To be identified as an Indian Citizen, every individual is required to have a valid identity proof. Aadhaar Card is one of them. Issued by the Government of India, the Aadhaar Card has become one of the most important documents for the identity of an individual. Besides serving as an identity proof, the Aadhaar card can also be used as an address proof of the individual. The card can be used for opening a bank account, for government subsidies and also for applying for a loan. Among the different documents issued by the Government of India for different purposes, the Aadhaar Card stands primarily as a proof of being a citizen of India as it is not issued to NRIs.
What is an Aadhaar Card?
Aadhaar Card is a unique identity card issued to every Indian citizen by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI). The card has a random combination of 12 numeric digits which are unique for each Aadhaar card holder. This 12-digit number is called the Aadhaar card number and is used to identify individuals. The card contains the demographic and biometric data of the individual and therefore is used for authentication purposes. An Aadhaar card is issued free of cost and individuals can voluntarily apply to enrol under the card.
Why do you require an Aadhaar card?
An Aadhaar card proves to be a useful document as it allows you to do various transactions smoothly. The Aadhaar card is a one-time issued document and it is valid for your lifetime. You just need to be an Indian citizen and you can easily get yourself an Aadhaar Card. Applying for the card is free and easy and when you have the card in your name you can get the following benefits from the card:
- You can use the card as a valid identity proof for getting yourself a passport, for opening a new bank account, to buy an insurance policy, etc.
- It can also be used as valid address proof if you do not have a passport or a driving license
- The Aadhaar card is a must for filing your income tax returns and when you have the card, you can mention its 12-digit unique identification number on your tax returns and file them easily
- If you are eligible for different kinds of subsidies offered by the Government, you need an Aadhaar card to avail of such subsidies
- The card contains all your personal and biometric details in a centralized database and helps in authentication wherever required
Given the benefits of Aadhaar and to make the card more easily accessible, the concept of e-Aadhaar is also offered by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI). E-Aadhaar is the Aadhaar card issued in an electronic format. If you have an Aadhaar card in your name, you can download an e- Aadhaar in soft copy and use it on the go. An e- Aadhaar is equally valid and accepted and it prevents the loss or theft of your Aadhaar card since you do not carry the Aadhaar card in physical form.
To download e- Aadhaar, you have to follow the below-mentioned steps –
- To download Aadhaar using the UIDAI website –
- Visit the official website of UIDAI which is https://uidai.gov.in/
- Go to ‘My Aadhaar’ and then choose ‘Download Aadhaar’
- You would be given three options of downloading your Aadhaar card– through Aadhaar number, through Enrolment ID and through Virtual ID. Choose a suitable option to download the Aadhaar card.
- If you are using your Aadhaar number for download, provide the 12-digit Aadhaar number mentioned on your Aadhaar card. Then, select ‘I want a masked Aadhaar’ to get a masked Aadhaar copy. A masked card would be one where the first eight digits of your Aadhaar number would be masked.
- If you are using the enrolment ID to download the Aadhaar card, choose ‘Enrolment ID (EID)’ and provide the 14-digit EID number available on the enrolment form. The date and time stamped on the enrolment form should also be entered. You can choose a masked card or a normal card to be downloaded and download the Aadhaar card.
- You can also use a Virtual ID (VID) for downloading your Aadhaar. However, in this case, you would have to first generate the Virtual ID and then download the Aadhaar. To generate the Virtual ID go back to the home page. Go to ‘Aadhaar Services’ and select ‘Virtual ID (VID) Generator’
Generate a Virtual ID by entering in the 12-digit Aadhaar number, a captcha code and verifying it by an OTP sent to your registered mobile number.
A virtual ID would be generated and you can use the ID to download your Aadhaar card.
- Whatever option you choose, you would have to provide a captcha code and generate an OTP
- The OTP would be sent to your registered mobile number
- Enter in the OTP and the Aadhaar card would be downloaded in a .pdf format.
