Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Who needs to apply for a Digital Signature Certificate?

A. With the e-commerce boom, government agencies have adopted digital signature, and it is also a statutory requirement for many e-forms to be digitally signed by the authorised signatory. So individuals and entities need to obtain the digital signature. A digital signature certificate establishes the identity of the holder. It is like a PAN card or a passport and enables the holder to prove his identity.


Q. Where can I use the digital signature certificate?

A. A digital signature certificate is a valid legal instrument and can be used for digitally signing various documents. It can be used for filing income tax returns, e-tenders, for various regulatory company filings.


Q. What are the different classes of Digital Signature Certificate?

A. While applying for the certificate, the individual or company must purposely select the class. The different classes of digital signature certificates are as follows:

 Class 2: This is needed by companies and other entities. It can be used for filing tax returns. A Class 2 digital signature certificate verifies the identity of a person against a pre-verified, trusted database.

 Class 3: This is needed for individuals or entities who would like to participate in online auctions or tenders. It is the highest and most secure form of a digital signature certificate. To obtain this, the applicant must present himself or herself in front of a registration authority.


Q. How long does it take to receive the digital signature certificate in India?

A. Most certifying authorities take between few hours to issue a digital certificate in India.


Q. What is the validity of the Digital Signature Certificate?

A. The Certifying Authorities are authorized to issue a certificate with validity of 1, 2 or 3 years depending upon the class of DSC being procured. The holder must be well aware of the validity of the certificate to avoid any business loss.


Q. Can I hold multiple digital signatures certificates?

A. Yes. An individual can hold a separate digital signature for personal and professional purposes. As far as holding separate certificates for authorizing varied documents is concerned, an individual can apply for a Class 3 certificate and use it for all documents, as it is the highest level and most secure.


Q. Can I renew the certificate?

A. No, as per latest CCA Identity Verification Guidelines, renewal of digital signatures is no more permitted. It is required to carry Fresh identity proofing for each DSC to be issued till further orders.