Digital Signature Certificate

Last Updated at: Jul 06, 2021
Digital Signature Certificate
The MCA has launched a new web form to ascertain the readiness of the companies towards fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. The government also said that it is a simple web form with minimum fields and can be filed from anywhere, without requiring payment or Digital Signature Certificate (DSC). 


  1. What is a Digital Signature Certificate?

2. Who can use DSC?

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

4. What are the 3 types of digital certificates?

5. How many classes of DSC are there?

6. How to apply for DSC?

What is a Digital Signature Certificate?

The Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) is the digital key issued by the certifying authority. It comes in use to validate and certify a person’s identity digitally. It can be used to sign any document digitally. 

Moreover, the DSC comprises descriptive details about a person, which includes their name, pin code, country, email address, a digital signature of the person and the name of the issuing authority. Additionally, the approval, issuance, and discrepancy of the digital signature certificate are under the authority of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. 

Reach the following link to know about Class 3 Digital Signature

Who can use the Digital Signature Certificate?

The Digital Signature is being used by various government authorities and corporate organizations. Additionally, it has become a statutory requirement in various applications. The DSC can be availed by individuals, organization, foreign individuals, and organization may also avail the certificate.

What are the benefits of a Digital Signature Certificate?

Initially, the benefits of Digital Signature Certificates are enormous. One major benefit is the ease of processing of the business and authenticating the same on the online platform. Therefore, the major factors under which the benefits have been realized are mentioned below:

  • Receding cost and time

Additionally, often big companies have to handle a lot of documents and their processing online. Signing each of the documents physically and then scanning each to send them via email involves a lot of unnecessary workloads. Likewise, to recede this hassle, the companies can opt to sign their documents digitally and send them quickly.

  • Safe and secure data

We cannot edit or alter the documents after the digital signature. Moreover, it helps to keep the data safe and secure. To authenticate the transactions among companies, government officers often ask for digitally signed certificates. It helps them to cross verify the document.

  • Authenticity

Once the receiver gets a digitally signed document, he is assured of the deal and takes action accordingly. A digitally signed certificate reflects authenticity and gives assurity to the receiver. 

 apply for Digital signature certificate

What are the 3 types of Digital Signature Certificate?

There are three types of certificate, which are as follows:

  • Signature

Signing any document with the help of the DSC validates its authenticity. It assures the receiver that the document is untampered and the data mentioned is unaltered. Similarly, the DSC sign can be used to sign PDF files for tax returns, approval of the deal, and other websites. 

  • Encrypted

Firstly, DSC encryption is for confidential data and documents. Moreover, the confidential and essential data should be protected. So, under the condition of transmitting such documents, it is of paramount importance to send these documents with encrypting DSC. 

  • Sign and Encrypt

Another type of DSC is that which comprises both sign and encrypt. We can use along with the documents, which have should be authentic while it is confidential at the same time. Often we can use such certificates to fill up government applications or important documents. 

What are the 3 Classes of DSC?

Based on the usage, the Digital Signature Certificate can publish to the user. The digitally signed certificate is issued to the user based on their usage of the certificate. The certifying authorities may issue any of the following types of the certificate to the users. 

Class 1 certificates

Meanwhile, it can be issued to individuals or private personalities. This certificate portrays that the user name and other details regarding the person are registered within the database of the certifying authority. Moreover, the freelancers subscribe to this type of certificate often.

Class 2 certificates

Class 2 certificate is issued to the signatory or director of a registered company so that the certificate can be used to e-fill the Registrar of companies (ROC). The individual personalities must hold a class 2 certificate who often have to sign documents manually while filling for their returns with ROC. So, the class 2 certificate can utilize the following purposes as well:

Class 3 certificates

Vendors willing to participate in e-auction or other tender bidding should hold a class 3 certificate. It helps to authenticate their data and details whenever they get in the e-bidding or auctioning process. Hence, the other purpose fulfilled by class 3 certificate is as follows:

  • E-tendering
  • Patent and trademark e-filling
  • Online auction 
  • E-procurement
  • Customs e-filling

How to apply for a Digital Signature Certificate?

The procedure of obtaining DSC directly from a certifying authority is as follows:

Offline procedure for Digital Signature Certificate 

This is a traditional method, where the applicant has to fill up a form to submit supporting documents. The supporting documents are as follows:

  • Address Proof
  • ID
  • PAN

Moreover, submit these documents to either the bank manager, gazetted officer or the postmaster.

Online procedure for Digital Signature Certificate 

Initially, the process of obtaining Digital Signature Online is time-saving and takes a few clicks to apply for the same. So, proceed with the following procedure to apply for DSC.

Step 1: Login and search for your type of entity

Find a certifying authority licensed to issue DSC. Once you find a trusted site search for your type of entity for which you want a DSC.

Step 2: Fill the necessary details

Firstly, you should download and take a print of the form. So, fill the details in the form carefully. Therefore, the details required in the form are as follows:

  • Class of DSC
  • Type of the certificate
  • Applicant’s name and other personal details
  • GST number and identity details 
  • Documents to prove the identity
  • Declaration
  • Payment details

Above all, underneath the declaration, the applicant’s recent photograph and a signature have to be submitted. 

Step 3: Proof of identity and address

Subsequently, the documents in the above should get sign by an attesting officer and send it to the proper address of the Local Registration Authority (LRA). 

Hence, after the verification of the documents, the DSC will issue to the applicant.

Moreover, it is important to remember that the DSC has a validity period of a maximum of 2 years. After the expiry date, the certificate has to be renewed. Therefore, every DSC holder should make sure to use the certificate for official purposes only.