The Aadhaar card is a unique identity proof authorised by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to Indian citizens that includes demographic and 12-digit biometric specifics. It is the most important authentication document, as it is needed for everything from opening a bank account, applying for a PAN card, filing IT returns and so on. The Indian government has taken a number of steps to improve Aadhaar confidentiality, as well as to safeguard Aadhaar security and avoid its misapplication. Locking Aadhaar implies using the 16-digit Virtual ID (VID) instead of your 12-digit Aadhaar for all forms of verification. And once Aadhaar is locked, individuals are unable to perform biometric, demographic, or OTP-based authentication using the UID, UID Token, or ANCS Token. If a citizen wishes to unlock their UID, they can do so via the resident portal. Upon unlocking, residents can use their UID, UID Token, and ANCS Token to authenticate for Biometric, Demo, and OTP-based transactions, as well as their VID. Hence, below are the ways following which you can lock your Aadhaar card biometrics and prevent it from misuse.
Locking Aadhaar Number
Locking Aadhaar entails using the 16-digit Virtual ID (VID) instead of your 12-digit Aadhaar for all types of authentication. The two methods for locking your Aadhaar number are listed below.
Via UIDAI Portal
- Visit UIDAI portal and under 'Aadhaar Service' open Resident portal
- Now click on Lock & Unlock and select UID Lock Radio Button
- Enter the security code after entering the UID number, full name, and pin code as mentioned in the most recent details.
- Now select Send OTP or select TOTP and click on 'Submit'
- Upon successful submission your UID will be locked instantly.
The resident must have a 16-digit VID number in order to lock UID, and this is a precondition for locking the Aadhaar. If you do not have a VID you can get one via the SMS Service or the Resident Portal. For SMS service, type GVID space last 4 or 8 digits of UID and send it to 1947.
Locking Biometrics in Aadhaar
Biometrics can also be locked with an Aadhaar holder. Biometric 'Locking/Unlocking' is a service that helps Aadhaar cardholders to lock and unlock their biometrics on a temporary basis. The intent of this facility is to improve the privacy and security of residents' biometric data. Below are the ways to lock your Aadhaar biometrics.
Via UIDAI portal
- Open Resident portal and head to 'My Aadhaar' section
- Now click on 'Aadhaar Service' and enter your Aadhaar or VID number, and captcha code.
- Now you will get an OTP on your Aadhaar-linked mobile number.
- Enter the OTP and verify the same
- Now click on 'Submit' to lock the biometrics successfully.
Lock Aadhaar biometric through mAadhaar app
mAadhaar is an app that enables you to use your mobile phone to access Aadhaar-related services. UIDAI has introduced an innovative application for Aadhaar-based services, the application requires you to use your smartphone to access any service related to your Aadhaar card. As a result, you can use the mAadhaar application to secure your biometric data. The steps are as follows:
- Open the mAadhaar mobile app in your mobile phone and tap on 'My Aadhaar' on the application
- You'll need to enter a four-digit PIN that you generated when you first opened the app.
- Once you've entered your PIN, you'll be taken to your profile section. Choose 'Lock/Unlock Biometrics' from the drop-down menu on the page.
- Now select 'Lock Biometrics' and you will get an OTP on your registered mobile number.
- Your biometric will be locked once you verify the OTP.
How to unlock Aadhaar biometric?
You will be first required to unlock the biometric data that has been locked to use your Aadhaar biometrics for authentication. The UIDAI website or the mAadhaar application can also be used to unlock Aadhaar biometrics. The procedures for both options are outlined below:
- Visit the UIDAI portal and under the 'My Aadhaar' section go-to 'Aadhaar Services' and then click on 'Lock/Unlock Biometrics'
- On the next page accept the declaration stating that 'I Understand that after biometric lock enable, I will not perform biometric authentication until I unlock Biometrics' and click on 'Lock/Unlock Biometrics'
- Now enter your Aadhaar card number and the captcha code
- Select 'Send OTP' or 'Enter TOPT' option and you will get an OTP on your registered mobile number.
- Enter the OTP, verify the same and to unlock your biometric details.
Via mAadhaar app
You can make a profile and then choose whether to unlock your biometric details or not using the mAadhaar app. The steps are as follows:
- Open the mAadhaar app and tap on 'My Aadhaar' option
- To view your profile, you will be asked to enter your PIN number. Enter your PIN and go to your profile section.
- Under your profile section, tap on 'Lock/Unlock Biometrics'
- Once you choose the alternative, your biometric will be locked. Your biometric data will be unlocked if you select 'Unlock Biometrics.' You'd also be shown how long the details will be unlocked for. After the time limit has expired, the data will be automatically locked.
How to disable Aadhaar biometric lock?
You will be able to use your Aadhaar biometrics only once you unlock them after they have been locked. The unlocked biometric data are automatically locked 10 minutes after unlocking, and you can unlock them again if necessary. You can also disable the Aadhaar biometric lock to prevent multiple unlocks. Oly when your biometrics are locked will you be able to disable the biometric lock. It can be done using either the UIDAI's online portal or mAadhaar. The following are the steps to disable the biometric lock using one of these methods:
- Visit the official portal of UIDAI and under 'My Aadhaar' section go-to 'Aadhaar Services' and click on 'Lock/Unlock Biometrics'
- On the next page, accept the declaration stating that 'I Understand that after biometric lock enable, I will not perform biometric authentication until I unlock Biometrics' and then 'Lock/Unlock Biometrics'
- Now enter your 12-digit Aadhaar number, required captcha code and click on 'Send OTP'
- You will now get an OTP on your registered mobile number which you need to verify.
- You'll be taken to a next page where you'll see the option to disable the biometric lock. Once you choose this option, your biometric lock will be disabled.
Via mAadhaar app
- Open the mAadhaar app and go to 'My Aadhaar' section by entering the 4-digit PIN code
- Under the 'My Aadhaar' section, click on 'Biometrics Locked'
- On the next page you will get the options such as 'Unlock Biometrics', 'Disable Biometrics Lock' and 'Go to My Aadhaar'
- Select 'Disable Biometrics Lock' and you will get an OTP on your registered mobile number.
- Upon successful verification of the OTP, the locking service will be disabled.