Frequently Asked Questions
Who needs Digital Signature Certificate?
With the rise in online activities, government regulators have adopted digital signature, and gradually it become also a requirement for many portals that the documents to be digitally signed by the authorized signatory. Here is the need for individuals and entities need to obtain the digital signature. A digital signature certificate establishes the identity of the holder either the Individual person or an authorized signatory on behalf of an organization. It is like a PAN card or an AADHAR Card and enables the holder to prove his identity in online world.
Where the digital signature certificate can be used?
A digital signature certificate is legally valid, and the holder can use it for digitally signing various documents, Income Tax Returns, e-Tenders, for various regulatory company filings, signing PDF files etc. Also, Digital signature can be used to automize the signing process where bulk of documents can be automatically signed and emailed without human intervention, using software like signer.digital
What are the class of Digital Signatures?
In India Controller of Certifying Authorities (CCA) governs the process of the Digital Certificate issuance. CCA has defined three different class of Certificates and Digital Certificates can be issued in these classes of digital signature, as follow:
Class 1: This cannot be used by companies. It only verifies the name and email address of individuals. Mainly demo or test certificates get issued under this class.
Class 2: This is legally valid Certificate and can be obtained by Company or Individual. It can be used for filing tax returns or submitting tenders or singing documents. A Class 2 digital signature certificate verifies the identity of a person against a pre-verified, trusted database. However, from 01.01.2021, the Controller of Certifying Authority has instructed to discontinue Class 2 Certificates and Class 3 Certificates will be issued in place of Class 2 Certificates.
Class 3: This is highest class of Certificate gets issued in India, this can be obtained by individuals or entities/organizations who would like to participate in online auctions or tenders or for getting the certificates issued oh HSMs. It is the highest and most secure form of a digital signature certificate. To obtain this, the applicant has to go through the KYC process defined and updated by CCA time-to-time.
What are the different types of Digital Signatures?
Different type of Digital Certificates gets issued based on the nature of the applicant or the holder.
Like if the person is obtaining Digital Certificate, it will be of different type than the person who is obtaining it for Organizational use. Nature of the certificate remains same in most type except the document requirement for obtaining changes depending on the types below;
- Proprietorship Firm
- Partnership Firm
- Foreign National or NRI
- Foreign Company
How long does it take to get the digital signature certificate issued?
The time of issuance varies from type of certificate, document requirement and time to finish verification but usually it can be finished in few hours on any working day.
What is the validity period for the Digital Signature Certificate?
The Certifying Authorities in India are authorized to issue a certificate with validity of 1 or 2 or 3 years depending upon the user request. but 2 Year certificates are most popular. The obtainer must be aware of the validity of the certificate to avoid any loss, tokens like HYP2003 have facility to give user reminders about expiry of the certificate when they plug-in the token.
Can a person hold multiple digital signatures?
Yes. Any individual can hold a separate digital signature for personal and professional purposes or even multiple certificates for the different organizations he is part of. 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.
What is the process to renew the Digital Certificate?
The holder can renew the certificate anytime, there is no legal binding for it as everytime when you renew the certificate the issuing authority has to follow the same verification process as when you buy it for the 1st time, the only things can be reused is your KYC account you have created at the time of 1st application and the hardware USB device, HYP2003 Token you have purchased along with the original digital certificate. So the process of obtaining the new certificate or renewing one is more or less same.