Digital Signature Certificate Apply Online

What is Digital Signature Certificate?

A digital signature certificate, also known as a DSC or ID, allows individuals to sign official documents digitally. To get one, you need an active digital certificate issued by a certificate authority. You can purchase a Digital Signature Certificate online or apply for one through third-party certificate authorities. Many organizations, governments, and businesses also issue their own certifications.

Having a DSC registration is mandatory to use a digital signature. This certificate serves as a secure digital key and verifies the identity of the person using it.

Digital signatures rely on public key encryption to create them. A digital signature certificate contains information such as the user's name, PIN code, email address, the date of certificate issuance, and the name of the certifying authority. These details are included to ensure the authenticity of the signature.

In simple terms, a digital signature certificate is like an online ID card that allows you to sign documents securely over the internet.

Digital Registration Certificates- Basic Types

Encrypt DSC: Encrypt DSC is used to protect documents by encrypting them. It's often used in tender portals and other platforms where businesses upload sensitive documents. Encrypt DSC helps ensure that only authorized individuals can access and decrypt the document, making it suitable for legal documents, e-commerce transactions, and sharing highly confidential information.

Sign DSC: This type of certificate allows you to sign documents digitally. It's commonly used for tasks like submitting tax returns, filing documents with government agencies like MCA, and signing PDF files. When you sign using a Sign DSC, it ensures that the data remains unchanged and verifies the integrity of the signer.

Encrypt and Sign DSC: This type of certificate allows you to both sign and encrypt documents. It's useful for maintaining privacy and authenticity when sharing information. Encrypt and Sign DSC is commonly used for submitting applications and forms to government agencies, ensuring the confidentiality and integrity of the transmitted data.

In essence, these Digital Signature Registration Certificates provide different levels of security and functionality, allowing individuals and businesses to securely sign, encrypt, and transmit digital documents according to their specific needs.

Advantages of Digital Signature Certificate

Security: DSCs make sure that the person signing a document is who they claim to be. They also ensure that the document hasn't been altered or accessed by unauthorized individuals, offering a high level of security.

Legally Binding: Just like physical signatures, digital signatures are legally recognized in many countries, including India. This means they hold the same legal weight, making them suitable for various legal and business transactions.

Efficiency: DSCs make handling documents faster and easier. You don't need physical signatures or paperwork, which speeds up processing, reduces administrative tasks, and improves overall efficiency.

Cost Savings: By cutting down on paper usage, courier services, and manual tasks, DSCs help save money and make resource management more efficient.

Global Acceptance: DSCs are accepted internationally, making them essential for transactions across borders. They ensure that documents exchanged between different countries are secure and legally binding.

Data Integrity: DSCs use encryption to keep data safe during transmission. This is crucial for protecting sensitive information from unauthorized access or tampering.

In short, Digital Signature Certificates offer enhanced security, legal validity, efficiency, cost savings, global acceptance, and data integrity, making them valuable for various digital transactions and document handling processes.

Who needs Digital Signature?

In specific situations, acquiring a Class 3 digital signature becomes necessary:

  • Any registered trust, partnership firm, business entity, or individual undergoing a tax audit as per the Income Tax Act must electronically submit their income tax returns.
  • Entities filing through MCA21 (Ministry of Corporate Affairs) are mandated to use digital signatures. This requirement extends to:

    • Directors
    • Auditors
    • Company secretaries
    • Bank officials
    • Other authorized signatories
    • Top of Form

What are the types of Digital Signature?

User Type 1: Individual DSC Overview

Individuals utilize this type of DSC to electronically sign documents they submit online, ensuring the documents' confidentiality and validity. A DSC stamp is affixed to all documents uploaded to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) portal, facilitating various online transactions like LLP incorporation, income tax e-filing, and business incorporation.


Enhances transaction security. Prevents unauthorized individuals from committing fraud in transactions. Facilitates easy tracking of document status. Ensures speedy document delivery. Completely lawful as it's issued by a government-recognized certifying agency. Prevents retraction of digital signatures from documents. Timestamps date and time instantly upon document signing. Prevents copying or altering of digitally signed documents. Provides signer identification information, minimizing the risk of impersonation.


Requires resolution of compatibility issues. Dependent on various compatibility options, including updated drivers and software. Risk of key loss or theft due to usage of insecure storage facilities. Growing need for interoperability standards among different approaches. Limited shelf life of technological components amidst rapid innovation. Both senders and recipients may need to invest in digital certificates for proper digital signature usage. Sender and recipients must invest in verification software for digital certificate use. Involves monetary cost for digital signature registration, a primary expense for businesses.


Individual DSC registration typically remains valid for one or two years and can be renewed upon expiration.

User Type 2: Organizational DSC Overview

Organizational DSCs are essential for businesses, nonprofits, trusts, and government agencies, enabling authorized individuals to sign documents on behalf of their organizations. These signatures, comprising both encryption and signing certificates, ensure document authenticity and data security.


