Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has asked citizens to stay away from vendors or outlets that make plastic Aadhaar card or PVC smart cards as it is unusable. This is due to the unauthorized printing of QR codes on the card at these shops which makes the card dysfunctional.

The UIDAI in a statement has also warned that using plastic or PVC smart cards can lead to sharing Aadhaar details without consent through deceitful means.

"So-called Aadhaar Smart card is totally unnecessary and a waste as during such printing its QR code often becomes dysfunctional. The Aadhaar card or the downloaded Aadhaar card printed on ordinary paper or mAadhaar is perfectly valid for all kind of uses,” said Ajay Bhushan Pandey, CEO, UIDAI.

“If a person has a paper Aadhaar card, there is absolutely no need to get his/her Aadhaar card laminated or obtain a plastic Aadhaar card or so-called smart Aadhaar card by paying money. There is no concept such as smart or plastic Aadhaar card”, he added.

UIDAI emphasized that Aadhaar letter or its cutaway partition or a downloaded version of Aadhaar on normal paper or mAadhaar are absolutely valid and people should not fall prey to these " unscrupulous elements" who print plastic or PVC smart cards and charge anywhere between Rs 50 to Rs 300 for the service.

In case a person loses his Aadhaar card, he/she can download his Aadhaar card free of cost from UIDAI website. The print out of the downloaded Aadhaar card, even in black and white form, is as valid as the original Aadhaar letter sent by UIDAI.

CEO further advised not to share their Aadhaar number or personal details to any unauthorized agencies for getting it laminated or printed on the plastic card.

UIDAI has also informed unauthorized agencies not to collect Aadhaar information from the general public for printing of Aadhaar card as collecting such information or unauthorized printing of Aadhaar card or aiding such persons in any manner amounts will be seen as a criminal offense and the person can be put behind the bars for it.