You are currently viewing A brief guide on Digital Signature Certificate (DSC)

You might have heard about the digital signature, nowadays it is accepted in many places, especially government offices. In the digital work, when everything is going digital, so your signature :). In this article, we will see what is a digital signature? What is its use? How can you get a digital signature and other related topics related to Digital Signature?

What is a Digital Signature Certificate?

Digital Signature Certificates (DSC) are the digital equivalent (that is electronic format) of your physical signature. It is is a digital record of credentials of an individual or an organization. DSC is used to sign the document digitally. Signature means it is a sign of our consent. If we are writing our signature then it means that we are expressing our consent to that thing. For example, in a bank’s checkbook, or in any government document, where we have our consent, we write our signature. Similarly, DSC is the digital way of giving your consent.

What is the validity of Digital Signature?

The Digital Signatures usually come with a validity of one or two years. The validity of the Digital Signature can be renewed at the time of expiry.

What is the use of Digital Signature

There are various places where Digital signature is accepted. To accept the digital signature the online system needs to be certificate-enabled. Some places where DSC can be used are online banking, Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT), Secure Electronic mail, e­-filing of income tax return, e-­tendering, etc.

Types of Digital Signature

At present, there are 3 types of Digital Signature Certificates Class-1, Class-2 & Class-3. All digital signatures have a different level of security.

Class-1 is the most basic type of digital signature, where the email address of the user gets validated. You don’t have to produce any other document to receive Class-1 digital signature. This is not valid for any government work. This is generally used for email exchanges.

Class-II is the most commonly used DSC for signing government papers. It is used for signing documents, filing IT returns, filing MCA forms and GST returns. You need to furnish Address Proof, Identiproof documents to the authority issuing the digital signature.

Class-III DSC can be used for everything Class-II can be used. In addition to that, it can be used for online procurement processes involving high financial values and e-tendering. This is treated as the most secure and most costly DSC. The Class-III DSC are stored on a secure USB flash drive called an E-Token . The Digital Signature Certificate stored in the USB flash drive must be connected to a computer to electronically sign a document. It is generally used by organizations.

Who can issue Digital Signature Certificate

Not everyone can issue Digital Signature Certificate. Only licensed Certifying Authority (CA) can issue the digital signature. Certifying Authority (CA) means a person who has been granted a license to issue a digital signature certificate under Section 24 of the Indian IT-Act 2000. Now the question how do you know whom to approach? So, right now below are the authorities who can issue a digital signature certificate.

What is the cost of getting a Digital Signature Certificate?

The cost of obtaining a digital signature certificate differs from certifying authority. They revise their charges from time to time. A Class 2 Digital certificate from Capricorn will cost you around Rs.2450, the same at IDBRT may cost you around 1950. Please check respective websites for there latest costing.

I hope you had enjoyed this article and in this article, I was able to briefly explain about Digital Signature Certificate.

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