online digital signature reduces the risk of duplication of the documents. It ensures that the signature is verified and legitimate. All the signers are provided with passwords, pins, and codes that can verify the identity and approve their signatures. Also, time-stamping provides the date and time of the signature. Thus, minimizing the risk of tampering. However, all government agencies often ask for these certificates to cross-check and verify the business transactions.

  • Workflow efficiency

The digital signature ensures better efficiency in a workflow. You can manage and track documents easily with less effort and time involved. There are many features of digital signature that help up the work process. For example, email notifications can help to remind a person to sign. Whereas, status tracking helps to know at which stage the document is at.

  • Customer experience

Digital signatures provide the convenience of signing important documents wherever the customers are located. Salespeople do not have to wait for their customers to come to the office or bank. The documents can be signed off at the doorstep. This is suitable, especially in the remote areas and small towns providing personalized and improved services. The customers have the freedom to be anywhere and be engaged with the company by making business and services easy, quick and user-friendly.

Reach the following link to know about Class 3 Digital Signature

DSC application

Following are the requirements for DSC application:

  • The applicants can approach the certifying authorities with original supporting documents and self-attested copies.
  • DSCs can also be obtained by producing the photo ID proof like Aadhar card and also the address proof of the applicant.
  • A certificate issued by a bank containing the applicant’s information as retained in the bank database. Such a certificate provided by the bank manager is required.
  • Applicants can also apply for a digital signature online.

Obtain Your DSC

What are the classes of the Digital Signature Certificate?

The type of applicant and purpose for which the DSC is obtained defines the kind of certificate. A person should apply for the digital signature certificate depending upon their need. There are three types of digital signature certificates issued by the certifying authorities.

Class 1

Firstly, these certificates are issued to an individual or private subscribers. It is used to confirm the user`s name, email address, and contact details mentioned in the subject that lies within the database of the certifying authority.

Class 2

The class 2 certificates are issued for both private individuals and business personnel. The certificates confirm that the information provided by the applicant in the application does not conflict with the information in well-organized consumer databases. Moreover, this certificate is mandatory for individuals who have to sign manual documents while filing returns with the Registrar of Companies(ROC). 

Class 3

It is used in online participation or bidding e-commerce auctions and online tenders anywhere in India. Indeed, this is a high insurance certificate, primarily intended for an e-commerce application. It will be issued to the individuals only on their physical appearance before the certifying authorities. Furthermore, the vendors who wish to participate in the online tenders must have a class 3 Digital Signature Certificate.

What are the components of the Digital Signature Certificate?

  • A public key is required as a part of the verification system.
  • Name and email address are required for contact information purposes and for the ease of identification.
  • The expiration date of the signature certificate is used to set a shelf life which enables the signature to reset.
  • The name of the company is necessary to identify who owns the signature.
  • The serial number of the digital ID is a unique number that is bundled with the signature that helps in tracking.

Who can get the Digital Signature Certificate?

Any person who is seeking to obtain the digital signature certificate can apply to the certifying authority for the issuance of the certificate. The DSC application requires minimal documents. The certification authorities are appointed by the Office of the Controller of Certification Agencies (CCA). Therefore, the CCA has been given the authority to eight certification agencies to issue a digital signature certificate to the individuals seeking the same.

What is the validity of the Digital Signature Certificate?

The digital certificates issued by the authorities are usually valid for one-two years. However, it can be renewed, and the central government may prescribe a certain amount of fees for it. Moreover, the request for the renewal of the certificate should be made 45 days before the expiry of the validity period for the digital certificate.

The digital signature certificate is a secure digital key that not only certifies the identity of a holder but also provides security to all the businesspersons. Therefore, any subscriber can authenticate any electronic document by affixing the digital signature making their work more efficient.

Why Vakilsearch?

We are authorized providers of Digital Signature Certificates, partnered with some of the prominent and licensed Certifying Authorities in India. However, some of the best reasons to choose Vakilsearch for DSC are:

  • Simple and speedy process
  • Delivery of Digital Signature USB tokens that are compliant with FIPS security standards
  • All three classes of DSC provided
  • Digital signature with advanced SHA-256 algorithm as mandated by the Government of India
  • Data confidentiality assured
  • Guidance on accessing and using USB tokens for e-filings
Senior Executive - Content in Vakilsearch | Former TEDxSKCET Licensee | Content Marketing | Psychology | Engineering (IT) | Google Developers Group (GDG) co-organizer | WTM Ambassador