The identification system in India is known as Aadhaar, a 12-digit number given to all citizens by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).
It is obtained by giving one’s demographic and biometric information at designated centres. This program was launched by former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in 2009.
Nandan Nilekani launched the logo and the brand name ‘Aadhaar’ in April 2010, meaning ‘base’ or ‘foundation’, with Pankaj Kumar as CEO.
On September 29, 2010, the first Aadhaar card in India was issued to Ranjana Sonawane from Nandurbar district of Maharashtra.
Eligibility for Aadhaar Enrollment
The purpose of issuing Aadhaar to Indians by UIDAI is to provide them with a document that can be used as an identity proof.
This card will also provide specific benefits and subsidies to those citizens who have an Aadhaar card.
The eligibility requirements for Aadhaar enrollment are the following:
- The applicant is an Indian resident citizen living in India.
- The applicant is a resident of India living abroad.
- A foreigner who resides in India may apply for an Aadhaar.
- Even newborns can be enrolled for a special type of Aadhaar known as Baal Aadhaar.
Aadhaar Card for Resident Indians
Every Indian citizen is eligible to apply for an Aadhaar card, and it has now become mandatory for taxpayers to link their PAN with Aadhaar if they want to file their tax return.
Aadhaar Card for Minors
To apply for an Aadhaar card for a child, you will need to provide the birth certificate as well as proofs of parents’ identification and address.
They will have to update their biometric data as soon as they turn five and fifteen years old. The Baal Aadhaar for children under five years is blue.
Aadhaar for Foreigners
A person’s Aadhaar card does not constitute a citizen of India, but rather just provides proof of that person’s identification. Anyone resident in India for more than 182 days within the last 12 months are eligible for an Indian Aadhar card, regardless of their country citizenship.
Documents Required for Aadhaar Enrollment
The document options for Aadhaar are rather specific.
The following is a list of the documents required for Aadhaar Card.
- Passport (must be original and valid)
- A PAN card issued by the Income Tax Department of India.
- Ration Card or PDS Photo Card
- Your Voter Identification Card
- Driving Licence
- National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme job card
- Photo Bank ATM Card
- If the applicant is a minor, provide his or her certificate of birth (birth certificate)
To apply for a new or to update details in your Aadhaar card, download the form from Aadhar card’s official website and visit an enrollment center.
How to Apply for Aadhaar Card
Now that we know how important Aadhaar is and the benefits it provides, the next thing to ask is – How to get the Aadhaar card? Aadhar Cards can be obtained by following a systemized process.
At the time of Aadhaar enrollment, necessary information is required. The applicant may check the enrollment status online as well.
The step by step application process for the Aadhaar card is as follows:
1. Aadhaar Enrollment Center
- You can apply for an Aadhaar card at the nearest authorized Aadhaar enrollment centre.
- Proof of Identity and Proof of Address is required when applying for an Aadhaar card.
- To find an Aadhaar enrollment center, you can use the online portal of UIDAI.
2. Fill Out the Aadhaar Enrollment Form
- After visiting an Aadhaar enrolment centre, you are required to fill out the Aadhaar Enrolment form. This form is free and you can get it from the UIDAI website.
- After you fill the form, submit it at your nearest Aadhaar Enrollment Center.
3. Your Photography and Biometric Data Collection
- After you submit the form, the process of enrollment happens.
- In this method, your picture will be taken along with your fingerprints. You will also need to have their eye scanned.
- When filling out the enrollment form, be sure to double-check your information and make any necessary changes if you spot an error.
4. Acknowledgment Slip
- Once you have enrolled for Aadhaar, you’ll be notified by an acknowledgement slip that can be used instead of your original Aadhaar card until it reaches your inbox in the mail.
- Your acknowledgement slip number can be used to check Aadhaar status online and through the IVR.
5. Dispatch of Aadhaar Card
- If you are successful in the Aadhaar verification process, then you will get a notification through email or by phone.
- Once this process is done, in a few days, the Aadhaar card will be mailed to your verified residential address.
How to Link PAN with Aadhaar?
