What is a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC)?
An electronic signature is called a digital signature that can be used to sign electronic documents. Like the handwritten signature, which validates physical documents, electronic documents can be validated by signing them using a digital signature. Digital Signature Certificates (DSC) is a digital equivalent of physical or paper certificates. Few physical examples are driver's licenses, passports, etc. Certificates act as evidence of an individual's identity for a specific purpose; for example, a driver's license recognizes someone who can drive legally within a country. Similarly, a digital certificate may be electronically displayed to confirm one's identity, to access information or resources on the Internet or digitally sign other documents. A Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) includes user name information, pin code, country, email address, certificate issuance date, and the certifying authority’s name.
What is Digital Signature Class 3?
Class 3 digital signatures are issued to individuals as well as to organizations. These class 3 digital signatures have the highest level of security or assurance for executing transactions online, within the RCAI hierarchy, set up by the Controller of Certifying Authorities (CCA) in India. These certificates are to be presented only to individuals who make a physical appearance before certifying authorities. Class 3 Digital Signature Certificate is the updated version of the Class 2 Digital Signature Certificate. You can participate in or offer any kind of on-line tender/auction throughout India, using this certificate. It is mainly used in online trading platforms and e-commerce portals, where large sums of money and highly confidential information is involved.
The Class 3 certificates are primarily used for performing the following functions -
- Patent and trademark e-filing
- MCA e-filing
- Customs e-filing
- E-auction, etc
Types of class 3 digital signature and their uses:
- Class 3 Digital Signature Certificate can be obtained on behalf of an organization or a corporation by an individual user or an Authorized Official.
- The Class 3 Digital Signature Certificate has two categories;
- Class 3 individual Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) or Class 3A DSC
- Class 3 Organization Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) or Class 3B DSC
- According to the Information Technology (IT), Act, 2000 and legal status, both Class 3A and Class 3B Digital Signature Certificates (DSC) are issued as Class 3A individual Signing Certificate and Class 3B Organisation Combo Digital Signature Certificate.
- Proprietorship, Partnership Companies, Private Limited / Corporate, NGOs / Trust, LLP, Government Departments can purchase Class 3 Organization User DSC on behalf of their employees or members of management by authorizing them to participate in the e-tender.
Class 3A Digital Signature Certificate uses: for signing only
- Digital Signature Certificate Class 3A Individual is mainly used for IRCTC e-ticketing because of the implementation of an online ticket booking system (E-Ticketing), implemented by the Indian Railways for approved official agents.
- Every approved agent with a Class 3A Digital Signature Certificate may issue an e-ticket to any user through the IRCTC website through this program.
- So every Approved Agent needs to have a Class 3 Digital Signature Certificate (Class 3A) to sign e-documents.
- After obtaining a Class 3A Signing Digital Signature Certificate (DSC), the Agent must map the Digital Signature Certificate with the IRCTC website.
Class 3B Digital Signature Certificate uses for signing & encryption
- Class 3B digital signature certificate is required for any agency, business or business that seeks an e-tender, e-auction with signing and encryption. The digital signature certificate is given to an approved individual on behalf of any agency, company or company that wishes to send online offers via e-procurement process.
- E-tendering is a crystal clear process, which has been widely welcomed by vendors bringing significant popularity all over India. E-tendering not only saves time, and effort, but also increases the transparency of the process.
- E-Tendering / e-Procurement often helps other Country vendors bid through other govt web portals by uploading documents and getting immediate response and obtaining contracts/tenders.
- E-tendering is the easiest and most reliable way to bid in contrast with the conventional system that has been followed so far.
Benefits of Class 3 digital signature
- Online transactions occur every single minute in a day. Industries and associations sell a large portion of their goods via electronic mediums. It is necessary for companies and organizations that participate or wish to participate in e-tendering processes to have a digital signature certificate.
- By using the class 3 Digital Signature Certificate (DSC), which is highly secured, your identity cannot be misused, while communicating online.
- No one can breach the data stored in the DSC unless the password of the USB token driver is stolen.
- Users who wish to apply for a trademark, or a patent, can also have a Class 3A Digital Signature Certificate.
- To validate the ownership of a domain name and to set up protected SSL encrypted sessions between website users and the back end configuration, to ensure smooth web-based transactions on a website.
- A safe online transaction provides peace of mind and increases the efficiency of team leaders who turn their full attention to organizational development rather than worrying about the security of their online transactions.
Checklist requirements for applying for a Class 3 digital signature
- The applicant's signature should be in blue ink only
- The applicant's signature should be as it is in his/her ID proof.
