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FAQs on Digital Signature Certificate – DSC

Some Frequently Asked Questions on DSC are as below –


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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).


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. Is DIN a pre-requisite to apply for DSC?

Ans: No. There are no such pre-requisites as such.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. What if somebody gains possession of my digital signature?

Ans: Digital Signatures are password protected and cannot be copied from a digitally signed document.