Mobile users will soon require Aadhaar for verification

After drivers’ license, Aadhaar-based re-verification has been made mandatory for all existing subscribers of mobile phone services, with the government instructing telecom operators to initiate the process.

“All licensees shall re-verify all exiting mobile subscribers (prepaid and postpaid) through Aadhaar-based eKYC process,” said a telecom department notification.

Last month, the Supreme Court had observed, “an effective process has been evolved to ensure the identity verification” for new users. It added that “in the near future, and more particularly within one year from today, a similar verification will be completed, in case of existing subscribers.” Licensees, or the cellular operators, will have to inform existing users about the Supreme Court order for the re-verification process. They have also been directed to upload the execution details on their respective websites.

For the re-verification through Aadhaar, the operator will have to send a verification code to the subscriber’s number. The operator will, then, have to verify this code from the subscriber so as to confirm whether the SIM card of the connection is physically available with the subscriber.

“After the completion of the eKYC process, before updating or overwriting the old subscriber detail in database with the data received through eKYC process, the licensee will seek confirmation from the subscriber about the re-verification of his/her mobile number after 24 hours through SMS,” the notification said.

The operator can re-verify more than one mobile connection in one service area through a single eKYC but not bulk connections. For issuing additional mobile connections to re-verified subscriber, the operator would have to follow a separate eKYC process.

However, verification of a subscriber would not be required in case of conversions – that is prepaid to postpaid connections or vice versa, the notification clarified.

The government has, in the recent past, said that Aadhaar cards will be made mandatory for filing tax returns and applying for driving licences.