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Class 2 Digital Signature will be disconnected from 1st January 2021


Request you to circulate the below to all your LRAA & Alra as the new IVG will come to effect on 1st Jan 2021.


The overall modifications cover the following. –


1. The general guidelines to CAs have been categorized and organized under each topic. (1. Guidelines to CAs)


2. Email id of the applicant is mandatory for issuance of DSC based on the eKYC account activated by CA. Email-id is optional for the eKYC accounts activated only for the purpose of the sign. (1. Guidelines to CAs 1.8(1))


3. CA shall issue only class 3 individual signing certificate (both organizational & personal) to subscribers on tokens from 01.01.2021 onwards. The issuance of Class 2 individual signing certificate (both organizational & personal) to subscribers will be discontinued from 01.01.2021 onwards. The Class 3 certificate will have OID of Class 2 also (1. Guidelines to CAs 1.13 (1))


4. The PIN reset procedure for the crypto token will be removed from 01.01.2021 onwards (1. Guidelines to CAs 1.13(3))


5. In general, Video verification has made mandatory for all categories of applicants including organizational. (1. Guidelines to CAs (11(1)). For banking eKYC mode, video verification is not necessary.


6. Provided the option of acknowledgment along with the invoice to make sure the periodic reconciliation (1. Guidelines to CAs 1.14(1))


7. The key escrow of encryption certificate has made mandatory (1. Guidelines to Cas 1.19(1))


8. In the identity and address proof added "Any Government-issued photo ID having Name & address."(Annexure-IV - Document proof as Identity and address)


9. The acceptability of digitally signed documents like e PAN, Driving License, etc. have been included (Annexure-IV - Document proof as Identity and address)


10. Added Annexure V - The criteria for the eligibility of government organization and its authorized signatory (Annexure IV. )


11. In order to make video verification unique, a new random number in each session of the video has been included. (Annexure VI - Video Verification). The necessary guidelines for capturing the video have also been included.


Until recently, the Controller of Certifying Authorities (CCA) had provisions to allow three classes of Digital Signature Certificate(DSC). However, on November 26, it issued a notice stating that the Class 2 Digital Signature would be discontinued from January 1, 2021. It would be replaced by Class 3 certificates for all purposes of Class 2 DSCs, like income tax, GST, PF, ROC, tenders, etc. The CCA has also updated all Certifying Authorities (CA) on the guidelines for compliance with the changed rules for new applications and maintenance of e-KYC accounts. The order was passed to increase the level of digitization in application processes and reduce paperwork. 

However, there is no reason to despair if you have recently bought a Class 2 DSC or renewed your existing one. The CCA has only mandated the termination of new issues or renewals of Class 2 DSCs from the beginning of 2021. This means that people who currently have a Class 2 DSC can continue to use it without any complications until its expiry. Also, Class 3 digital signatures have safeguards and fortifications to deal with security risks of greater magnitude than Class 2. Therefore, users do not have to worry about a downgrade in protection when they get Digital Signatures of Class 3.

One concern that many people may have is that of cost. Class 3 DSCs are far more costly than Class 2 ones. To buy digital signature of Class 3, you need to shell out a few thousand more than those of Class 2. Hence, if a user does not want to make a decision or stretch their budget immediately, they can do so by renewing their Class 2 DSC before January 1. This way, they can use their existing Class 2 DSC at the current lower price for at least one to two years more.