The government, on Thursday, issued an advisory to all states to accept documents in electronic form. With the idea of paperless governance, and an aim to make life simpler for citizens, the government announced that documents such as driving license, car registration, voter ID, PAN card, school and college certificates, and many other documents issued by the government will now be accepted, when presented in digital form. These documents can even be used for photo ID purposes at airports and railway stations.
DigiLocker, as the name suggests, is a 'digital locker' for citizens to securely save copies of all their documents.
DigiLocker is a platform for issuance and verification of documents and certificates in a digital format, thereby eliminating the use of physical documents. Indian citizens who sign up for a DigiLocker account get a dedicated cloud storage space that is linked to their Aadhaar or UIDAI number.
Government departments and organisations which are registered with DigiLocker can push electronic copies of documents and certificates issued by them, directly into the citizens lockers. Citizens can also upload scanned copies of their documents in their accounts. These documents can be electronically signed as well, using the eSign facility.
Here is all you need to know about DigiLocker, and how to use it:
Q) What is DigiLocker, and how does it work?
A) DigiLocker is a digital locker facility provided by the government. It allows all Indian citizens to store scanned or digital formats of their documents. The technology used by DigiLocker is Cloud computing, where all citizens are given 1 GB (gigabyte) of storage space on a secure and private cloud account. DigiLocker is part of the government's Digital India initiative.
The project was launched by PM Modi in 2015, when it had a beta version. It is now completely ready, with the government telling all states to start officially recognising it. It is aimed at reducing the need to carry physical documents, while also aiding in paperless governance.
Q) What are the benefits of DigiLocker?
A) Some of the benefits offered by DigiLocker include:
- Citizens can access their digital documents anytime, anywhere and share it online for their ease and convenience. This helps in saving time, paperwork, and helps people get their work done on the move.
- It reduces the administrative overhead of government departments by minimising the use of paper, thereby making it a hassle-free and more environment-friendly way of getting things done.
- DigiLocker makes it easier to validate the authenticity of documents as they are issued directly by the registered issuers. Since documents are verified by the concerned departments, it helps a user get many other tasks done, for eg: documents required for various banking purposes, or at airports and railway stations, where IDs are needed.
- Self-uploaded documents can be digitally signed using the eSign facility (which is similar to the process of self-attestation of documents). Documents can thereby be shared as and when required, without it having to be manually delivered or collected.
- All physical documents can then be kept in the safety of ones home, minimising the chance of ever losing them, or damaging them.
Here is a video showing how DigiLocker helps in our daily lives:
Q) How can I open a DigiLocker account? What do I need?
A) The DigiLocker facility is available only for Indian citizens. To open a DigiLocker account, you must have an Aadhaar card (Aadhaar number). To activate the account, it is mandatory to link your DigiLocker account to your Aadhaar (UIDAI) number.
Q) Is my data (certificates and documents) safe in DigiLocker?
A) The government assures that DigiLocker is completely safe, with some of the best security features available on date. DigiLocker allows only the user to access their data and documents. The user gets a secure and private cloud account, which is password-protected. Security measures also include a 256 Bit SSL encryption and mobile authentication based sign up process (with OTP facility). DigiLocker also comes with a 'timed logout', which means it logs the user out if the individual leaves it open and idle.
DigiLocker follows the best industry practices, and keeps data 100 per cent private, allowing only the user to share details and documents with others. DigiLocker is ISO certified, and has an ISO-27001 certified data centre.
Some of the main security features include:
- Standard Practices: DigiLocker follows standard software development practices of uniform coding standards, guidelines and reviews. Every release is reviewed and tested internally for security and penetration vulnerabilities before getting deployed on our servers.
- 256 Bit SSL Encryption: DigiLocker uses 256 bit secure socket layer (SSL) Encryption for information transmitted during any activity.
- Mobile Authentication based Sign Up: DigiLocker uses mobile authentication based signup via OTP (one time password) for authenticating users and allowing access to the platform.
