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Renewing your certificate

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Why do I need to renew my certificate?

Certificates are issued with a limited lifespan - between one year and five years (some types of certificate have lower maximum lengths). This is to reduce the chances of information becoming out of date - for instance, company names change, staff leave, servers are upgraded and changed to different software. It also reduces the risks involved with key loss.

When can I renew my certificate?

You can usually place your renewal request up to 90 days before the old certificate is due to expire.

We recommend allowing at least 5 working days for the renewal to be processed, and a further 2 working days for the certificate to be downloaded and installed. It doesn't usually take this long, but it avoids an embarrassing gap in service on your website!

When a certificate is renewed, the new validity period runs until one or two years from the end of the old certificate - you don't lose any time by renewing early.

You will usually start to be reminded to renew your certificate 90 days before it expires. (If you already know you don't want to renew that particular certificate, tell us and we can turn off the reminder emails.) Note that these emails will go to the contact email addresses that were given to us when you applied for the certificate - if your email address has changed, they may not reach you.

How do I renew my certificate?

If you originally ordered your certificate through an ISP, you should talk to them first. They will usually either handle the renewal request on your behalf, or they will provide the details for you to renew the certificate.

If you need to handle your own renewal, you will need to know your old order number - the order number for the certificate which is expiring. Once you have that, please go to this page, choose the type of certificate that you need to renew (EV cert, SuperCert, SSL Web Server certificate, SSL123 certificate or developer certificate) and follow the steps through from there. If you can't remember your order number, you may be able to find it through Thawte's status page, if you know the server name for which your certificate was issued. Otherwise, contact us and we will do our best to help.

Will I need a new CSR?

This depends on your software. Thawte provide a list of software platforms that will not require a new CSR (what's a CSR?) here. Note that all versions of Microsoft IIS do require a new CSR.

If you are renewing an SSL123 certificate on Microsoft IIS6 (Windows 2003), please read this note about the generation of renewal requests.

Will I need to send you more paperwork?

This depends on the paperwork you provided previously.

If you had to provide a domain release letter, a bank letter, a verification letter or a phone bill, you may need to provide another one for the renewal of the certificate. If you provided a VAT certificate or return previously, it is possible that we may need you to provide a more recent VAT return. If you did not have to provide any of the above, it is unlikely that we will need to ask you for anything further.

Can I renew my certificate for more than one year?

You can currently renew SSL Web Server certificates and SSL123 certificates for between one and five years - just choose the appropriate term at the time you go through the renewal process. (Note that if you choose to renew for one year we cannot later change that to a two-year renewal, and so on.) SuperCerts can be renewed for up to four years. Developer certificates, wildcard certificates and Extended Validation (EV) certificates can only be renewed for one or two years.

My company name has changed, can I still renew my certificate?

Sorry, no; if your company name has changed you will need to purchase a new certificate, rather than renewing your existing one.

How long will it take for my certificate to be renewed?

Thawte reauthenticate all renewal requests, so it usually takes the same time, or a little less, than issuing a new certificate. Allow a few days, and contact us once you have put in the renewal request if it is especially urgent - we will do what we can to help.

I'm renewing an SSL123 certificate, and the system is complaining that I have no country code?

When issued, an SSL123 certificate does not contain all of the "usual" fields that one might expect to see in a fully-authenticated certificate. This confuses IIS6 slightly when it comes to generate the renewal request -- specifically, it generates the request based on the contents of the certificate as issued, rather than based on the initial certificate request, and this is not what Thawte's systems need. A workaround is detailed here. If you need to know the details of your original certificate request, please contact us.

My certificate has been renewed -- is there anything I need to do?

You need to install your new certificate on your server -- this may be your job, or you may need to pass it to your ISP to be installed. Have a look at the section which deals with installing a new certificate, as the process is generally similar.

Once your certificate has been renewed, if you are using the Thawte Trusted Site Seal, you will have to request that it be activated for your renewed certificate as well as for your original certificate. You do not have to change any of the Javascript on your site, but if you do not activate the Seal for your renewed certificate, then your Seal will begin to show "invalid certificate" when your old certificate expires.

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Last updated: October 14th 2009
Last checked: October 14th 2009

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