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Use legacy CertCentral ACME credentials

On January 30, 2024, DigiCert released a new version of the CertCentral ACME service with support for the following:

  • ACME-based automation for DV certificates.

  • Dynamic domain control validation checks via the ACME protocol.

  • Automatic selection of the certificate action (enroll/renew/reissue/duplicate), with the ability to override and force a new enrollment.

Any ACME credentials created in CertCentral prior to the January 30, 2024 release do not support the above features and are considered legacy. DigiCert recommends that you add new ACME credentials to replace any legacy ACME credentials in your account.


When you request certificates using legacy ACME credentials, CertCentral handles all domain validation checks itself, independent of the ACME protocol. The FQDN must be prevalidated in the CertCentral platform and be active and within the validation reuse period.

During an ACME automation event, no authorization is performed by the ACME protocol itself even though requested. All authorization checks are performed out-of-band by CertCentral's enterprise registration authority (RA) services.

Replace your legacy ACME credentials

If you have any legacy ACME credentials in your account, you will see a banner message above the table on the ACME Directory URLs page in CertCentral. Each set of legacy ACME credentials is marked with a warning icon next to the Status column in the table.

To replace your legacy ACME credentials:

  1. Verify the certificate product and settings for the legacy ACME credentials. You can check this on the ACME Directory URLs page by selecting the tooltips next to the Description column.

  2. Add new ACME credentials for the same certificate product and settings.

  3. Configure your ACME clients to use the new ACME credentials instead of the legacy ones.


To learn more about how to use the latest CertCentral ACME automation features, see: Request and manage certificates with ACME

Certbot examples for legacy ACME credentials

To continue using your legacy ACME credentials:

  • Make sure both the organization and domain are pre-validated in CertCentral. Contact DigiCert Validation Support if you need help with this.

  • For certificate actions other than new enrollments, append the existing order ID number and requested certificate action to the ACME URL as shown in the Certbot examples below.

Issue and install a certificate

If you installed the certbot-auto script, replace certbot with ./certbot-auto in the command. You might need to specify the path of certbot-auto if it's not added to your server's PATH configuration.

  1. Open a terminal session on your web server, for example using SSH.

  2. At the terminal prompt, request a certificate using Certbot and the command syntax below:

    • Make sure to replace YOUR-KEY-IDENTIFIER with the external account binding KID.

    • Make sure to replace YOUR-HMAC-KEY with the external account binding HMAC key.

    • Make sure to replace YOUR-ACME-URL with the ACME Directory URL created previously.

    • Make sure to replace FQDN with the fully-qualified domain name you want the certificate to secure. For each FQDN, add an additional -d option.

      sudo certbot --apache --register-unsafely-without-email --eab-kid=YOUR-KEY-IDENTIFIER --eab-hmac-key=YOUR-HMAC-KEY --server “YOUR-ACME-URL” -d FQDN


      sudo certbot --apache --register-unsafely-without-email --eab-kid=zcwmKf9sCnDUZsbCOgnv1ijy46l6UeEYCavSQQirl-g --eab-hmac-key=RHZraHBXQUxWTEFGdFhndjRVNmV3S3F6c2VNZDM1QzRURGhjdHF3S1NublJjN3dhVUFObzA0SXJwVHBnU2xnRA --server “” -d -d
  3. Enter your Certbot command, customized as needed.

    For additional information about the commands and options used in these instructions, see Certbot command options.

  4. You will be asked to accept the Terms of Service. Type "A” and press enter.

    Currently, DigiCert doesn't have any additional Terms of Service for the ACME.

    If your request includes an FQDN that Cerbot can't find a matching virtual host for, you'll be prompted to select the virtual host you want to install the certificate on. On Apache, check the Virtual Directory listing for ServerName to match the FQDN.

  5. Select whether to redirect HTTP traffic to HTTPS.

    Choosing to redirect disables HTTP access to your website.

  6. When finished, your server displays a success message: “Congratulations! You have successfully enabled your domains…

Your ACME certificate request is complete and the newly issued certificate is installed on your web server. Visit your website to confirm your certificate is in place.


