New Delhi: Digital Signature Certificates (DSC) are the digital equivalent or the electronic format of physical or paper certificates. Physical certificates such as drivers' licenses, passports or membership cards serve as proof of identity of an individual for a certain purpose --viz a driver's license identifies someone who can legally drive in a particular country. Likewise, a digital certificate can be presented electronically to prove one’s identity, to access information or services on the Internet or to sign certain documents digitally.
Why do we need Digital Signature Certificates?
While the physical documents are signed manually, electronic documents, for example e-forms are required to be signed digitally using a Digital Signature Certificate, and hence we need them.
How to obtain Digital Signature Certificate from a Certifying Authority?
There are three major ways in which a person can obtain DSC from a certifying authority.
• Those who want to apply for Digital Signature Certificate can directly approach Certifying Authorities (CAs) with original supporting documents, and self-attested copies will be sufficient in this case. A licensed CA (who has been granted a license to issue a digital signature certificate under Section 24 of the Indian IT-Act 2000) issues the digital signature.
• DSCs can also be obtained, wherever offered by CA, using Aadhar eKYC based authentication. In this case, supporting documents are not required.
A letter/certificate issued by a Bank containing the DSC applicant’s information as retained in the Bank database can be accepted. However, such a letter or certificate should be certified by the Bank Manager.
It may be noted that the Income Tax department has informed tax payers via an e-mail communication, asking them to re-register their digital signature certificate (DSC) once again on the newly launched IT website.
“Dear Taxpayer, Please ensure that you re-register your current valid DSC on the new e-filing portal www.incometax.gov.in from June 7th onwards. The earlier digital signature (DSC) registration on the old portal cannot be migrated due to security and technical reasons,” reads the communication.