Skip to main content

Order a Code Signing certificate

CertCentral changes for new private key storage requirements

Industry standards will soon require private keys for code signing certificates to be stored on hardware certified as FIPS 140 Level 2, Common Criteria EAL 4+, or equivalent.

DigiCert timeline for meeting new code signing certificate requirements

The changes affect orders placed in CertCentral or via the Services API:

  • May 2, 2023: You can use one of the new hardware token and hardware security module (HSM) provisioning methods when ordering or renewing a code signing certificate.

  • May 16, 2023: DigiCert will no longer accept Code Signing certificate requests using a provisioning method that does not meet the new private key storage requirement. This includes new, renewal, and reissue requests.

  • May 30, 2023: DigiCert will no longer issue Code Signing certificates using a provisioning method that does not meet the new private key storage requirement. This includes new, renewal, and reissue requests.

For more information, see our knowledge base articles:

Before you begin

Important

The industry requires RSA 3072-bit key minimum for code signing certificates.

On May 28, 2021, DigiCert made the following changes to our code signing certificate process to comply with industry changes:

  • Only issue RSA 3072-bit key or larger code signing certificates.*

  • Use new intermediate CA and root certificates to issue our code signing certificates: RSA and ECC.

*Note: All existing 2048-bit key code signing certificates issued before June 1, 2021, will remain active. You can continue to use these certificates to sign code until they expire.

Learn more about the change to 3072-bit key code signing certificates.

  • Organization validation

    Make sure the organization with which you want to associate your Code Signing (CS) certificate has been validated for CS – Code Signing Organization Validation. See Submit an organization for prevalidation.

  • Domain validation

    When adding an email address as the subject of a code signing certificate, the email address must include a validated domain associated with the organization included in your order. Only validated domains appear on the order form.

    For example, if you want to add john.doe@example.com, make sure example.com has been validated. See Domain prevalidation.

    Adding an email address is optional. Depending on how your account was set up, you may be unable to add an email address to your Code Signing certificate.

  • Hardware security module (HSM)

    Are you installing your Code Signing certificate on an HSM device?

    Then you must submit a certificate signing request (CSR) with your order. The CSR and private key must be generated by the Common Criteria EAL4+ standard or FIPS 140-2 level 2 HSM on which you plan to install the certificate. To remain secure, certificates must use an RSA 3072-bit or ECC P-256-bit key size or larger.

Order your Code Signing certificate

  1. In the left main menu, hover over Request a Certificate , then under Code Signing Certificates, select Code Signing.

  2. On the Request a Code Signing Certificate page, in the For dropdown, select the division to manage the certificate.

    The For dropdown only appears if your account uses Divisions.

Certificate Settings

  1. Validity period

    Select a validity period for the certificate: 1 year, 2 years, or 3 years.

    If needed, you can customize the expiration date or certificate length. However, you cannot exceed the 39-month maximum code signing certificate validity.

  2. Auto-renew

    To set up automatic renewal for this code signing order, check Auto-renew order 30 days before expiration.

    With auto-renew enabled, DigiCert automatically submits a request to renew the order thirty days before it expires. Auto-renew is not available with credit card payments.

    Tip

    If your certificate still has validity remaining before it expires, DigiCert adds the remaining validity to your new certificate (up to 39 months).

Organization

  1. Add an organization.

    Select Add organization

    You can add an existing organization from your account or a new organization. The new organization will be added to your account. However, DigiCert must complete the code signing validation for the selected or new organization before we can issue your certificate.

    In the Add organization window, the following task as needed::

    • Add an existing organization.

      1. Select An existing organization.

        In the dropdown, select the organization and then select Add.

        If you choose an organization not validated for Code Signing certificates or if the organization's code signing validation has expired, DigiCert must validate the organization for code signing validation before we can issue your certificate.

      2. Organization and technical contacts.

        DigiCert automatically adds the contacts assigned to the organization to the request form. To see the organization and technical contacts, select Show organization contacts.

      3. Verified contacts.

        • DigiCert automatically adds the assigned contacts to the request form if the organization has code signing verified contacts. To view, change selections, or add verified contacts, expand Verified contacts.

        • The Add contacts popup window opens if the organization does not have assigned code signing verified contacts. In this window, you can add yourself, a user in your account, or a new contact as a verified contact. See Verified contacts below.

    • Add a new organization.

