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Digital Signature Certificate

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  • Overview
  • What is Digital Signature?
  • Eligibility
  • Types
  • Benefits
  • Class 3 DSC
  • Documents
  • DSC Registration
  • Renewal
  • Methods
  • Fees
  • FAQs

What is Digital Signature Certificate (DSC)?

A Digital Signature Certificate also known as DSC is an important tool for digitally signing official documents. To legally use a digital signature, one must possess an active Digital Signature Certificate. Digital Signature Certificates can be acquired online through third-party certificate authorities. In addition, organizations, governments, and businesses can issue their certifications.


What is Digital Signature?

A DSC serves the purpose of identifying and verifying individuals. Its primary use is to provide a secure and legal method to sign electronic documents thus ensuring the authenticity and integrity of the information. To use a digital signature, it is mandatory to have a DSC. Digital signatures rely on digital certificates, and the registration process ensures that users are authorized and their identities verified. This certificate functions as a secure digital key. Public key encryption is used to validate and generate digital signatures, including the user's name, pin code, email address, certificate issuance date, and the certifying authority's name. It is mandatory to complete a DSC registration process to utilize digital signatures effectively, as digital signatures rely on digital certificates for functionality. 

There are several types of Digital Signature Certificates, each serving distinct purposes. A licensed Certifying Authority (CA) issues the digital signature. Certifying Authority (CA) is a person who has been issued a license to grant a digital signature certificate under Section 24 of the Indian IT Act 2000. The list of licensed CA along with their contact information is available on the MCA 21 portal. 


What is Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) Eligibility?

Registration for Digital Signature Certificates on the official MCA portal is exclusively available to a select individuals. Only the following persons can apply for digital signature certificate:

  • Directors of companies
  • Managers of companies
  • Chartered Accountants
  • Members of ICAI, ICSI, and ICWAI
  • Practicing professionals
  • Authorized representatives of businesses
  • Nodal and Deputy Nodal Officers of IEPF


What are the Types of Digital Signature Certificates(DSC)?

Sign DSC

Sign DSCs are designed solely for signing documents electronically. They are commonly used in applications such as tax returns, MCA filings, and more, allowing users to sign PDF files securely. Sign DSCs provide evidence of data integrity, ensuring that the signed documents remain intact and unaltered.

Encrypt DSC

Encrypt DSCs are used to protect documents by encrypting them. These certificates find applications in tender portals and other platforms where businesses must upload their documents securely. Encrypt DSCs are suitable for delivering sensitive, encrypted information, such as legal documents and e-commerce transactions.

Encrypt and Sign DSC

The Encrypt and Sign DSC offers dual functionality, allowing users to both sign and encrypt documents. It is ideal for users who want to maintain the privacy of shared information while also authenticating it. This DSC type is primarily used to submit applications and forms to government authorities.


What are the Benefits of Digital Signature Certificates(DSC)?

  • Authenticity: Certified Digital Signature enhance the authenticity of individuals' personal information, ensuring trustworthiness in electronic transactions. 
  • Enhanced Security: Online digital signature offers enhanced security for online transactions, thus reducing the risk of fraud and ensuring data protection.
  • Trustworthy: DSCs provide a reliable method for verifying the identity of individuals or organizations involved in transactions, fostering trust between parties.
  • Legal Recognition: Digital Signature Certificates have the same legal status as handwritten signatures. They ensure the authenticity and integrity of electronic documents, making them admissible as evidence in court.
  • Improved Document Authenticity: Documents signed with digital signatures provide greater assurance to recipients that the signer's identity is genuine. This minimizes concerns about document forgery.
  • Data Integrity: Digitally signed documents are tamper-proof as they cannot be altered once signed. Government organizations often require such certificates to verify the integrity of business transactions.
  • Cost and Time Savings: Signing and transmitting PDF files electronically is much quicker, saves precious time and is more cost-effective than traditional paper-based methods. Also physical presence is not needed for verification, reducing time and costs.
  • Increased Productivity: As digital processes save time and energy and accelerate workflows, they are better utilized in research and business expansion.
  • Affordability: Class 3 DSCs are affordable, making them accessible to a wide range of users. Online DSC registration at Apka Tax can be completed for just ₹ 1000+GST. 


What is Class 3 Digital Signature Certificate(DSC)?

Class 3 Digital Signature Certificates are widely used for filing electronic documents and submitting tenders in India. The demand for DSC registration is rising as part of the government's "Digital India" initiative. These certificates are used in various applications, including income tax returns, EPFO, PF Registration, GST, and e-procurement. Below are kinds of Class 3 DSC:

Individual DSC: This type of DSC is intended to be used by individuals. Authorized individuals attach a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) to electronically submitted documents, ensuring the confidentiality and validity of electronically transmitted documents. All documents uploaded to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs MCA 21 portal bear a DSC stamp. DSCs are employed for validating online transactions, including online LLP Registration incorporation, income tax e-filing, and business incorporation. This DSC registration has a validity of one to two years and can be renewed after the expiry of DSC. 

Organisational DSC: The Organisational DSC is needed for businesses, non-profit organizations, trusts, and government agencies. This type of DSC authorizes users to act on behalf of their organizations. It encompasses both encryption and signing certificates, making it the most secure Class 3 digital signature. An encryption certificate is used for data encryption, while a signing certificate is used for document signing. Organizational DSC registrations have a validity period of one to three years.

