2 min read
25 May 2021

Implementing Aadhaar is a project undertaken by the government to give each citizen a unique identification number. This allows the government to store important information about its citizens in a singular, secure, digital database. While you can use the physical copy of your Aadhaar card, there is another form in which you can access your Aadhaar information: an e-Aadhaar card.

What is an e-Aadhaar card?

Simply put, an e-Aadhaar card is a digital, password-protected version of your physical Aadhaar card, bearing all the same information. If you have lost your Aadhaar card or don’t want to carry it because you fear losing it, you can use an e-Aadhaar card instead. While an e-Aadhaar card isn’t a substitute for an Aadhaar card, it is equivalent to it, and you can use it in the same way.

Benefits of an e-Aadhaar card

1. Easy to access and secure

You can access this card whenever you want to, as it is hosted digitally. Also, when you get an e-Aadhaar card, you don’t have to worry about misplacing it.

2. Avail subsidies

The government offers various subsidies, and all you have to give is your 12-digit Aadhaar number to access it. Take the example of an LPG subsidy. Once you link your Aadhaar number to your bank account, you can access this amount directly in your account.

3. Proof of address and identity

An e-Aadhaar card acts as proof of address and identity. It contains all the same information as an Aadhaar card and is digitally signed and authorised by the UIDAI.

4. Streamline documentation process

With an e-Aadhaar card, you can minimise the number of documents you have to submit and access a new bank account or a passport more easily and quickly.

The information available on your e-Aadhaar card

Take a look at the information that is listed on your e-Aadhaar card.

  • Name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Photograph
  • 12-digit unique Aadhaar number
  • UIDAI’s digital signature

How to get your e-Aadhaar card?

You can get access to your e-Aadhaar card with great ease once your Aadhaar card has been granted to you. All you have to do is download it from UIDAI’s website.

Here are a few steps that will help you with your e-Aadhaar download.

Step 1: Keep your Aadhaar number ready. If you don’t have this, then keep your enrolment number, along with the date and time on the enrolment slip, handy.
Step 2: Enter your VID, enrolment number or Aadhaar number. Then, enter your full name as mentioned on your Aadhaar form, as well as your pin code.
Step 3: Enter the security code and request an OTP.
Step 4: Once you receive the OTP, enter it into the relevant field. Then, click on the ‘Download Aadhaar’ button.

Additional read: A step-by-step guide to applying for an e-Aadhaar card

How to open your e-Aadhaar card?

Once you complete the e-Aadhaar download process, enter the correct password to access it. The password is the first four letters of your name, followed by your birth year. So, if your name is Malcolm and you were born in 1990, the password you have to enter is MALC1990.

What is the mAadhaar app, and what information does it contain?

Another digital version of the Aadhaar, the mAdhaaar, is customised for smartphones. This official mobile application developed by the UIDAI is currently available for Android phones via Google Play but will soon be available for iPhones. It is another way to eliminate the need to carry your physical Aadhaar card and contains all the information, including your name, date of birth, gender, address, and photograph.

It is also a legitimate ID and address proof and can be accessed via a password. You will need to enter this password every time you want to access your mAadhaar. Your mobile number needs to be registered with UIDAI and linked to your Aadhaar card to download and use the app. This way, when you download the mAadhaar app, you will use the OTP on your mobile to register your profile. Remember that this app auto-reads your OTP, and you do not have to enter it yourself. Without the number being linked or the same SIM being used, you won’t be able to set up your profile on the mobile application.

What is the purpose of mAadhaar?

Once you download and set up your profile on the mAadhaar app, you can share your QR code or e-KYC for verification easily via your smartphone itself. You can share it via email, Bluetooth, etc., and get your verification done more conveniently. However, if your smartphone or SIM is stolen, ensure that you block them to prevent any misuse of your information. One of the advantages of this mobile app is that you can have up to 3 profiles on your smartphone. This means you can share your family member’s Aadhaar details effortlessly when needed, say when you open your daughter’s bank account online.

Additional read: 7 facts about mAadhaar that you should know

When can you use your e-Aadhaar card?

Take a look at a few of the common scenarios where you can use an e-Aadhaar card.

When applying for a passport

  • At the bank as ID proof or to open a new account
  • At any Indian railway as ID proof
  • At Indian airports as ID proof
  • To avail of LPG subsidies
  • To access your digital locker

You can use your e-Aadhaar as a proof of identity or address in any scenario because, as per the Aadhaar Act, it is equivalent to your original Aadhaar card. As per Section 4(3) of the Aadhaar Act, 2016, “An Aadhaar number, in physical or electronic form subject to authentication and other conditions, as may be specified by regulations, may be accepted as proof of identity of the Aadhaar number holder for any purpose.

Armed with information on an e-Aadhaar card and how to use it, make sure you download it immediately.

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