DSC: Digital Signature Certificate

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  • Post last modified:April 11, 2021
  • Post category:Corporate Law

What is DSC?

A Digital Signature Certificate is the electronic signature duly issued by a certifying authority that shows the authority of the person signing the same. It is an electronic equivalent of a written signature.

This number consists of personal information and a unique code which acts as an identifier. This DIN is compulsory for every Director the current one or a prospective one. It also acts as a method of confirming the authenticity of a document online. 

Benefits of a DSC:

i) It can be used to authenticate the personal information 

ii) The digitally signed documents cannot be altered or edited, so the date remains safe and secure

iii) It reduces time and cost

Validity of DSC:

Digital signatures are issued for 1 or 2 years. After their validity has expired, they need to be renewed.

Classes of DSC:

There are three types of Digital Signature certificates issued by the certifying authorities:-

i) Class 1 Certificate:

Class 1 certificates shall be issued to individuals/private subscribers. These certificates will confirm that user’s name (or alias) and E-mail address form an unambiguous subject within the Certifying Authorities database.

ii) Class 2 Certificate:

These are issued to the director/signatory authorities of the companies for the purpose of e-filing with the Registrar of Companies (ROC). Class 2 certificate is mandatory for individuals who have to sign manual documents while filing of returns with the ROC. However, from 01.01.2021, the Controller of Certifying Authority has instructed to discontinue Class 2 Certificates and Class 3 Certificates will be issued in place of Class 2 Certificates.

iii) Class 3 Certificate:

This is the highest level certificate and to get it the person needs to present himself in front of a Registration Authority (RA) and prove his/her identity only then it is issued. These certificates are used in online participation/bidding in e-auctions, online tenders, etc. So, the vendors who participate in online tenders must have a Class 3 certificate. These are required where the consequences of the failure of security services are high.

Difference between DSC and DIN:

The major points of distinction between DSC and DIN are:-

i)  DIN has to be issued only to a director whereas a DSC can be issued to anybody, even the Director of a company.

ii)  DIN is mandatory on the part of a Director of a company whereas, DSC is not a mandate on anyone as these are merely digital equivalent to the physical documents.

iii) DIN is not a prerequisite to avail DSC whereas the individual should have DSC in order to avail DIN.

iv) Only existing directors and future directors can apply for DIN whereas Only existing directors and future directors can apply for DIN.

Note: This Post was last updated on April 11, 2021

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Sunita

Founder & Director | COO & CHRO at eTaxFinance | Content Writer at eTaxFinance Blog | Department Head for Intellectual Property & Startup Team | Head-Corporate Strategy and Planning