What is Aadhar Card?
India is the second largest populated countries in the world with a population of more than 1.2 billon individuals. In such a large country, a need was felt to identify each individual for various financial and welfare services. As such, the Government of India launched the concept of Aadhar Card. Aadhar, also called as the Unique Identification Number (UID), is a 12-digit unique identification number which is allotted to individuals who apply for it. The record of each individual’s biometric and demographic data is stored in the Aadhar Card which can be easily accessed using the unique Aadhar number.
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is the main agency which operates under the Government of India and is tasked with the job of issuing Aadhar Cards to individuals. UIDAI collects the biometric and demographic data of the applicants and stores it in a centralised database. After the data is collected and verified, a unique Aadhar number is issued which is printed on the Aadhar Card. The card also contains the name, address, date of birth, gender and other details of the cardholder. Moreover, there is a QR code in the card which can be scanned to access the details of the cardholder easily.
What is Aadhaar Card Number?
Aadhaar card is a 12 digit unique number provided to every Indian resident who gets himself registered for it. Under its process, demographic as well as biometric information of the residents is taken such as name, date of birth, address, all ten fingers’ fingerprints, both eye iris scan, and a recent photograph. After completing the whole process, you get a 12 digit unique number that can be used as identity and address proof.
A public or private entity can accept the Aadhaar number as an identity proof of Aadhaar number holder. It is also used for verification of the identity of a person who is receiving subsidies or Government services.
Features of Aadhar Card
Here are some of the salient features of Aadhar Card –
- The card contains the biometric details of the cardholder like fingerprints, iris scan, photograph, etc. These details help in identifying the cardholder
- Applying or the Aadhar Card is voluntary. However, in some cases, having an Aadhar Card becomes compulsory
- Aadhar number is the 12-digit number contained in the Aadhar Card.
- The Aadhar Card can be linked to all your financial accounts and investments like PAN Card, Ration card, bank account, mutual fund investments, life insurance policies, etc.
- The card serves as a proof of identity, proof of address, proof of date of birth, etc.
- The details contained in the card can be changed if there are any changes for the cardholder. For instance, in case of change of name or change of address
Benefits of having an Aadhar Card
Though having an Aadhar Card is voluntary till now, there are various benefits which you can avail if you have an Aadhar Card. These benefits include the following.
- If you want to claim a subsidy on your LPG, you would have to provide your Aadhar number to the LPG agency. The agency then links your Aadhar number with the LPG consumer number and the subsidy is directly transferred to your bank account. You can, therefore, save on your LPG connection
- Accounts under Jan Dhan Yojana can be opened easily by submitting only the copy of your Aadhar Card. No other documents would be required. This account would give you banking facilities along with a RuPay debit card, life insurance, accident insurance, zero balance savings account, etc.
- To get a passport you would need to submit a copy of your Aadhar Card
- You can avail the facility of DigiLocker by providing your Aadhar Card number at the time of registration. DigiLocker helps you store your important documents online and access them easily
- By linking the Aadhar Card number to your voter ID, the possibility of bogus voters is eliminated and elections become fair and transparent
- To avoid fraudulent pension payments, pensioners are required to link their Aadhar number with their pension account after which they would be able to receive pensions
- Opening a bank account has become easy through Aadhar Card as the card acts as all the required KYC documents needed at the time of account opening
- If pensioners want to avail the facility of Jeevan Praman for Pensioners wherein they do not have to be physically present at the pension disbursing agency to renew their life certificates, they would have to provide their Aadhar details after which renewal would be done digitally
- Aadhar acts as a proof of address and identity by the SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India)
- New mobile connections require Aadhar Card details. Moreover, when the Aadhar card is linked with the mobile number, instant updates can be received by cardholders Driving licenses might also be linked to Aadhar card in future making the card a necessity
- PAN card is to be linked to Aadhar card so that money laundering activities can be curbed and the prevalence of black money reduces
- Linking Aadhar with your investments has also become necessary in recent times
- IRCTC users can book up to 12 train tickets in a month if they verify their transactions using their Aadhar card numbers.
