Aadhaar Card: Digital Identity of Indians - All You Need to Know

What is Aadhaar? How to apply for Aadhaar Online at What is the step by step process to download or print e-Aadhaar Online? How to Update Aadhaar Details Online? How to add email id or phone number to Aadhaar? These are some common questions often searched by people about this 12-digit digital identity provided by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to Indian residents after performing the required verification process. Read on for complete details.
May 8, 2019 17:13 IST
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Aadhaar Card - Unique Identification Authority of India
Aadhaar Card - Unique Identification Authority of India

Aadhaar is predominantly used for Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) by the government. Many public subsidies and unemployment benefit schemes such as MGNREGA and LPG have linked to Aadhaar based system for verification. In these Direct Benefit Transfer schemes, the subsidy money is directly transferred to a bank account which is linked to Aadhaar. Read on to find out all there is know about the Aadhaar card.

Table of Contents: Click to jump directly

• What is Aadhaar?

• Salient features of Aadhaar

• Eligibility for Aadhaar

• Aadhaar Enrolment Process

• Usage of Aadhaar

• Aadhaar Card Download – Steps to Download & Print e-Aadhaar Online

• Aadhaar Card Verification

• How to Verify Aadhaar Linked Mobile Number and Email Id?

• How to Update Aadhaar Details Online?

• Frequently asked questions about Aadhaar

In this article, you will get the complete details about Aadhaar and also you will get to know about the complete application process to apply for Aadhaar and how to update details of Aadhaar Card online. After that, you will see the answers of frequently asked questions based on Aadhaar.

Aadhaar: What is Aadhaar?

It is a 12 digit number issued by UIDA (Unique Identification Authority of India) to the residents of India after completing the verification process laid down by the Authority. The Unique Identification Authority of India was established in 2009. It is a statutory authority established by the government of India, under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

Salient features and benefits of Aadhaar:


A person needs to enroll for Aadhaar only once. After de-duplication, only one Aadhaar shall be generated. In case, the person enrolls more than once, the subsequent registrations will be rejected. This is accomplished through the process of demographic and biometric de-duplication(the process compares the resident’s demographic and biometric information, collected during the process of enrolment, with the records in the UIDAI database to verify if the resident is already in the database or not).

Portability: It can be authenticated anywhere online

Aadhaar gives nationwide portability as it can be authenticated anywhere online. This is critical as millions of Indians migrate from one state to another or from the rural area to urban centres etc.

Random Number: Does not apprehend

The Aadhaar enrolment process does not apprehend features like caste, religion, income, health, geography, etc. Aadhaar number is a random number devoid of any intelligence.

Scalable technology architecture:

Aadhaar Authentication service is built to handle 100 million authentications a day. Resident’s data is stored centrally and authentication can be done online from anywhere in the country. The architecture is open & scalable.

Open source technologies:

Its complete architecture is open source it precludes dependence on specific computer hardware, specific storage, specific OS, specific database vendor, or any specific vendor technologies to scale. It is built using open source or open technologies and structured to address scalability in a vendor-neutral manner and allow co-existence of heterogeneous hardware within the same application.

Eligibility for Aadhaar:

There are three main processes for enrolment:

- Document Based

- Head of Family (Hof)-based

- Introducer-based

Let's learn each process one by one

Document Based

Submission of one valid Proof of Identity (PoI) document & one valid Proof of Address (PoA) document.

Head of Family (Hof)-based

Head of family (HoF) may introduce family members by means of documents, which establish the Proof of Relationship (PoR).


• In the absence of valid Proof of Identity (PoI) document and valid Proof of Address (PoA) document, an introducer’s service can be leveraged. An introducer is a person appointed by the Registrar and should have a valid Aadhaar number.

• At the enrolment Centre, please fill your personal details within the Enrolment Form. Your photo, finger-prints and iris scan will also be taken as a part of the enrolment. You can review the details you have provided and make corrections during enrolment itself. You will get an acknowledgement slip with an enrolment number and other details captured during enrolment. Any correction in the enrolment data can be done within 96 hours of enrolment by visiting the enrolment centre with the acknowledgement slip.

• You need to enrol only once, as multiple enrolments will result in rejections unless it is advised by UIDAI.

• The waiting time for Aadhaar may vary from 60-90 days after receipt of resident data packets in CIDR.

