How to get / create digital signature Obtain a digital certificate

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This article explains why you need a digital signature (or digital ID) to digitally sign a Microsoft Office document and how you can get or create one. To learn more about digital signatures and how to use them in Office documents, see Add or remove a digital signature in Office files.

 

What is a digital signature?

A digital signature or ID is more commonly known as a digital certificate. To digitally sign an Office document, you must have a current (not expired) digital certificate. Digital certificates are typically issued by a certificate authority (CA), which is a trusted third-party entity that issues digital certificates for use by other parties. There are many commercial third-party certificate authorities from which you can either purchase a digital certificate or obtain a free digital certificate. Many institutions, governments, and corporations can also issue their own certificates.

A digital certificate is necessary for a digital signature because it provides the public key that can be used to validate the private key that is associated with a digital signature. Digital certificates make it possible for digital signatures to be used as a way to authenticate digital information.

Welcome to Digital Signature India

Ministry of Company Affairs has launched a prestigious e-Governance programme named MCA21. Under the said MCA21 programme, new e-forms have been notified vide GSR No. 56(E) dated 10.02.2006 and statutory filing, in the office of RoC would be on the basis of the new e-forms only. To make these new e-forms legally recognized and authenticate Digital Signature Certificate issued by TCS is required.

These Digital Signature Certificate used for e-forms has the same legal recognition and validity as handwritten signatures. Detailed MCA21 programme is available at www.mca.gov.in .

A Digital Signature Certificate, like hand written signature, establishes the identity of the sender filing the documents through internet which sender can not revoke or deny. A Digital Signature Certificate is not only a digital equivalent of a hand written signature it adds extra data electronically to any message or a document where it is used to make it more authentic and more secured. Digital Signature ensures that no tampering of data is done once the document has been digitally signed. A DSC is normally valid for 1 or 2 years, after which renewal is required.

These certificates are accepted for IFFCO, Northern Railway, MCA 21, E-filing, E -tendering etc…

There are basically 3 types of Digital Signature Certificates Class-1, Class-2 & Class-3 each having different level of security.

All the authorized signatories of company under MCA21 require Class-2 Digital Signature Certificate.

Similarly any document filed by CA/CS/CWA & TAX PRACTIONERS under MCA21 require Class-2 Digital Signature Certificate.

Get a digital signature from a certificate authority or a Microsoft partner

If you plan to exchange digitally-signed documents together with other people, and you want the recipients of your documents to be able to verify the authenticity of your digital signature, you can obtain a digital certificate from a reputable third-party certificate authority (CA).

Create a digital certificate to digitally sign a document immediately

If you do not want to purchase a digital certificate from a third-party certificate authority (CA), or if you want to digitally sign your document immediately, you can create your own digital certificate.

  1. In Windows, click the Start button. Select All Programs.
  2. Click the Microsoft Office folder, then click the Microsoft Office 2010 Tools folder.
  3. Click Digital Certificate for VBA Projects.
  4. On the Create Digital Certificate dialog box, type a name for your certificate,
  5. Click OK.

IMPORTANT: If you digitally sign a document by using a digital certificate that you created, and then you share the digitally-signed file, other people cannot verify the authenticity of your digital signature without manually deciding to trust your self-signed certificate.

The following image is an example of the Create Digital Certificate dialog box.

Create Digital Signature dialog

Required Documents with Application Form:
Document 1 (Proof of identity) Self attested copy of PAN Card. Valid Active PAN with the Income tax Department.
Document 2 (Proof of residence) – Any one Self Attested Copy of latest bill : WATER / ELECTRICITY / POWER / TELEPHONE / CREDIT CARD or VOTER’S ID CARD / DRIVING LICENSE/PASSPORT in the applicant’s name for address confirmation.
How do I get a Digital Signature Certificate?

The Office of Controller of Certifying Authorities (CCA), issues Certificate only to Certifying Authorities.CA issue Digital Signature Certificate to end-user. You can approach any one of the seven CAs for getting Digital Signature Certificate. The website addresses are given below.

www.safescrypt.com

www.nic.in

www.idrbtca.org.in

www.tcs-ca.tcs.co.in

www.ncodesolutions.com

www.e-Mudhra.com

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