FAQs on Digital Signature Certificate – DSC
Some Frequently Asked Questions on DSC are as below –
- What is a Digital Signature Certificate?
Ans: A DSC (i.e., Digital signature Certificate) is a very simple, secure, convenient, and a time –saving way of signing electronic documents or authenticating certain online transactions. In technical terms, it is a code, unique to the person signing the document or authenticating the transaction.
- Why is Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) required?
Ans: Like physical documents are signed manually, electronic documents, for example e-forms are required to be signed digitally using a digital signature certificate.
- What are the different types of Digital Signature Certificates?
Ans: The different types of DSC are as follows –
Class 1: These certificates do not hold any legal validity as the validation process is based only on a valid e-mail ID and involves no direct verification.
Class 2: Here, the identity of a person is verified against a trusted, pre-verified database.
Class 3: This is the highest level where the person needs to present himself or herself in front of a Registration Authority (RA) and prove his/ her identity.
- Who issues the Digital Signature Certificate?
Ans: 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.
The list of licensed CAs along with their contact information is available on the MCA portal (www.mca.gov.in).
- Are any conditions imposed for issue of the DSC?
Ans: For issuing the DSC, the certifying authority should take into consideration the following points:
The applicant holds the private key corresponding to the public key to be listed in the DSC.
The applicant holds the private key, which is capable of creating a digital signature.
The public key to be listed in the certificate can be used to verify a digital signature affixed by private key held by the applicant.
- What is the validity of the Digital Signature?
Ans: The applicant may choose to obtain the Digital Signature Certificate of 1 year or 2 years validity from the date of issuance. After expiry of the validity period, the digital signature certificate becomes invalid. One can obtain a valid digital signature by following the same simple procedure.
- What are the different types of Digital Signature Certificates valid for MCA21 program?
Ans: The different types of Digital Signature Certificates are: Class 2: Here, the identity of a person is verified against a trusted, pre-verified database.
Class 3: This is the highest level where the person needs to present himself or herself before the Registration Authority (RA) and prove his/her identity.
- What type of digital signature certificate (DSC) is to be obtained for e-filing on MCA portal?
Ans: DSC of Class 2 and Class 3 category issued by a licensed Certifying Authority (CA) needs to be obtained for e-filing on the MCA portal.
- Is DIN a pre-requisite to apply for DSC?
Ans: No. There are no such pre-requisites as such.
- What is the cost of obtaining a Digital Signature Certificate?
Ans: The cost of obtaining a Digital Signature Certificate may vary as there are entities issuing DSCs and their charges may differ.
- How much time do CAs take to issue a DSC?
Ans: The time taken generally to issue DSC is 24 hrs from the time of receipt of form.
- What is the legal status of a Digital Signature?
Ans: Digital Signatures are legally admissible in a Court of Law, as provided under the provisions of IT.
- How can I carry a Digital Signatures Certificate to the Physical Front Office (PFO)?
Ans: You can store your Digital Signature in a Smart Card/ Pen Drive/ Removable Media to carry the same to the PFO for digitally signing the e-forms.
- How is a Digital Signature affixed to an e-form?
Ans: Click the Digital Signature field in the e-form. The system will prompt you to sign the e-form through a digital signature that is stored on your Pen Drive/ CD.
- Is a company required to obtain a Digital Signature Certificate in its own name for e-filing?
Ans: Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) is not required by Companies but by individuals. For example the Director or the Company Secretary, signing on behalf of the Company requires a DSC.
- Are all directors of a company required to obtain DSC?
Ans: No. Only the directors, who will be the authorized signatories of the company, for the e-filing purpose, are required to obtain a DSC.
- Are multiple DSCs required for professionals rendering services to different companies?
Ans: No. A DSC is unique to each individual. If a professional has obtained a DSC, he/ she can use the same DSC for e-filing of forms for multiple companies, provided he/ she has been authorized to do so by the respective companies.
- Is the Company Secretary in whole-time employment required to obtain a DSC?
Ans: Yes. If the Company Secretary is an authorized signatory, he / she is required to obtain a DSC.
- What safety precautions should one take while using a Digital Signature?
Ans: You should keep the media carrying your digital signature safely and not disclose your password to anybody.
- What if somebody gains possession of my digital signature?
Ans: Digital Signatures are password protected and cannot be copied from a digitally signed document.