Aadhaar Enrolment Process

For the Aadhaar process enrolment, the person needs to visit the nearby Aadhaar enrolment centre and needs to fill the form and submit the address proof and other necessary documents. After getting the biometric and demographic data captured, and finally, obtaining an acknowledgement slip (containing enrolment ID). The UIDAI complete details of enrollment centre and residents can access the details online.

Usage of Aadhaar

Aadhaar and its platform are strengthening the delivery mechanism of social welfare schemes focused on the poor and most vulnerable sections of society.

How is it helping government and service providers?
It is providing the administration with accurate data on beneficiaries, enabling direct benefit programs, and allowing the government departments or service providers to coordinate and optimize various schemes.


It helped in curbing leakages and ensuring that services are delivered to the intended beneficiaries only. This includes subsidized food and kerosene delivery to Public Distribution System (PDS) beneficiaries, worksite attendance of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) beneficiaries, etc.

How is it helping residents?

It is providing a portable proof of identity. The digital identity can be verified through Aadhaar authentication system online anytime, anywhere, thus enabling mobility to millions of people who migrate from one part of the country to another.

Aadhaar Card Download – Steps to Download & Print e-Aadhaar Online

UIDAI sends Aadhaar card to the individuals on their registered email address. One can also download the Aadhaar Card online from the official website of UIDAI. The e-Aadhaar can be printed and it is also accepted.

There are several methods to download and print Aadhaar card, some of them are as follow

Aadhaar card download by name & date of birth

Step I: Open the link

Step II: Type your complete name and either your registered mobile number or e-mail ID along with the security code

Step III: Click the “Send OTP” button

Step IV: Type the OTP received on your registered mobile number and click on the “Verify OTP” button

Step V: Shortly you will get the message that the Aadhaar number is sent to your registered mobile number

Step VI: After receiving your Aadhaar enrolment number on your mobile, visit the e-Aadhaar page on the official UIDAI website

Step VII: Click “I have Aadhaar” option

Step VIII: Type details like Aadhaar enrolment number, full name, pin code, verify image captcha

Step IX: Click “Request OTP”

Step X: You will get an OTP on your mobile number. Type this OTP and click “Download Aadhaar” to download

Download E-Aadhaar card with Aadhaar number

Here is the step by step process to download Aadhaar card

Step I: Open the official Aadhaar website on a web browser

Step II: Visit the link or click on ‘Download Aadhaar’ option

Step III: Select the “Aadhaar” option under “I Have” section

Step IV: Enter your 12-digit Aadhaar number. Select the “Masked Aadhaar” option if you do not want to show full digits of your Aadhaar number

Step V: Enter the Captcha Verification Code & click “Send OTP” option to receive the one time password on your registered mobile number

Step VI: Type the OTP received on your mobile number

Step VII: Finish the survey and click “Verify and Download” to download the e-Aadhaar card.

Download Aadhaar card by enrolment number

Step I: Visit

Step II: Click “Download Aadhaar” option

Step III: You will be redirected to a new URL

Step IV: Enter your 14-digit enrolment ID number and 14-digit time along with the date

Step V: Enter your full name, pin code, image captcha code

Step VI: Click “Request OTP” to generate an OTP

Step VII: Click on the “Confirm” button.

Step VIII: You will receive the OTP on your registered mobile number

Step IX: Type the OTP & click on the “Download Aadhaar” option

• Download E-Aadhaar by Using Virtual ID

Step I: Open

Step II: Click “Download Aadhaar” option

Step III: You will be redirected to the URL

Step IV: Type your 14-digit enrolment ID number along with time and date values

Step V: Type your full name and other details & verify the image captcha code

Step VI: Click “Request OTP” to generate an OTP

Step VII: Press “Confirm” Button.

Step VIII: You will receive the OTP on your registered mobile number

Step IX: Enter the OTP & click on the “Download Aadhaar” option

Aadhaar Card Verification

The process of Aadhaar card verification can be done online. One needs to visit the official UIDAI website and follow the steps mentioned in the website.

How to Verify Aadhaar Linked Mobile Number and Email Id?

Here is the complete process to verify your Aadhaar mobile number and email id,

• Open the official UIDAI website -

• Open the tab of 'Aadhaar services', under which you would see another option 'Verify Mobile Number/Email ID'.