      1. Select A new organization and select Next.

      2. Under Organization address details, enter your organization's legal name, assumed name (optional), address, and phone number.

        DigiCert must validate the organization for code signing validation before we can issue your certificate.

      3. When ready, select Add.

    • Add an organization contact.

      In the Add organization window, add yourself or someone else from your account, or create a new organization contact.

      Important

      The organization contact is whom we contact when validating the organization and verifying your authority to order a DigiCert certificate for the organization.

      They may also receive the following notifications:

      • Order status updates for certificates requested for their organization.

      • Domain status updates for domains associated with their organization.

      • Add yourself as the organization contact.

        Select Add me as the organization contact and then select Add or Next.

        1. If we have all your information, you will select Add.

        2. If we need more information, you will select Next, enter the missing information, and then select Add.

      • Add someone else as the organization contact.

        Select Add someone else as the organization contact. Then in the Add contact dropdown, select the contact or user and then select Add or Next.

        • If we have the needed user information, you will select Add.

        • If we need more user information, you will select Next, enter the missing information, and then select Add.

      • Create new contact.

        1. Select Add someone else as the organization contact.

        2. In the Add contact dropdown, select Create new contact and then select Next.

        3. Enter the needed user information and then select Add.

  2.  Technical contact for the organization (optional)

    We may contact a technical contact for inquiries regarding certificate orders for the organization. They may receive the certificate lifecycle-related emails: certificate issued, reissued, and expiring.

    • Add yourself as the technical contact.

      Select Add me as the technical contact for the organization and then select Add or Next.

      1. If we have all your information, you will select Add.

      2. If we need more information, you will select Next, enter the missing information, and then select Add.

    • Add someone else as the technical contact.

      Select Add someone else as the technical contact for the organization. Then in the Add contact dropdown, select the contact or user and then select Add or Next.

      1. If we have the needed user information, you will select Add.

      2. If we need more user information, you will select Next, enter the missing information, and then select Add.

    • Create new contact.

      1. Select Add someone else as the technical contact for the organization.

      2. In the Add contact dropdown, select Create new contact and then select Next.

      3. Enter the needed user information and then select Add.

  3. Verified contacts.

    A verified contact must represent the organization included in your certificate request. At least one EV code signing verified contact is required.

    To view, change selections, or add verified contacts, expand Verified contacts.

    • Select verified contacts.

      If the organization has multiple EV code signing verified contacts, you can select who receives the EV code signing order approval email.

      DigiCert sends the approval email to all selected, verified contacts, but only one needs to approve your order. Once the order is approved, DigiCert can issue your certificate. Selecting multiple verified contacts increases the likelihood of your order being approved quickly.

    • Add a verified contact.

      When adding a new verified contact, we will contact the organization directly to verify the individual's name, email, phone number, job title, and authority. Only after DigiCert validates a verified contact can they approve EV code signing orders for the organization.

      • Add yourself as the verified contact.

        Select Add me as a verified contact for the organization and then select Add or Next.

        1. If we have all your information, you will select Add.

        2. If we need more information, you will select Next, enter the missing information, and then select Add.

      • Add someone else as the verified contact.

        Select Add someone else as the verified contact for the organization. Then in the Add contact dropdown, select the contact or user and then select Add or Next.

        1. If we have the needed user information, you will select Add.

        2. If we need more user information, you will select Next, enter the missing information, and then select Add.

      • Create new contact.

        1. Select Add someone else as the verified contact for the organization.

        2. In the Add contact dropdown, select Create new contact and then select Next.

        3. Enter the needed information and then select Add.

  4. Additional emails (optional)

    Enter the email address you want to receive the certificate issuance, expiring certificate, and expiring order notifications. Separate addresses with commas or enter them on different lines.

    Depending on your account settings, your administrator may require you to include at least one additional email.

Order Settings

  • Provisioning options

    The provisioning method refers to where you will store the private key and certificate. For the security of your Code Signing certificate, the certificate must be installed on and used from an approved device.

    Select the storage device for your Code Signing certificate and its' private key.

    • DigiCert-provided hardware token

      DigiCert ships a secure token with instructions for installing the certificate on your token. So you can start signing code.

      Then, under Shipping address, add your shipping information: your name and the address where you want us to send the hardware token.

    • Use existing token

      After DigiCert issues your code signing certificate, install the certificate on your token.

