The Chairman, UIDAI, Shri Nandan Nilekani addressing at the first anniversary celebrations of Aadhaar launch of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), in New Delhi on September 29, 2011.
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has said there is no need to laminate Aadhaar cards or print them on plastic cards, and that paper printouts of Aadhaar cards, even in black and white, are valid. In Picture: UIDAI Chairman Nandan Nilekani addresses the audience on the first anniversary celebrations of Aadhaar launch in New Delhi, September 29, 2011.PIB

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) issued an advisory Monday, April 11, to clear up some misconceptions about the unique identity or Aadhaar card. Among the information it provided was the fact that paper-printed copies of the card — both colour and black-and-white — are as valid as the Aadhaar letters sent to individuals.

The UIDAI, in the statement released by the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, also warned people against unscrupulous elements who were charging a lot more than mandated to print or laminate Aadhaar cards, or even printing them on plastic cards in the name of giving card-holders "smart" Aadhaar cards.

"The Aadhaar card or the downloaded Aadhaar card printed on ordinary paper is perfectly valid for all uses. 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 Aadhaar card," UIDAI Director General and Mission Director Ajay Bhushan Pandey was quoted as saying in the statement.

The advisory also said a person can download and print their Aadhaar card from the official UIDAI portal for free if his or her original Aadhaar card is misplaced, stolen or rendered unusable in any way.

It added that Aadhaar cards can be laminated or printed on a plastic card at authorised Common Service Centres or Aadhaar Permanent Enrolment Centres at the prescribed rate of Rs. 30. This, it said, was much less than the Rs. 50 to Rs. 200 some unscrupulous people were charging.