- All Documents should be self-certified with the organization’s rubber stamp, in case of class 3B Digital Signature Certificate.
- Documents should be self-certified by the head of the organization with the organization’s rubber stamp, in case of a class 3B Digital Signature Certificate.
- Photograph of the applicant should be cross-signed on a photograph of the applicant, on the application form
- All the supporting documentation must be certified by a gazetted officer/postmaster/ bank manager.
- As proof of attesting officer, either one of the options is a compulsory requirement –
- Details including the name, designation, office address, and contact number of the attesting officer. This must be included as part of the attestation. In case it is provided separately, it should be attested either by the attesting officer or applicant.
- A self authorized copy of the attesting officer's organizational Identification Card.
- Organizational documents may also be approved by an authorized signatory.
- If the organizational documents are certified by an authorized signatory, a certified copy of the authorized signatory's organizational ID Card is mandatory.
- Video verification is mandatory for all applicants, in the case of applying for a class 3 Digital Signature Certificate.
Procedure for obtaining class 3 digital signature certificate:
Get our legal assistance to obtain class 3 digital signature certificate
Digital Signature Certificates (DSC) can be acquired under the proper KYC process and the following the mandatory procedure listed below, to ensure complete and safe registration of the Digital Signature Codes (DSC).
Filling the DSC Application:
- The applicant must fill the prescribed DSC application form with the required information, and must personally sign the same.
- Then this application must be submitted for enrolment to the Registration Authority (RA).
Enrolment of DSC application by RA:
- The registration authority enrolls all DSC applications that are filled, to the Certification Authority (CA) for issuing the DSC.
- After the verification of application and supporting documents by the Registration Authority (RA), the mobile/video verification will be initiated for the applicant.
- After the submission of the DSC application and the supporting documents on the E-mudra, the applicant will receive a web link on his/her registered email ID for video verification.
- The applicant can complete his/her verification through the personal computer or any mobile app.
- Once the video verification is over, the applicant should undergo a mobile number verification given in the application form.
- The applicant should send an SMS to 9945211399 from the registered number mentioned in the application form.
- After completing both mobile/video verification, the applicant will receive authorization to download the DSC
- The DSC can be downloaded to the E-Token Storage system upon receipt of an authentication code.
Documents required for obtaining Class 3 digital signature
The following documents are required for obtaining a Class 3 digital signature. They are;
Documents required for Indian citizen:
- For individual:
- Softcopy of TAN or Aadhaar
- Softcopy of Address proof
- Photo softcopy
- For an organization:
- Application Form
- Letter of Authorization
- Identity proof
- Organizational proof
- Attesting or certifying Officer proof
- Authorized Signatory proof.
Accepted documents for Indian individuals:
- ID proof (any one below):
- PAN Card of the Applicant
- Driving Licence
- Post Office Identity Card
- Bank account passbook that contains the photograph of the individual and is signed by a person approved by the concerned bank official
- Photo ID card issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) of both the Centre and State Governments
- Anyone of the Government-issued photo ID card having the signatures of an individual.
- Address proof:
- Aadhaar Card
- Voter’s ID
- Driving Licence /Registration Certificate
- Water Bill receipt (Not more than 3 months old).
- Electricity Bill receipt (Not more than 3 months old)
- Recent Bank Statements signed by the bank (Not more than 3 months old)
- Service Tax or VAT Tax or Sales Tax registration certificate
- Receipt of Property Tax/ Municipal Corporation
Accepted documents for Indian organization:
- Copy of organizational PAN Card (if GST number is not provided)
- Copy of recent bank statement (if GST number is not provided)
- Copy of incorporation certificate.
- Business registration certificate copy.
- Partnership deed with the list of partners.
- Authorized signatory proof
- ID proof of the authorized signatory
- Applicant PAN card copy.
Accepted documents for foreign individual and foreign organization:
- ID proof: (mandatory)
- Copy of the applicant’s passport with attestation
- Copy of VISA with attestation
- Copy of resident permit certificate with attestation (if the applicant is in India)
- Address proof: (mandatory)
- Copy of the applicant’s passport with attestation.
- Copy of any other government-issued ID proof.
DSCs will be provided within 1 or 2 working days. However, DSC issuance is usually based on the applicant's confirmation
DSC is valid for one or two years. They need to be obtained again once their validity expires.
Digital signature certificates are approved and issued by a certifying authority (CA). The list of licensed CAs is available on the MCA website, along with their contact details.
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