DGFT DSC: Organizations seeking import-export licenses can opt for a Class 3 digital signature certificate online. A designated representative or signatory authority typically submits these applications. Documents signed with a DSC hold the same legal status as physically signed ones, as DSCs are recognized by the DGFT portal's legal system. This option also offers the benefits of the Indian Information Technology Act of 2000. Issued by the company only when a signing certificate is present, the DGFT DSC comes into play when the DGFT portal requires electronic digital signature registration for web browser-based transactions.

Class 3 Digital Signature Certificates cater to individual users, organizations, and those seeking DGFT compliance, offering various advantages. DGFT portals recognize these certificates and provide benefits under the Indian Information Technology Act 2000.


What Documents Required for DSC Registration Online?

Below is the category wise list of documents required for obtaining Online Digital Signature Certificate:

  • Individuals: To apply for a DSC online in India, individuals must provide documents such as PAN card, proof of identity like driver's license and address verification (e.g., Aadhar card).
  • Organizations: Indian organizations must provide documents like PAN card for the company, the original partnership deed (if applicable), and proof of authorized signatories. Requirements may vary based on the type of entity.
  • Foreign Persons and Organizations: Foreign applicants require documents such as a passport, copy of visa and residence permit certificate (if in India), and government-issued address proof.


What is Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) Online Registration?

Steps to Apply for a Digital Signature Certificate: 

Visit on the website of a Certifying Authority authorized to issue Digital Certificates in India. 

On the website, navigate to the Digital Certification Services section. 

In this section, choose the type of body you wish to acquire the DSC for, such as 'individual' or 'organization,' and click on it.

Online DSC registration form shall open. 

Fill in all the required details as indicated on the form. These details include:

  • Class of the DSC.
  • Validity.
  • Type: Only Sign or Sign & Encrypt.
  • Applicant Name & Contact Details.
  • Residential Address.
  • GST Number & Identity Proof Document Details.
  • Declaration.
  • Proof of Identity 
  • Proof of Address
  •  Payment Details.

Once you've provided all the necessary information, upload your recent photograph and signature. Review the form for completeness and accuracy, then pay the fees and click submit. For identity and address verification the supporting documents provided like proof of identity and address should be attested by an attesting officer. 

In case of offline registration the payment for DSC should be done by demand draft or cheque in the name of the Local Registration Authority where you intend to submit your DSC application for verification. You can find the details of the Local Registration Authority based on your city of residence by searching on the MCA 21 portal. Send the following required documents to the certificate authority:

  • Completed DSC Registration Form.
  • Supporting documents for Proof of Identity and Proof of Address, attested by the attesting officer.
  • Demand Draft/Cheque for payment.

DSC Registration Process with Apka Tax

The DSC registration is a simple process with APKA Tax’s expert assistance, which is completed in three easy steps:

  • Provide your essential information, like name, contact details, and intended DSC usage, to our experts.
  • Our experts will complete online documentation, including identity and address verification.
  • Undergo digital signature registration and receive a token with the DSC in pen drive. 


What is Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) Renewal?

When a Digital Signature Certificate expires, organizations or individuals can apply for renewal or updates through the same process. Renewing DSCs ensures continuous access to secure electronic document signing.



What is Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) Methods?

The DSC application process offers various methods, catering to different needs:

  • Online Aadhaar-Based Paperless Mode: Ideal for applicants with Aadhaar, this method eliminates paperwork and relies on mobile and email verification.
  • Online Aadhaar OTP Mode: Requires Aadhaar and OTP verification for quick processing.
  • Online Aadhaar Biometric Mode: Ensures reliability and security through biometric device connection.
  • PAN-Based Mode: Involves PAN card details, e-KYC, and OTP for verification.
  • There is also a provision of video verification to be done, only after which the digital signature certificate is issued. 


What is the Fees of Digital Signature Certificate?

Are you looking for Digital Signature Certificate Fees then here the details for you. The Digital Signature Certificate cost start from ₹1200 to ₹3000 along with Government Fee ₹1000 and Professional Fee ₹200.


Digital Signature Certificate Fee ₹1200 To ₹3000
Govt Fees ₹1000
Professional Fees ₹200


You can obtain a Digital Signature Certificate Online from Apka Tax.

A digital signature certificate issued by a Certificate Authority (CA) is a digital certificate. This contains all the information linked with the key including organisation name and a public key for primary digital signature. It is used to prove that the public key belongs exclusively to a specific individual or company.

A licensed Certifying Authority (CA) issues the digital signature. Certifying Authority (CA) is a person who has been issued a license to grant a digital signature certificate under Section 24 of the Indian IT Act 2000. The list of licensed CA along with their contact information is available on the MCA 21 portal.

Online DSC registration at Apka Tax can be completed for just ₹ 1000+GST.

No, one can use only single DSC.

Depending on the type of DSC, registrations have a validity period of one to three years.

DSC is required to digitally and securely sign documents.

No, MCA e-filling is not possible without DSC.

Digital Signature Certificate is valid from one to three years depending upon their category.

At Apka Tax we issue DSC in two to three business days.

Class 3 DSC is needed for government e-tenders, e-procurement etc.

An e-pass token is an USB device that stores the digital signature certificate.
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