- Ration cards are also being linked with Aadhar card numbers so that the beneficiaries receiving the ration card benefits can be easily identified and duplicitous transactions can be curbed
How to enrol for Aadhar Card?
The process to apply for Aadhar Card is as follows –
Who can enrol for Aadhar Card?
Aadhar Card can be availed by Indian citizens, non-resident Indians, foreigners who live in India as well as by minor children. However, if the applicant is a child below the age of 5 years, the Aadhar Card number of one of the parents of the child would have to be provided when applying for the Aadhar Card. The details of the parent’s Aadhar Card would be recorded in the enrolment form and the child would not have to submit any biometric data. Only a photograph of the child is taken to be attached to the Aadhar Card. The birth certificate of the child would be the only accepted age proof. Moreover, after the child turns 15 years old, the Aadhar Card would be updated with the child’s latest photograph and biometric details.
Checking Aadhar Card status online
After you apply for Aadhar Card, it takes some time for the UIDAI to allot you the Aadhar number. Moreover, additional time is taken for the actual Aadhar Card to reach your home. Meanwhile, you can check the status of your Aadhar Card application online. The process of checking the status is as follows –
- Visit the UIDAI website at https://uidai.gov.in/
- On the home page, select the option ‘My Aadhar’
- Under this option select ‘ Check Aadhar Status’
- A new window would open wherein you would have to provide your enrolment ID (EID) which is the 14-digit acknowledgement number mentioned in the acknowledgement slip. Besides the EID, you would also have to enter the date and time of enrolment which is also mentioned in the acknowledgement slip. A security code would also be mentioned on the site which you should enter in the box.
- When all the details are entered, select ‘Check Status’ and your Aadhar application status would be displayed
e-Aadhar, m-Aadhar and virtual ID
- e-Aadhar – e- Aadhar is a soft copy of your Aadhar card. The soft copy can be downloaded from UIDAI website by filling in a specified form. A pdf file would be downloaded which is password protected. The password for accessing your e- Aadhar would be the first four letters of your name in capital letters followed by your year of birth in YYYY format.
- M- Aadhar – m- Aadhar is a mobile application which is developed by UIDAI using which you can access Aadhar related services through your mobile phone.
- Virtual ID (VID) – virtual ID is a 16-digit unique code which can be availed by each Aadhar card holder for Aadhar authentication. The code is generated at UIDAI website and is valid for 24 hours. VID can be used to furnish Aadhar related authentications to different agencies in place of your actual Aadhar number. This protects your Aadhar number and also fulfils the requirement of Aadhar authentication. The VID can also be used to download e- Aadhar.
Updating Aadhar card details
There might be times when Aadhar card details need to be changed. For instance, any change in the address recorded in the card, phone number, name, etc. might happen and when these changes happen, the Aadhar card should be updated with the changed detail. A change in the details in the Aadhar card can be done online or offline. Online changes can be done by visiting the UIDAI website. Here are the processes for each –
Aadhar card linking
Linking of Aadhar card has become necessary in many instances like in case of a bank account, PAN card, insurance policies, investments, etc. Aadhar card linking is an easy process which can be done online using your Aadhar card number and registered mobile number. You would just have to enter your Aadhar card number and an OTP would be sent to your registered mobile number. Once you enter the OTP, the linking process would be completed.
Here are the different processes of linking Aadhar to various avenues –
- Linking Aadhar with bank account
To link your Aadhar card with your bank account, there are various ways. You can link through net banking facility available with your bank account, by visiting the branches of the bank, through the bank’s ATM, by sending a SMS, through phone banking facility or by using the mobile application of your bank.