• You will be required to enter your 12-digit Aadhaar number, along with the phone number or email ID  used at the time of Aadhaar enrollment

• Enter the security code displayed in the captcha, and click on 'Get One Time Password'.

• An SMS, checking an OTP (One Time Password) would be sent to the registered mobile number.

• The OTP needs to be entered in the space provided, in the right column, adjacent to the tab saying 'Enter OTP'.

• Press on 'Verify OTP' button.

By following this process you can easily verify the details.

How to Update Aadhaar Details Online?

A person might need to update Aadhaar details and one can change some of the information online. Let’s learn the process to update Aadhaar details online and offline.

The following data needs to be updated from time to time:

Registered Mobile Number:

One can verify the mobile number declared at the time of enrolment or during the latest Aadhaar detail update. In case the person does not have registered mobile number one need to visit Permanent Enrolment Centre to get it registered. To take benefits of various government and non-government services the person should ensure that the Aadhaar details are up to date.

Demographic data update (Name, Address, Date of Birth/Age, Gender, Mobile Number, Email Address, Relationship Status and Information Sharing Consent):

Demographic data need to be updated in case of the following events:

• Changes in life events such as marriage, death of a relative etc.

• Residents might have other personal reasons to change their mobile number, email address etc or due to migration to newer locations.

• Changes in various service delivery platforms may lead residents to declaration request changes and to add a mobile number to CIDR etc.

• Errors made during the enrolment process wherein the resident’s demographic data may have been captured incorrectly. Modification to “DoB/Age” and “Gender” fields are expected primarily due to enrolment errors.

• If the demographic information that is printed on the Aadhaar letter will need to be updated in the new local language.

Biometric update (Iris, Finger Prints and Facial Photograph):

• Details need to be updated from with age, the data needs to be updated age between 5 and 15 years, 5 and 15 years and greater than 15 years at the time of enrollment.

• UIDAI recommends updating biometric data every 10 years. Events like accidents or diseases leading to the biometric exception.

There are two modes to update Aadhaar Data:

• Visit an Aadhaar Enrolment Centre for Aadhaar data update.

• Visit the UIDAI website for Aadhaar data update online.

Frequently asked questions about Aadhaar:

Question: How can one collect Aadhaar card once it’s issued?

Answer: The Aadhaar card is sent via mail to the registered address that has been provided by the person at the time of registering.

Question: Can a person apply for Aadhaar card online?

Answer: No, to complete the process one needs to provide the biometric data, for this one needs to visit the nearest Aadhaar Enrolment Centre.

Question: How to find Aadhaar number?

Answer: The step by step process is given below

• Visit the official UIDAI website

• Click on the 'Retrieve Lost UID/EID' option

• Type in the required details like name, email ID, mobile number, etc.

• Enter the ‘Captcha’ code

• Enter the One Time Password (OTP) sent to the registered mobile number.

After final submission, the required Aadhaar UID number would be sent to the same registered mobile number of the cardholder.

Question: What is the validity of the Aadhaar card?

Answer: It is valid for lifetime.

Question: Can a person have more than one Aadhaar Card?

Answer: No, a person can have only one Aadhaar card.

Question: UIDAI has all my data including PAN, biometrics, bank account, etc. Does UIDAI track my activities?

Answer: No. The database of UIDAI has only minimal information that you provide at the time of enrolment (i.e. name, address, gender, date of birth, 10 fingerprints, 2 IRIS scans, facial photograph, mobile number and email ID).

The agency does not have any information about your bank accounts, shares, mutual funds, financial and property details, health records, family, caste, religion, education, etc and will never hold this information in its database.

Also, Aadhaar Act 2016 [Section 32(3)]specifically prohibits UIDAI from managing, collecting, keeping or maintaining any information about the purpose of authentication either by itself or through any entity.

Question: How has Aadhaar benefited the common man?

Answer: Aadhaar has empowered by now more than 119 crore residents with a verifiable identity, according to UIDAI. It is credible today; the fact is that Aadhaar inspires more confidence and trust than any other identity. Many maidservant, household help, driver, poor living in slums are using Aadhaar to prove their identity to get jobs, open bank accounts, for rail travel, and to get various entitlements & government benefits directly into their bank accounts without middlemen. Aadhaar is empowering people with a trusted verifiable identity.

