Introduced in 2010 with the Aadhaar Bill, Aadhaar's main aim was to give every Indian citizen residing within the country an identification number. This scheme was thought of so that Indian citizens could better access and benefit from government services.
What is an Aadhaar Card?
Your Aadhaar Card is a physical representation of a 12-digit number given to you by the government. This number acts as your identity and is based on your demographic and biometric data. The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) provides all online and offline services linked to your Aadhaar card. In recent times, having an Aadhaar card has become increasingly important. You can use it to make EPF claims easily, benefit from simple e-KYC procedures, and e-verify your IT returns.
Benefits offered by an Aadhaar Card
If you haven't applied for an Aadhaar card already, take a look at a few reasons why you should.
1. Proof of identity and address
Since your Aadhaar Card is issued by the government and consists of your photograph, name, date of birth, and address, it serves as proof of identity and address. You can use it whenever you need to provide proof of your identity and/or address, for example, when you take a home loan or a personal loan.
2. Monetary benefits
Having an Aadhaar Card entitles you to receive benefits such as EPF or Employee Provident Fund, along with making you eligible for pension schemes.
3. Availing subsidies
One of the key benefits of having an Aadhaar Card is that you can avail all government-initiated subsidies and benefits with great ease. Once your information is registered via Aadhaar, you only have to show your card to avail of subsidies or participate in government programmes. For example, once you link your Aadhaar to your bank and LPG connection, you can receive an LPG subsidy directly in your bank account.
4. Income Tax returns
With an Aadhaar Card, you can easily verify your income tax returns. Once you link your Aadhaar to PAN, you can use a simple OTP procedure to verify your income tax returns.
5. Speed up processes
With an Aadhaar Card, applying for a new passport or a bank account is easier. By submitting your Aadhaar, you can streamline the documentation process and access these services conveniently.
Besides this, you can use your Aadhaar Card to make stock investments. As SEBI accepts it, you can easily access a digital locker and a digital life certificate. The latter makes it simple for pensioners to access their pension amount.
Eligibility for Aadhaar
It is very easy to qualify for an Aadhaar Card. As long as you have been a resident of India for more than 182 days, you are eligible for it. This eligibility criterion extends to minors and newborns too. Eligibility for Aadhaar for NRIs is the same. In the 12 months before you applied for an Aadhaar Card, you should have spent at least 182 days in the country.
How to apply for Aadhaar Card?
You can apply for an Aadhaar Card by visiting an Aadhaar Card centre. You can apply for an Aadhaar Card online or by visiting an Aadhaar Card centre. You have to do so in person because you have to submit your biometric details. If you are wondering where to apply for an Aadhaar Card, you can visit the UIDAI website and locate the enrolment centre closest to you by completing a few steps.
Once you have identified an Aadhaar enrolment centre, look at the steps you must complete to apply.
- Make an appointment with your Aadhaar enrolment centre. You can complete this step online once you locate a centre. Making an appointment will help you save time, as you won't have to wait in the queue. However, if you can't make an appointment beforehand, you can still visit the centre.
- Fill out the Aadhaar enrolment form. You can either do this at the centre or print the available online form and fill it before you visit the Aadhaar enrolment centre.
- Your bank statements, passport, voters ID card and PAN card are all valid documents that you can submit along with a form. Take a look at the entire list of documents you can choose from when you apply for Aadhaar.
- Along with document proofs and the filled form, also submit your photograph.
- Next, complete all biometric scans at the Aadhaar enrolment centre. This will involve scanning all fingerprints, an iris scan as well as having a photograph taken.
This completes the process of how to apply for an Aadhaar Card. Before you leave the centre, be sure to collect your enrolment slip. This will contain a 14-digit enrolment number that will help you track your Aadhaar application in the days to come.
How to check your Aadhaar application status?
Typically, once your Aadhaar Card is processed, you will receive an SMS on your registered mobile number. However, should you wish to track the status meanwhile, you can do so with ease.
- Visit the UIDAI website
- Enter the enrolment ID as mentioned on your enrolment slip
- Then, enter the date and time. You will also find this information in the requisite format on your enrolment slip
- Then, enter the security code and click 'Check Status'
If you have lost your enrolment ID or EID, you can retrieve it as long as you access your registered mobile number.
How to download your Aadhaar Card?
If you haven't received your physical copy of your Aadhaar card, or you want to have a soft copy too, you can download a digital copy at your convenience. This digital and password-protected copy of your Aadhaar is known as e-Aadhaar and is equally valid for all purposes.
