Digital Signature Certificate (DSC)

Apply for DSC

What is a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC)?
The Information Technology Act, 2000 provides for use of Digital Signatures on the documents submitted in electronic form in order to ensure the security and authenticity of the documents filed electronically. This is the only secure and authentic way that a document can be submitted electronically. As such, all filings done by the companies under MCA21 e-Governance programme are required to be filed with the use of Digital Signatures by the person authorised to sign the documents.
Legal Warning:
You can use only the valid Digital Signatures issued to you. It is illegal to use Digital Signatures of anybody other than the one to whom it is issued.
Certification Agencies:
Certification Agencies are appointed by the office of the Controller of Certification Agencies (CCA) under the provisions of IT Act, 2000. There are a total of seven Certification Agencies authorised by the CCA to issue the Digital Signature Certificates (DSCs). The details of these Certification Agencies are available on the portal of the Ministry www.mca.gov.in 

Class of DSCs:
The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has stipulated a Class-II or above category certificate for e-filings under MCA21. A person who already has the specified DSC for any other application can use the same for filings under MCA21 and is not required to obtain a fresh DSC. 
Validity of Digital Signatures:
The DSCs are typically issued with one year validity and two year validity. These are renewable on expiry of the period of initial issue.
Costing/ Pricing of Digital Signatures:

It includes the cost of medium (a UBS token which is a one time cost), the cost of issuance of DSC and the renewal cost after the period of validity. The company representatives and professionals required to obtain DSCs are free to procure the same from any one of the approved Certification Agencies as per the web site. The issuance costs in respect of each Agency vary and are market driven.

Using Digital Certificates

MCA (ROC)

Digital Signature Certificate for smoother transactions with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs or Registrar of Companies.
A Digital Signature Certificate helps make light work of various transactions related to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, or Registrar of Companies. In addition to saving time, a Digital Signature Certificate also helps secure data. Read on to know more about the benefits of buying a Digital Signature Certificate from eMudhra.

 

Digital Signature Certificate and Ministry of Corporate Affairs
Any organization or firm can apply for a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) for transactions involving the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. However, business houses that exceed revenues of over INR 60 lakhs have to mandatorily use a Digital Signature Certificate while filing returns. Under the provisions of law, a Digital Signature is considered as a legally admissible instruments.
There are various types of Digital Signature Certificates that cater to specific needs. While eFiling on the Ministry of Corporate Affairs portal, a Digital Signature Certificate of Class 2 and Class 3 category is required.
A Class 2 Digital Signature Certificate is available for download after verification based on a trusted and pre-verified database.
A Class 3 Digital Signature Certificate, on the other hand, is of a higher level as it is issued only after the registrant's identity verification has been done by a Registration Authority.

 

Digital Signature Certificates and Registrar of Companies
Under provisions of the Information Technology Act, 2000, usage of Digital Signatures on documents submitted in electronic form ensures security and authenticity. Furthermore, companies that file under MCA21 e-Governance program have to use a Digital Signature that identifies the authorized signatory of the company.

 

Why do I need a Digital Signature Certificate?
A Digital Signature Certificate authenticates your identity electronically. It also provides you with a high level of security for your online transactions by ensuring absolute privacy of the information exchanged using a digital certificate. You can use certificates to encrypt information such that only the intended recipient can read it. You can digitally sign information to assure the recipient that it has not been changed in transit, and also verify your identity as the sender of the message.

 

Where can I use Digital Signature Certificates?
You can use Digital Signature Certificates for the following:

  • For secure email and web-based transactions, or to identify other participants of web-based transactions.
  • To prove ownership of a domain name and establish SSL/ TLS encrypted secured sessions between your website and the user for web based transactions.
  • As a developer, for proving authorship of a code and retaining integrity of the distributed software programs.
  • For signing web forms, e-tendering documents, filing income tax returns, to access membership-based websites automatically without entering a user name and password etc.
Income Tax

Easier e-Filing of Income Tax with Digital Signature Certificate.
A Digital Signature Certificate lets you file your Tax Returns easier and more secure. According to revised provisions under section 44AB of IT Act "E-Filing is mandatory for all the individuals/professionals having an annual gross receipt of INR 25 Lakhs and above, and for business houses with annual turnover of INR 1 Crore and above.

 

Digital Signature Certificate and e-Filing of Incomes Taxes
Use of a Digital Signature Certificate is mandatory 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.

 

Why do I need a Digital Signature Certificate?
A Digital Signature Certificate authenticates your identity electronically. It also provides you with a high level of security for your online transactions by ensuring absolute privacy of the information exchanged using a digital certificate. You can use certificates to encrypt information such that only the intended recipient can read it. You can digitally sign information to assure the recipient that it has not been changed in transit, and also verify your identity as the sender of the message.

