Before DigiCert can issue an SSL/TLS certificate, you must demonstrate control over the domains and any SANs (Subject Alternative Names) on the certificate order. We refer to this process as the Domain Control Validation (DCV) process.
DigiCert currently supports these DCV Methods: WHOIS-based Email, Constructed Email, Email to DNS TXT contact, DNS CNAME, DNS TXT, and HTTP Practical Demonstration (also referred to as File or FileAuth).
Industry standards prevent Certificate Authorities (CAs), such as DigiCert, from issuing an SSL/TLS certificate until domain control validation is completed.
When ordering a certificate, you select a DCV method to demonstrate control over the domain on the order. On the certificate's Order details page, use the DCV method selected during the order process to complete the domain validation. You can always switch validation methods if needed.
CertCentral features a domain prevalidation process that allows you to validate your domains before you begin ordering certificates for them. See Domain pre-validation: Domain control validation (DCV) methods.
Completing the domain validation ahead of time allows for quicker certificate issuance. Domain prevalidaiton is required for immediate certificate issuance, see OV/EV certificate immediate issuance.
With this validation method, DigiCert sends three sets of DCV emails: WHOIS-based, constructed, and DNS TXT-based. To demonstrate control over the domain, an email recipient follows the instructions in a confirmation email sent for the domain. The confirmation process consists of visiting the link provided in the email and following the instructions on the page.
For the WHOIS-based method, DigiCert sends an authorization email to the registered owners of the public domain as shown in the domain's WHOIS record.
Are you expecting to receive an email at an address published in your domain’s WHOIS record? Please verify that your registrar/WHOIS provider has not masked or removed that information. If they are, find out if they provide a way (such as anonymized email address, web form) for you to allow Certificate Authorities (CAs) to access your domain’s WHOIS data.
For the Constructed Email method, DigiCert sends the authorization email to five constructed email addresses for the domain: admin, administrator, webmaster, hostmaster, and postmaster @[domain_name].
When you register a domain, you must provide identifying and contact information (e.g., administrative and technical contacts). Instead of using a personal email address, you can use one of the constructed email addresses for your domain (e.g., email@example.com). Using one of the constructed email addresses allows you to create a "non-expiring" email address that you can add or remove people from when necessary.
If we can't find an MX record for [domain_name], you must use one of the other supported DCV methods to demonstrate your control over the domain.
Before we can successfully send an authentication email (DCV Email) to the domain owner (or domain controller), we must verify that an MX record (a resource record in the Domain Name System [DNS]) exists in the DNS records of the recipient's domain name. The presence of valid MX records enables us to send the authentication email.
For example, you want to receive your DCV email at one of the constructed email addresses for example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org. To successfully send a DCV Email to email@example.com, we must first find an MX record for said address that identifies the server (e.g., mailhost.example.com) set up to receive the emails destined for firstname.lastname@example.org
If we find an MX record, we can successfully send a DCV email to email@example.com. If we don't find an MX record, no DCV email is sent because we cannot identify the proper mail server.
For the email to DNS TXT contact DCV method, DigiCert sends an authorization email to the email addresses found in the DNS TXT record on the
_domain-contactemail subdomain of the domain being validated.
DNS TXT record email contacts
To use the Email to DNS TXT Contact DCV method, you must place the DNS TXT record on the
validation-contactemail subdomain of the domain you want to validate. The RDATA value of this text record must be a valid email address.
Add a DigiCert generated token (provided for the domain in your CertCentral account) to the domain’s DNS as a CNAME record. Then, add dcv.digicert.com as the CNAME target. When DigiCert does a search for a DNS CNAME records associated with the domain, we can find a record that includes the DigiCert verification token.
Add a DigiCert generated token (provided for the domain in your CertCentral account) to the domain’s DNS as a TXT record. When DigiCert does a search for DNS TXT records associated with the domain, we can find a record that includes the DigiCert verification token.
Host a file containing a DigiCert generated random value (provided for the domain in your CertCentral account) at a predetermined location on your website: [your-domain]/.well-known/pki-validation/fileauth.txt. Once the file is created and placed on your site, DigiCert visits the specified URL to confirm the presence of our random value.