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Only Class 3 Digital Signature is Available from January


Only Class 3 Digital Signature is Available from January

Post pandemic, everything is going to be digital.So, we can say that it is high time for using a digital signature. People always need security in e-filing. A Digital signature is the best option for e-filing as it secures the documents.

What is the Digital Signature?

Digital Signature is the equivalent to a handwritten signature. We can simply say that a digital signature is a modern way to sign a document. It helps to solve the problem in digital communication.

Digital Signature is also used for email services, financial transactions, and software distribution. It is legally acceptable in many countries as traditional document signatures. Digital Signature is worked on public key cryptography which is called as asymmetric cryptography.

Digital Signature Certificate is accepted by many government agencies. It helps to do online transactions safely with legal validity.

The validity of the certificate is up to three (3) years. The validity time is decided by the law and a person cannot buy a DSC with the validity of more than three years and less than one year.

Do you know how many DSC classes are available in the market?

There are 2 types of DSC classesthat were available in the market. These are Class 2 and Class 3.

What is Class 2 Digital Signature certificate?

Class 2digital signature certificate is authorized for both users of the company and individual. These were utilized for e-filing with Registrar of Companies, Income Tax, etc. This used to involve moderate risk and consequences of data compromising occur in Class 2 DSC.

What is Class 3 Digital Signature Certificate?

Class 3digital signature certificate is also applicable for both the user that includes the company and the individual.This is used for e-tendering, e-procurement, Trademark or Patent e-filing, etc. This DSC Class 3 provides a high level of trust in storing and securing the data.

What is the difference between Class 2 and Class 3 Digital Signature Certificate?

Class 2 Digital Signature Certificate: -

·        This certificate was not made as per the critical security configuration.

·        It was authorized for basic electronic signatures.

·        It wascheaper than the Class 3 Digital Signature certificate.

·        Class 2 Digital Signature certificate cannot replace Class 3 Digital Signature certificate.

·        Its major benefitwasthat details of the users are authenticated by this certificate.

·        A Class 2 Digital Signature Certificatewas used for e-filing of income tax, MCA e-filing, LLP registration, GST application, IE code registration, Form 16, etc

·     This DSC will be not applicable from 1stJanuary 2021.

Class 3 Digital Signature Certificate: - 

·         Class 3 Digital Signature Certificate is a high-level certificate with a highly secured configuration.

·         A user can apply this DSC in any place where a Class 2 Digital Signature Certificate is applicable.

·         This digital signature is formed with confidential data of verified users.

·         As per the IVG GuidelinesClass 3 Digital Signature Certificate is more secured than Class 2 Digital Signature Certificate.

·         A Class 3 Digital Signature Certificate is used for e-tendering, Patent, and trademark e-filing, MCA e-filing, customs e-filing, e-procurement, e-biding, e-auction, etc.

·         The Cost of Class 3 Digital Signature Certificate is more expensive than a Class 2 Digital Signature Certificate.

New Updates on Class 2 Digital Signature Certificate: -

On 26th November 2020,a new update on the Class 2 Digital Signature Certificate has been declared by the Controller of Certifying Authorities. The Class 2 Digital Signature Certificate will be discontinued from 1st January 2021.

As per the CCA,Class 3 Digital Signature certificate is going to replace Class 2 Digital Signature for all purposes like Income Tax filing, ROC filing, PF, tenders, GST, and others.

Some guidelines mustbe maintained by the users like maintaining theeKYC account, Aadhaar offline eKYC, KYC for Organisational Person Certificates, eKYC for the foreign applicant, Verification of Authorised Signatory, Banking, eKYC for PAN, eKYC for Banking Customers.The guidelines advised some supporting documents as criteria for using class 3 DSC.

The Changes which can Affect the Business: -

We will not be able to renew Class 2 DSC after 1st January 2021. Paper-based DSC will not be available from 1st of January 2021. Class 3 DSC is more expensive than Class 2DSC. So, the user must spend more money buthigh level of security of data is ensured with this class.

All DSC should be downloaded by the authorized users before 31st December 2020 as the system will reject all the pending downloads thereafter.

As per the above points, we can conclude that Class 3 DSC is going to replace Class 2 Digital Signature certificate permanently with an advanced feature. It will be the better option for the users as they can do versatile e-filing work with Class 3 DSC. But the cost of Class 3 will not be pocket-friendly.Class 2 DSC was cheaper than Class 3 DSC. On the contrary, once the user can buy Class 3 DSC, it will be less risky and high-level security provided for all future filings


Class 3 Digital Signature Certificate is a popular digital signature that works on e-filling tenders.

We can use this DSC to save time and cost. If the sign holder is not available to conduct the business, it would still work.

We can use it in e-Procurement, e Tendering, and e-filing income tax returns and also in other applications.

We can use a password or public key to access it, and it is a highly secured device.

Yes, we can consider this Digital Signature Certificate as valid evidence authorized by the Indian Evidence Act. It is as valid as a physical document with a handwritten signature.