In India, the Aadhaar card is one of the most prominent and most useful government-issued documents. Introduced back in 2009, Aadhaar is now in the hands of almost all Indians in 2022. The card is being used as ID proof in India for KYC/e-KYC, address proof, name proof, and Date of Birth.
The Aadhaar card consists of a unique 12-digit number along with the name, DoB, Gender, card number, and address. With multiple use cases for Aadhaar card, it can often be exposed and over the past few years we have seen many cases of Aadhaar card data being leaked and in some cases being misused.
To tackle these issues, UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) has come up with a couple of additional useful features to prevent getting the Aadhaar card number in the wrong hands. The first one is the Masked Aadhaar card and the second one is called the Virtual ID. The latter one essentially generates a unique 16-digit number and maps the same to your Aadhaar card. In this article, we will take a look at what a Virtual ID is and how to download the same in multiple ways using the app as well as the official website.
What is Aadhaar Virtual ID?
Aadhaar Virtual ID is also referred to as VID. It is a unique 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. The authentication may be performed using VID in a manner similar to using the 12-digit Aadhaar number. It is not possible to derive an Aadhaar number from VID, which is the biggest takeaway from the VID’s usage.
How to Generate Aadhaar Virtual ID Online
The first way to generate the VID is by visiting the official website, which is a simple and quick way to get the VID.
- Visit the myAadhaar website
- Click on “Login”
- Enter your Aadhaar Number
- Enter the Captcha
- Click on “Send OTP”
- Once OTP is verified, you will be taken to the Aadhaar Dashboard, select Generate Virtual ID
- Select “Generate VID”
- Click on “Next”
- You will get a message on the screen with a new generated VID and a message will be sent to your registered mobile number as well
- Now, you can click on “Go to Dashboard” and logout by clicking on your profile icon
How to Generate Aadhaar Virtual ID Using mAadhaar App
This method is for those who prefer a mobile app. The mAadhaar app is a feature-filled app with all services related to Aadhaar. The app is available for free on both Android and iOS platforms.
- Download and install the mAadhaar app
- Sign in/Sign up to the app by providing the necessary details
- Open the app
- Under “All Services”, tap on “Generate Virtual ID”
- Enter your 12 digit Aadhaar Number (or VID if you want to get a new VID again)
- Enter the security Captcha
- Tap on Request OTP
- Enter the OTP on the next screen and tap on “Generate VID”
- Once the OTP is verified, you will get the VID on your screen and a message will be sent to your registered mobile number
- You can tap on the copy icon next to the VID to copy the VID to your clipboard
Once you have generated your VID, you can use it for almost any Aadhaar based service and application.
Features of Aadhaar Virtual ID
Here are some features of VID that you need to be aware of
- Aadhaar Virtual ID is a randomly generated unique 16-digit number
- The VID will be mapped to your Aadhaar number
- VID has no expiration date
- Once a new VID is generated, the old VID becomes inactive
- Most agencies have already started accepting VID instead of full Aaadhaar number
- You can generate as many VIDs as you want, there is no limit
- Agencies or apps or any services won’t be able to retrieve your Aadhaar number using VID
- While VID is not mandatory, it is better to use there wherever possible to protect your Aadhaar number
- Using Aadhaar VID, only your name, address DoB, and gender will be revealed
- Agencies should not store VID in any database or logs
- Aadhaar number holder consent is necessary for VID-based authentication
- Agency is required to inform the Aadhaar number holder of the purpose of authentication and collect explicit consent for performing authentication.
Why Do We Need Aadhar Virtual ID?
Over the past few years, there have been multiple reports of Aadhaar data being leaked online, which has raised questions over security and privacy. VID is one way to protect your 12-digit Aadhaar number as it generates a unique 16-digit VID which is mapped to your Aadhaar number. However, in the whole process, your Aadhaar number will not be revealed.
I have my Enrolment ID. Can I generate a virtual ID?
No, you will need your 12-digit Aadhaar number to generate the VID. As of now, there is no provision to generate VID using Enrolment ID.
Can I generate a Virtual ID without an Aadhaar card?
No, you need to have an Aadhaar card or at least a 12-digit Aadhaar number to generate VID.
I have not linked my mobile with Aadhaar. Can I generate my VID?
No, since the VID generation depends on OTP-based authentication to generate the ID, it is mandatory to register your mobile number with Aadhaar. Check out our guide on how to link your Aadhaar card with your mobile.
What is the validity of VID?
As of now, there is no expiry period defined for VID. A VID will be valid till the time a new VID is generated by the Aadhaar number holder.
Can an agency/anyone store VID?
In short, the answer is No. Since VID is temporary and can be changed by the Aadhaar number holder only, storing VID has no value. Agencies should not store VID in any database or logs, as per the official guidelines.
Can VID be used for OTP or biometrics or demographics authentication?
Yes. VID can be used in lieu of Aadhaar number in Authentication API input. Various entities have already updated their Aadhaar authentication application to accept VID as input for authentication.
Can anyone else generate VID for me?
No one else can generate VID unless they have your full Aadhaar number and OTP. Even entities like AUA/KUA can generate VID on behalf of the Aadhaar number holder.
Are Virtual IDs Secure?
Since VIDs are generated to protect your 12-digit biometric number by masking it and generating a 16-digit randomly generated VID instead, it is safe and secure to use.
How Does Virtual ID Work?
The Virtual ID or VID will be mapped with the Aadhaar number. However, it is a random 16-digit generated and it is unique as well. This means only those who have access to your VID can authenticate and get the necessary data or authenticate and verify you.
Whenever you generate a new VID, for instance, to get a new SIM, the agency will enter the VID to the app/system and then get a UID token that authenticates the Aadhaar. Once verified, the app will provide limited data like name, phone number, and address. All in all, the agency will be able to verify you without having to know your 12-digit Aadhaar number.
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