ACME error codes: ACME returns the same errors and error messages as those returned in the CertCentral API. For a list of error codes and what they mean, see here.

Renew and reissue a certificate

Renew a certificate when it has expired or is due for renewal. Reissue a certificate when it is missing or has been revoked.

To renew and reissue, use this Certbot command syntax:

sudo certbot --apache --register-unsafely-without-email --eab-kid=YOUR-KEY-IDENTIFIER --eab-hmac-key=YOUR-HMAC-KEY --server “YOUR-ACME-URL” -d FQDN

Append the orderId and the action to the URL, as shown below.

Example (renew):

sudo certbot --apache --register-unsafely-without-email --eab-kid=zcwmKf9sCnDUZsbCOgnv1ijy46l6UeEYCavSQQirl-g --eab-hmac-key=RHZraHBXQUxWTEFGdFhndjRVNmV3S3F6c2VNZDM1QzRURGhjdHF3S1NublJjN3dhVUFObzA0SXJwVHBnU2xnRA --server “” -d -d

Example (reissue):

sudo certbot --apache --register-unsafely-without-email --eab-kid=zcwmKf9sCnDUZsbCOgnv1ijy46l6UeEYCavSQQirl-g --eab-hmac-key=RHZraHBXQUxWTEFGdFhndjRVNmV3S3F6c2VNZDM1QzRURGhjdHF3S1NublJjN3dhVUFObzA0SXJwVHBnU2xnRA --server “” -d -d


For Multi-year plan accounts:

  • Renew a certificate when the order coverage is expiring.

  • Reissue a certificate if it has been revoked or is expiring within the order coverage.

Issue a duplicate certificate

To increase security and simplify installation of the certificate across multiple servers, issue a duplicate certificate for each server.

The details in the duplicate certificate will be the same as in the original certificate. Duplicate certificates never require DigiCert to revoke previous copies of your certificate.

To issue a duplicate certificate, use this Certbot command syntax:

sudo certbot --apache --register-unsafely-without-email --eab-kid=YOUR-KEY-IDENTIFIER --eab-hmac-key=YOUR-HMAC-KEY --server “YOUR-ACME-URL” -d FQDN

Append the orderId and the action to the URL, as shown below.


sudo certbot --apache --register-unsafely-without-email --eab-kid=zcwmKf9sCnDUZsbCOgnv1ijy46l6UeEYCavSQQirl-g --eab-hmac-key=RHZraHBXQUxWTEFGdFhndjRVNmV3S3F6c2VNZDM1QzRURGhjdHF3S1NublJjN3dhVUFObzA0SXJwVHBnU2xnRA --server “” -d -d

Certbot command options

  • certbot: runs the Certbot executable.

  • certbot-auto: Use this in place of certbot when the certbot-auto script is installed. You might need to specify the path of certbot-auto if it's not added to your server's PATH configuration.

  • --apache: Specifies the Apache Certbot plugin that will install the certificate for you. Optional.

  • --register-unsafely-without-email: Allows you to skip creating an ACME account. Because your request is already connected to your CertCentral account, this is not needed. Optional.

  • --server “ URL : Specifies what ACME server should fulfill your request. Place your ACME Directory URL in double quotations after this option.

  • --eab-kid=YOURKID: Specifies the key identifier, which is a part of the common URL.

  • --eab-hmac-key=YOURHMACKEY: Specifies the key used for signing the response.

  • -d YOUR DOMAIN: The fully-qualified domain name included in the certificate. For each FQDN in the certificate, include a –d YOURDOMAIN. If you don't include this option, Certbot will prompt you about the domains you want to include based on your configured virtual hosts. Optional.

  • orderId “YOURORDERID: Specifies the order ID type of the existing certificate.

  • action “YOURACTION: Specifies the action on the certificate being requested.

A full list of Certbot commands is available through the terminal with certbot –help or see the list of commands on the Certbot documentation website.