Aadhaar, a 12-digit unique identity number, for Indian residents based on their biometric and demographic data, was launched in January 2009. As of July 2018, there are over 1.22 billion Aadhaar card holders in India. Aadhaar provides a universal identity to every Indian resident. Today, billions of Indian residents use Aadhaar and it is a widely accepted mandatory KYC document.
Aadhaar is issued after gathering some very critical and sensitive information about the user such as demographic and biometric information. To ensure the safety and security of this information, the UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) has recently come up with the Aadhaar VID.
VID is a temporary, revocable 16-digit random number mapped with the Aadhaar number. VID can be used in lieu of Aadhaar number whenever authentication or e-KYC services are performed. This includes things like mobile phone verification, bank account verification, or issuing of tatkal passports.
Here we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions about the Aadhaar Virtual ID to help you through this new initiative.
1) How do I apply for Aadhaar Virtual ID?
You have to possess an Aadhaar number to generate a VID. You can generate Aadhaar VID by visiting the UIDAI website. Enter your Aadhaar number in the box provided. Type in your security code. Click on ‘Send OTP’. A One-Time-Password will be sent to your registered mobile number. Type in your OTP in the space provided and select either ‘Generate VID’ or ‘Retrieve VID’. Click on ‘Submit’. You will now receive your 16-digit VID number.
2) Can I regenerate Aadhaar VID and if so how soon can I regenerate
There is no limit on the number of times you can regenerate Aadhaar VID. You can regenerate VID after the expiry of the minimum validity period. Currently, the minimum validity period is set to 1 day, which means that an Aadhaar holder can re-generate a new VID a day after he/she has generated the first one.
3) When does the Aadhaar Virtual ID expire?
Your 16-digit VID remains valid until you generate a new VID.
4) How will Virtual ID protect my data?
The VID is a randomly generated 16-digit number. It is not possible to obtain the original Aadhaar number based on the VID. Further, VID can be re-generated at the will of the user. So if a third party receives your VID, you can choose to generate a new one and render the old number invalid. With this, your Aadhaar number is not leaked to anyone.
5) Do I have to separately link my Virtual ID with my Aadhaar Card?
Well, you generate a Virtual ID for your Aadhaar number. So once you generate the number on UIDAI website, the Virtual ID is automatically linked to your Aadhaar card. You don’t need to do anything else for it.
6) Do I have to connect my Aadhaar VID with my bank account, phone number, gas subscription and other facilities? Is it mandatory?
No. While you have to link your Aadhaar Card with your bank account, mobile number, PAN card, etc. you do not have to link your VID with anything.
7) If I lose/forget my Virtual ID, what should I do?
You can go back to the UIDAI website and repeat the process in order to generate another VID.
8) I have not linked my mobile number to Aadhaar. Will I be able to generate VID?
No, you will not be able to generate VID if your mobile number is not linked to Aadhaar. This is because the OTP (one-time password) which is required for VID generation is sent on the registered mobile number.
9) Is it compulsory to generate VID?
No, it is not compulsory. You can still furnish your Aadhaar instead of VID
10) Is it necessary to provide consent for VID-based authentication?
Yes. It is mandatory to get the consent of the Aadhaar holder for VID-based authentication. The agency needing the authentication needs to inform the Aadhaar number holder the purpose for authentication and explicitly obtain the consent for performing the authentication.
The security layer added by VID is a great step – it can definitely be considered as a welcome addition to increasing the security of our Aadhaar information.