 

Where can I use Digital Signature Certificates?
You can use Digital Signature Certificates for the following:

  • For secure email and web-based transactions, or to identify other participants of web-based transactions.
  • To prove ownership of a domain name and establish SSL/ TLS encrypted secured sessions between your website and the user for web based transactions.
  • As a developer, for proving authorship of a code and retaining integrity of the distributed software programs.
  • For signing web forms, e-tendering documents, filing income tax returns, to access membership-based websites automatically without entering a user name and password etc.
E-Tender

eTendering made possible with Digital Signature Certificate.
A Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) is essential for companies and organizations that take part or intend to take part in eTendering processes on various Government sites. Besides enabling eTendering which is extremely convenient and transparent, a Digital Signature Certificate also ensure greater security in other online transactions.

 

Digital Signature Certificate and e-Tendering
e-Procurement facilitates, integrates, and streamlines procurement processes. From buyer to supplier and even back. Approved under the Information Technology Act, and with legal status, a Digital Signature Certificate is essential for all e-Procurement processes.
Applying for a government tender online has many advantages. Since documents are uploaded to a central site, acknowledgements and receipts are provided immediately. Which is not the case with paper documents that need to be scanned and verified before being processed.
e-Procurement has gained significant popularity and acceptance as it brings greater transparency to the whole system. Among other benefits, it helps buyers and bidders overcome geographical limitations, reduce procurement cycles, and overall helps keep pace with present technology.
Any organisation that is looking to apply for any Government eTender needs to have a Class 3 Digital Signature Certificate registered in the name of a representative who is authorised to submit online offers for e-Tendering applications.

 

Why do I need a Digital Signature Certificate?
A Digital Signature Certificate authenticates your identity electronically. It also provides you with a high level of security for your online transactions by ensuring absolute privacy of the information exchanged using a digital certificate. You can use certificates to encrypt information such that only the intended recipient can read it. You can digitally sign information to assure the recipient that it has not been changed in transit, and also verify your identity as the sender of the message.

 

Where can I use Digital Signature Certificates?
You can use Digital Signature Certificates for the following:

  • For secure email and web-based transactions, or to identify other participants of web-based transactions.
  • To prove ownership of a domain name and establish SSL/ TLS encrypted secured sessions between your website and the user for web based transactions.
  • As a developer, for proving authorship of a code and retaining integrity of the distributed software programs.
  • For signing web forms, e-tendering documents, filing income tax returns, to access membership-based websites automatically without entering a user name and password etc.
Foreign Trade

Foreign Trade made possible with Digital Signature Certificate.

Foreign Trade and Digital Signature Certificates
Export and Import Organizations (EXIM organizations) can apply for licenses online which means that they can also file accompanying documents electronically on the DGFT website. Since a Digital Signature Certificate ensures authenticity of the document, DGFT has mandated use of Digital Signature Certificates with all electronic documents uploaded on the DGFT site. This means that every EXIM Organisation needs to necessarily have a Digital Signature Certificate for transactions related to the DGFT website. On validating the identity of the sender, authenticity of the documents and validity of the DSC, DGFT then processes the documents for licence issuance. In addition to convenience, online submission of applications on the DGFT website also mean a 50% reduction in licence fee for EXIM Organisations.
Organisations can prevent fraudulent practices such as identity thefts by filing bills of entry using a Digital Signature Certificate. If an organisation is filing documents through Custom House Agents, it is important that all documents filed are accompanied by a DSC.
A Class 3 Digital Signature Certificate is essential for any organisation seeking an Import or an Export Licence that needs to be registered in the name of one representative authorised to represent the organisation.
Since a Digital Signature Certificate is recognised by the legal system, all documents submitted using a Digital Signature Certificate is considered on par with physically signed documents, and also attract benefits endowed upon them through the Indian Information Technology Act 2000.

 

Why do I need a Digital Signature Certificate?
A Digital Signature Certificate authenticates your identity electronically. It also provides you with a high level of security for your online transactions by ensuring absolute privacy of the information exchanged using a digital certificate. You can use certificates to encrypt information such that only the intended recipient can read it. You can digitally sign information to assure the recipient that it has not been changed in transit, and also verify your identity as the sender of the message.

 

Where can I use Digital Signature Certificates?
You can use Digital Signature Certificates for the following:

  • For secure email and web-based transactions, or to identify other participants of web-based transactions.
  • To prove ownership of a domain name and establish SSL/ TLS encrypted secured sessions between your website and the user for web based transactions.
  • As a developer, for proving authorship of a code and retaining integrity of the distributed software programs.
  • For signing web forms, e-tendering documents, filing income tax returns, to access membership-based websites automatically without entering a user name and password etc.
Employee Provident Fund

Now employers in India can use Class 2 Gold or Class 3 Platinum Digital Signature Certificates for submitting their employee PF transfer claim form online.
digital signature certificates make your work more easier, convenient and cost saving in handling your employee PF transfer claim forms. Now the authorized signatories of employer's can digitally sign using digital signature certificates and submit the form online in Employer Online Transfer Claim Portal.

