Digital Signature Certificate is commonly used to sign documents for GST and Tender bids. Other uses include signing on invoices, contracts, corporate documents, tax returns, Cersai, FIU, and UIDAI.
Digital Signature is legally binding. Only a licensed Certifying Authority can issue Digital Signature Certificates.
Paper-less steps are now available to renew or buy new Digital Signature. Paper-less process is faster, cheaper, and fully online. Individual persons, and all types of business organisations can use paper-less steps.
There is only one class of DSC to buy. CCA has simplified the DSC Classes in 2021. Only Class-3 DSC is available to purchase for both individuals and organisations. Renewals or new sales of Class 2 is discontinued.
Class-3 DSC is widely accepted for most purposes like Tax (income tax or GST), EPFO, Director's eKYC, register new business on MCA portal, Import Export Code, sign invoices (Tally or Zoho Books), EPFO, etc.
To submit Tenders online, Government eProcurement portals encourage applicants to use Class-3 with encryption combo for submitting bids to tender portal if TIA requires so.
Once Digital Signature has expired, applicants cannot sign new documents anymore. Digital Signature must be renewed to continue signing documents.
The renewal process is exactly same as buying New Digital Signature. However, there is no need to buy another USB cryptographic token/dongle. DSC is issued with validity of 1 to 3 years.