Digital Signature Certificate is a secure digital key that certifies and validates the identity of the person who holds it. DSC uses public key encryption to create the digital signatures. A Digital Signature can be issued in two ways – either a token in the form of a USB drive or a certificate.
A Digital Signature Certificate is issued for various purposes. A different class of DSC is given for each purpose stated below:
- Class 1 – A class 1 DSC is issued to any individual or private subscriber. This can be for official or personal use.
- Class 2 – Directors or signatory authorities of companies get a class 2 DSC. This is mainly used at the time of E-filing of Tax Returns with the Registrar of Companies.
- Class 3 – Online Bidders apply for a class 3 DSC to participate in E-auctions and online tenders anywhere in India.
The main details covered in a Digital Signature Certificate are:
- Public key of the certificate owner
- Name of the owner
- Validity – ‘From’ and ‘To’ dates
- Name of the issuing authority
- Serial Number of Certificate
- Digital Signature of the issuing authority
Points to Remember:
DSC is only issued for a period of 1 to 2 years after which it expires and needs to be renewed. All digitally signed documents are accepted in all legal courts in India as proof.