DigiLocker – Online Documents Storage Facility by Government of India


 

Personal identification documents and financial documents are very important. These documents are required for almost every financial transaction that you do and serve as different types of proofs. That is why it is imperative that all the important documents should be stored carefully. Stored documents are prone to theft, damage, soiling and misplacement. Moreover, even if you have the documents stored away safely, accessing them on the go is quite impossible. That is why you need to store documents in such a place where they would be safe and would also be accessible instantly.

Keeping these sentiments in mind and to promote digitalisation, the Government of India introduced the concept of digital locker called DigiLocker. Let’s understand what DigiLocker is and how it helps –



What is a DigiLocker?

As is evident from the name itself, DigiLocker is a digital locker for individuals to store their important documents. The documents can be stored in their scanned form or in their digital form as a soft copy. Besides storing important documents, DigiLocker can be used as a platform for verifying and also issuing documents and certificates digitally.



Salient features of DigiLocker

Here are some of the notable features of DigiLocker –

  • Aadhar card is required to create an account on DigiLocker. The locker is linked to the individual’s Aadhar number. As such, only one DigiLocker account can be maintained for one individual.
  • DigiLocker provides a dedicated cloud storage space of up to 1 GB for storing documents
  • Organisations or Government departments that have registered with DigiLocker can send copies of documents that they issue directly to the DigiLocker of the individual.
  • Scanned copies of documents stored on DigiLocker can be self-attested by using the eSign facility wherein a digital signature of the individual can be done on the document
  • DigiLocker was launched in the year 2015 as a part of the Government of India’s Digital India program. Currently, DigiLocker is actively being used in all major States of India.
  • DigiLocker has an ISO certification and the data centres of DigiLocker are also ISO – 27001 certified.


Advantages of using DigiLocker

Creating and using a DigiLocker account is very beneficial because of the following reasons –

  • It keeps the documents safe from damages, spoilage and theft
  • The documents can be accessed at any time and from any place if the individual has internet connection. This facilitates quick processing and helps individuals peruse their documents on the go
  • Since the documents are stored in a digital format, the use of paper documents is minimised. This reduces the administrative costs of issuing and maintaining the records of documentations. Moreover, minimised use of paper documents is also environment friendly
  • The facility of online self-attestation through eSign also reduces the hassles of sharing attested documents
  • The authenticity of the documents is ensured since the DigiLocker is linked to the individual’s Aadhar number. Moreover, as documents can be issued directly to the locker by Government departments, the authenticity of the issued document can also be proved.
  • The DigiLocker cloud platform is password protected and has a 256 Bit SSL encryption which makes it secured against frauds. Moreover, the account can be accessed through OTP generated on the registered mobile number. If the account is not used for a specified time, it is triggered with a timed logout feature wherein the account is automatically logged out in case it is idle. Thus, DigiLocker is an extremely safe platform to use.


Safety features in DigiLocker

The DigiLocker platform is made safe and secure using the following safety features –

  • Standard practices – the software practices followed by DigiLocker are standardised and safe to use. Any version of the platform is internally reviewed for flaws and security breaches before being offered to public
  • Encryption – as stated earlier, DigiLocker uses Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption for transmitting information through its platform
  • OTP based sign-up – signing up into the DigiLocker account requires an OTP verification through the registered mobile number of the user
  • Aadhar based sign-up – DigiLocker can be signed up using the Aadhar details. Since Aadhar contains the biometric details of the individual, it cannot be duplicated and provides authenticity
  • ISO Certification – DigiLocker’s data centres are ISO certified which make them adhere to international standards of privacy and security
  • Log out is timed – if the DigiLocker account is not actively used for a specified time period, it is automatically logged out preventing misuse
  • Security Audit – the DigiLocker platform has been properly audited by reputed security agencies to protect against data breaches and compromised security
  • Consent based use of data – the date stored on DigiLocker’s cloud can only be used if the accountholder gives specific consent to use the data. Thus, there is no misuse of data and privacy violation.


Stakeholders of the DigiLocker platform

The DigiLocker platform has three main stakeholders which are as follows –

  1. Issuers which are organisations or Government departments who issue documents in digital formats and send those documents directly to the DigiLocker account of the individual. Examples of such entities which issue digitalised documents straight to the DigiLocker account include Income Tax Department, Regional Transport Office, Registrar Office, etc.
  2. Requester which is an entity which seeks access to any document stored in a repository
  3. Resident who is the individual who creates a DigiLocker account and uses it to store his/her documents


Technology components of DigiLocker

The DigiLocker platform has the following three major technology components –

  1. Repository which is tasked with the collection of documents through standard APIs for a secured and real time access
  2. Access Gateway which is a safe online mechanism for requesters to avail e-documents from different repositories using Uniform Resource Indicator (URI)
  3. DigiLocker Portal which is the cloud-based platform allowing storage space for storing documents in digital formats or for storing URIs of digitalised documents.


Creating an account in DigiLocker

Individuals can sign in and create a DigiLocker account with their user name and password. For creating the account, a valid Aadhar number would be required. The individual would also have to provide a user name and password with which logging into the account would be possible in future. To register, once the Aadhar number has been provided, the individual would get an OTP (One Time Password) in his/her mobile number which is registered with Aadhar card. Once the OTP is entered, the account would be created.