- Downloading Aadhaar using mAadhaar application
You can download the mAadhaar application on your Smartphone and use it for downloading the Aadhaar card. Once you are registered on the mAadhaar application, here’s how you can download your Aadhaar card on your mobile –
- Open the application and choose ‘Download Aadhaar’
- There would be three choices for downloading the Aadhaar card just like on the UIDAI website – through Aadhaar number, Virtual ID (VID) number and Enrolment ID number
- If the ‘Aadhaar number’ option is chosen, the 12-digit Aadhaar card number would be needed. For the ‘Virtual ID Number’ option, the 16-digit virtual ID number would be needed. If you don’t have the VID number, the same can be generated through the option ‘Virtual ID Generator’ on the mAadhaar application. You would have to provide your 12-digit Aadhaar card number, captcha code and verify it by an OTP sent to your mobile number to generate the VID number. For the ‘Enrolment ID Number’ option, the 14-digit Enrolment ID needs to be entered. The number is available on the enrolment form along with the date and time. The number, date and time would have to be entered to download the Aadhaar card online.
- Whatever option you choose, after the Aadhaar number, EID number or VID number is provided, you would have to enter the captcha code
- Then you have to generate the OTP for verifying the download. Click on ‘Send OTP’ to generate the OTP
- The OTP would be sent to your registered mobile number which you should enter to begin the download
- Once the OTP is entered, the e- Aadhaar card would be downloaded and stored on your mobile phone.
Opening the e- Aadhaar card
Once the e- Aadhaar card is downloaded on your computer or Smartphone, you can open the downloaded copy to view and use your Aadhaar card for verification purposes. The downloaded e- Aadhaar card is in a .pdf format and it is password protected. You would, therefore, have to enter in the Aadhaar password to open the e- Aadhaar card on your computer or Smartphone.
What is the Aadhaar password?
The Aadhaar card password is a security key which is needed to open the electronic copy of the Aadhaar card which is downloaded online. The password is an alpha-numeric code which can contain special characters too.
Why is Aadhaar password needed?
The e- Aadhaar card is an important document which establishes the identity of an individual. If the electronic copy of the Aadhaar card falls in wrong hands, it can be misused. The Aadhaar password, therefore, makes the e- Aadhaar card safe and secure. It ensures that the Aadhaar card could be used only by the user of the card and not by any other individual.
How to know the e- Aadhaar password?
The e- Aadhaar password is a combination of your name and year of birth. It is a seven or an eight character key which is formed using the first four characters of your name and the year of your birth in YYYY format. The characters of your name used in the password are in the exact manner as they are contained in your Aadhaar card. Here are some examples of Aadhaar password for different names and birth years of individuals –
Name as on Aadhaar card
Year or birth
Forgetting the Aadhaar card password
The chances of forgetting the e- Aadhaar password are slim since the password is made up of your name and year of birth. You just need to remember your name as mentioned on the Aadhaar card and your year of birth and you can form the Aadhaar password yourself. The password would be needed every time that you download the e- Aadhaar card online on your computer or your Smartphone. Though you can download the card multiple times, the Aadhaar password would remain the same.
Things to remember
Here are few important points which you should remember with respect to your Aadhaar card password –
- The name contained in your Aadhaar card would be considered for making up the Aadhaar card password. If your name is Murli Krishna Mehra but in your Aadhaar card you have recorded the name as M.K. Mehra and the year of birth is 1980, the e-Aadhaar password would be M.K.1980. It would not be MURL1980. So, make a password using the name mentioned on your Aadhaar card.
- If you have any confusion in identifying the name in your Aadhaar card, use the physical Aadhaar card and make up the password
- The Aadhaar password should be kept safe and secured. You should not share password with anybody else
- Do not download your online Aadhaar card on a public network where there are high chances of cyber frauds.
The e- Aadhaar card is useful as it eliminates the need to carry your physical Aadhaar card with you every time and everywhere. This minimises the risk of loss of the physical Aadhaar card and also comes in handy when you forget to carry your Aadhaar card with you and the card is needed to authenticate any transaction. Moreover, the e- Aadhaar card is secured through the Aadhaar password which can be used by you to access your e- Aadhaar anytime that you need to. So, download the e- Aadhaar card for its convenience and keep the Aadhaar password handy to use the e- Aadhaar card whenever needed.