- Aadhaar Authentication based Issued Document Access: To receive issued documents from registered issuers, citizens need to authenticate themselves using Aadhaar's Biometric or Mobile OTP authentication service.
- ISO 27001 certified Data Centre: The application is hosted in a ISO 27001 security certified data centre.
- Data Redundancy: Data is backed up in secure environment with proper redundancy.
- Timed Log Out: To protect citizen's account from unauthorized access, our system is designed to terminate session automatically if extended inactivity is detected.
- Security Audit: The DigiLocker application has been security audited by a recognized audit agency and the application security audit certificate has been obtained.
- User Consent Based System: The data from DigiLocker is shared only with the citizen's explicit consent. All sharing and access activities are logged and conveyed to the citizen. Organizations that need access to citizens' certificates need to register on DigiLocker and seek explicit consent from the citizen.
To know full details about the technical specifications of DigiLocker, please click here.
Q) Who are the key stakeholders in the DigiLocker system?
A) DigiLocker has three stakeholders. They are:
- Issuer: Entity issuing e-documents to individuals in a standard format and making them electronically available eg: CBSE, Registrar Office, Income Tax department, RTO (transport office), etc.
- Requester: Entity requesting secure access to a particular e-document stored within a repository (eg: University, Passport Office, Regional Transport Office, etc.)
- Resident: An individual who uses the Digital Locker service based on their Aadhaar number.
Q) What are the main technology components of the DigiLocker system?
A) The main technology components of the DigiLocker system include:
- Repository: Collection of e-documents that is exposed via standard APIs for secure, real-time access.
- Access Gateway: Secure online mechanism for requesters to access e-documents from various repositories in real-time using URI (Uniform Resource Indicator).
- DigiLocker Portal: Dedicated cloud based personal storage space, linked to each resident's Aadhaar for storing e-documents, or URIs of e-documents.
To know full details about the technical specifications of DigiLocker, please click here.
Q) What is the sign-up and sign-in procedure for DigiLocker? Can I link my Google or Facebook to DigiLocker?
A) While signing up for a DigiLocker account, it is mandatory for a user to have an Aadhaar (UIDAI) number. A one-time password or OTP is sent to the users Aadhaar-linked mobile number, which they need to sign-up.
For log-ins thereafter, a user can set a password of their choice, or link the account to their Facebook or Google logins. The choice of linking DigiLocker with Google or Facebook is given to every user, and is left to their discretion. It is not necessary to link them.
Here is video explaining the sign-in and sign-up processes:
Q) Can an NRI (Non Resident Indian) sign up using a foreign mobile number?
A) No, it is not possible. You can register in DigiLocker using an Indian mobile number only.
Q) Once I sign-up for DigiLocker, How can I get my eAadhaar linked with my account?
A) Here are the steps to get eAadhaar in DigiLocker:
- Login to DigiLocker with your credentials.
- After logging into DigiLocker, you will see a dialog box with a message to get your eAadhaar.
- Click on "Click here" link.
- An OTP box will appear in the dialog.
- You will receive an OTP on your mobile number linked to Aadhaar.
- Enter this OTP in the OTP box and click "Verify OTP" button.
- On successful validation of the OTP you will be redirected to "Issued Document" page where URI for eAadhaar will be listed.
- Click on "Save" icon next to Aadhaar Card on "Issued Document" page. Your eAadhaar will be saved to "Uploaded Document" section.
Q) Is DigiLocker only accessible through a web browser? Does DigiLocker have a Mobile App? What platforms is it available on?
A) DigiLocker is available both for the web, as well as mobile. This means, a user can access their DigiLocker account both, from a web or mobile browser, as well as the DigiLocker Mobile App.
Q) What are the rules and amendments to use DigiLocker?
A) To know all about the rules and amendments of DigiLocker, please click here. The first 8 pages are in Hindi. For English, please go straight to page 9.
Q) How do I upload and e-sign documents on DigiLocker?