 

Digital Signature Certificate and Employer Online Transfer Claim Portal:
EPFO has introduced a new system to facilitate online submission of transfer claims by Members with an objective to make the transfer process transparent, efficient and comfortable for your employees. A member has an option to submit his claim either through his present employer or the previous one.
Employer can see all such claim requests with ease, verify/correct member details, approve and submit the requests online through this portal. For online submission of the claims, the Digital signature ( Class 2 or above) of the authorized person is required.
There are various types of Digital Signature Certificates that cater to specific needs. While digitally singing in Employer Transfer Claim portal, a Digital Signature Certificate of Class 2 and Class 3 category is required.
A Class 2 Digital Signature Certificate is available for download after verification based on a trusted and pre-verified database.
A Class 3 Digital Signature Certificate, on the other hand, is of a higher level as it is issued only after the registrant's identity verification has been done by a Registration Authority.

 

Steps to obtain Digital Signature Certificate for EOTC portal:
Authorized signatories of the employer's can obtain a valid Class 2 digital signature certificate from and register in EOTC portal by following below mentioned simple steps:


Types of Certificates

Type of Certificates

In accordance to the guidelines of IT-Act and the X.509 Certificate Policy for India PKI published by Controller of Certifying Authorities, issues six types of certificates: Signature, Encryption, Device/System, SSL Server, Code Signing and Document Signer Certificate

 

Signature Certificate
The signature certificate is corresponding to the signing private key. It will be used by individuals or organizations for signing purpose. The key pair will be generated by applicant/subscriber in a secure medium and is inherent to keep his private key in safe custody. The signature certificate is issued by dsc authority after the validation process mentioned in the CPS. The relying parties can make use of this certificate for signature verification.

 

Encryption Certificate
The encryption key pair is used by the subscriber for receiving encrypted messages which is encrypted using subscriber's public key. The subscriber fills in the application and submits  authorized RAs along with the identification and address proof. The RA verifies the application, id proof and address proof and approves the request. The Subscriber provides a password in the portal for protecting the encryption certificate. The server generates the encryption key, escrows and makes it available for the customer in the portal. The subscriber needs to login with the credentials sent to his digital id and download the encryption certificate from the portal.

 

Device/System Certificate
Device/System Certificates include the digital certificates issued to particular device, like Firewall, Router, Computer, etc.

 

SSL Server Certificate
SSL server certificates are digital identifications containing information about web server and the organization that is owning the server's web content. An SSL server certificate enables users to authenticate the server, check the validity of web content, and establish a secure connection.

 

Code Signing Certificate
Code signing certificate helps user to develop confidence in downloaded code. It allows users to identify the signer to determine if codes have been modified by someone other than the signer. Signed codes can be Java Applets, Java scripts, plugins, ActiveX controls of any other kind of code.

 

Document Signer Certificate
The Document Signer Certificates are issued to organizational software applications for operating automatically to authenticate documents/information attributed to the organization by using Digital Signature applied on the document, documents/Information.


Class of Certificates

Class of Certificates

In accordance to the guidelines of IT-Act and the X.509 Certificate Policy for India PKI published by Controller of Certifying Authorities, issues 3 classes of Certificates, namely: Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3. Each class of digital signature certificate is associated with specific security features and corresponds to a specific level of trust.

 

Class 1 certificate
Assurance Level: Class 1 certificates shall be issued for both business personnel and private individuals use. These certificates will confirm that the information in the application provided by the subscriber does not conflict with the information in well-recognized consumer databases.
Applicability: This provides a basic level of assurance relevant to environments where there are risks and consequences of data compromise, but they are not considered to be of major significance.

 

Class 2 certificate
Assurance Level: These certificates will be issued for both business personnel and private individuals use. These certificates will confirm that the information in the application provided by the subscriber does not conflict with the information in well-recognized consumer databases.
Applicability: This level is relevant to environments where risks and consequences of data compromise are moderate. This may include transactions having substantial monetary value or risk of fraud, or involving access to private information where the likelihood of malicious access is substantial.

 

Class 3 certificate
Assurance Level: This certificate will be issued to individuals as well as organizations. As these are high assurance certificates, primarily intended for e-commerce applications, they shall be issued to individuals only on their personal (physical) appearance before the Certifying Authorities.
Applicability: This level is relevant to environments where threats to data are high or the consequences of the failure of security services are high. This may include very high value transactions or high levels of fraud risk.

 

Services

Trusted Time Stamping Service

Licensed Time Stamping Authority (TSA) in India, regulated by CCA under Information Technology Ministry. issues a unique and irrefutable time stamp upon request from users, to provide proof that it existed at a certain point in time. (Users can also use Client application to generate Time Stamp). The certified Time will be in Indian Standard Time (IST) synchronized with National Physical Laboratory (NPL).

 

What is time stamp?
Digital Time stamping is the process of securely keeping track of the creation and modification time of a document. Security here means that no one not even the owner of the document should be able to change it once it has been recorded provided that the time stamper's integrity is never compromised. timestamp authority achieves this by cryptographically binding the data's unique hash (typically a SHA-1/2 hash value) with the current date and time that is synchronised with the trusted time source.

 

How to avail?
Time Stamping Service is available for use by all kinds of users, in below model:

  1. TSA Client: A simple application, where users can time stamp any document and get the certificate.
  2. TSA API: A simple application program interface, which can be easily embedded in any existing application.

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