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Can I buy a certificate valid for more than one year?

Yes. Two-year certs are available - please just select that option when you order. If you require a three-year certificate, these are available for some products directly from

Can I buy a certificate valid for less than one year?

No - the minimum validity period is one year. If you only have a very short-term need for a certificate, Thawte offer a test certificate which is valid for three weeks, but as it is designed for use in a test environment, your users will see a browser warning that it is not signed by a recognised certification authority.

Can I buy a certificate which will work with more than one domain name? (e.g. and

No. Thawte do not currently supply certificates which will support Subject Alternative Names (SAN fields), required for some recent Microsoft products (e.g. Exchange 2007).

There is a product called a 'wildcard certificate' which can be used to secure multiple servers within the same domain (e.g.,, but wildcard certificates do not work across multiple domains.

Can I buy a certificate which will work with an IP address and not a server name?

No. Neither Thawte nor (to the best of our knowledge) any of the other major certification authorities will issue such a certificate.

This is because it is almost impossible to prove the ownership of an IP address; most often they technically belong to ISPs who delegate particular ranges of addresses to their clients, rather than to the clients themselves. It would also cause much more aggravation to users if they had to change their IP addresses for any reason (for instance changing ISPs, internal reorganisation).

The only exception to this is that Thawte will issue certificates including IP addresses referenced in RFC 1918 -- "private" IP addresses.

Can I buy a certificate for use on an intranet server?

Yes, you can. You'll need to put the server name, with no domain name, in to the certificate signing request (e.g. 'intranet01' rather than ''); alternatively, you can put in a server name with an internal domain name (e.g. 'server01.internal' or 'server01.local.domain'). As long as your chosen internal domain doesn't clash with an existing top-level domain (using '.com' as your internal domain would be a bad idea) or with a top-level domain which is likely to be issued, then you should have no problem. It's a good idea to contact us once you have placed your request to confirm that the request is for an intranet server.

Can I use a certificate on more than one machine?

Yes, though it may cost you more to do so.

If you need to use a server certificate on more than one machine at the same time - for instance, if you have a cluster of servers which are load-balanced - then you will need to buy licences to use the certificate on the extra machines. The standard certification fee only covers use on a single machine. Licences are charged at approximately 70% of the standard price for a certificate, and you will be given the opportunity to choose how many you need during the ordering process. If you need more licences during the certificate's lifetime, you can add them, but you cannot remove licences once they have been added.

Can I order a certificate on behalf of my client?

Yes. You will need to nominate a Corporate Contact (what's a corporate contact?) who is of management status or higher and is an employee of the company on whose behalf the certificate is being requested. They will need to complete the final verification stage (more details), but aside from that, you can handle the process for them.

We will usually, as a matter of course, copy the Corporate Contact in on any emails regarding documentation for the certificate, because they are usually better placed to provide information regarding the company. If you would prefer we didn't do so, please contact us and let us know as soon as possible.

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Last updated: March 24th 2008
Last checked: October 14th 2009

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