Digital Signature Certificates (DSC) in Bihar are a crucial element in the process of using digital signatures. DSC is an electronic form of identification that verifies the identity of the signer and ensures the integrity of the signed document. In this context, we will discuss the types of DSC, the validity period of DSC, and the renewal process of DSC.
Types of DSC: There are three types of DSC: Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3. The Class 1 DSC is issued to individuals or organizations for use in non-commercial transactions. The Class 2 DSC is used for commercial purposes, including the filing of tax returns and online applications for government services. The Class 3 DSC is the highest level of certification and is used in e-commerce transactions and other sensitive online transactions.
Validity Period of DSC: The validity period of a DSC depends on the type of certificate issued. The Class 1 and Class 2 DSC are generally valid for one or two years, while the Class 3 DSC is valid for two years. After the validity period, the DSC must be renewed to continue using digital signatures.
Renewal Process of DSC: To renew a DSC, the user must submit a renewal application form along with a copy of the expired DSC to the licensed Certifying Authority. The CA will verify the identity of the user and issue a new DSC with a new validity period. The renewal process must be completed before the expiry date of the existing DSC to avoid any interruption in the use of digital signatures.
Cost of DSC: The cost of a DSC can vary depending on the type of certificate issued and the licensed Certifying Authority. The cost of a Class 1 DSC can range from a few hundred to a few thousand rupees, while the cost of a Class 2 or Class 3 DSC can be higher. Additionally, some CAs may charge a fee for the renewal of DSC.
Benefits of DSC: Digital signatures and DSC provide several benefits to individuals and businesses. They offer a secure method for authenticating electronic documents and transactions, reduce paper usage, and save time and money. They eliminate the need for physical signatures, which can be forged or tampered with, and provide greater convenience in the digital age.
Digital Signature Certificates are an essential component of using digital signatures. The types of DSC, the validity period, and the renewal process must be understood before using digital signatures. While there are costs involved in obtaining and renewing a DSC, the benefits of using digital signatures can far outweigh the drawbacks.
Digital signatures are like electronic “fingerprints.” In the form of a coded message, the digital signature securely associates a signer with a document in a recorded transaction. Digital signatures use a standard, accepted format, called Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), to provide the highest levels of security and universal acceptance. They are a specific signature technology implementation of electronic signature (E-Signature).
Digital Signature Look Like:-
Since the heart of a digital signature is the PKI certificate, which is software code, the digital signature itself is not inherently visible. However, document platforms may provide easily recognizable proof that a document has been digitally signed. This representation and the certificate details shown varies by document type and processing platform. Additionally, digital signatures can appear on a document in the same way as signatures are applied on a physical document and can include an image of your physical signature, date, location, and official seal.
Digital signatures can also be invisible, though the digital certificate remains valid. Invisible digital signatures are useful when the type of document typically does not display the image of a physical signature, like a photograph. The document’s properties may disclose the information about the digital certificate, the issuing CA, and an indication of the document’s authenticity and integrity.
If a digital signature is invalid for any reason, documents display a warning that the digital signature is not to be trusted.
Required Documents for Digital Signature:
Documents Required for Indian Nationals:-
In case the applicant is an Indian National, please submit the following documents for identity and address proof:
- Identity Proof
- PAN Card of the Applicant
- Driving Licence
- Post Office ID Card
- Bank Account Passbook containing the photograph and signed by an individual with attestation by the concerned Bank official
- Photo ID card issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs of Centre/State Governments
- Any Government-issued photo ID card bearing the signatures of the individual
- Address Proof
- AADHAAR Card
- Voter ID Card
- Driving Licence (DL)/Registration Certificate (RC)
- Water Bill (Not older than 3 months).
- Electricity Bill (Not older than 3 months)
- Latest Bank Statements signed by the bank (Not older than 3 Months)
- Service Tax/VAT Tax/Sales Tax registration certificate
- Property Tax/ Corporation/ Municipal Corporation Receipt
Documents Required for Foreign Nationals
In case the applicant is a Foreign National, please submit the following documents for identity and address proof:
- Identity Proof
- Attested copy of Applicant Passport
- Attested copy of VISA (If the applicant is out of a foreign country).
- Attested copy of Resident Permit certificate (If the applicant is in India)
- Address Proof
- Attested copy of Applicant Passport
- Attested copy of any other Government issued Address Proof
The identity and address proof of foreign nationals must be attested by the following authorities:
- Embassy of Native Country (If applicant is not a citizen of India)
- Apostilised by Native Country, after Public Notary (if the country is in Hague Convention)
- Consularised by Native Country, after Public Notary (if the country is not in Hague Convention)
Users of Digital Signature
The following are some of the many industries that use digital signatures.