      In the Platform dropdown, select the type of hardware token on which you plan to install your Code Signing certificate:

      • SafeNet eToken 5110 CC for RSA 4096-bit and ECC P-256-bit or higher key certificates.

      • SafeNet eToken 5110 FIPS for ECC P-256 and P-384-bit key certificates.

      • SafeNet eToken 5110+ FIPS for RSA 4096-bit and ECC P-256-bit or higher key certificates.

      Important

      You must have a FIPS 140-2 Level 2 or Common Criteria EAL4+ compliant device. See Currently Supported eTokens. You cannot install the certificate on any device not on the list.

      Need an approved token?

      Please select DigiCert-provided hardware token to have a token shipped to you. If you have questions, please contact DigiCert Support.

    • Install on HSM

      After DigiCert issues your code signing certificate, install it on the HSM where you generated the private key and CSR.

      Select Yes under Was the private key generated by a Common Criteria EAL4+ standard or FIPS 140-2 level 2 HSM?

      Note that we will send the certificate requestor an agreement email. This email is to ensure that a private key is stored on an HSM that is certified as FIPS 140 Level 2, Common Criteria EAL 4+, or equivalent. DigiCert will only issue the certificate after the requester agrees to the private key protection requirement.

      Important

      You must have a FIPS 140 Level 2, Common Criteria EAL 4+, or equivalent hardware security module (HSM) that supports at least 3072-bit keys.

      Don't have a compatible HSM?

      Please select a different provisioning method. If you have any questions, please contact DigiCert Support.

    • DigiCert KeyLocker (Cloud HSM)

      KeyLocker is an automated cloud storage service where you can store your private key and code signing certificate. Access them anytime from anywhere to sign your code. Learn more.

      DigiCert also offers Software Trust Manager, an enterprise-level code signing solution. Contact your account representative to determine if your organization could benefit from Software Trust Manager. Learn more.

Additional certificate options

The information below is optional. None of it is required to issue your certificate.

  1. Organization unit (optional)

    Enter the organization unit (OU) with which you want to associate the certificate and signatures. If you include an OU in your order, DigiCert must validate the OU before we can issue your certificate with the OU field in it.

    An OU is not required to issue your certificate. You can leave this box empty. When the box is empty, the issued certificate will not have an OU value.

  2. Subject Email (optional)

    Enter the email address you want to appear on the certificate. The email address must contain a validated domain associated with the organization included in the request, for example, email-username@validated-domain.

    Including an email address on the certificate is not required to issue your certificate. However, adding an email address provides an additional layer of trust for end users when checking your code signing certificate.

    1. In the Email username box, enter your email username.

    2. In the Email domain dropdown, select your email address domain.

      • We don't show a dropdown if the organization only has one validated domain assigned to it.

      • You cannot include a subject email if the organization does not have any validated domains assigned to it.

Additional order options

The information below is optional. None of it is required to issue your certificate.

  1. Comments to Administrator (optional)

    Enter any information your administrator might need for approving your request, about the purpose of the certificate, etc.

  2. Additional Renewal Message (optional)

    To create a renewal message for this certificate, add a message with information relevant to the certificate's renewal.

Payment Information

  1. Select Payment Method

    Under Payment Information, select a payment method to pay for the certificate:

    1. Bill to Credit Card

      Don't have a contract or don't want to use the contract to pay for this certificate? Use a credit card to pay for the certificate.

      We authorize the card when the request is made. However, we only complete the transaction once we issue your certificate. If you have a contract enabled, check Exclude from contract terms.

    2. Bill to Account Balance

      Don't have a contract or don't want to use the contract to pay for this certificate? Bill the cost to your account balance.

      To deposit funds, click the Deposit link.

      The Deposit link takes you to another page in your CertCentral account. Any information entered in the request form will not be saved.

      If you have a contract enabled, check Exclude from contract terms.

    3. Pay with Contract Terms

      Have a contract and want to use it to pay for the certificate? When you have a contract, it is the default payment method.

  2. Master Services Agreement

    Select the Master Services Agreement link to read through the agreement.

  3. Select Submit Certificate Request.

    Selecting Submit Certificate Request also means you agree to all the terms and conditions in the Master Services Agreement.

What's next

DigiCert recommends that developers take precautions with the code signing process and protect the private key associated with their signing certificate. See Protect private keys: Code signing best practices.