Protect your Aadhaar data: Here's how to lock/unlock Aadhaar number
In a bid to strengthen the privacy and security of Aadhaar, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has introduced a feature that enables users to lock/unlock their Aadhaar number. Once locked, your Aadhaar number cannot be used for authentication purpose. To facilitate authentication, you will have to generate your 16-digit Aadhaar Virtual ID. Here's how you can lock/unlock your Aadhaar number.
Steps to lock your Aadhaar number on the UIDAI website
Visit the official UIDAI website. Click on 'Aadhaar lock/unlock' link under 'Aadhaar services' section of the 'My Aadhaar' drop-down menu. Next, select 'Lock UID' option and enter details such as Aadhaar number, name, pin code, and security code. Click on 'Send OTP.' Finally, enter the OTP and click on 'Submit.' Your Aadhaar number will be locked.
Steps to unlock Aadhaar on the UIDAI website
To unlock your Aadhaar, log back on to the UIDAI portal. Under 'My Aadhaar' drop down menu, click on 'Aadhaar lock/unlock' link under 'Aadhaar services' section. Select 'Unlock UID' option, and enter your Virtual ID and security code. Click on 'Send OTP.' You will receive an OTP on your Aadhaar-registered mobile number. Enter the same, and your Aadhaar number will get unlocked.
Steps to lock your Aadhaar number via SMS
Using your Aadhaar-registered mobile number, send an SMS to 1947 in this format: GETOTP (space) Last four digits of your Aadhaar number. Once sent successfully, you shall receive a 6-digit OTP. Now, send another SMS in this format: LOCKUID (space) Last four digits of Aadhaar number (space) 6-digit OTP. After that, your Aadhaar number will be locked.
Steps to unlock your Aadhaar number via SMS
Using your Aadhaar-registered mobile number, send an SMS to 1947 in this format: GETOTP (space) Last six digits of your Aadhaar Virtual ID. Once sent successfully, you will receive a 6-digit OTP via SMS from UIDAI. Now, send another SMS in this format: UNLOCKUID (space) Last six digits of Virtual ID (space) 6-digit OTP number. Subsequently, your Aadhaar number will get unlocked.
Separately, Aadhaar and PAN are now interchangeable
On a related note, you can now quote your Aadhaar number in place of PAN to file your I-T returns. This comes after Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget speech announced that Aadhaar and PAN can now be used interchangeably. Further, Aadhaar can also be used for services where quoting PAN is necessary such as buying gold, MF etc.
Clearing the air around Aadhaar status
Post the September 26, 2018 Supreme Court verdict relating to authentication of Aadhaar, there has been much confusion with respect to services where Aadhaar is necessary and where not. Aadhaar is no longer mandatory for services such as bank account, telecom services, and school admissions/entrance tests. However, it is still necessary for getting a PAN, and availing various government welfare schemes.