Aadhaar is a 12 digit individual identification number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India on behalf of the Government of India. This number is linked to the basic demographics and biometric information – photograph, ten fingerprints and iris – of each enrolled resident.

This number will be a proof of identity and address anywhere in India. Any resident of India, irrespective of age and gender, can apply for an Aadhaar number, after the due verification processes defined by the Unique Identification Authority of India.

Aadhaar's guarantee of uniqueness and centralised, online identity verification would be the basis for building these multiple services and applications, and facilitating greater connectivity to markets. Aadhaar would also give any resident the ability to access these services and resources, anytime, anywhere in the country.

Aadhaar can, for example, provide the identity infrastructure for ensuring financial inclusion across the country – banks can link the unique number to a bank account for every resident, and use the online identity authentication to allow residents to access the account from anywhere in the country.

Aadhaar would also be a foundation for the effective enforcement of individual rights. A clear registration and recognition of the individual's identity with the state is necessary to implement their rights –to employment, education, food, etc. The number, by ensuring such registration and recognition of individuals, would help the state deliver these rights.

Once a person has a UID number they will be able to establish identity easily across the country. The UID number will become the single source of identity verification. Residents would be spared the hassle of repeatedly providing supporting identity documents each time they wish to access services such as obtaining a bank account, passport, driving license and so on.

By providing a clear proof of identity, the UID number will also facilitate entry for poor and underprivileged residents into the formal banking system, and the opportunity to avail services provided by the Government and the private sector. The UID number will also give migrants mobility of identity.

The main focus of the UIDAI is unique identity and for this any person who is a resident of India can apply for a UID number. Although any resident is entitled to apply for a UID number and it is not compulsory to get a UID number.

  • Aadhaar enrolment is free.
  • A resident will have to go to an enrolling agency, fill up an application form and provide the supporting documentation (Please click here for a nationally valid list of documents.) and the enrolling agency will capture the photo, finger print and iris.


  • The enrolling agency will collect this information and send the data, to the UIDAI as per the procedure prescribed by the UIDAI.
  • The UID system will then carry out a de-duplication exercise.
  • If the individual is not already in the database, a UID number will be issued and a letter is sent to the person at their residence. The UID number will also be sent back to the Registrar for use in their service database.
  • If the individual is already in the database the registration will be rejected and the person will be informed of the same.

Centre for e-Governance

Dr. Rathan Kelkar IAS

Chief Executive Officer
Room No:146A, Multi-Storied Building,
Dr. Ambedkar Veedhi, Bangalore 560 001.

© Centre for e-Governance, 2011