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What is Aadhaar Card?

Last Update Date : April 27, 2019
Estimated Read Time: 8 min

Aadhaar card is a 12-digit unique number which is random and is issued to every Indian resident. The aadhaar number is a centralized unique identification number. The biometric card stores an individual’s details in a central database, which is issued by the government and over time the government began to use it for public welfare and services.

The aadhaar card was introduced by the government with the objective of providing resources for individuals who needed assistance and benefits directly, by eliminating the middlemen in the process. To successfully serve this purpose, the government is using the aadhaar network to gradually link all the important government benefit schemes and services. Thus, creating a centralized government database that can be used to distribute and keep a record of the different programs and schemes along with the recipients.

[ Jump to: How to Apply for Aadhaar Card? ]

Guide on Aadhaar

Aadhaar Card Details

The biometric details including the fingerprint and retinal scan are stored in the central database, while the details displayed on the Aadhaar card are as follows:

  • Name of Cardholder
  • Aadhaar Number
  • Photo
  • Gender
  • Date of Birth
  • Address
  • QR(Scan) Code

Who is eligible to get Aadhaar card?

Since, the aadhaar card is proof of identity in the country, it can be issued to any resident in the country.

Aadhaar Card for Indian Citizens

Every Indian citizen living in the country can apply for the card and avail its benefits. For NRI’s they must be in the country to apply for the card. Moreover, it is mandatory that every taxpayer must link their PAN with aadhaar.

Aadhaar Card for Minors – Baal Aadhaar

The Aadhaar card of a minor is called Baal Aadhaar. There are some differences when you compare Baal Aadhaar with normal Aadhaar card. The Baal Aadhaar card lacks biometric information like fingerprints and iris scan unlike the normal card for adults. For children between 5 to 15 years of age, they must have their biometric details updated, as biometric details change as children age. For children below five years, a blue Aadhar card will be issued. The application process of simple:

  1. Either visit UIDAI’s Aadhaar portal or find the nearest Aadhaar enrolment centre
  2. Provide the child’s date of birth and Aadhaar number of either of the parents.
  3. Fill up the required details in the Baal Aadhaar application form along with a mobile number which can be registered with Baal Aadhaar.
  4. A photograph of the child will be taken. If the child is below the age of 5 years, no biometrics will be recorded.
  5. Collect the acknowledgement slip.
  6. You will get a verification SMS on the number registered with Baal Aadhaar and the card will be dispatched to the address provided in the form.

Aadhaar for Resident Foreigners

The eligibility criteria for foreigners living in India is to have been in continuous stay of 182 days in the past 12 months to avail of aadhaar related services. Foreigners can apply for Aadhar, as it is an identity card and not proof of citizenship.

Documents required for Aadhaar card

When applying for aadhaar card three things needs to be submitted:

  1. Proof of Date of Birth
  2. Proof of Address and
  3. Proof of Identity
Documents considered as Proof of Date of Birth for Aadhaar Card
Certificate of birthCertificate or SSLC BookPassport
PAN CardPension Payment Order (Central or State)Board or University Marksheet
CGHS Card or ECHS Card
Documents considered as Address Proof for Aadhaar Card
PassportPassbook or Bank StatementDriving licence
Ration CardVoter Identification cardLatest Landline Phone Bill
Previous 3 months’ electricity billLatest Water BillInsurance Policy
Last 3 Months Credit Card StatementProperty Tax Receipt for Last 3 MonthsPensioner card
Job card of NREGSArms licenceCGHS card
Freedom fighter cardKisan passbookECHS card
For minors, parents’ passport is required
Documents considered as Identity Proof for Aadhaar Card
PassportPAN cardEither Ration or PDS Photo card
Voter Identification cardDriving licence of the applicantCertificate of Marriage
Job card of NREGSECHS Photo cardLicence of Arms
Photo Bank ATM cardPhoto Credit cardPhoto card of the Pensioner
Photo Passbook of KisanPhoto card of CGHS

How to apply for Aadhaar Card?

To apply for the Aadhaar Card, the aadhaar enrolment form needs to be filled out, which can be found on the UIDAI website.

Sample Form - Aadhar Enrolment

Click the above image to download the aadhaar enrolment form

The enrolment form can also be filled out upon visiting the enrolment office in your area.  There is no cost involved in applying for an aadhar card, except for certain updates (mobile no for ex:), which carry a Rs 25 charge.  Once the form is filled out the procedure will be as follows:

  1. Photo and Biometric Data Captured – After submitting the form, fingerprint scan, retinal scan and the individual’s photo is taken.
  2. Acknowledgment slip – After the process is finished, an acknowledgment slip is provided, which can be used till the aadhaar card is issued and the URN provided can be used to track the status of the application.
  3. Aadhaar card issued – The information captured and submitted on the application is verified by the government agency, UIDAI. Once the information is verified the aadhaar card is issued.
  4. Aadhaar card dispatch – After successful verification, the individual will receive intimation via SMS or email and the card is dispatched via post to the address mentioned on the form.

UIDAI – Issuing Authority for Aadhaar Card

The government established the Unique Identification Authority of India(UIDAI), in early 2009, to carry out the implementation and issuance of aadhar card to each resident of the country. The main objective of establishing UIDAI, was to eliminate the chances of duplicates and forgeries.  It is run under the central government with the data center in IMT Manesar, Haryana, where the information is stored.

