What is a Masked Aadhaar and why do you need it?

In an era where personal data security & data privacy are paramount, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) brought forth the concept of “Masked Aadhaar.” This innovative feature offers a powerful way to enhance privacy and security for Aadhaar cardholders in India. 

Masked Aadhaar is a version of the regular Aadhaar card, where the first 8 digits are masked (hidden behind asterisks) and only the last four digits are visible. By hiding the first 8 digits of one’s Aadhaar card number, UIDAI ensures that their identity remains safe, even if the card is lost or misplaced. It can be used anywhere that accepts an Aadhaar card as Proof of Identity, except for availing government benefits and subsidies. 

How Does Masked Aadhaar Work? 

The process of obtaining a Masked Aadhaar is simple and it works as mentioned below :

  • Visit the UIDAI Website: To generate a Masked Aadhaar, visit the official UIDAI website.
  • Enter Aadhaar Details: Input your complete Aadhaar number along with the security code displayed on the website.
  • Receive OTP: You will receive a One-Time Password (OTP) on your registered mobile number.
  • Verification: Enter the OTP to verify your identity.
  • Select Masked Aadhaar: During the Masked Aadhaar generation process, you will have the option to choose between a regular Aadhaar and a Masked Aadhaar. Select the latter.
  • Download or Print: Once you complete the process, you can download the Masked Aadhaar and use it for various purposes. 

Why should one use a Masked Aadhaar Card? 

Some of the reasons to use a masked Aadhaar card instead of a regular Aadhaar card are as follows:

  • A masked Aadhaar card allows a user to partially mask his or her Aadhaar number
  • It can be used in situations where the user does not want to reveal the Aadhaar card details
  • A masked Aadhaar card can only be used by the Aadhaar cardholder
  • A masked Aadhaar card can be downloaded at any time, whereas a regular Aadhaar card must be obtained by visiting an Aadhaar enrolment centre 
  • It serves as proof of identity and can be used to complete a wide range of tasks 

How can masked Aadhaar prevent misuse of the document? 

The masked Aadhaar can be used by cardholders as a form to meet the basic KYC requirements for various purposes like registering for mobile applications or private organizations or public organizations that do not need the complete Aadhaar Number.

As per the regulations of the UIDAI, only verified and licensed entities under UIDAI are allowed to collect and store the Aadhaar Card details of a person. 

Therefore, when any unlicensed or private organization (Hotels, Cinema Halls, etc.) requires a person to submit their Aadhaar for verification of their credentials or any other purpose, it is advisable to provide a masked Aadhaar. 

Masked Aadhaar is a password-protected document that allows cardholders to restrict access to the same and thereby protect themselves from any fraud or wrong actions of miscreants. The password for the same is the first four letters of the cardholder’s name in capital letters along with the year of birth in YYYY format. 

As mentioned above, a masked Aadhaar is a digital copy of the e-Aadhaar that is digitally signed by a competent authority of UIDAI. Such a copy is equally valid and authentic as the physical Aadhaar card. 

This makes it authentic and at the same time prevents its misuse if it falls into the wrong hands. As per UIDAI, masked Aadhaar can be downloaded from the UIDAI website legally by selecting the masked Aadhar option at the time of downloading. 

When such masked Aadhar is shared with any third party, they will be able to see only the last four digits of the Aadhar. 

Benefits of Masked Aadhaar 

  • Enhanced Privacy: Masked Aadhaar offers a layer of privacy by concealing the first 8 digits of the Aadhaar number. This reduces the risk of identity theft and unauthorized access to sensitive information. 
  • Reduced Identity Theft: By masking the majority of the Aadhaar number, it becomes significantly more challenging for malicious actors to misuse the information for fraudulent activities, enhancing security. 
  • Safe Document Sharing: When sharing an Aadhaar for KYC verification or other purposes, Masked Aadhaar ensures that your complete Aadhaar number is not exposed, minimizing the risk of misuse. 
  • Compliance with Data Protection: Using Masked Aadhaar demonstrates compliance with data protection and privacy regulations, showcasing UIDAI’s commitment to safeguarding personal information. 
  • Preventing Unauthorized Access: The concealment of the first 8 digits restricts access to the full Aadhaar identity, making it more challenging for unauthorized parties to gain access to your complete information. 
  • Secure Financial Transactions: Masked Aadhaar can be used for various financial transactions, such as opening bank accounts or applying for loans, providing an extra layer of security.
  • Widespread Acceptance: Many organizations, both government and private, accept Masked Aadhaar for verification purposes, making it versatile and widely applicable. 
  • Simplified Authentication: For services that do not require the complete Aadhaar number, Masked Aadhaar simplifies the authentication process, reducing the chances of misuse or exposure. 
  • Control Over Personal Data: With Masked Aadhaar, you have greater control over your personal data. You can decide which version of your Aadhaar number to share based on the required level of security and privacy. 

Where can you use Masked Aadhaar Card? 

Masked Aadhaar cards are the latest development from the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and can be used for various purposes. 

One common use for a Masked Aadhaar Card is to open a bank account or apply for loans. Banks require individuals to provide proof of identity and address before they are allowed to open an account or take out a loan. The UIDAI has authorized banks to accept Masked Aadhaar cards instead of valid physical ID proofs like passports or driver’s licenses. 

In addition, people who don’t want other parties to see the full details on their Aadhaar card like for Aadhaar verification for employees can use this option instead. 


The Aadhaar Card is a necessary identification document for all Indian citizens. 

With the ability to reduce identity theft, enhance data security, and offer control over personal information, Masked Aadhaar is a welcome addition to the Aadhaar ecosystem. 

The masked Aadhaar card offers more robust security against identity theft and other fraudulent activities as it hides the first 8 eight digits of your Aadhaar card. As it contains all the other information that a regular Aadhaar card has along with UIDAI’s signature, this variant of the Aadhaar card is as valid as a regular one which you can use not only as identity proof but also for eKYC purposes.