Linking Aadhar to DigiLocker

Since Aadhar number is mandatory to open a DigiLocker account, the number should also be linked to the account. For linking Aadhar to DigiLocker the following steps should be followed –

  • The individual should log into his/her DigiLocker account using his user name and password with which the account has been registered.
  • To get eAadhar, there would be a message in the DigiLocker portal
  • The individual should select ‘Click here’ in the dialog box which shows the message to get eAadhar
  • A box would appear asking for the OTP (One Time Password). The OTP would be sent to the individual’s mobile number which is registered in the Aadhar database. The OTP received should be entered in the box to proceed
  • Once the OTP is entered, the individual should click ‘ Verify OTP’
  • If the correct OTP has been entered, it would be successfully verified.
  • The individual would then be redirected to the ‘Issued Document’ page
  • On  that page the individual can find the URI of his/her Aadhar Card
  • The individual should click ‘Save’ to save his/her Aadhar card on the ‘Issued Document’ page
  • Once the card is saved, it would be reflected in the ‘Uploaded Document’ section of the portal.


Uploading and eSigning documents in DigiLocker

To upload documents and then to eSign them, the following process should be followed –

  • Individuals should visit the DigiLocker home page and click on ‘Sign in’
  • They would be directed to a sign in page wherein the user name and password should be entered
  • Sign in can also be done by providing the Aadhar number
  • Once the individual has signed in, he/she can view his account
  • On the account’s home page, the ‘Uploaded Documents’ button should be clicked
  • The individual would be taken to a new page wherein he/she should click on ‘+Folder’ to create a folder
  • The individual can then name the folder which he/she wants to create
  • Once the folder is created, click on it to open it
  • Then there would be an option to ‘Upload’
  • When the individuals click ‘Upload’, they can upload the documents that they want.
  • The document would be uploaded and reflect in the ‘Uploaded Documents’ section
  • There would be an option to ‘eSign’ against the uploaded documents
  • To eSign, the individual should click the ‘eSign’ option
  • A dialog box appears with an agreement. Individuals should agree to the terms and conditions and click on ‘Continue’
  • An OTP would be sent to the registered mobile number which should be provided to eSign
  • Individuals should enter the received OTP and click ‘eSign’
  • They can then eSign and also get their document in a PDF format for security


Availing issued documents from DigiLocker

As stated earlier, various entities issue digital documents directly to individuals’ DigiLocker account. To get such issued documents, individuals would have to follow the below-mentioned steps –

  • They should visit DigiLocker’s website and sign in
  • Sign in can be done using user name and password or the individual’s Aadhar number
  • On the account’s home page, there is an option for ‘Issued Documents’ which the individual should click on
  • The list of issued documents would be displayed on the ‘Issued Documents’ page
  • To get more documents, individuals should click on ‘ Check Partner Section’ link given below the list of issued documents
  • A new page would open wherein the individual should choose the name of the partner from whom the document has been issued and the type of document. There is a drop down menu for both the options and the name of the partner and the document type should  be selected from the available drop down menu
  • A new page would open wherein the individual would have to provide some information in a prescribed form
  • The form should be filled stating the details asked
  • Once the details are provided, the individual should click on the dialog box agreeing to the terms and conditions
  • Once the terms are conditions are agreed with, there would be a tab of ‘Get Document’
  • The tab should be selected to get the data contained from the URI of the issuer
  • The individual should then click on ‘Save Document’ link in the ‘Issued Documents’ section to save the issued document on DigiLocker
  • The document would be saved and shown in the list of issued documents in the ‘Issued Documents’ section
  • To view the saved document individuals should click on ‘PDF’ symbol against the document


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Can anyone open a DigiLocker account?

A DigiLocker account can only be opened by Indian residents. NRIs are not allowed to open the account as an Indian mobile number is required. Moreover, individuals should have a valid Aadhar card for opening a DigiLocker account.


  • What are the conditions of storing documents on DigiLocker?

The maximum size allowed per document is 10MB and the document should be in pdf, jpeg or png format.


  • What is URI?

URI stands for Uniform Resource Identifier. A URI is generated by an issuer department which issues documents directly to the DigiLocker account. URI is mandatory for every document and by clicking on the URI the document can be opened to view.


  • Which Government departments and organisations have registered themselves to issue documents to DigiLocker?

Some of the examples of Government departments and organisations which issue documents to DigiLocker include IOCL, BPCL and HPCL for issuing e-subscription vouchers for LPG connection, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship for issuing ITI certificates, National eGovernance Division for issuing NeGD Training Certificates, etc.


  • What is the website for using DigiLocker?

DigiLocker can be accessed through the link https://digilocker.gov.in


  • What is Digital Aadhar?

Digital Aadhar and physical Aadhar are one and the same. If UIDAI issues the Aadhar card directly to DigiLocker, it is called Digital Aadhar.

CA Abhishek Soni

Abhishek Soni is a Chartered Accountant by profession & entrepreneur by passion. He is the co-founder & CEO of Tax2Win.in. Tax2win is amongst the top 25 emerging startups of Asia and authorized ERI by the Income Tax Department. In the past, he worked in EY and comes with wide industry experience from telecom, retail to manufacturing to entertainment where he has handled various national and international assignments.