If you want to use your Aadhaar card as proof of identity or address, but have misplaced it or have simply forgotten to carry it, you can use e-Aadhaar instead. Just like your printed Aadhaar, popularly known as Aadhaar card, e-Aadhaar also carries your name, date of birth, address and photograph, along with the 12-digit unique Aadhaar number, and acts as a proof of identity, date of birth as well as address.
When can you use e-Aadhaar?
It is possible that you misplace the copy of the printed Aadhaar, also called the Aadhaar letter, which you originally received from the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI). Or that your original printed Aadhaar had some errors, which you rectified online or at an enrolment centre but have not received an updated Aadhaar letter from UIDAI.
In either case or even otherwise, you can download a copy of your Aadhaar from UIDAI's website. It works like the Aadhaar letter that UIDAI sends, except that it also has the download date and Aadhaar generation date for the Aadhaar number printed on it.
UIDAI had clarified in April last year that this downloaded Aadhaar or e-Aadhaar is a valid proof of identity. The Authority had issued this clarification in response to complaints that e-Aadhaar was not being accepted by various authorities.
"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," states Section 4(3) of Aadhaar Act, 2016.
"It is informed that downloaded Aadhaar (e-Aadhaar) carries name, address, gender, photo and date of birth details of the Aadhaar holder in similar form as in printed Aadhaar letter. The downloaded Aadhaar also contains date of Aadhaar generation and date of Aadhaar download. The downloaded Aadhaar (e-Aadhaar) is a digitally signed document by UIDAI as per IT Act, 2000 which provides for legal recognition of electronic records with digital signatures," the UIDAI circular states.
The circular further clarified that e-Aadhaar is a valid and secure electronic document which should be treated same as a printed Aadhaar letter. "Ministries/Departments/State Governments/agencies accepting printed Aadhaar as proof of identity are hereby required to accept downloaded Aadhaar (e-Aadhaar) also as a proof of identity and not to discriminate it vis-a-vis printed Aadhaar," the circular further stated.
You can access the UIDAI circular here: bit.ly/2HGzmaT.
How to download
The download Aadhaar option is available under the Aadhaar enrolment section of UIDAI website: eaadhaar.uidai. gov.in/. You have to enter your Aadhaar number or enrolment ID, name as with UIDAI, pincode of registered address and a security code. Like most other online Aadhaar services, this too requires access to your registered mobile number for OTP (one-time password). You can download your password-protected e-Aadhaar after entering the OTP. If you do not remember your Aadhaar number, you can still download it. For that, you will first have to retrieve your Aadhaar number by going to a link: resident.uidai.gov.in/find-uid-eid.
An OTP will be sent. Once you enter the OTP, your Aadhaar number will be sent to your email or mobile number. After that, follow the process mentioned above to download e-Aadhaar.
In arrangement with HT Syndication | MINT