Aadhaar card has become one of the most important document proofs these days owing to the inclusion of both biometric and demographic details of the cardholder. You can opt for Aadhaar verification instantly by visiting the UIDAI website thus making it very difficult to carry out unscrupulous activities. UIDAI has added another security feature in Aadhaar where a person can share masked Aadhaar for the proof of identity and protect his Aadhaar data from being shared with others.
What is Masked Aadhaar?
Masked Aadhaar is similar to other Aadhaar cards but with a difference that the 12-digit Aadhaar number of the individual is hidden partially. The first 8 letters of the Aadhaar number is crossed and only last 4 digits of Aadhaar are displayed. In addition to it, your 16-digit Virtual ID (VID) is also mentioned below your masked Aadhaar number. A QR code is generated and is present on the card. This code can be scanned to get the details of the Aadhaar card as well. It also makes the process of Aadhaar authentication secure and leak-proof.
A user also gets the option to hide the date of birth along with his Aadhaar card. The masked Aadhaar is acceptable as a regular government identity proof at all places. As per UIDAI, the masked Aadhaar is available to more than 122 crore residents of India. Any person having a valid Aadhaar number can download the masked Aadhaar.
How did the need for Masked Aadhaar arise?
A number of instances were reported where Aadhaar data was compromised due to one reason or the other. Various organizations filed petitions in the Supreme Court challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar. They were of the opinion that Aadhaar violated their “Right to Privacy” as the data leaked can be used against a person for financial frauds and other snooping activities.
UIDAI came up with masked Aadhaar where the Aadhaar number of the individual is hidden partially and details cannot be leaked. This adds an extra layer of protection and makes Aadhaar card safer for use as proof of identity in hotels, travel and other places.
How to Download Masked Aadhaar?
Masked Aadhaar card can be downloaded using the enrolment number, virtual ID (VID) or Aadhaar number. In order to download the masked Aadhaar card, an individual can follow the steps mentioned below:
- Visit the UIDAI official website at https://uidai.gov.in/
- Select the option of Download Aadhaar from the Aadhaar Online Services menu to download the electronic version of the Aadhaar card
- Select the option of Aadhaar/VID/Enrolment ID from the I Have section
- Now, tick the Masked Aadhaar option from the Select your Preference option
- Enter your Aadhaar/VID/Enrolment ID, full name, pin code and security code
- You are required to validate your request using the Aadhaar-OTP feature or the TOTP (Time-based One Time Password) feature.
- If you choose to authenticate using the Aadhaar OTP, you have to select the Request OTP Once selected, an OTP will be sent to your mobile number registered with Aadhaar.
- Enter the OTP in the space provided and click on the Download Aadhaar
- You can also take part in a quick survey to help UIDAI improve its services.
- In case you select the TOTP feature to authenticate your details, you have to enter the TOTP in the space provided to validate your request. You can get the TOTP from the mAadhaar app.
- Once downloaded, you can use the e-Aadhaar copy in place of the physical Aadhaar letter.
Aadhaar Card Password
Your e-Aadhaar card comes with password-encryption that needs to be entered to open the masked Aadhaar. It helps in keeping your Aadhaar details safe as nobody will be able to use your e-Aadhaar even if he has your Aadhaar’s soft copy. You can access your e-Aadhaar by entering the 8-digit password in the format – first four characters of your name in capitals and four digits of the year of birth. If you have an e-Aadhaar card that was downloaded before 2017, you can try the pin code of the address mentioned in Aadhaar as the password.
Validity of Masked Aadhaar
Your masked Aadhaar is as valid proof of identity as your normal Aadhaar card. You can use it while travelling in trains, flights and for hotel bookings. Your masked Aadhaar card is valid for the lifetime. However, your VID will not be valid once you change or generate a new VID online. The government circular in this matter has already been published by UIDAI.
Masked Aadhaar is not valid when one avails government benefits such as subsidies and other welfare schemes. In such places, you have to provide your normal Aadhaar card in which your Aadhaar number and date of birth is not hidden. Your masked Aadhaar will not be accepted wherever you want to avail government welfare scheme benefits such as LPG, subsidies, DBT,etc.
Limitation of the Masked Aadhaar Card
The masked Aadhaar allows you to hide your details while furnishing your identity proof for verification. It makes your Aadhaar data safe from phishing activities However, the masked Aadhaar is not valid for availing benefits under government welfare schemes.
The government needs access to your basic details such as name, date of birth, address and other details to validate your eligibility for welfare schemes. So you have to provide your normal Aadhaar card for this purpose. The masked Aadhaar is deemed valid for all other services such as proof of identity and address to open a bank account, hotel and flight booking, buying a new SIM card, etc.
The masked Aadhaar card not only adds an additional security layer on your Aadhaar card but also helps agencies to validate your identity at the same time. When you download the Aadhaar from UIDAI’s website, you should go for masked Aadhaar as it is completely free of cost and safer than normal Aadhaar cards.