The importance of an Aadhaar Card is already well established. It acts as the official identity proof for Indians all over. However, another term has been doing the rounds – Aadhaar Virtual ID (VID). Now, does that mean you need another card besides your Aadhaar? To understand this, let us break down the salient aspects and key differences between an Aadhaar ID and an Aadhaar Virtual ID.
A 16-digit unique number, known as the Virtual ID (VID), is mapped with each Aadhaar Card number. This is a temporary number that is randomly generated for each user. Its primary purpose is identity. It also helios in eligibility authentication (KYC) for the availing of various financial and governmental services. Basically, you can use the VID that is associated with your 12-digit Aadhaar number instead of the actual number.
Since the VID is temporary, it can be generated multiple times with a minimum validity of 1 day. Once a new VID is generated, the previous one is invalid.
When you already have an Aadhaar Card then what is the purpose of a VID? Well, in the recent past, several security concerns were raised regarding the Aadhaar Card. There is a possibility of its misuse by people with malicious intentions. In an attempt to create an additional security layer, the VID was introduced. The digitally generated ID masks the actual information printed on your Aadhaar Card rendering it useless for anyone who might snoop into it. However, the VID still contains all the relevant encoded information to complete your authentication and help you enjoy all the applicable benefits and services.
There are several common purposes served by the Aadhaar and VID numbers. After all, the VID was created to allow KYC and credentials authentication without disclosing the Aadhaar number. This is why it can be used for the availing of government subsidies, direct transfer benefits, opening a bank or a DEMAT account, buying an insurance policy, etc.
The differences are:
In conclusion, the introduction of Aadhaar Virtual ID (VID) serves as an additional security measure to address concerns of Aadhaar Card misuse. The VID, a temporary 16-digit number associated with each Aadhaar Card, can be generated multiple times and masks the actual information on the card. While both Aadhaar and VID serve similar purposes for authentication, the VID provides an extra layer of security as it can be easily revoked and regenerated. It is important to note that private or government institutions are not permitted to store the VID, ensuring data privacy. The convenience of generating VID on-the-fly enhances accessibility to Aadhaar-related services even without the physical card.
A Virtual ID (VID) is a digitally generated, temporary, ID. It serves to mask the actual information in your Aadhaar Card while still letting the authorised agencies authenticate your identity. Thus it allows you to avail of the various services, subsidies, and direct transfer benefits while being far safer.
The VID can be generated via the UIDAI portal. Under the ‘My Aadhaar’ tab, there is the option to ‘Generate or Retrieve VID’ by entering your Aadhaar number, the captcha code, and an OTP. It can also be generated by sending an SMS to 1947 from your registered mobile number with the following text ‘GVID <Last 4 digits of Aadhaar Number>’. The government’s m-Aadhaar application can also be used for generating the VID.
An Aadhaar Card contains important personal information (like your date of birth, address, etc.) that can be misused by people for personal gain. Moreover, it is a big burden on the financial and governmental agencies to collect Aadhaar numbers of millions of Indians and store them in their databases.
Thus, the VID was introduced, as a security measure, to serve most of the authentication and KYC purposes on behalf of your Aadhaar Card without having to disclose the Aadhaar number or other personal information. Since it is a revocable number that can be generated multiple times, the fear of it getting duplicated or misused is minimal.