Digital Signature Certificate: Important Aspects You Need To Know

  • Updated on: 28 Feb 2024
  • Published on: 22 Feb 2024
Digital Signature Certificate: Important Aspects You Need To Know

A Digital Signature Certificate has become a legal alternative to a wet signature. This comes after the IT Act of 2000, which mandates the use of digital signatures to ascertain the authenticity of electronic forms. 

To know more about what is a Digital Signature Certificate, its types and how you can download it, read on. 

What is a Digital Signature Certificate?

Check the following points to understand the DSC meaning and features:

  • It is a secured digital key that validates and certifies the identity of the person who holds it
  • This certificate uses public key encryption to create a digital signature
  • You can use it to access services or information online or sign a document digitally
  • Individuals and organisations can obtain this certificate through a licensed Certifying Authority

Types and Classes of DSC

There are three categories of Digital Signature Certificates:

  • Sign: You can use this type of certificate to sign a document and affix it to a PDF or file
  • Encrypt: You can use to encrypt files, documents and other confidential data 
  • Sign and Encrypt: This type of certificate allows you to both sign and encrypt a document and is suitable for government documents and forms

Here are the details about the three classes of DSC:

  • Class 1: Individuals and private subscribers can obtain this certificate and it is used for validating the user’s name and email address within the Certifying Authority’s database
  • Class 2: Authority signatories can get this certificate for the purpose of e-filing forms on government portals
  • Class 3: You need a Class 3 Digital Signature Certificate for online bidding in e-auctions and online tenders

Also Read: What is KYC & e-KYC Documentation

How to Apply for a Digital Signature Certificate

Here is how you can avail of a DSC online:

  • Step 1: Visit the official website of any licensed Certifying Authority
  • Step 2: Select the ‘Digital Signature Certificate Class 3 Registration’ option 
  • Step 3: Enter the necessary details in the application form, including the class, validity, type, name, contact details and more
  • Step 4: Upload your recent photograph and e-sign the declaration
  • Step 5: Upload the required documents and pay the DSC issuance fee
  • Step 6: Submit the form for the Certifying Authority to review your application
  • Step 7: The Certifying Authority will issue a certificate electronically once they verify your application

Before you apply for a DSC, make sure you have the following documents ready:

  • Recent passport-sized photos
  • Address proof 
  • PAN card
  • Aadhaar card

How to Download a DSC  

The process varies with the Certifying Authority you have applied with. So, read the instructions available on the official website. Here are the steps you can follow to download a Digital Signature Certificate online from the PantaSign website:

  • Step 1: Visit the official website of the PantaSign
  • Step 2: Click on the ‘Downloads’ category 
  • Step 3: Download the certificate utility by clicking on ‘Download’ 
  • Step 4: Extract the downloaded utility and open the ‘PantaCharge’ folder on your device
  • Step 5: Click on the ‘PantaCharge.exe’ file and hit the ‘Get Started’ button
  • Step 6: Enter your application number and passcode received on your registered email and mobile
  • Step 7: Hit the ‘Login’ button and click on the ‘Download Certificate’ button
  • Step 8: Enter the Token Password to download the certificate

e-Signatures as a method of authentication of digital documents has made getting an online loan much easier. You can also get an Personal Loan of up to ₹5 lakhs on Fibe with minimal paperwork. Apart from quick funding, you get affordable interest rates and tenures of up to 36 months. Download the Fibe Personal Loan App or register on the website to get credit with a simple application.

FAQs on Digital Signature Certificate

How can I get a DSC certificate online?

You can get a Digital Signature Certificate online by applying on a Certifying Authority’s website. There are around 15 Certifying Authorities registered in India.

What is the cost of applying for DSC?

The price for applying for an e-signature with one-year validity ranges between ₹300 and ₹1,900, depending on the Certifying Authority and validity period you choose.

What is an example of a digital signature certificate?

One instance where a DSC certificate is used for authentication of electronic forms is when you apply for an online loan.

How long is DSC valid?

A Digital Signature Certificate is typically valid for one to two years.


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