Important Facts to Know About Aadhaar card

  • An individual need not change or renew his Aadhar card from time to time as the same one will be valid for the entire life.
  • In March 2015, the DigiLocker scheme linked with Adhar was launched. This made it easy for people to scan and save their important documents on the cloud and share it with the government officials without the need for them to carry the documents around.
  • 1.21 Billion aadhaar numbers have been issued in the project, as of 29th May 2018.

[ Read more: UIDAI Portal ]

Benefits of Aadhaar Card

When the Aadhaar Card was launched, a lot of people were unsure about the benefits of it, but as time passed the benefits became apparent to the people and the government. Listed below are the benefits of the aadhaar Card and why it is a must for every resident in India.

  • To avail benefits and subsidies provided by the government, such as crop insurance schemes, food grain and horticultural subsidies and National Career Services, it will be mandatory for them to hold an Aadhaar Card. The biggest impact will be on individuals who depend on food subsidies.
  • It will provide a unified view of the beneficiaries, thus eliminating the middlemen for giving out benefits of government services and schemes. It will also lead to the removal of ghost beneficiaries from the system.
  • The main objective of introducing Aadhaar Card is to eliminate the threat of bogus and fraudulent activities.
  • Widely accepted proof for KYC (Know Your Customer) authentication (e-aadhaar also) for mutual fund schemes, demat account, insurance, vehicle purchase, gas connection and mobile and landline phones.
  • Aadhaar Card has also been made mandatory for filing Income Tax Returns along with PAN Card, which must be linked with aadhaar.
  • Aadhaar card is the one and only government-issued document that is available everywhere. A person can view an Aadhaar card online, which is a downloadable version of the Aadhaar Card, called an e-Aadhaar and can be accessed whenever and wherever he/she requires. This becomes convenient for people who have misplaced their Aadhaar card and are in urgent need of the same.
  • Ever since the increased use of Aadhaar Card, passports can now be easily availed by applicants within a short period of 10 days. Individuals who wish to apply for a passport can do so by only attaching their Aadhaar card as a proof of their address as well as identity. They will then receive an appointment within three days of the submission of their applications and their passports will be dispatched within seven days.
  • Individuals who have linked their Aadhaar card with their Pension accounts can easily receive their pension amount in their account, disbursed through their Pension organizations.

For opening a bank account under Jan Dhan Yojna, Aadhaar card is the only document that an individual needs to submit. This scheme is said to provide help to people living in rural and remote areas and therefore avail the benefits of it.

People also ask

Q. Is Aadhaar Card Mandatory?

A. After the Supreme Court’s verdict, Aadhaar is only mandatory for the following:

  • Aadhaar PAN linking: PAN holders are mandatorily required to link their PAN with Aadhaar under section 139AA of the Income Tax Act.
  • Aaadhaar in filing I-T return: It is madatory for every tax filer to quote their Aadhaar while filing their ITR.
  • Aadhaar for welfare schemes: Having Aadhaar is mandatory to avail any government-run social welfare scheme.

Please note that it is no longer mandatory to link Aadhaar with mobile number and bank account. It is also no longer required to appear for competitive exams and school admissions.

Q. How to register mobile number in Aadhaar card?

A. You will be required to visit the nearest Aadhaar enrolment centre to add a mobile number in Aadhaar card, in case you have not already registered your mobile number.

  • Provide your 12-digit Aadhaar number and mobile number at the enrolment centre
  • You will get an OTP on the mobile number provided by you
  • You will have to give this OTP to the Aadhaar operator
  • After verifying the OTP, your biometric scan will be done for verification purpose
  • After the verification is complete, an SMS for confirmation will be sent to your verified mobile, that you want to link to your Aadhaar card, within 72 hours

Using this process, you will successfully add your new mobile number to your Aadhaar card.

Q. How to Update Mobile number in Aadhaar Card?

A. If you want to update your mobile number in Aadhaar card, you can do so in two ways, one via online process and the other offline process by post or physically visiting the nearest enrolment centre.

For updating the mobile number online:

  • Visit the UIDAI website (1)
  • Aadhaar Self Service Update Portal page will open
  • Enter your 12-digit Aadhaar number, enter the text verification code and then click on send OTP
  • Enter the OTP that is sent to the existing registered mobile number and then click Login
  • A new page will appear that will ask for details to be updated, select the field to update and then select “Mobile Number”
  • Now enter the mobile number that you want to link to your Aadhaar and click Submit and Update
  • Note down the URN so that you can refer it for checking the status of your Mobile number update

For updating the mobile number in Aadhaar card offline

  • Visit the UIDAI website or copy this link in browser: to download the Correction/ Update PDF Form
  • Select Mobile option from the first field and fill in your details accordingly
  • Enter the mobile number that you want to add in your Aadhaar, mention the type of document of identity, attach it, write your 12-digit Aadhaar number and sign on it
  • After completing the form, you can either submit it at the nearest enrolment centre or put it in an envelope and post it.

You can post the Aadhar Card Updation form to the following addresses:
(a) UIDAI, Post Box No. 10, Chhindwara, Madhya Pradesh – 480001, India
(b) UIDAI, Post Box No. 99, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad – 500034, India

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CA Madhuri Marne
Madhuri is a tax expert at H&R Block (India) with over a decade of professional experience. Having co-authored a book on economics for the ICAI exam, she now enjoys writing about tax-related topics in a simple and easy manner. Outside of work, Madhuri is passionate about teaching students who are appearing for professional exams.

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