FAQs About Aadhaar-Based eSign

Aadhaar eSign

Q1: What is an eSign?

eSign stands for electronic signature. It is a paperless mode of signing documents online. eSign Electronic Signature Service enables any Aadhaar-holder to electronically sign documents using Aadhaar eKYC services. eSign Application Service Providers (ASP) like SignDesk.com, integrate with these services to provide Aadhaar-holders with a way to sign documents electronically. Through eSign services, a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) can be obtained and an eSign can be affixed within seconds.

Q2: Who can use eSign?

Anybody with an Aadhaar number and a mobile number registered with Aadhaar can use eSign to sign documents online from anywhere.

Q3: Is eSign legally valid?

Yes. eSign is legally valid and it is a recognized form of signature under the provisions of the Information Technology Act, 2000.

Q4: What are the provisions of law related to eSign?

Section 2(t)(a) of Information Technology Act, 2000, confirms the usage of eSign while Section III of the Act provides for authentication of electronic records. The Government of India through a notification in The Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part II, Section III, dated January 28th, 2015, has recognised the usage of eSign.

Q5: How does eSign help?

eSign helps you sign a document at your own convenience using just a 12-digit Aadhaar number and an Aadhaar-registered mobile number. If two parties entering into an agreement have Aadhaar numbers and Aadhaar-registered mobile numbers, then it is possible for both the parties to sign documents online without being physically present. Apart from being reliable, eSign services also save time and money. Since eSign involves paperless transactions, their usage contributes in a small way to saving trees.

How-does-eSign-help

Q6: Where can an eSign be used?

eSign can be used to sign documents for personal as well as business purposes, just like you would use wet signatures (handwritten signatures). You can use eSign to self-attest your documents and to sign agreements and contracts. However, eSign cannot be used for certain documents, which are listed here-

  • a negotiable instrument as defined in section 13 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881.
  • a power-of-attorney as defined in section 1A of the Powers-of-Attorney Act, 1882.
  • a trust as defined in section 3 of the Indian Trusts Act, 1882.
  • a will as defined in clause (h) of section 2 of the Indian Succession Act, 1925, including any other testamentary disposition by whatever name called.
  • any contract for the sale or conveyance of immovable property or any interest in such property.
  • any such class of documents or transactions as may be notified by the Central Government in the Official Gazette.

Q7: Is SignDesk.com authorised to provide eSign service?

SignDesk.com is a duly recognized entity authorized to provide eSign services. Signdesk.com is an ASP (Application Service Provider), registered with CDAC (ESP) and in collaboration with UIDAI, for providing services facilitating eSign. In the eSign process, the user (signer) receives an OTP from UIDAI and the document is verified after entering this OTP.

Q8: How to validate an eSign?

To validate an eSign, please follow these steps-

  1. Download the document and open it with Adobe Reader.
  2. Click on the Signature Panel at the top or the eSign appearance.
  3. When ‘Signature Validation Status’ opens, click ‘Signature Properties’.
  4. In the ‘Signature Properties’ window, click ‘Show Signer’s Certificate’.
  5. You will be redirected to the ‘Certificate Viewer’ window. Click the tab titled ‘Trust’.
  6. Click ‘Add to Trusted Certificates’ and click ‘OK’ in the pop-up that follows.
  7. Next you will see the ‘Import Contact Settings’ window. Check (Tick) the boxes provided before Certified documents and the three other options that follow it. Click ‘OK’ to continue.
  8. You will be redirected to the ‘Certificate Viewer’ window, click OK at the bottom.
  9. Click ‘Validate Signature’ in the Signature Properties window and then click ‘Close’.
  10. Now your eSign is complete. Your eSign will have a Green Tick mark which means it is legally valid.

Q9: How does an eSign look like?

An eSign on a document would look like this-

 esign

Q10: Which documents cannot be signed using eSign?

The provisions of the IT Act, 2000, prohibits using eSign for the following documents-

(a) a negotiable instrument as defined in section 13 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881.

(b) a power-of-attorney as defined in section 1A of the Powers-of-Attorney Act, 1882.

(c) a trust as defined in section 3 of the Indian Trusts Act, 1882.

(d) a will as defined in clause (h) of section 2 of the Indian Succession Act, 1925, including any other testamentary disposition by whatever name called.

(e) any contract for the sale or conveyance of immovable property or any interest in such property.

(f) any such class of documents or transactions as may be notified by the Central Government in the Official Gazette.

Q11: What should I do if I don’t receive an OTP?

Once you click the ‘Get OTP’ button, you will have to make sure that your Aadhaar-registered mobile number is active and is within its network coverage area. In case you still don’t receive the OTP even 3 minutes after clicking the button, click the ‘Resend OTP’ button. If you do not receive OTP even after clicking Resend OTP, it could mean that there are some delays in fetching your data from Aadhaar database. You will see an error asking you to try again later.

