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Aadhaar Virtual ID

To prevent data misuse, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has recently introduced a new security layer termed as Aadhaar Virtual ID.

The Aadhaar Virtual ID together with the user's biometrics will provide authorized agencies with limited details, like name, address and photograph, which are enough for e-KYC.

What is an Aadhaar Virtual ID?

The Aadhaar Virtual ID (VID) consists of a 16-digit, randomly-assigned figure that can be quoted as an alternative to providing the Aadhaar number. The Aadhaar Virtual ID provides limited KYC access and the holder will not be required to share his or her Aadhaar number at the time of authentication. The Aadhaar virtual ID can be generated through the UIDAI portal.

The government-run organization has made it mandatory for all agencies undertaking Aadhaar authentication to accept Aadhaar Virtual ID from the applicants starting from 1 June, 2018.

How to Generate Aadhaar Virtual ID

At present, an Aadhaar Virtual ID is valid for a minimum of one day. The holder can re-generate a new Virtual ID only a day after he or she has generated the first one. No form of expiration period has been defined for the Aadhaar Virtual ID yet - it stays valid until the user generates a new one.

Following are the steps to take to generate an Aadhaar Virtual ID:

  • Step 1 - Visit the official website of UIDAI - uidai.gov.in

  • Step 2 - Under Aadhaar Services, click on "Virtual ID (VID) Generator"

  • Step 3 - Enter your Aadhaar number and type in the security code

  • Step 4 - Click on “Send OTP” and enter the OTP you receive on your registered number

  • Step 5 - You will have two options - to generate a new VID or retrieve the one you have already generated. Select your option and you will receive the Aadhaar Virtual ID on your mobile number.

Why Do We Need Aadhar Virtual ID?

The UIDAI launched the Virtual ID facility to improve the security surrounding users' personal data mentioned on their Aadhaar card by masking it, instead generating a 16-digit randomly generated VID. Through the use of Virtual IDs, service providers will not be able to retrieve the Aadhaar number of the applicant. The authentication is carried out as usual. Since the Aadhaar number cannot be accessed by agencies in any manner, it prevents potential misuse of the individual's Aadhaar details.

Features of the Aadhar Virtual ID

  1. The Virtual ID is a temporary 16-digit randomly generated number, which can be used in place of the Aadhaar number for authentication.

  2. The virtual ID will be valid until the user generates a new one.

  3. It can be generated on UIDAI's resident portal.

  4. There is no maximum limit on the generation of Aadhaar Virtual IDs.

  5. It offers limited KYC access, providing only need-based information for verification.

  6. There is no compulsion on the user's part to generate VIDs. An individual can furnish his or her Aadhaar number instead of the Virtual ID.

  7. Agencies do not have permission to store the Virtual ID or any other Aadhaar details taken for authentication. This prevents misuse of vital information.

  8. Starting 1 June, 2018, all agencies undertaking Aadhaar authentication have to accept VID from their users.

  9. It reduces agencies' burden of collecting Aadhaar number of every person and saving it for KYC purpose.

FAQs on Aadhaar Virtual ID

What is the limit to generate Virtual IDs in a month?

A user can generate as many Aadhaar Virtual IDs as he or she wants. At present, the Aadhaar Virtual ID is valid for a minimum of one day. The holder can re-generate a new Virtual ID only a day after he or she has generated the first one. No form of expiration period has yet been defined for the VID yet - it stays valid until the user generates a new one.

From when can I use the Aadhaar Virtual ID facility?

Aadhaar Virtual IDs were issued from 1 March, 2018. All agencies undertaking Aadhaar authentication are required to accept VIDs from their users starting 1 June, 2018. Users can generate new Aadhaar Virtual ID on the official website of the UIDAI- uidai.gov.in

Will all the retailers accept the Aadhaar Virtual ID?

From 1 June, 2018, all agencies undertaking Aadhaar authentication will have to accept VID from their users.

What will happen to previous Virtual ID if I get a new one?

On generating a new Aadhaar Virtual ID, the earlier ID will no longer be valid and be replaced by the new VID.

Do you need to continue using the same Virtual ID?

No, a user can generate new Aadhaar Virtual ID as and when he or she requires. However, it must be noted that the Aadhaar Virtual ID is valid for a minimum span of one day. The holder can re-generate a new Aadhaar Virtual ID only a day after he or she has generated the first one. No form of expiration period has yet been defined for the VID - it stays valid until the user generates a new one.

I have not linked my mobile with Aadhaar. Can I generate my VID?

The Aadhaar Virtual ID facility can only be accessed if the user's mobile number is registered in the UIDAI database. All Aadhaar-related online services are one-time password enabled and to avail this facility, registering your mobile number with UIDAI is a must.

I do not have an Aadhaar card. Can I get a Virtual ID?

No, this is not possible as the Virtual ID is generated against the Aadhaar number. If an individual does not have an Aadhaar card, he or she will first need to enrol for the same. On receiving the Aadhaar number, the user can generate the virtual ID

What if your personal data has already been accessed by an unauthorised individual? Can the Virtual ID help you in that case?

No, but you can get in touch with UIDAI service providers to help you out. The Aadhaar Virtual IDs are designed to limit the access that companies and agencies have on the data stored on the user's Aadhaar.

Why is a Virtual ID 16 digits long when your Aadhaar number is only 12 digits?

A user can generate multiple Virtual IDs on a single Aadhaar number. This would mean that the overall number of possible 16-digit Virtual IDs need to be far more than the total number of possible 12-digit Aadhaar numbers. This is the only plausible explanation behind UIDAI choosing 16 digits as for each Virtual ID.

Can an agency or company find out your Aadhaar number if they only have your Virtual ID?

The Aadhaar Virtual ID facility aims to improve the security surrounding users' personal data mentioned on their Aadhaar card by masking it, instead generating a 16-digit randomly generated VID. Through the use of Virtual IDs, service providers will not be able to retrieve the Aadhaar number of the applicant.

I have my Enrolment ID. Can I generate a virtual ID?

A virtual ID can only be generated against an Aadhaar number. For now, there is no facility to generate VID from the enrolment number.

Is it compulsory for you to generate a Virtual ID?

No, the use of Aadhaar Virtual ID is optional and not mandatory.

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