Why do Digital Signature Certificates have a Validity Period?

Digital signature certificates have a limited validity period. Do you want to know why? Continue reading

Digital Signatures are the equivalents of physical ink signatures that we make on documents everyday certifying that we've seen the document and have read whatever stated inside it and also to mark our approval of the contents thereof. But today most of our communication is done online and that also invites the requirement of proof of authenticity and security. The way digital signatures work have been explained in another webpage of ours. But let us still give you the gist of it. Basically, a hash is generated with respect to the contents of the document or the mail which is to be signed and which is encrypted by the private key of the signer. If the document undergoes even a minor change, say even a comma is removed, the hash becomes invalid, thereby making the entire document invalid from the perspective of authentication because the receiver is not going to be able to validate the same with the public key.

Now, although the two sound the same, digital signatures and digital signature certificates are two very different things. While the digital signature is an electronic method of signing an electronic document and is widely used for signing forms on the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, in case of Tax matters and e-tendering, the same as the means to authenticate the document. On the other hand, a digital signature certificate is a record based on a computer somewhere, basically the certifying authority. The purposes that are served by a digital signature certificate are multiple. A digital signature certificate links the identity of the individual such as his name, pin code, email address, the date when the certificate was issued, the name of the certifying authority etc) with the keys pertaining to the digital signature itself. These keys, one public and one private are key parts of the digital signature in order to authenticate and validate the document. They are twins, such that one will not work in the absence of the other. As such digital signature certificates are issued by the licensed certifying authorities under the Ministry of Information Technology and are legally valid per the Information Technology Act, 2000.

There are different kinds of digital signatures, class 1, class 2 and class 3 digital signatures. It is the class 2 and 3 signatures that are used in filing forms online, at important portals such as with the MCA and in cases of e-tendering processes. But digital signature certificates come with a validity period of 1 or 2 periods.

Limited validity period of Digital signature certificates

The reason behind the limited validity period of digital signature certificates are that if they would have been indefinitely valid, it would make the digital signature certificates less reliable as at any point of time during the lifetime of the genuine signer, if the keys involved are somehow accessed by someone else, this would jeopardize whatever security that is offered by digital signatures in the first place. Also, one must keep in mind that once the digital signature certificates complete the period for which they are valid, they are a part of the CRL which is the Certificate Revocation List. Now, once the certificate has expired, the same needs to be renewed. This involves the payment of a certain fee which means that the government also makes some revenue by renewing these digital signature certificates.

There are certain requirements that require to be fulfilled in order to obtain the renewal of the digital signature certificates. One has to ensure the availability of the e-Token. Also, renewal of the digital signature certificates won't go through in case there is a change in the name of the signer of the documents. Any kind of change in the name would be considered a fresh case, for which the signer or applicant will have to apply for a new digital signature from the beginning. However, there are certain details which can be accommodated during the renewal process, such as the e-mail, postal address and phone number. Also, in order to ensure seamless renewal of the digital signature certificate, you must apply for renewal at least 7 days prior to the expiry date of the certificate.

Digital Signatures In Bangalore

If your digital signature certificate is nearing its expiry and you want someone to take care of it, you've come to the right people. We have experience in helping thousands of applicants in not only getting their digital signatures issued in no time, over the years we have also processed several renewal applications for Class 2 and Class 3 Digital Signature in Bangalore. The way to go forward with us is this. Give us a call on our hotline number and we'll place your concern with our authorized representative who will then explain to you the procedure and tell you the details of the documents to be kept in place in order to have the documents renewed. Once you've procured the same, we'll send someone to collect the same for you. At the payment of a minor fee (besides the renewal fee of course), we will ensure that your digital signature certificate is renewed in no time. For reasons of trust we have with our customers, we'll like to warn you of several fake agencies that make similar claims. It is also beneficial to be associated with people who know the tricks of the trade. And in case you're based out of Bangalore, we don't mind a discussion over a cup of hot chocolate. Look forward to working with you.


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