Aadhaar SMS services are not well known by the masses; an individual can lock/unlock Aadhaar, create a virtual id & more through SMS service.
There are many ways in which you can avail of Aadhaar services. You can visit an enrolment centre, you can use the Self-Service Update Portal, or you can download the mAadhaar app from Google Play Store. For those who don’t have access to a computer or a smartphone, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) offers another way to access Aadhaar services, using SMS. This will make it accessible to all sections of people.
What is Aadhaar SMS service?You can avail of this service using just SMS, for which you will need an ordinary mobile phone. Here’s how you do it:
- Send an SMS from your registered mobile phone number to 1947.
- You can perform certain functions like generation of virtual identity (VID) and retrieval, locking and unlocking of your Aadhaar number by sending an SMS in the required format.
- You will need OTP (one-time-password) authentication for Aadhaar and biometric lock and unlock. This step is not required for VID generation or retrieval
How to lock and unlock Aadhaar using SMS
- To lock your Aadhaar number, send an SMS to 1947 in the following format to get an OTP: GETOTP <space> last 4 or 8 digits of your Aadhaar number
- After you get the six-digit OTP, send the lock request like this: LOCKUID <space> last 4 or 8 digits of your Aadhaar number <space> OTP
- You will then get a confirmation message for your request.
- After the Aadhaar number is locked, you will not be able to do any authentication, whether biometric, demographic or OTP.
- You can still use your VID for authentication.
- To unlock your Aadhaar number, you will need your latest VID.
- Send an OTP request to 1947 in this format: GETOTP <space> last 6 or 10 digits of VID <space>
- Once you get the OTP, send a request to unlock in this format: UNLOCKUID <space> last 6 or 10 digits of VID <space> OTP
How to create virtual ID (VID) using SMS
- Send SMS to 1947 in this format from your registered mobile number: GVID <space> last 4 digits of your Aadhaar number
- The VID will be sent to your registered mobile number.
- If you have lost your VID, send the following: RVID <space> last 4 digits of your Aadhaar number
What is locking and unlocking of Aadhaar?
One of the ways in which you can prevent your Aadhaar being misused is by locking the 12-digit Aadhaar or UID number. Once you have locked it, no one can do authentication of your demographic or biometric information. The Aadhaar number can be used for authentication after you have unlocked it. In addition to SMS, you can also do this kind of unlocking online through the Self Service Update Portal, or by using the mAadhaar mobile application.
However, the authentication can still be done after you’ve locked your Aadhaar number by using your 16-digit virtual ID or VID.
What is Virtual ID?
Virtual ID is a 16-digit number that can be generated using your Aadhaar number. This VID number will work instead of your Aadhaar number for the authentication of demographic and biometric information. For example, if you want to make investments in mutual funds and you need Aadhaar authentication to meet Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements, you can do so using the VID number. This number can be generated using SMS, through the Self-Service Update Portal, or the mAadhaar app. The best part is that no one will be able to know your Aadhaar number through the VID, ensuring that it’s perfectly safe.
Once you’ve created a VID, it will be valid till such time you create a new one. VID has a minimum validity of one day. If you have forgotten your VID, you can retrieve it using SMS, the Self-Service Update Portal or mAadhaar mobile phone app.
Whether you use SMS, the online portal or the mobile phone app, it’s a good idea from the security point of view to keep your Aadhaar number always locked. Any authentication can be done using the VID that you have created.