In August 2023, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) announced new rules for issuing SIM cards to prevent SIM fraud and phishing activities in India. The implementation of these rules was initially scheduled for October 2023, but it got delayed by two months. These rules will now come into effect from December 1, 2023.
New SIM card rules 2023 explained
The new SIM card rule requires telecom operators to verify and register each PoS entity before they can enroll customers. Further, PoS entities will have to sign a written agreement with provisions related to the enrollment of customers, area of operations, and penal actions for the violation. PoS entities that violate the rules set by DoT will be terminated from the contracts and could face a penalty of Rs. 10 lakh or imprisonment. SIM card vendors will have 12 months to comply with the new norms.
In addition, DoT has made it mandatory to provide demographic details for purchasing new SIM cards or replacing existing SIM cards. The telcos will have to follow the e-KYC or D-KYC process and capture details by scanning the QR code on the Aadhar card of the buyer. The new mobile number will be provided to the new customer only after 90 days of disconnection by the previous owner. In the case of SIM replacement, the mobile number will be activated only when the demographic details provided by the customer match the existing details, and the SMS service will be enabled after 24 hours of activation.
Lastly, DoT has terminated bulk connections of mobile numbers and replaced them with business connections. The allotment of business connections will require documentation with a corporate identification number, business license, goods and services tax (GST) registration certification, and the address of the business.
These new rules are expected to prevent users from SIM and online financial fraud.