FAQs on Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) | Bhavya Sharma & Associates


Question 1. What is Digital Signature Certificate (DSC)?

Answer: A certificate that serves as proof of identity of an individual for a certain purpose and which can be used digitally for the purpose of signing a document or file is known as Digital Signature Certificate. Digital Signature Certificates (DSC) is the electronic format of physical or paper certificate like a PAN card, Driving License, passport etc. Thus, a digital signature certificate (DSC) is a secure digital key that certifies the identity of the holder of the Digital Signature Certificate (DSC).

Question 2. Why is Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) required?

Answer: A Digital Signature Certificate authenticates the identity of an individual or an entity electronically. Physical documents are signed manually, in a similar manner, electronic documents, for example, e-forms, returns with various departments are required to be signed digitally using a Digital Signature Certificate. Individuals and entities who are required to file forms or any other documents with authorities like Income Tax, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, GST or any other authorities are required to file all reports, returns, applications, and forms using a digital signature only.

Question 3. Who issues the Digital Signature Certificate (DSC)?

Answer: 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.

Question 4. What is the process of obtaining a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC)?

Answer: The process for obtaining a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) is mentioned below:
a) Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) Applicants can directly approach Certifying Authorities (CAs) or their agents with original supporting documents, and self-attested copies will be sufficient in this case.

b) DSCs can also be obtained, wherever offered by Company Secretaries (CS), Charted Accountant (CA) or any other professionals.

c) Documents required for filing of DSC application:
- Self-attested copy of PAN
- Self-attested copy of Address Proof
- Recent coloured passport size photograph
- Email id and phone number of individual
- signed DSC application form by the applicant

d) Once all the documents successfully submitted by the applicant and after the successful verification of the identity by the authority, DSC will be issued to the individual or entity.

Question 5. What is the validity of the Digital Signature Certificate (DSC)?

Answer: DSCs issued by the Certified Authorities are usually valid for one or two years. However, these can be renewed in such form and fees as may be prescribed by the Central Government.

Question 6. Is it safe to have and use a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC)?

Answer: Yes, As per the Information Technology Act 2000, Digital Signature Certificates are legally safe and valid in India. Digital Signature Certificates are issued by licensed Certifying Authorities under the Ministry of Information Technology, Government of India as per the Information Technology Act are totally safe.

Question 7. Is there any difference between Digital Signature and Digital Signature Certificate (DSC)?

Answer: A digital signature is an electronic method of signing any document, file or form electronically whereas a Digital Signature Certificate is a secure digital key that certifies the identity of the holder and leaves an impression in the manner of signature electronically on the documents required to be signed. 

Article By: Ms Bhavya Sharma, a Practising Company Secretary from Delhi. In order to know more about the Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) or any related queries thereto, you can contact us at: legal@bhavyasharmaandassociates.com or for more details you can visit: www.bhavyasharmaandassociates.com. We at www.bhavyasharmaandassociates.com provides a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) within a day.

Disclaimer: Although due care and diligence have been taken in the preparation and uploading of this Article, Bhavya Sharma & Associate shall not be responsible for any loss or damage, resulting from any action taken on the basis of the contents of this Article. Anyone wishing to act on the basis of the material contained herein should do so after cross-checking with the circulars, notifications, applicable acts, press release issued by the concerned department or seek appropriate counsel for their situation.

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