- Healthcare:-Companies working in healthcare are legally required to protect consumer data and, therefore, use digital signatures.
- Financial services:-Companies providing financial services are the prime users of digital signatures as they prioritize data security.
- Manufacturing:-Manufacturing companies use digital signatures to speed up the delivery of essential documents while preserving their integrity.
Difference between a Digital signature and an Electronic signature?
The broad category of electronic signatures (E-Signatures) encompasses many types of electronic signatures. The category includes digital signatures, which are a specific technology implementation of electronic signatures. Both digital signatures and other E-Signature solutions allow you to sign documents and authenticate the signer. However, there are differences in purpose, technical implementation, geographical use, and legal and cultural acceptance of digital signatures versus other types of E-Signatures.
In particular, the use of digital signature technology for E-Signatures varies significantly between countries that follow open, technology-neutral E-Signature laws, including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia, and those that follow tiered E-Signature models that prefer locally defined standards that are based on digital signature technology, including many countries in the European Union, South America, and Asia. In addition, some industries also support specific standards that are based on digital signature technology.
Ques:-What happens if either the sender or receiver change the file after it has been digitally signed?
As the hash value for the file is unique, any change to the file creates a different hash value. As a result, when the receiver’s computer compares the hash to validate the integrity of the data, the difference in the hash values would reveal the file had been altered. Thus, the digital signature would be shown as invalid.
Ques:-What is digital signature certificate authority?
For each digital signature transaction, we require a public and private key. Those keys should be protected to avoid tampering of digitally signed documents. Certificate authorities are the industry-trusted organizations that are widely recognized for ensuring key security and digital certificates.
Ques:-Can I have 2 digital signature?
Yes, a document can have multiple Digital Signatures.
Ques:- Who is eligible for digital signature?
Any natural person can get digital signature in India. Firm, Company and NGO can get its digital signature in name of its authorised signatory.
Ques:- Who issues the Digital Signature Certificate?
A licensed Certifying Authority (CA) issues the digital signature. Certifying Authority (CA) means a person who has been granted a license to issue a digital signature certificate under Section 24 of the Indian IT-Act 2000.
Digital signatures have become an essential tool for businesses and individuals to authenticate electronic documents and transactions. They are used to verify the identity of the signatory and the integrity of the signed document. In this context, we will discuss the meaning, definition, legal provisions, process, advantages, disadvantages, types, cost involved, time involved, and documents required for digital signatures.
Meaning and Definition: A digital signature is an electronic method used to verify the authenticity and integrity of a document or message. It is a mathematical technique used to ensure that the document has not been tampered with since it was signed. A digital signature is unique to the signatory and is created using a private key that is known only to the signatory.
Legal Provisions: In India, the use of digital signatures is governed by the Information Technology Act, 2000. According to this Act, a digital signature is considered legally valid and binding in the same way as a physical signature. The Act provides for the use of digital signatures in various electronic transactions, including the filing of online tax returns and applications for government services.
Process: To obtain a digital signature, a person or business must first obtain a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) from a licensed Certifying Authority (CA). The CA verifies the identity of the applicant and issues a DSC containing the applicant’s name, public key, and other details. The DSC is stored on a smart card or USB token and can be used to sign electronic documents and transactions.
Advantages: The use of digital signatures offers several advantages, including increased security, reduced paper usage, and greater convenience. Digital signatures eliminate the need for physical signatures, which can be forged or tampered with. They also allow for the secure transmission of electronic documents and reduce the need for paper-based documents.
Disadvantages: One of the main disadvantages of digital signatures is the cost involved in obtaining a DSC from a licensed CA. Additionally, some individuals and businesses may be hesitant to use digital signatures due to concerns about the security of their private keys.
Types: There are two types of digital signatures: simple and advanced. Simple digital signatures are used to authenticate a document, while advanced digital signatures are used to ensure the integrity of the signed document and the identity of the signatory.
Cost and Time Involved: The cost and time involved in obtaining a digital signature can vary depending on the type of DSC required and the licensed CA chosen. The cost of a DSC can range from a few hundred to several thousand rupees, and the time required to obtain a DSC can be several days to a week or more.
Documents Required: To obtain a digital signature, the applicant must provide certain documents, including a valid ID proof such as a passport or driver’s license, a recent passport-size photograph, and proof of address such as a utility bill or bank statement. The applicant must also complete the DSC application form provided by the licensed CA.
In conclusion, digital signatures are a secure and convenient method for authenticating electronic documents and transactions. They are governed by the Information Technology Act, 2000 and can be obtained through a licensed Certifying Authority. While there are costs involved in obtaining a DSC, the benefits of using digital signatures can far outweigh the drawbacks.