OTP

Q12: Why does the certificate show only 30 min validity?

The Digital Signature Certificate issued to your Aadhaar-based eSign expires in 30 minutes. After 30 min, the private key is destroyed to avoid any misuse, thus making it more secure.

Validation-Certificate

Q13: How long is an eSign valid?

Although the DSC expires in 30 minutes, your eSign affixed on a document will always be valid. The private key associated with your Signature Certificate is destroyed in order to avoid misuse.

Q14: How to upload a document?

To upload a document to be eSigned, please follow the steps below:

  1. Click the “Upload Document” button on the top right of the dashboard or on the SignDesk homepage.
  2. Provide a name for your document and click Upload.
  3. Browse and select a file from your device, and that’s it. Your file will be uploaded and you will see a preview of your document in the Signature Panel.

Q15: What is a Certifying Authority (CA)?

A Certifying Authority is a trusted entity engaged in issuing Digital Signature Certificates, which are an essential part of the eSign service. Section 84 of IT Act 2000, describes CA as a licensed-holder to issue DSCs.

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  1. Does the e-sign process include the payment for stamp-duty? How does this process work if the document needs to be stamped/franked?

    • No Dinesh, eSign cost is not inclusive of stamp duty. The usual ways of payment of stamp duty will remain the same, just instead of hand signature, you can opt for eSign.

    • Dear Dinesh, eSign payment does not include stamp duty. You can either purchase eSign in single or in packages as per your requirement. We also offer API for businesses/firms.
      At LegalDesk.com, you can create a document, get them printed on stamp paper and also apply your eSign on it. Kindly check this – https://legaldesk.com/now-buy-stamp-paper-online

      • gud morng. what is the difference between class 2 and class 3 dsc for an individual. & which is necessary for incometax and gst. thanks.

  2. Hi Vipul,
    First keep your Aadhaar number and mobile no. registered with your Aadhaar no. handy. Click Upload Document on this page -https://esigndesk.com/
    Then upload a pdf & enter your Aadhaar details in the space provided. You will receive OTP on the mobile which you will have to enter and then make the payment. That’s it. Your PDF will be eSigned and it will be available for download.

  3. Your e-KYC based request has failed hence you cannot proceed the application with e-KYC mode. Kindly generate new token and proceed with physical mode. Kindly note that you will get refund of the PAN application in next seven working days.

    whats my fallut why its fail please tell me sir

  4. Class 2 and class 3 dsc is prescribed for Invoice signing under Service Tax. Whether signing through eSign Desk is in compliance of the law?

    Also, whether eSign Desk is integrated with SAP ERP?

    • Hi Manoj, eSign is equivalent to Class 2 signature and it is legally compliant too. But you will have to check with the service tax dept. about its usage in invoice signing.

  5. Is the dSign a substitute for Digital Signature Certificate ? Can it be used to file Income Tax Return ? Is is a .pfx file ? Can the eSign be stored on pen drive or USB crypto token ? Please guide. Thanks

    • Dear Paras, the eSign cannot be considered as a substitute of DSC. Kindly find out with the IT Dept. about its usage in filing tax returns.
      And eSign cannot be stored on a pen drive, only the eSigned documents can be stored.

  6. By looking at signed PDF, can you find out specific person who signed it digitally? For example there are 1000 Srikanth in India, can you help me understand?

    • Hi Srikanth, Aadhaar enrolled full name will be displayed in your eSign on a PDF. There would be a unique private key generated for every esign.
      However, if there is a legal dispute, you can get the signer’s Aadhaar number with a court order so you can find out the specific person who signed it
      and associated details such as address, age, DOB etc. can also be traced.

  7. I applied for PAN Card thrice through online and in the last step where Aadhar gets verified through e-KYC Sign. the message said: “E-KYC Sign cannot proceed further and your money will get refunded within 7 working days. What does it mean?? Please reply ASAP!

    • Hi Dolly, seems you have received this message on some other website while applying for PAN. You should try contacting that website’s team member by calling or sending an email to know why you got this message.

    • As of now, the Centre or the income tax dept has not announced about the acceptance of eSign for tax filing purposes. You may have to check with the income tax dept to know the same.

  8. I was trying to link my Pan with Aadhar. During the long process I was asked pay online Rs 112 which I did to authenticate e-kyc confirmation from Aadhar. I received a OTP which I confirmed. I also received a confirmatory email from Aadhar that my e-kyc was successful. But I received the following message from NSDL “Your e-Sign/e-KYC based request has failed hence you cannot proceed the application with e-KYC mode. Kindly generate new token and proceed with physical mode or e-Sign mode. Kindly note that you will get refund of this PAN application in next seven working days.” How to resolve this?

  9. My pan says… PAN Application digitally signed, not valid unless physically signed…. What should I do?.. Do I need to sign on the signature box.