Question: Why am I being asked to link all my bank accounts with Aadhaar?


This is for the sake of security. It is to verify the identity of all bank account holders and link them with Aadhaar to weed out the accounts being operated by fraudsters, money-launderers, criminals etc.

If every bank account is verified and linked with Aadhaar then if anyone fraudulently withdraws money from your account, through Aadhaar such fraudster can easily be located and punished. So, after linking your bank accounts with Aadhaar, your bank accounts become more secure and not the other way around.

Question: Why are some agencies not accepting eAadhaar on original Aadhaar?

Answer: eAadhaar (downloaded Aadhaar) from UIDAI website is as legally valid as original Aadhaar issued by UIDAI by all Agencies.

Moreover, downloaded eAadhaar or the mAadhaar profile has updated address etc of the Aadhaar holders and so it should be preferable.

If someone refuses to accept downloaded eAadhaar, the Aadhaar holder may lodge complaints with higher authorities of those departments/ agencies.

Question: Can the cellular company store my biometrics taken at the time of SIM verification and use it for other purposes later?

Answer: No one, including, cellular companies can store or use your biometrics taken at the time of Aadhaar authentication. The biometrics are encrypted as soon as Aadhaar holder places his finger on the fingerprint sensor and this encrypted sent to UIDAI for verification.

● Regulation 17(1)(a) of the Aadhaar (Authentication) Regulations 2016, strictly prohibits any requesting entity which includes mobile phone companies, banks etc from storing, sharing or publishing the fingerprints for any reason whatsoever and neither shall it retain any copy of such fingerprints.

Any violation of this provision is a punishable offence under the Aadhaar Act 2016. Your biometrics are encrypted the moment you give them.

Question: When I link my bank accounts, shares, mutual funds and my mobile phones with Aadhaar, will UIDAI not get this information?

Answer: No. When you give Aadhaar number to your banks, mutual fund companies, mobile phone companies, they only send Aadhaar number, your biometrics & your name etc. to UIDAI for verification for your identity. They do not send your bank account details to UIDAI. As far as UIDAI is concerned, it responds to such verification requests by replying either ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. There are very few cases, if the verification answer is ‘Yes’, your basic KYC details (name, address, photo etc) available with UIDAI, is sent to the service provider. UIDAI never collects or receives your investments, bank, insurance and other details.

Question: Do NRIs need Aadhaar for banking, mobile, PAN and other services?

Answer: NRIs are not eligible to get Aadhaar. It is only for residents of India. The respective service providers like banks and mobile companies have laid down NRI-specific exemptions. NRIs are exempted from linking Aadhaar with various services.

Question: Why am I being asked to verify and link my mobile numbers with Aadhaar?

Answer: For your own security & security of our country, it is essential to verify the identity of all mobile subscribers & link them with Aadhaar to weed out mobile numbers being operated by fraudsters, money-launderers, criminals etc. It has been observed that most criminals and terrorists get SIM cards issued in the name of fictitious and even real people without their knowledge and use them for committing frauds & crime.

Mobile number is verified and linked with Aadhaar, then fraudsters, criminals, and terrorists using mobiles can be easily identified and punished in accordance with the law. Verify your mobile SIM with Aadhaar to boost national security and your safety.

Question: Aren’t the poor being refused essential services like pension & ration for want of Aadhaar?

Solution: No. In Section 7, it is clearly mentioned that until a person is assigned an Aadhaar number, one cannot be denied ration or pension or such other entitlements for want of Aadhaar & the concerned department should verify the identity of the person using alternate means of identification as per the relevant notification. If any government official of a department denies the benefits or services for lack of Aadhaar or failure of verification for technical reasons contrary to the relevant notification, a complaint should be lodged against the higher authorities of those departments for such unlawful denials. Complain to higher authorities in case of denial of services

Question: Several media house reported that Aadhaar data was breached. Is it true?

Answer: Stories around Aadhaar data breach are mostly instances of misreporting. Data of all Aadhaar holders is safe & secure. UIDAI uses advanced security technologies to keep your data safe & secure and keeps upgrading them to meet emerging security threats & challenges. Aadhaar database has never been breached during the last 7 years of its existence.

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