The government envisions a common proof of identity and address for all the citizens of India with a designated Aadhar number. For effective distribution of Aadhar throughout the country, enrolment centres are setup and these involve government as well as private agencies, who organise temporary camps or have permanent enrollment centres. The UIDAI takes an extended approach by providing the Aadhar free of cost, unlike when applying for a passport – This implies there are NO Aadhar card charges.
Aadhar Card Charges – Understanding the Process:
Now, the reason we are talking about the Aadhar Card process here, is to understand that where is the step for making any kind of payment involved?
Quick look at the Procedure for obtaining an Aadhar:
- Visit the nearest Aadhar enrollment centre. Click here to find one.
- Carry an original valid proof of identity, address and relation (relevant to minors) – Check the valid documents for proofs here.
- Submit the bio-metric data – iris and fingerprint scan shall take place.
- Verify the details entered in the system by the Aadhar centre operator.
- A slip will be handed with an enrollment id. This can be used to view the Aadhar status.
- The Aadhar card can be received by post 3-weeks after the allotment of the Aadhar number. To download e-Aadhar, click here.
For a detailed Aadhar Enrolment process, click here.
As we see, right from the application to receiving of your Aadhar by post or online download, there are ‘no Aadhar card charges’to paid.
So Why Do Some Centres and Agencies Charge?
If you visit the authorized permanent enrolment centres, the process is completely free.
However, if you visit the private agencies entrusted with the enrolment process, on the days unannounced by the UIDAI, you may be charged a fee of Rs. 50 – 200 corresponding to the service you may avail.
This act of charging is for a reason, here’s why:
- The unannounced days are non-working days for employees of the agencies as far as Aadhar enrolment is concerned. To provide such service, the agency is actually giving ‘extra hours’ of work in addition to the contract, and such expenses are not covered by the UIDAI.
- The agency considers your request of service as per your convenience that you’ve approached the agency. So, if you visit these centres on “Officially Announced Days for Aadhar Enrolment” – You will receive all the services completely free. But if you go on unannounced days, you will have to pay as per what the agency states.
There is no compulsion on anyone to enrol on such unannounced days and thus avoid making the payments.
We recommend enrolling for Aadhar on the days such camps and enrolments are officially announced. These are completely free of cost.
Aadhar Card Charges – Fraudulent Situations you may face:
Many stories of Aadhar enrollment may include an undeniable mention of long queues, and that’s the only difficult part of it. But a fraction of people face inconvenience on their visits to the enrolment centres.
Make yourself aware of possible rip-offs and what situations you may have to face with the information given in the following and how to deal with it. This list is not exhaustive.
The Smart Card Rip-off
There have been cases where people have been duped with the mention of ‘smart card’. The significance of Aadhar lies in the 12-digit code, there has been no provision of smart card.
The objective is to collect the biometric and demographic data of all the residents of India, making it the world’s largest ‘national identification number’ project. The Smart Aadhar Card simply is NOT compulsory at all.
Other claims that a PVC card will last longer can be ignored. A simple e-Aadhar printout serves its purpose.
Read here to know what the Government and UIDAI have said about eAadhar as a Valid proof.
Agents who frequent the enrollment centers can also be witnessed. These agents offer to complete the application form for applicants on payment of Aadhar card charges.
- To support their aid they may give examples of how long a government procedure takes.
- They may promise you an Aadhar within an unreasonably, tempting, shorter duration on additional payment, otherwise called the Aadhar card charges.
But none of these claims are true. They have not been authorized by the UIDAI, unlike their claims. Do not accept such offers. The breach of personal information is a serious issue, which can be misused.
Private Agencies Charging on Announced Enrolment Days
At the enrollment centers, some officials may unashamedly demand a payment for service even on the days when such camps/enrolment is officially announced.
- They may deny you the completion of the enrollment, if you refuse to pay. They may also let others complete the process before you unfairly, before you give in.
- They may effectively argue that the equipment for biometric is a rental or how there was a period of no Aadhar card charges, and which no longer holds.
- They may give you an exhaustive list of reasons on why you need to pay them.
- Some may even say that government procedures are never completed without a bribe, as alleged.
You have to remember the entire process is free of cost when you visit a centre on announced enrolment days or during such camps. All complaints can be lodged here or at the police station.
So, now that you know when and why are Aadhar Card Charges asked and when you should not pay them, beware and don’t get cheated by such sources.