(To know more click here)
(To know the linking process of different banks, click on the relevant bank names – SBI, ICICI, HDFC, Bank of Baroda, Punjab National Bank, Axis Bank)
- Linking Aadhar with PAN Card
Linking of Aadhar with PAN card can be done using any of the three ways. The first is through the website of the income tax department without logging into your account. The second way is also through the website of the income tax department but here you link by logging into your account. The third way is to send a SMS to UIDAI to link your Aadhar and PAN.
(To know more click here)
- Linking Aadhar with Ration Card
To link your Aadhar card with your ration card, you can visit a PDS centre or a ration office and link offline. You can also link online by visiting the Aadhar seeding application portal and furnishing your Aadhar number and ration card number. Lastly, linking can also be done by sending a SMS to UIDAI.
(To know more click here)
Retrieve Lost or Forgotten EID/UID
It often happens that we forget or lost our EID or UID. But there is nothing to worry you can still retrieve lost EID or UID by following some simple steps:
- Visit site https://resident.uidai.gov.in/
- Select “My Aadhar” , select “retrieve lost or forgotten” from the drop down
- Enter require details
- You will get all the details.
You can order reprinting of your Aadhar card in case you have lost aadhar. Just visit https://resident.uidai.gov.in/ then click on “My Aadhar” and choose”Order Aadhar Reprint” form the dropdown, then fill the required details and its done.
Virtual ID is a temporary 16-digit no. which is aligned with your Aadhar Card.It can be used in lieu of aadhar whenever e-KYC is required. You can get your Virtual ID thorough surfing on https://resident.uidai.gov.in/ >My Aadhar> Aadhar services>Generate VID> its done.
e-KYC is shareable document for verification and it can be used by any Aadhar card holder.To generate e-KYC, all you have to do is generate digitally signed UIDAI details of the user. This should contain mobile no., name , address, DOB etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q- Can a foreign citizen apply and avail an Aadhar card?
Yes, a foreign citizen can avail an Aadhar card if he/she has lived in India for a total period of 182 days in a financial year. The Aadhar card would, however, not serve as a proof of citizenship of the foreigner.
Q- What is the cost of Aadhar card enrolment?
Aadhar card enrolment is free of cost. No fee is charged from applicants applying for an Aadhar card first time. However, if any update is made in the card, a fee of INR 50 would be applicable.
Q- Can a citizen of India apply for Aadhar card when he is residing in a foreign country?
NRIs can apply for an Aadhar card even when they live in foreign countries. However, to apply for the card the NRI should be physically present in India for submitting his biometric details.
Q- Is Aadhar linking mandatory?
In many cases it has been made mandatory to link Aadhar. Some instances include linking of Aadhar card with bank account, PAN card, mobile number, investments, etc.
Q- When is a blue coloured Aadhar card issued?
A blue coloured Aadhar card is issued when the applicant is a minor child aged 0 to 5 years. Once the child attains 5 years the Aadhar card becomes invalid. The child would again have to apply for a new Aadhar card which would be similar to other Aadhar cards issued by the UIDAI.
Q- How to update my address in Aadhaar?
Ans: An applicant can get his address updated in Aadhaar when he relocates to some other place. The address can be updated as many times as the person changes his address of residence. Here’s how to change the address in Aadhaar online:
- Visit the Aadhaar Self Service Update Portal on UIDAI’s website.
- Enter your Aadhaar number and click on Send OTP
- Enter the OTP and security code to proceed
- Now select the address option for updating it
- Enter your current residential address and confirm it
- Now select the relevant proof of address
- Select your BPO for authentication
- Your request will be submitted and an Update Request number (URN) will be generated.
Q- What will happen if I don’t update my address?
Ans. If the address is not updated, then the details of your aadhaar will not match with other IDs and Aadhar is the basic document. It can lead you to cost heavy.
Q- Can the mobile company store my biometrics taken at the time of SIM verification and use them for other purposes later?