People in India must link their PAN card to their Aadhaar card for filing an Income Tax Return. (PAN stands for permanent account number and is a number that can be used to identify you.) You should link your PAN with Aadhaar before June 30, 2021.
Linking the PAN with Aadhaar is accomplished by
- You can link your PAN with Aadhaar on the e-filing website.
- You can link your Aadhaar number to PAN via text message.
Aadhaar Card Benefits
The Government of India issues an Aadhaar number to every Indian citizen that can be used as proof of identity everywhere in the country.
There are a range of benefits from having an Aadhaar card, which include:
Although Aadhaar is not a citizenship document, it is an identity card accepted by all governmental and non-governmental organisations.
It has the photograph of the card holder as well as biometric details such as fingerprints and iris scans. The QR code on the back can be scanned to validate whether or not information printed on the Aadhaar card is correct.
Proof of Address or Residence
The Aadhaar card contains the residential address of the holder.
It’s considered a valid proof of residence for various governmental processes as well as non-governmental verification purposes, and can be used in order to apply for financial products such as share market investments, mutual funds, home loans, credit cards or while claiming benefits like filing ITR.
Eligible for Government Subsidy
The government has made it compulsory for people to link their bank accounts with their Aadhaar Card. This will help you take advantage of government subsidies like Atal Pension Yojna and Pahal. You’ll get the subsidy deposited directly into your bank account.
These days, banks need only an Aadhaar card and PAN to open a bank account for the applicant. Jan Dhan accounts also require the Aadhaar number.
However, it is not compulsory to link your bank account to an Aadhaar card.
Income tax filings will no longer be processed without an Aadhaar card, which means it’s mandatory for taxpayers to provide one when they file their taxes.
If a taxpayer doesn’t submit the details of their Aadhaar by June 30th 2020, their ITR application will not process.
Mobile Phone Connection
All the telecom companies in India now provide phone connections after accepting Aadhaar as proof of identity/address. Once an Aadhaar is provided, the connection gets activated in a matter of minutes.
To obtain a gas connection, you must provide your Aadhaar.
To receive subsidies on the current gas connection, you will have to fill out the KYC and link it with your bank account under the Pahal (DBTL) scheme.
You could use your Aadhaar card to complete your e-KYC for mutual fund investments. If you have your Aadhaar card, opening an investment account is still possible.
FAQs on Aadhaar Card
What is an Aadhaar Card?
The Aadhaar card is an 12-digit unique identification number assigned by the Unique Identification Authority of India that can serve as a proof of address and identity.
What is the validity of my downloaded Aadhaar Card?
This is a permanent ID card, valid for the duration of your life.
What is Aadhaar authentication and what are its benefits?
The process of verifying your identity using Aadhaar is known as authentication.
Authentication with an authenticated Aadhaar will help with establishing identity, improving transparency and efficiency in service delivery, and confirming demographic information.
Can a US citizen apply for an Aadhaar Card?
If a US citizen has been residing in India for the past 182 days continuously or in parts in a year, they can apply for an Aadhaar card. In many cases this will serve as proof of Indian citizenship and allow you to receive certain benefits such as a SIM card for your phone.
My mobile number is not registered in Aadhaar, how can I get my mobile number updated in Aadhaar?
To link your mobile number with an Aadhaar card, you must visit one of the Aadhaar Enrollment Centers to submit a request for phone updating.
What information is contained in the e-Aadhaar QR code?
The Aadhaar QR code contains a person’s demographic information in the form of personal details, including their name, date of birth, gender and masked Aadhaar number.
My first Aadhaar application was rejected, can I re-apply?
Most people who apply for an Aadhaar are rejected due to issues with quality or technology. You may reapply at any time if your application is denied.
I have lost my Aadhaar letter. Can I get a reprint?
Yes, the UIDAI has introduced a new service – Order Aadhaar Reprint for Rs.50.
Go to the UIDAI website or through the mAadhaar app and apply for this service which will allow you reprint your Aadhaar.
I do not have access to internet/mAadhaar app. How do I access online services?
You can sign up for this service by sending an SMS to 1947 from your registered mobile number. You will then be able to use the mAadhaar app, which grants features such as locking and unlocking biometrics, generating a Virtual ID, etc.