Digital Signature: Understanding you need

Digital Signature: Understanding you need

The way we work has become digital, most of the things that were done manually a decade ago is now being done electronically. On the same note our signatures have also become digital and we call them digital signature.

What is a digital signature?

A digital signature is an electronic form of a signature that can be used to authenticate the identity of the sender of a message or the signer of a document, and ensure that the original content of the message or document that has been sent is unchanged. Digital signatures are easily transportable and cannot be imitated by someone else. The ability to ensure that the original signed message arrived means that the sender cannot easily disclaim it later.

What is a digital signature certificate?

Digital Signature Certificates (DSC) is the electronic format of physical or paper certificate like a driving License, passport etc. Certificates serve as proof of identity of an individual for a certain purpose; for example, a Passport identifies someone as a citizen of that country; who can legally travel to any country. Likewise, a Digital Signature Certificate can be presented electronically to prove your identity, to access information or services on the Internet or to sign certain documents digitally.

Where can I use Digital Signature?

  1. For sending and receiving digitally signed and encrypted emails.
  2. For carrying out secure web-based transactions, or to identify other participants of web-based transactions.
  3. In eTendering, eProcurement, MCA [for Registrar of Companies efiling], Income Tax [for efiling income tax returns] Applications and also in many other applications.
  4. For signing documents like MSWord, MSExcel and PDFs.

What are the classes of digital signature available?

The various classes of digital signature are:

Class I DSC: It is used to validate the email address of user.

Class II DSC: It is issued to verify the identity of a person against a trusted, pre-verified database.

Class III DSC: It is used where highest level of authenticity is required. It is issued directly by the certifying authority and the person needs to present himself or herself in front of a registration authority (RA) and prove his/ her identity.

Class of DSC to be used

Purpose Class of DSC to be used
For e-Tendering, e-Procurement, Trademark / Patent filing Class III
For Income tax filing, ROC & MCA filing Class II
For importer/exporter Class III DGFT


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