A) Here is a video explaining the entire process of uploading and e-signing documents on DigiLocker:
Q) How do I get documents issued on DigiLocker?
A) Here is a video explaining the entire process of getting documents issued on DigiLocker:
Q) What is DigiLocker integration with Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH). What are the benefits of this integration for citizens?
A) DigiLocker has partnered with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways for making available digital driving license and vehicle registration certificates to Indian citizens. Under this partnership, DigiLocker is now directly integrated with the National Register, which is the national database of driving license and vehicle registration data across the country. Henceforth, DigiLocker users will be able to access their digital RC and DL both on desktop computers and on mobile devices.
Here are the benefits of this integration:
- Paperless Services: Digital driving license and vehicle registration will minimize the use of physical documents.
- Authentic Records: Citizens can share the authentic digital certificates directly from the data source with other departments as identity and address proof resulting in reduction of administrative overhead.
- Spot Verification: The digital RC and DL in a DigiLocker account can be spot verified for authenticity either by validating the Digital Signature of MoRTH on the PDF copy of the document or by scanning the QR code on digital documents by using the QR scan facility on DigiLocker mobile app.
Q) What is the process of getting my digital DL (driving license) and RC (registration certificate) in DigiLocker?
A) For getting the digital RC and DL, users should ensure their Aadhaar number is linked with their DigiLocker account. Once this is done, they can go to the "Pull Partner Documents" section, select the issuer and document type and enter the document details asked for. This will allow them to fetch their document from the transport ministry database. Once the document is fetched, users can save a permanent link (URI) to this digital document in their "Issued Documents" section for later reuse.
While fetching the transport ministry digital records in DigiLocker, your name in your Aadhaar card should match your name in the RC and DL database of the National Register. This ensures that only the rightful owner of the documents is able to fetch the digital DL and RC.
Please click here to get a step by step demo for the process of getting the digital RC and DL.
Citizens can get their Digital RC and DL on both desktop and on mobile devices (Android only at present, iOS coming soon.)
Q) How can I be sure that the Digital RC and DL in DigiLocker is indeed coming from the transport ministry database? Are these digital records authentic and legally valid under Indian laws?
A) The digital RC and DL in DigiLocker is digitally signed by Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. It is fetched in real-time directly from the National Register database and has a timestamp for record keeping purposes. This digital document is a legally valid document under the Indian IT Act 2000.
Q) How can a CBSE Class XII student get access to their digital mark sheet on DigiLocker?
A) DigiLocker has partnered with CBSE for issuing digital mark sheets to 2016 Class XII students. Students who have registered their mobile number with CBSE would receive their DigiLocker account credentials through SMS, while those who don't have their mobiles registered with CBSE would need to create a DigiLocker account with their mobile number, sync with their Aadhaar number and then pull their mark sheet from the CBSE databases.
For step by step instructions on how to do this, please click here.
Q) What are issued documents and what are uploaded documents?
A) Issued documents are e-documents issued by various government agencies in electronic format directly from the original data source and the URI (link) of these documents is available in the issued documents section of DigiLocker. Whereas uploaded documents are those e-documents uploaded directly by the DigiLocker user.
Q) What is the maximum allowed file size that can be uploaded?
A) Maximum allowed file size is 10MB.
Q) What type of files can be uploaded?
A) File types that can be uploaded - pdf, jpeg & png.
Q) What is the meaning of URI?
A) A URI is a Uniform Resource Identifier generated by the issuer department, which is mandatory for every e-document of the DigiLocker system. This unique URI can be resolved to a full URL (Uniform Resource Locator) to access the actual document in its appropriate repository.
Q) What departments under the government have linked themselves to DigiLocker so far? What advisory has the government given to the states to officially recognise soft copies (on DigiLocker)?
A) Here is the letter or advisory that the government has issued to all the states to officially recognise documents of citizens uploaded or fetched on DigiLocker. The letter also lists all the government departments that have linked themselves to DigiLocker.