New Delhi: If you’ve been following the recent Aadhaar controversy, you’ll know that the UIDAI’s Bangalore office has recommended against presenting Aadhaar photocopies to hotels and movie theatres, among other places, to avoid misuse. While the 12-digit Aadhaar number provided by the Unique Identification Authority of India has become one of the most crucial papers one can have, it can also be used to perpetrate numerous crimes by fraudsters. While the UIDAI Bangalore office’s advice sparked outrage, the Centre stepped in to say that you can continue to use your Aadhaar with customary caution.
However, the Centre did indicate in its notification withdrawing UIDAI’s declaration that it was made to prevent attempted fake offences using Aadhaar. The UIDAI’s Bengaluru regional office published the statement on Sunday in the “context of an attempt to misuse a photoshopped Aadhaar card.”
The UIDAI offers a’masked Aadhaar ID’ or Virtual ID (VID) option to prevent these types of scams and make your Aadhaar more secure. A masked Aadhaar, as the name implies, is essentially a 12-digit ID number that can be transmitted without revealing any sensitive personal information.
According to UIDAI website, “Mask Aadhaar option allows you to mask your Aadhaar number in your downloaded e-Aadhaar. Masked Aadhaar number implies replacing of first eight digits of Aadhaar number with some characters like “xxxx-xxxx” while only last four digits of the Aadhaar Number are visible.” As a result, it is a legal option to obtain e-copies of your Aadhaar without revealing your Aadhaar number.
Here’s how to download the Masked Aadhaar
Step 1: Click on the link – https://eaadhaar.uidai.gov.in/
Step 2: Enter the 12-digit Aadhaar card number.
Step 3: Tick the box that says ‘I want a masked Aadhaar.’
Step 4: Then, to validate yourself, enter the Captcha verification code that will be provided.
Step 5: Select the ‘Send OTP’ option.
Step 6: All that remains is for you to download your e-Aadhaar copy.
Step 7: Enter the OTP and then click “Download Aadhaar.”
You will now be able to use your masked Aadhaar, which will be available in PDF format. It will, however, be password locked. The Aadhaar letter password is a combination of your first four letters in capital letters, followed by your birth year in YYYY format. For example, if your name is Prem Agarwal and your birth year is 1989, your masked Aadhaar password will be PREM1989. You can use a masked Aadhaar in situations where the full Aadhaar number is not required, for example when doing e-KYC or submitting your Aadhaar as ID proof at a hotel.