The different types of Aadhaar issued by UIDAI: A guide
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) allows residents to use more than one form of Aadhaar. As per their convenience, individuals can opt for a PVC card, eAadhaar, mAadhaar, or an Aadhaar letter. All forms are valid as proof of identity without giving any preference to one form of Aadhaar over the others, says UIDAI. Here we discuss each one in detail.
An Aadhaar Letter is a paper-based laminated document issued by UIDAI. It contains the demographic details of the resident, along with a secure QR code, the date of issuance, and the print date. In case of new enrolment or mandatory biometric update, UIDAI sends the paper-based letter to an individual's address through ordinary post. No charges are applicable for this form of Aadhaar.
An eAadhaar is a digital, electronically verified document that is assigned by UIDAI. It automatically generates with every Aadhaar enrolment or update and is accessible without any charges. The e-card contains a QR code, and demographic details, along with the issue and download dates. One can collect their eAadhaar from UIDAI's official website using their registered mobile number and other details.
How to download an e-Aadhaar?
Head to myAadhaar portal at (https://myaadhaar.uidai.gov.in/), and click on "Download Aadhaar." Now, enter the 12-digit Aadhaar number, 16-digit Virtual ID, or 28-digit Enrollment ID (EID), fill in the captcha code, and click on "Send OTP." Submit the OTP and opt for the masked Aadhaar, if required. Once, the eAadhaar is downloaded on your system, you can access it using an eight-character PDF password.
A mAadhaar is a digital form of Aadhaar, similar to eAadhaar. However, it is accessible on mobile devices through the mAadhaar app that can be downloaded through App Store and Google Play Store. This Aadhaar format contains the user's details along with a QR code for offline verification. It is generated automatically with every Aadhaar enrolment or update and is accessible free of charge.
Aadhaar PVC card
An Aadhaar PVC card is the most advanced form of the Aadhaar card issued by UIDAI. It is equivalent to every other form discussed previously. The card contains demographic details and the resident's image. In addition, it comes with security features like a digitally-signed QR code for verification, a hologram, micro text, issue, and print date, and a guilloche pattern.
Here's how you can order an Aadhaar PVC card
An Aadhaar PVC card can be ordered online through the myAadhaar dashboard. Individuals need to choose the "Order Aadhaar PVC Card" option, enter their Aadhaar number/Virtual ID/Enrolment ID, captcha code, OTP and proceed by paying a nominal (refundable) fee of Rs. 50. A few days after application, the Aadhaar PVC Card is delivered to the resident's address via Speed Post.