Cost-effective in the long run compared to traditional paper-based signatures. Enables quick document turnaround with digital signing. Strengthens document security, reducing fraud and tampering risks. Enhances workflow efficiency by facilitating easier document management and tracking. Environmentally friendly by reducing paper and ink usage. Legally acceptable, establishing credibility in court proceedings.


Dependence on evolving technology for maintaining digital signature functionality. Requirement for costly digital certificates for digital signature implementation. Necessity for users to purchase verification software.


Organizational DSCs typically have a validity period of one or two years and can be renewed accordingly.

User Type 3: DGFT DSC Overview

DGFT DSCs are essential for organizations seeking import-export licenses, ensuring legal recognition of electronically signed documents submitted via DGFT portals under the Indian Information Technology Act 2000.


Facilitates quicker payments and sales closure. Saves time and money by streamlining document creation and signing processes. Enhances document security compared to traditional signatures. Ensures document authenticity and admissibility in government offices and courts.


Security challenges, technological incompatibilities, and cost implications. Risk of key loss or theft and usage of insecure storage facilities. Necessity for interoperability standards among digital signature standards. Financial investment required for digital signature services.


DGFT DSC registrations typically have a validity period of one or two years, renewable upon expiration.

What are the documents required for obtaining Digital Signature?

To apply for a digital signature online in India, individuals need to provide:
  • PAN Card
  • Proof of Identity like a driver's license
  • Address verification: Aadhaar card, voter ID, driver's license, or registration document
  • Attestation from an official
For Indian organizations, the requirements include:
  • PAN within the company
  • Original partnership deed, if applicable
  • Details of authorized persons for document signing
  • Proof of an authorized signatory
  • GST registration
  • Additional documents may be needed based on the type of entity (partnership, proprietorship, LLP, etc.).
Foreign individuals and organizations applying for DSC registration need to submit:
  • Passport of the applicant, attested
  • If the applicant is outside their country, an attested copy of their visa
  • If the applicant is in India, an attested copy of the residence permit certificate
  • Any government-issued address proof with an attested cop

FAQs about Digital Signature Certificates (DSC)

What is a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC)?

A DSC is an electronic format of a signature used to authenticate the identity of the sender or signee of a document. It ensures document integrity and security in digital transactions.

Why is a DSC required?

A DSC is necessary for sending and receiving documents digitally, encrypting emails/documents, and for various applications like eTendering, eProcurement, and Income Tax filing.

Who issues the DSC?

The Office of Controller of Certifying Authorities (CCA) issues certificates to Certifying Authorities (CAs), who then issue DSCs to end-users.

Is MCA e-filing possible without a DSC?

No, a DSC is mandatory for eFiling according to MCA rules.

What is the validity of a Digital Signature Certificate?

DSCs are typically issued with one or two-year validity periods, renewable upon expiration.

Can changes be made to a DSC during renewal?

Changes like address and contact details can be updated during renewal.

Can a person have two DSCs?

Yes, individuals can possess two different DSCs for official and personal use.

How long does it take to obtain a DSC in India?

It usually takes three to seven days to obtain a DSC in India.

Can someone authorize another person to use their DSC?

Yes, individuals can authorize others to sign on their behalf using their own PKI credentials.

What is Class 3 DSC?

Class 3 DSC is the highest level, where a Registration Authority verifies the identity of a person. It's used for electronic filings and submissions.

Who needs Class 3 DSC?

Class 3 DSC is required for electronic filings, tenders, auctions, Patents Filing, MCA e-filing, GST, TDS return e-filing, and more.

What is an ePass Token?

An ePass Token is a USB device used to store digital signature certificates, providing online security.

Which documents are mandatory for DSC registration?

For individuals: PAN, Aadhaar, address proof, and photo. For organizations: PAN, partnership deed, authorized signatory details, and organizational proof.

What is the difference between a Digital Signature and a Digital Signature Certificate?

A Digital Signature is an electronic method of signing documents, while a Digital Signature Certificate contains details of the certifying authority, subscriber's identity, and validity period.

How to register DSC on the new income tax portal?

Download the DSC Management Utility from the Income Tax Portal, log in, and follow the registration process under "My Profile."

Why is DSC required for filing income tax?

DSC is needed to sign Income Tax Returns, verify responses against notices, and request refund reissues.

Do taxpayers need to register DSC again in the new e-Filing portal?

Yes, DSC registration is required again in the new e-Filing portal even if it was previously registered.

What types of DSCs are valid for MCA21?

Class 3 types of Digital Signature Certificates are valid for MCA21.

What is the legal status of a Digital Signature?

A Digital Signature is legally valid and admissible in a Court of Law under the Information Technology Act 2000.

What type of DSC is required for e-Filing on the MCA Portal?

A Class 3 signing certificate issued by a licensed Certifying Authority (CA) is needed for e-Filing on the MCA Portal.

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