A Digital Signature Certificate is the equivalent of a physical signature which is in an electronic format, as it establishes the identity of the sender of an electronic document on the Internet. Digital Signatures are widely used for different online transactions such as the Income Tax E-Filing, Company or Limited Liability Partnership  Incorporation, Filing Annual Return, E-Tenders, etc.

There are three types of Digital Signatures

  • Class I

This kind of Digital Signatures is the one that is only used for securing email communication.

  • Class II

This kind of Digital Signature is used for company registration and LPP, filing ITR Online, Obtaining DIN or DPIN, and filing of other forms with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and the Income Tax Department. Issued for both business personnel and private individuals use.

  • Class III

This kind of Digital Signatures is high assurance certificates, primarily intended for e-commerce applications. These are used mainly for E-Tendering and for participating in E-Auctions. It comes in the form of a USB E-token, wherein the Digital Signature Certificate is stored on a USB Drive and it can be accessed through a concerned computer to sign the documents electronically.

Benefits of digital signature

  • Reduced cost and time

Instead of signing the hard copy documents physically and scanning them to send them via e-mail, you can digitally sign the PDF files and send them much more quickly. There is no need to physically present to conduct or authorize a business if you have a Digital Signature certificate.

  • Data integrity

Documents that are signed digitally cannot be altered or edited after signing, which makes the data safe and secure. The government officials often ask for these certificates to cross-check and verify the business transactions.

  • The authenticity of documents:

Digitally signed documents build up the confidence of the receiver to be assured of the signer’s authenticity. Without getting worried about the documents being fake, They can take action based on such documents.

Use of a Digital Signature Certificate is compulsory for e-filing by a certain section of businesses, families, and individuals. For individuals businesses not covered by the latest mandate, a Digital Signature Certificate assures greater convenience while filing tax returns, and greater security during any electronic transactions.

This certificate helps to provide an electronic which is an alternative means to provide the identity and also helps to provide a high level of security for the online transactions. A company can use the digital certificate to encrypt information to keep it secure so that only the intended recipient can read it. To build up the trust of a recipient, the company can digitally sign information that it has not been charged in transit and also enable verification that the person has actually sent the message.

Other Details

  • Validity

The digital signature usually comes with a validity of 1 or 2 years and its validity can be renewed once the term of the previous Digital Signature Certificate expires.

  • E-Token

These are stored on a secure USB flash drive which is called an E-Token. The Digital Signature Certificate that is stored in the USB flash drive must be connected to a concerned PC to electronically sign a document.

  • Quick Processing

After submission of all required documents, a digital signature can be obtained in 1-3 working days. The application, however, must be submitted in a hard copy along with the self-attested copy of the address and the identity proof of the applicant.

Documents Required while applying for Digital Signature Certificate

While applying for the Digital Signature Certificate, you are required to submit as proof, the following DSC document requirement along with your DSC application form.

  • Proof of Identification
  • Proof of Address
  • Attestation Officer Proof
  • Brief about need For a DSC

These documents submitted for the DSC application must be attested by the attesting officer.

Note:  An attesting officer can be a Group A/B Gazetted officer, Bank manager or authorized executive, Post Master, etc.

Proof of Identification

The following documents are accepted as proof of identification:

1. Passport

2.PAN Card of the applicant

3. Driving License

4. Post Office ID card

5. Bank account passbook containing the photograph with the signature of the applicant and attested by the concerned bank official

6. Photo ID card issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs of Centre/State Governments

7. Any Government-issued photo ID card bearing the signature of the applicant

Proof of Address

The following documents can be submitted as a proof of address:


2. Voter ID Card

3. Driving License (DL)/Registration Certificate (RC)

4. Water Bill (Not older than 3 months).

5. Electricity Bill (Not older than 3 Months)

6. Latest Bank Statements signed by the bank (Not older than 3 Months)

7. Service Tax/VAT Tax/Sales Tax registration certificate

8. Property Tax/ Corporation/ Municipal Corporation Receipt

Attestation Officer Proof

A self-attested copy of the ID card/ address proof of the attesting officer must be provided.

Note: The above-mentioned documents must be enclosed with the DSC Application Form for submission while applying for a DSC.

Need For a DSC

Digital Signature Certificates help in authenticating the identity and the personal information details of the certificate holder while conducting online transactions.

With a growing number of businesses and transactions conducted online, the use of DSC becomes invariably important. The DSC’s are now asked by the various government agencies to cross-check and verify the authenticity of the individual conducting online transactions

How to protect your digital signature

Click the “File” tab and select “Info.” A dialog box will appear; select “Permissions” and click “Protect Document.” You will have the option to mark the document as final, add a digital signature (if you haven’t already done so), restrict editing, encrypt with a password, and restrict permission to certain people.


The digital signature certificate is ideal for people to engage in online transactions. For company registration, you must have a DSC. So get your DSC effective transactions.

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