Ans: No one, including, mobile phone companies can store or use your biometrics taken at the time of Aadhaar verification and linking. The biometrics are encrypted as soon as Aadhaar holder places his finger on fingerprint sensor and this encrypted data is sent to UIDAI for verification. Aadhaar (Authentication) Regulations 2016, strictly prohibit any requesting entity which includes mobile phone companies, banks etc from storing, sharing or publishing the finger-prints for any reason whatsoever and neither shall it retain any copy of such fingerprints. Any violation of this provision is a punishable offence under the Aadhaar Act 2016.
Q- What can I do if I don’t have any address proof accepted by UIDAI?
Ans: Yes, in the absence of any documentary Proof of Address (PoA) you can still update your current address in your Aadhaar with the help of an Address Verifier and by sending an online request for an Address Validation Letter. You can update the address where you are presently residing with the consent and authentication of the address verifier (a family member, relative, friends, landlord, etc.) who is willing to let you use their address as proof.
Q- How many days will it take for the address to get updated in Aadhaar?
Ans: It will take maximum 10-15 days to get the updated Aadhar card. The aadharletter with updates will be sent to your address when the update/correction in name, address, date of birth and gender are processed. For update of your mobile number, the notification for the update will be sent to the given mobile number.
Q- What documents can be submitted as address proof to get the address updated?
Ans: The following documents are accepted by the UIDAI as address proof for Aadhaar registration:
- Passbook or Bank Statement.
- Account statement or passbook of the Post Office.
- Ration Card.
- Voter Identification card.
- Driving licence of the applicant.
- Photo identification cards issued by the Government.
- PSU issued Service photo ID card with address.
- Previous 3 months’ electricity bill.
- Water bill as long as it is not more than 3 months’ old.
- Previous three months’ landline bill related to telephone.
- Receipt showing the Property Tax of the last 3 months.
- Last three months’ Credit Card statement.Insurance policy.
- Photo and a letter with address signed by the bank on letterhead.
- Signed letter with address and photo on the letterhead of the company issued by the registered office.
- Photo and signed letter with address issued by a well-known educational enterprise on their letterhead.
- Job card of NREGA.
- Arms licence.
- Pensioner card.
- Freedom fighter card.
- Kisan passbook.
- CGHS card.
- ECHS card.
- Address certificate along with a photo on their letterhead that is issued either by an MP, MLA, Gazetted Officer or Tehsildar.Address Certificate issued by the Village Panchayat head or any authority equivalent to them for rural areas.
- Assessment order of the Income Tax.
- Registration certificate of vehicle.
- Registered agreement for sale, lease or rent of the applicant’s residential address.
- Photo and address card by the Department of Posts.
- Caste and Domicile certificate along with a photo that the State Government has issued.
- Previous 3 month’s bill of gas connection.
- Either a handicapped medical certificate or a disability Identification card that is issued by either a State Government, UT Government or any Administrations
Spouse’s or partner’s passport.
- For minors, parents’ passport is required.
Q- The UIDAI has all my data including biometrics, bank account, PAN etc. Will it be used to track my activities
Ans: Absolutely false. UIDAI database has only the following information -
(a) Your name, address, DOB, gender, date of birth
(b) Ten finger prints, two IRIS scans, facial photograph
(c) mobile number and email ID .
Rest assured, UIDAI does not have your information about family, caste, religion, education, bank accounts, shares, mutual funds, financial and property details, health records etc and will never have these information in its database. In fact, Aadhaar Act 2016 specifically prohibits UIDAI from controlling, collecting, keeping or maintaining any information about the purpose of authentication either by itself or through any entity.
Q- Why am I being asked to link all my bank accounts with Aadhaar?
Ans: The government has made it mandatory for financial institutions, including banks, to verify and link Aadhaar of their customers with their accounts. After the Supreme Court's order, the deadline to link Aadhaar with bank accounts and other services has been extended indefinitely till it gives final verdict.