You can visit the UIDAI website or click on this link to download your e-Aadhaar. Here, you only have to input your virtual Aadhaar number, enrolment ID or Aadhaar number (if you already have the card). Then, fill out your full name, same as when you applied for Aadhaar and enter your pin code. Lastly, fill out the security code and click on 'Request OTP'. Once you enter the OTP in the field that follows, you will be able to click on a button to complete the e-Aadhaar download.
Additional read: Complete these 5 steps to download your E-Aadhaar card
You can also view your Aadhaar on your mobile. Visit the UIDAI website, and enter your enrolment ID, registered mobile number and security code. Once you enter the OTP, you can quickly view your Aadhaar Card.
How to view your e-Aadhaar
To open the e-Aadhaar PDF file, you must enter a password. This 8-character password is the first four letters of your name in capital letters, followed by your birth year.
How to verify Aadhaar Card?
Once you receive your Aadhaar Card, you must confirm its existence via a simple procedure. All you have to do is visit the 'Aadhaar services' section on the UIDAI website. Enter your 12-digit Aadhaar number followed by the security code. Then, click on 'verify' to complete the process.
How to update information on your Aadhaar Card?
If you want to update your address, you can do so online as long as you can access the registered mobile number. You must visit the self-service update portal to get started. Login with your Aadhaar/VID, make a data update request and submit the necessary documents. You will have to submit a scanned image of the original Proof of Address (PoA).
Alternatively, suppose you want to do it offline. In that case, you can visit an Aadhaar enrolment centre in person and update the address and any other details you wish to update.
How to link your Aadhaar Card?
The government is advising citizens to link their Aadhaar Cards to access greater benefits. Here's a look at how you can do this with your mobile number, bank account and PAN card.
How to link Aadhaar number with mobile number
You can link your Aadhaar to your mobile number by visiting the telecom operator's website, entering your Aadhaar number, followed by the OTP that you will receive on your mobile number. Another approach is to link your SIM card with your Aadhaar number. To do this, visit the mobile operator's store and get in touch with a store executive. Submit your Aadhaar Card details and provide the OTP that you will receive on your mobile number. Then, complete a biometric scan at the store. Finally, you will receive an SMS confirming that the process is complete.
How to link Aadhaar to your bank account
You can link Aadhaar to your bank account either online or offline. To do so offline, visit the bank's branch, fill out the relevant form and attach a photocopy of your Aadhaar Card. Also, carry your original card for verification. Once the details match, your bank account will be linked. To do this online, log into your bank's net banking portal. Click on the section that allows you to link your Aadhaar Card, enter your Aadhaar details carefully and click on submit. Once the information is verified, your Aadhaar will be linked to your bank account.
How to link Pan card with Aadhaar Card
Once you have an account on the income tax website and the details on your PAN card and Aadhaar Card match, you can link the two by following a few simple steps. You must complete this process by 30 June 2018 as per the latest government directives and the Finance Act of 2017. While you can file your returns without linking the two, note that the Income Tax department won't process your returns until you complete this process.
Additional read: Apply for PAN card online
3 things you must know about your Aadhaar Card
Your Aadhaar Card has certain unique features and benefits. Take a look at 3 such features that you must familiarise yourself with.
1. Procedures for children
While you can enrol infants for an Aadhaar Card, you must update their information when they reach 5 years of age, including their biometric details. If you don't complete this process, the Bal Aadhaar that was hitherto valid will become invalid. Then, once your child turns 15, you will have to update the biometrics once again.
2. Accommodating specially-abled citizens
If you have ill-defined fingerprints or missing fingerprints, you can still apply for Aadhaar. Similarly, having cataracts, retina damage or partial/complete vision loss doesn't prohibit you from applying for an Aadhaar Card. The person capturing your information will note your biometrics exemption and proceed.
3. Making use of the website
Fortunately, the UIDAI website has a host of information about Aadhaar and relevant procedures. Instead of second-guessing, you can make use of these resources to clear all your doubts. From how to retrieve your lost enrolment ID to information on the Aadhaar Act and helpful videos, you can make the most of the details present on the official website.
Additional read: 7 facts about Aadhaar that you should know
How to prevent misuse of your Aadhaar Card by locking it?
If you are worried about the safety of your personal information, you can prevent its misuse by locking your Aadhaar Card. To do this, visit the relevant page on the UIDAI website. Then, enter your UID or VID, followed by the security code displayed on the page. Then, click on 'Send OTP'. Once you receive the OTP on your registered mobile number, enter it. Choose a password to protect your Aadhaar Card and click on 'Enable' to lock your data successfully.
Then, you can temporarily unlock it each time you need to use your Aadhaar Card's biometrics for verification.
Additional read: How to prevent misuse of your Aadhar Card
With all the relevant information at your disposal, you must immediately apply for an Aadhaar Card and link it to all your relevant accounts if you haven't done so already.
FAQs about Aadhar Card
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